Role Assignments In Moodle Uiuc

Rather than hosting your audio and videos on YouTube, Soundcloud, or other third-party websites, you can host your content securely on Illinois Media Space.

It is very simple to add media to Illinois Media Space and display it anywhere you use the Moodle Text Editor (including pages, forums, assignments) both as a student and instructor.
  1. Record your audio or video and save as a file type that can be added to Illinois Media Space. For best results with video, Illinois Media Space recommends preparing videos in 1280x720 pixels and using the H.264 video codec at about 4000 kb/s.
  2. Using the editing toolbar in the text editor, access the Illinois Media Space window... clicking the colorful Embed Illinois Media Space button. 

    This will take you to a popup window.
    Note: You may need to enable cookies in your browser preferences in order to access this window.
    If you have already uploaded the video to the Illinois Media Space website, you can skip steps 3-6.
  3. In the new window, click Add New. You have several options from here:
    Media Upload will allow you to add a file from your computer.
    Webcam recording will allow you to create a video using your webcam.
    YouTube will allow you to pull a video from YouTube (only public YouTube videos are supported).
    Video presentation allows you to sync media with documents.
    Screen recording is a recording of your screen.
    Because of the limitations in screen size and navigability through the text editor interface, we recommend going to the Illinois Media Space website for anything other than a file upload, YouTube connection, or brief video. 
  4. Click Choose a file to upload
  5. Find the file on your computer and click Open.
  6. The file will take a moment to process. You can add a name and description of the file during that time.

    Once the file has processed, scroll down to the bottom of the window and click Save. Then click Back to Browse and Embed
  7. The file should now appear in your list of available videos. Select the file from your available videos.
  8. You will come to a confirmation screen. This is your chance to review the file to make sure you have uploaded the correct one. If you have uploaded an audio file, it will display as a video player with a blank screen. Click Embed media.
  9. In the editing window, you will see an embed link. Once you have saved and submitted, this will display embedded on screen. You can continue to edit this page (i.e. pasting in your script), but do not edit this link or it will not function.

For more information about Illinois Media Space:

Main page ► Managing a Moodle site ► Roles and permissions ► Assign roles

Context and roles

  • In Moodle, apart from the site administrator, users do not normally have a global, site-wide role. In other words, even though you may be a tutor offline, when you are in Moodle you could have a tutor role in the course you teach in but a student role in another course where you are studying for a diploma. There are a few exceptions but this is generally the case.
  • Because of the way Moodle works,assigning roles is done for a particular context. A site and course are examples of two different contexts. When you create a new role or tweak a pre-existing role via Administration > Site Administration > Users > Permissions > Define roles, you are asked in which context(s) you want the role to be assigned:

  • Here are some examples of contexts; how to get to the assign roles screen, and when/why you would assign roles here:

System context

  • Administration > Site Administration > Users > Permissions > Assign system roles
  • Any roles assigned here apply to the whole Moodle site. It makes sense therefore that only roles that need this functionality can be assigned here. The Manager role and Course creator role are examples of two such roles. Assigning a teacher or student here would result in their being able to teach/study in every single course on the site, which is not usually desirable.
  • If you really feel your Moodle needs to have teachers or students assigned in the system context, go to the teacher/student role in Administration > Site administration > Users > Permissions > Define roles and check the "system" box. Then search for and allow the capability moodle/course:view

Front page context

  • Administration > Site Administration > Front Page>Users>Permissions>Assigned roles
  • Those with a role in the system context do not need to be assigned a role here as well.
  • However you might want to allow a teacher to manage items on the front page; in this instance, you would assign them the role on the Front page.

Course Category context

  • See Category enrolments
  • Users may be enrolled in the category to save enrolling them in each individual course in that category.

Course context

  • Go to Administration > Course administration > Enrolled users
  • Click the "Enrol users" button and click those users you wish to enrol

The dropdown menu at the top shows roles for which you are allowed to enrol; typically those users with lower roles than you. See Enrolled users for more details.

To add additional roles to an already-enrolled user:

  • Administration > Course administration > Users > Enrolled users
  • Filter to find the appropriate user
  • Use the "Assign roles" icon in the user's entry to select the additional role

Block context

  • (Within the block) Administration > Assign roles
  • You may wish to assign roles to a block if, for instance you want specific people to see the block but for it to be hidden from others

Activity Module context

  • (Within the activity settings) Administration > Locally assigned roles
  • An example of this is assigning a student the teacher role locally in an individual activity like a forum so they can moderate their classmates' posts while still retaining the student role in the rest of the course.

User context

  • The most common use of this is for the Parent role.
  • When the Parent role is created viaAdministration > Site administration > Users > Permissions > Define roles the "user" context box is checked.
  • To assign a parent the role in the context of their child (so they can see their child's grades etc) click the child's profile and then go to Administration>Roles>Assign roles relative to this user
  • See Parent role for more information.

The assign roles page lists the names of users assigned to each role (unless there are more than 10 users, in which case this is stated).


By assigning a role to a user in a certain context, you grant them the permissions contained in that role for the current context and all lower contexts.

The list of contexts in hierarchical order is as follows:

  • System (no parent)
  • Front page (parent = system) -
  • Course category (parent = parent category or system)
  • Course (parent = category or system)
  • Module (parent = course or system)
  • Block (parent = course or system)
  • User (parent = system)

Roles can be inherited. For example if a user is assigned a Teacher role in a specific course category then the user will have this role in ALL courses within the category. Tip: use the override feature in a specific context for exceptions.

Roles will only work if the role assignment is made in the correct context. Some examples: a Teacher role should be assigned to a user in the course or course category context, a Forum moderator for a particular forum should be assigned in that specific forum.

Assigning someone the role of Site administrator

  • Site administrators are assigned via a special page: Administration > Site Administration > Users > Permissions > Site Administrators. Select the name from the right and move it over to the left:

  • The original (primary) administrator cannot be deleted.

Checking a user's role assignments

A user's role assignments can be checked by going to their profile page then in the administration block under the profile settings for the user, clicking 'This user's role assignments'.

Hidden roles

If you want to provide users with access to the course, but don't want them to be visible in the participants list, use the Other users link in the course administration menu (Administration > Course Administration > Users > Other Users). Assigning roles here provides course access, and editing rights according to the permissions set for the role assigned without actually enrolling the user in the course. This is similar to the functionality of the "hidden user" check box in previous versions of Moodle.

Note: By default, the only role which can be assigned to other users is the manager role. To enable other roles, such as teacher to be assigned, the capability moodle/course:view should be allowed for the role (see below).

Enabling teachers to assign the role of teacher

By default, teachers are only allowed to assign the roles of non-editing teacher, student and guest. To enable teachers to assign the role of teacher:

  1. Access Administration > Users > Permissions > Define roles.
  2. Click the tab "Allow role assignments".
  3. Click the checkbox where the teacher row and column intersect.
  4. Click the "Save changes" button.

Beware of assignments that don't make sense

There are many role assignments that do not make sense as the underlying functionality does not exist. Just because you give someone the "right" to do something does not guarantee that the interface or facility actually exists within the context that you have assigned that right. For example, you can assign a user the right to create new categories in the category context. However there is no interface within Moodle to do that (category creation is only available at the system level).

Multiple assignments

A significant part of the roles infrastructure is the ability to assign a user into multiple roles (at the same time). The capabilities of each role are merged to produce the effective set of capabilities. For example, a user could be both a Teacher and Student in the same course. You should be careful to ensure that if you change a user's role that you remove them from any other roles as required as this will no longer be done automatically.

See also

Using Moodle forum discussions:


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