Why use it?

The glossary activity module allows participants to create and maintain a list of definitions, like a dictionary. This makes a good formative peer learning / collaborative activity, allowing students to build up understanding and correct use of subject specific vocabulary. It can also be restricted to a list of key terms by teachers offered as an authoritative resource. While the latter use would not provide active learning, a teacher restricted glossary will retain its entrances after refresh. A Moodle course can have many glossaries (eg a teacher and a student one)

Step 1: Add a glossary


Scroll to the section where you want your glossary to be displayed, click Add an activity or resource and pick glossary.

Step 2: Settings

Tip: Click on the question mark icon next to any setting to display extra help or click on Moodle Docs for this page link at the bottom of each page in Moodle for accessing context-specific documentation.


Give your new glossary a descriptive name.


Describe the purpose of the glossary and provide instructions or background information, links etc. Click the icon to the top left of the editor to expand the toolbars, and drag the bottom right of the text box out to expand it.

Display description on course page

If this box is ticked, the description will appear on the course page just below the name of the glossary.

Is this glossary global?

Administrators can make a global glossary, with entries linking throughout the whole Moodle site. We do not enable this.

Glossary type

Here you can decide whether the glossary will be main or secondary. This feature enables you to choose particular entries from any number of secondary glossaries in the course and add them to the main glossary. You can only have one main glossary per course.

After creating a main glossary, if you then go to a secondary glossary, you'll notice next to each entry there is an 'Export to main glossary' icon (arrow with a line under it).

Choose a secondary heading to expand on the different setting names.

Common module settings

If you have chosen to work with groups for this activity set the Group mode to Separate groups to be able to sort your activity by groups and then choose the Grouping (if any) that contains your Groups.

Restrict access

Use this to restrict the availability of the activity according to chosen criteria as dates, profiles or groups.

Activity completion

Enable completion criteria for this activity. This is a helpful way for students to track their course progress.


Click Save and display.


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