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Roles in Moodle

There are several distinct roles individuals can have in a Moodle course, and each role has a specific set of abilities for what they can do in the course.

  • Your status in a class in SPIRE determines the role you are initially given in a Moodle course: Student, Non-editing teacher (Teaching Assistant), or Teahcer (Instructor).
    Note: Teaching assistants and co-instructors who need access to the grade book and grading functions must be listed in SPIRE as a Teaching Assistant or Secondary Instructor to be given the Non-editing teacher or Teacher role in Moodle.
  • Instructors have the ability to assign additional roles to people already enrolled in the course. Course Designer, Course Assistant, Student - Unlimited quiz time, and Student - with Incomplete can be added by the Instructor for particular course members to provide additional privileges; either for the whole course, or an activity within the course.
  • For individuals who are not enrolled in a course through SPIRE, special access may be applied for under limited circumstances. The instructor can request for an unenrolled individual to get Course Designer, Contributor, or Temporary Speaker access.
  • Instructors can activate Guest access for their courses, which allows limited access to the course and does not provide access to student data or allow guests to participate in activities.


If you are enrolled in a class in SPIRE as a student, you will be enrolled as a Student in the Moodle course for that class.

Students in Moodle can participate in course activities and download course materials. Some activities such as Assignments and Quizzes, are submitted by individual students. Other activities, such as Wiki, Database and Glossary activities, and certain types of forums, may be collaborative. Each student can only view his or her own grades in Moodle.

For details, see Access to Moodle for Students


If you are listed as the Primary Instructor for a class in SPIRE, you will be enrolled as a Teacher for the course in

Teachers have full access to build and facilitate a course in Moodle. They can add resources and activities, change settings, enter grades, and configure the grade book. Teachers have the unique ability to augment the privileges of other course members by adding an additional role for a user, either for the entire course or for a particular activity. Teachers can also allow guests limited access to their course.Moodle.

For details, see Request Your Moodle Course - Overview

Non-editing Teacher

If you are listed as a Secondary Instructor, Teaching Assistant, or Student Assistant (for Moodle Only) for a class in SPIRE, you will be enrolled as a Non-editing teacher for the course in Moodle.

Non-editing teachers can view and grade student submissions, participate in forums, and other activities such as Database, Glossary and Wiki activities, but may not add or alter activities or resources.

Note: The primary instructor for the course, who has the role of Teacher, can allow Non-editing teachers to upload materials and add or edit activities by adding the Course Designer role.

For details, see Teaching Assistant Access to Moodle.

TA - Manage Gradebook

Graduate and undergraduate TAs are enrolled in Moodle Courses as Non-editing Teachers and can view student submissions and enter grades in the Moodle gradebook, but cannot set up gradebook categories or calculations, and cannot export gradebook data.

Adding the role of TA-Manage Gradebook will give a TA full access to the gradebook, comparable to a Teacher's access.
Note: This role can only be added for Non-editing teachers (TAs).

For details, see Teaching Assistant Access to Moodle.

Course Designer

A Course Designer can add activities and resources to a course, but cannot participate in the course, interact with students, or access the grade book. Instructors can request Course Designer access for departmental staff or student assistants who are not associated with their course in SPIRE and allow them to help build their Moodle course.

To arrange for Course Designer access for an assistant who is not enrolled in the course through SPIRE, see Request Course Designer Access to Moodle.

Instructors can add the role of Course Designer to someone already enrolled in a course who needs to help build or edit elements of the course. For example, the role can be added to a user with the Non-editing teacher role so that they can edit as well as participate. It can also be assigned to students so that they can be involved in creating or editing parts of the course site (and thus needs to be used with caution).

For details, see Assign Roles to Individuals in Your Moodle Course.

Course Assistant

The Course Assistant is a special role that instructors can assign to someone already enrolled in a course who needs to participate in or facilitate activities within the course. It can be used to elevate a student to have a teacher-like role in a specific activity (such as a moderating a forum in the course). It can also be added for someone who only has the Course Designer role so that they can participate in the actvities that they create. Course Assistants do not have access to the grade book.

For details, see Assign Roles to Individuals in Your Moodle Course.


Guests have minimal privileges in Moodle courses.  Guests cannot participate in activities or view students’ contributions to the course, and do not have access to sensitive student data such as names or grades.

Guest access is controlled by the instructor who can activate guest access for the course and set a password to share with invited guests. This login will enable the guest to view materials posted in the course and see which activities the instructor has included without jeopardizing student privacy. Guests do not have to have an OIT NetID.

For details, see Guest Access to Moodle Courses.

Temporary Speaker

To allow an off-campus guest such as a visiting scholar or professional to participate in activities with students such as online forums or chats for up to one (1) week, the instructor for the course can set up Temporary Speaker access. 

The instructor for the course must submit a Request Temporary Speaker Access form.
Note: This form only needs to be used for individuals who do not have an active OIT NetID. For an on-campus guest, request Contributor access.


Contributors have the same level of access to resources and activities in Moodle as any enrolled student

Contributor access is intended for use by visiting scholars, guest speakers from your department, students fulfilling requirements for an incomplete or taking an Independent Study, or others who the instructor needs to actively participate in the course. Contributors must have an OIT NetID and are added to a Moodle course by special request.

To request Contributor access, the instructor for the course must submit the Request Contributor Access form.

Student - Unlimited Quiz Time

When the role Student - Unlimited quiz time is added for a student enrolled in a course, they have unlimited time available to them on quizzes in Moodle, regardless of the time limit set in the quiz settings. The role is designed to be applied at the course or activity level to accommodate students who must be afforded more time than the rest of the class in quiz-taking. The amount of time they spend on a given quiz is still tracked on that quiz’s Results page, and they are still bound by the range of dates the quiz is open.

For details, see Assign Roles to Individuals in Your Moodle Course.

Student - with Incomplete

Student - with Incomplete can access a course when the course is not normally available to enrolled students, e.g., after the end of the semester.
Note: The student must click Show all courses to see the link to the course in their My Courses menu on the Moodle home page.

For details, see Assign Roles to Individuals in your Moodle Course