Moodle Course Types

These are the following types of educational courses in Moodle:

  • Award courses
  • Non-award courses for staff (aka SCAR courses)
  • Non-award courses for students (aka NCAR courses)
     
  • Standard sandpit courses
  • Self-enrolment sandpit courses
  • Guest sandpit courses

This page describes each type, how to request it and how to add users.

Award courses

Award courses are the most common type of course in Moodle, and are an online space where you can provide learning and teaching activities and resources for students who are officially enrolled in your UNSW courses.

To obtain the teaching instance of your course, ask the TELT Administrator in your faculty or school to create it in myUNSW and release it to you, using the instructions on the page Create a Moodle Teaching Instance and Release it to Instructors.

TELT Administrators can begin creating courses for their academics from approximately 2 months before Orientation Week.

Non-award courses for staff (SCAR)

There are two types of official non-award courses, based on whether the course is intended for student or staff participants. SCAR courses are for staff participants.

SCAR courses (like OH&S) are created in the official PIMS system, before being created in Moodle overnight. The completion of these courses by staff result in their completion status being passed back to MyUNSW for formal recognition.

SCAR courses are managed by the Capability and Development unit within UNSW HR.

These course types are generally not available to UNSW faculty/schools/departments to utilise for their own courses, due to interface restrictions and/or inability to support at scale.

Non-award courses for students (NCAR)

There are two types of official non-award courses, based on whether the course is intended for student or staff participants. NCAR courses are for student participants.

NCAR courses (like ELISE) are created in Learning Management via MyUNSW, before being created in Moodle overnight. The completion of these courses by students result in their completion status being passed back to MyUNSW for formal recognition.

NCAR courses are managed by the Academic Administration department.

These course types are generally not available to UNSW faculty/schools/departments to utilise for their own courses, due to interface restrictions and/or inability to support at scale.

Standard sandpit courses

A standard sandpit course is a course that you can set up to:

  • add activities or resources to test and practise with
  • build a course before your teaching instance has been set up.

To request a sandpit course:

  1. Log into Moodle.

    Example Moodle Web Single Sign On Form - User Id, Password entry, click Agree and Sign on.
     
  2. In the Navigation block, click Sandpit Request Form.

    Sandpit Request Form link
     
  3. Complete the form. Remember to select yourself as an instructor in the Select staff portion of the form.  You can also select other users to add to this course (ensure you choose the proper role from the User Role dropdown before adding the user).

    Add user role
     
  4. Click Submit.

    example Click submit button
     

If you need to add users to your sandpit at a later date please request the addition of self enrolment keys by completing the Moodle Self Enrolment Course Request form.

Sandpit courses (with self-enrolment)

What is a self-enrolment sandpit?

In certain cases you may require a course in Moodle for activities that support education but are not directly related to a student's progression throughout his/her degree, or not directly related to a staff member's progression throughout his/her career. Such courses are usually set up as sandpit courses with self-enrolment keys. As the name suggests, users enrol themselves in these courses by entering a password (an 'enrolment key') upon receiving the course URL from you.

Examples of such a scenario include sites with general support or training resources, or a site to organise social activities to build community.

When should a self-enrolment sandpit not be used?

Sandpit courses exist in Moodle alone, they do not exist in any official system of record, are not directly visible to UNSW auditing, and will not be backed up long-term. For this reason it makes them unsuitable for official activities due to the inability for UNSW to meet appropriate business policies, or to meet governing data retention restrictions covered by laws such as the NSW State Records Act.

It can be hard to determine what counts as an official activity that needs to be tracked. A general rule of thumb is that if the course is required to track staff grades, student grades, or activity completion, or could otherwise impact a staff member's/student's status at UNSW, it requires tracking in an official system such as MyUNSW. Hence these courses are not appropriate.

If you wish to use a self-enrolment sandpit but have concerns that it will not meet the criteria mentioned here, please send an enquiry to PVCE.TELT.Communications@unsw.edu.au.

How does self-enrolment work?

Typically you would specify two enrolment keys, one for the instructor and one for the students. For self-enrolment courses, an instructor is a user who can edit the course and add activities or resources. A student is a user who can participate in the course and access the course activities and resources.

You can request a self-enrolment course or request self-enrolment keys to an existing course by completing the online Moodle Self Enrolment Course Request form. Requests will normally be processed within 2 business days.

For instructions on how to access a self-enrolment course using self-enrolment keys see Enrolling in a self-enrolment course.

Sandpit courses (with guest access)

Guest access can now be enabled for self-enrolment courses.

Enabling guest access allows users external to UNSW to view your course materials within Moodle. These users will access content anonymously but will not be able to participate in activities that require an identity within Moodle. For example: Assignment submissions.

Guest access for courses require approval from the Head of Organisational Unit.
 
You can request guest access to be added to new or existing courses by completing the online Moodle Guest Access Course Request form. Requests will be processed within 2 business days.