Every course belongs to a category. You can change the category of a course anytime.

Creating a course and developing course content are two different functions. To create a course, a user must have the site-wide role of the site administrator or manager. To add material to a course, a user must be the site administrator, course creator, manager, or teacher.

To create a new, blank course follow the steps:

1. From the Administration menu on the left side of the page, navigate to

Site Administration → Courses → Manage courses and categories

2. Click "Create new course" link. The Edit course settings page is displayed.

3. From the drop-down list, select a category for the course. You can use the drop-down list to change the category at any time. The list shows both visible and hidden categories.

4. Enter a Full name and a Short name for the course.

The full name of the course appears at the top of the page when viewing the course, and in the course listings. The short name appears in the breadcrumb, or Navigation bar, at the top of the page. The full name also appears in the page's title and meta data, which influences how it appears in the search engines.

5. Set the Course start date. For a Weekly course, this field sets the starting date shown. It has no effect on the display of Topic or Social courses.

6. Enter a Course ID Number. If you are using an external database to enroll students, then the ID number that you enter into this field must match the ID number of the course in the external database. If you're not using an external database for enrollment information, you can leave this field blank.

7. Enter a Course summary. If you choose to display a list of courses on the front page, then the course summaries are displayed with the names of the courses.

If you choose to display a combo list on the front page, then the course summary is displayed when the user clicks on the info icon next to the course name. Your course summaries need to be informative and work as a sales tool. They should offer enough information to help your visitors decide if they want to enroll.

8. Select a format for the course.

The Topics format is the most used format for a course. It displays each part of the course as a numbered topic. You can force students to complete the activities in a specific order by using conditional activities. The Weekly format appears almost identical to the Topics format, except that it displays dates for each topic.

The Social format turns the entire course into one discussion forum. Discussion topics are displayed on the home page of the course. The Social format is very different from a traditional, sequential course. It lacks the ability to add activities and resources in the main course area, which you find in the Topic and Weekly formats. However, because the Social format turns the entire course into a discussion forum, it offers you the chance to put a discussion forum right into the course listings.

9. Select the Number of weeks or topics. If you selected the Topics or Weekly format for your course, you must specify how many topics or weeks your course will have. You can change the number of weeks or topics in a course whenever you want.

When you decrease the number of sections in a course, the topics that are dropped are not really deleted. They are not displayed to the students. If you increase the number of topics, those hidden topics will again be displayed to the students with their content intact. Teachers who are in editing mode will see the dropped topics as grayed out, under a section called Orphan. The teacher can still access and edit those orphaned topics.

10. Select how the course will display Hidden sections.

The setting Number of weeks or topics determines how many weeks or topics your course has. Each week or topic is a section. You can hide and reveal any section at will except for Topic 0, which is always displayed.

If you select Hidden sections are shown in collapsed form under Hidden Sections, then the titles or dates of sections that you have hidden will appear grayed out. The user cannot enter that section of the course, but does see that it is there. This is most useful if you plan to make sections of a course available in sequence, instead of making them available all at once. If you select Hidden sections are completely invisible, then hidden sections are invisible to the students.

11. Specify how many News Items to show in the Latest news block.

For Weekly and Topics course formats, a News forum automatically appears on the Home Page of the course. If you want to delete this forum, set the News Items to Show to zero and then delete the forum. The News forum is like any other forum, except that its postings appear in the Latest news block.

12. If Show grade book to students is set to Yes, then a student can view a list of all their grades for the course by clicking the Grades link in the Course administration block.

13. You can see a report of your activity in each course that you take under your profile. Whether or not a student's activity for a course will be kept in the student profile is determined by the setting Show activity reports.

14. The setting for Maximum upload file size limits the size of a file that a student can upload into this course. There is also a site-wide limit set under site policies. The smaller of the two settings takes precedence here.

15. Select the Group mode. This setting determines how the individual activities in the course react to the presence of groups in the course. If you do not use groups in the course, this setting has no effect.

When set to No, all students in the course are considered to be in one big group. When set to Separate, students in a group cannot see the names of any other groups. The work done by different groups is kept separate. When set to Visible, students in different groups can see the students from other groups.

16. Normally, the group mode of the course can be overridden for each activity. However, when Force group mode is set to Yes, all activities are forced to have the same group mode as the course.

17. The Default grouping for the course determines how groups are filtered in the grade book. This setting has no effect unless you are using groupings.

18. If you want to use different terms for the roles in your course, you can use Role Renaming. You can substitute the term teacher with anything like instructor, leader, and facilitator. For students, you could use terms like participant or member.