Restricting access to content in Moodle – by date

Last updated: 18/9/2019

Teachers in Moodle are able to control when the content items become available to students on a course.

This means you can schedule the release of certain activities and announcements as well as set an end date to their availability.

For example, you may want to add a notification about an upcoming event, which is running in a month’s time, and you also want the announcement to disappear from view when no longer relevant. You are able to control this using the ‘Restrict access’ functions.

Restricting activity access

In the settings of each activity there is a Restrict Access section. To get to this, click ‘Edit’ alongside the activity you want to restrict and then choose ‘Edit Settings’, or add a new activity, which will bring you to the settings page (Fig 1).

Figure 1 - Edit settings menu for an activity in Moodle
Figure 1 – Edit settings menu for an activity in Moodle

In the ‘Restrict Access’ section of the activity settings page, you will see existing restrictions (if any) and will be able to add new ones by clicking on the ‘Add restriction‘ button. A choice of conditions appears (Fig 2):

Figure 2 - choice of access restrictions in Moodle
Figure 2 – choice of access restrictions in Moodle

Restriction can be based upon activity completion, date, grade, the group or grouping the students are in or even user profile fields. The ‘Restriction set’ button also allows for more complex criteria requiring nested conditions.

Date

Access can be restricted from and/or until a certain date and time.

Figure 3 - date restriction menu
Figure 3 – date restriction menu

Multiple date restrictions can be added, so you can set the date and time from when the activity will be available and another restriction until when the activity will stop being available.

Here is an example:

You want a message about an upcoming theatre workshop to be available to students between midnight on 16th September 2019 and midnight on 23rd September 2019. To set this access restriction, you need to select ensure that the ‘from’ and ‘until’ dates and times match my criteria, and making sure students match all of the restrictions (see figure 4).

Figure 4 - setting for limited date access restrictions.
Figure 4 – setting for limited date access restrictions.

IMPORTANT: Restricted content will be shown to participants on your course with the restriction rules displayed next to it. There may be times when this is useful for you, but if you would rather hide the content from the students who do not meet the criteria, you can do so by clicking on the eye icon back in the ‘Restrict access’ settings, next to the rule. This way the content will be hidden completely from those who do not meet the criteria (or when the dates have expired).

Once happy with the settings, click on ‘Save and return to course’ to save changes.

Back in your course page you will be able to see the restriction rules added next to the content (Fig 5).

Figure 5 – An example of rule restricted announcement in moodle

Once ‘expired’, the content will remain on Moodle, meaning you can reuse it at a later date by amending the restrictions with new dates.

Adapted from: https://docs.moodle.org/37/en/Restrict_access_settings