Course default settings
  • 21 Jun 2022
  • 3 minutes to read

Course default settings

As a Site Administrator you can set the default settings used for new courses. These will be the initial settings for all new courses, although they can be changed on individual courses after creation. 

To set preferred default course settings go to Quick-access menu > Courses > Course default settings. Once you have chosen your desired settings click Save changes

Please see Course settings to learn more about these settings. You may also want to configure the Course site settings.

Default image

Set a default image to display if no image is uploaded by the course creator.

A default image is also included within Totara Learn.

If you are using a PNG or JPEG image then for the best resolution it is recommended that you use an image of at least 920x368 pixels with an aspect ratio of 10:4. This size will vary for other file formats, such as SVG which is more scalable. 


Choose whether the course will be, by default, visible and available to learners to access via any course listings including their Record of Learning, learning plan(s) or the catalogue

Visibility settings also apply to enrolled learners.

Users with the viewhiddencourse capability (such as course creators, editing trainers etc) will be able to see the course listing and access the course.

This functionality is designed to allow course managers to assign learners to a course that is still being finalised.

Audience-based visibility

Specify if, by default, designated audience(s) members are able to see a course.

Please see audiences for more information on audience-based visibility.


Choose from any course formats enabled on the site. 


Maximum number of sections

Select the maximum number of sections (topics or weeks) a course can potentially hold.


Number of sections

Specify how many sections will show by default on a new course page.

Sections can be added and removed as required either via Course settings or on the course page using the add/remove section buttons.

Hidden sections

Whether sections are completely hidden or displayed but unavailable for access.


Course layout

Whether to have all sections on one page, or one page per section. 


Course duration

The course duration is used to calculate the default course end date.

Course end date is used for determining whether a course should be included in a user's list of current courses. This field can also be used within custom reports.

Enrolled users can still enter the course after the end date.

Course end date enabled by default

This setting determines if the course end date will be enabled by default for new courses and set to the date calculated from the course start date and course duration.

Course end dates can be edited within each course.

Force language

Choose whether to force courses to display in a particular language

Note only the course and block navigation will display in a selected language. Content is not translated.

Number of announcements

Number of recent items from the news forum appearing in the latest news block on the course page. If set to zero, the latest news block will not be displayed.


Show gradebook to learners

Enable the display of the gradebook.

This setting does not prevent grades from being displayed within the individual activities.

Show activity reports

Whether you activity reports will be turned on by default.


Maximum upload size

Define the largest size of file that can be uploaded in this course, limited by the site-wide setting.


Completion tracking

Choose whether completion tracking should be enabled and shown in activity settings or not.

Please see course completion for more information.

Mark as In Progress on first view

Mark course completion status as In Progress as soon as learners view the course the first time (instead of when they meet the first criterion).


Group mode

Decide on the default group mode: No groups, Separate groups, or Visible groups

Please see the groups documentation for more information.

Force (groups)

Force the course group mode to every activity in the course.


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