Activity completion
  • 21 Jun 2022
  • 4 minutes to read

Activity completion

Article Summary

Completion conditions can be set on activities in a course; you can then use the completion of these activities towards your overall course completion conditions. Completion settings are detailed below. You can access these settings by going to the settings page for the specific activity you are working with. Completion settings will appear at the bottom of the activity's settings page.

Completion tracking

If enabled, activity completion is tracked, either manually or automatically, based on certain conditions.

Before configuring activity completion it first needs to be enabled at the course level. You can turn completion tracking on by navigating to the course, then Course administration > Edit settings > Completion tracking. Set Enable completion tracking to Yes, then click Save and display. Now when you edit an activity the Activity completion section will be available.

Multiple conditions may be set if desired. If so, the activity will only be considered complete when all conditions are met.  A tick next to the activity name on the course page indicates when the activity is complete.

There are three options:

  • Do not indicate activity completion: Turns completion tracking off for this activity
  • User can manually mark the activity as completed: Allows learners to mark themselves as complete by checking the box next to the activity on the course page
  • Show activity as complete when conditions are met: Marks a learner complete when the conditions set  (specific to the type of activity you are viewing) are met

Activity completion conditions

Each activity type has completion conditions relevant to that activity. There are however completion settings that appear on most activities:


Require view

When enabled the learner must view the activity only to be marked as complete.   If an activity has Require view in combination with other criteria, the user will only be marked complete if they view the activity at a moment when all other criteria are already complete. For example, consider an activity with Require view and Require grade both enabled. If a user first viewed the activity, then later was granted a grade by an administrator, the user would need to view the activity again (after the grade was received) to trigger activity completion.  

For this reason, it is recommended to not use Require view in combination with other criteria, unless this specific behaviour is required. In most cases, the other criteria should be sufficient. e.g. a user can't have been granted a grade without having viewed the activity, so including 'Require view' would be superfluous.


Require grade

When enabled the learner must get a grade for the activity.


Expect completed on

This setting specifies the date when the activity is expected to be completed. The date is not shown to learners and is only displayed in the activity completion report.


Unlocking activity completion conditions

Once activity completion details have been set and any one learner has completed the activity, completion options will become locked.  You can unlock completion and delete completion data or unlock completion and keep completion data however modifying activity completion criteria after some users have already completed the activity, can lead to different users being marked as completed for different reasons.

  • Unlock completion and delete completion data: Delete all completion records for users who have achieved completion in either this activity or this course. Their completion status for both this activity and this course will be recalculated next time cron runs and they may be marked as complete again.  
  • Unlock completion and keep completion data: Keep all existing completion records and accept that different users may have received their status for different accomplishments.

You can then set new completion conditions for the activity. When you click Save changes Totara Learn will, where possible, regenerate the user completion data according to the new settings.

When you change completion conditions once learners have already completed the activity you need to be aware of the impact of your change:

  • When using 'Unlock complete and delete completion data' any previous manual completions are deleted and cannot be automatically regenerated
  • If it is automatic then, depending on the options chosen, some users may already meet the new criteria and immediately be marked complete
  • When using 'Unlock complete and delete completion data' 'Viewed' completions are deleted and cannot be automatically regenerated
  • If you change completion options while a student is logged in, they may not see the changes for some minutes

Within a module

You can mark completion from within a module itself, so whilst inside a forum for example there will be a little Complete check box (if completion tracking is enabled and learners are allow to mark themselves as complete). This is particularly useful if a course is set up with the single activity format as you can still use activity completion and have learners mark as self complete (with the exception of Quiz and Lesson Activities).

By default, this ability is in all core modules, if you wish to add this functionality to a non-core module, add the following lines in an appropriate place in PHP:

list($course, $cm) = get_course_and_cm_from_cmid($id);

echo self_completion_form($cm);

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