E-Learning Unit


Building your QMplus module area – the basics

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For: StaffApplication: Design and Build , QMplusTagged: getting started

This guide explains the next steps to take once you have acquired a course area in QMplus. New course areas will usually have your School or Faculty template applied by default when created.

1. Course Formats

In order to edit the module area you must first

  • Turn editing on (top right – slider)

The default course format for QMplus module areas is the ‘Collapsed Topics’ format. In this format the topic sections within the page are closed by default and can be opened by clicking on the section title or ‘bar’.

You can change from the collapsed topics format to another one – there are currently 5 course formats available for you to choose from:

  1. Grid
  2. Collapsed Topics
  3. Topics
  4. Weekly
  5. Single Activity

You can read more about this on the ‘Changing the look of your course with formats

You should check that all your topic sections have meaningful names

  • Turn editing on
  • Edit the topic section by clicking on the pen icon. 
  • Add a Topic/Section name of your choice
  • Click ‘Save changes’

    • The results will display in the header of the topic and the Menu 
Alternatively, one can click on the pen to the right of the topic name, edit the name and then hit the Enter key to save changes.

2. Topic Zero

Topic zero is the section that appears at the middle of the top of your screen. By default, there will be some static text within topic zero that will require updating.

  • Turn editing on
  • Select the ‘edit news display settings’ cog icon – situated immediately underneath your module title.

You can now make changes to the top area, such as:

  • Change the static text – such as adding a welcome message to introduce the course or you can introduce yourself to your students.
  • Alternatively, you can change this area from static text, and make this area more dynamic. You can choose to display the module announcements instead – this means that whenever you post a message to the module announcement section (referred to later in this guide) the most recent message will automatically appear at the top of the page. By default this message that will display at the top of your module page will be the first 80 words, unless you choose to ‘show full news text (no truncation) in the settings.
  • These other features in the editing screen can be used if you do not display the latest Module Announcements. You can display static text if you wish and insert that text into the text box – remember to uncheck the ‘Module announcements’ check box at the top of the page if you want static text.
  • Selecting an image to represent your module page. You can source and upload one to appear in the top of the module page. Please ensure that you have permission to use it. (Please see the Library advice on copyright if you are unsure). Flickr Creative Commons is a useful place to look if you don’t have an image.
  • To upload the image, you must click ‘edit settings’ in the Settings block on the right hand side of your page. Scroll to the ‘Description’ area and upload your image – you can either drag and drop the file, or click the blue arrow to upload it.
  • If you wish to change the image after you have uploaded it then select ‘delete image’ and save changes. Select the ‘edit’ icon again reopen and upload another image.
  • When you have completed everything save your changes.
  • If you have chosen to display the Module Announcements, remember to post a message in your class forum to see the announcement on the main page.

3. Add a Welcome message to your announcements forum

4. Assessment Information

By default there will be a two-column assessment information area added to your QMplus module area. This may be the old or the new assessment information and you should ensure that you have the new version. Please refer to ‘Using the assessment Information block in QMplus to organise assessments’ for more information.


5. The Module Information Block

By default you should get a ‘Module Information Block’ added to your new QMplus module area. Normally this will appear on the top right. This block contains core information for students about the Module, who is teaching it and how they can be contacted, where the module is taught and other useful information, like documentation., etc

You will need to update this block so that it has the appropriate information for your module. Please refer to the ‘Using the Module Info Block‘ guide for information on how to update this block.

6. The Menu Block

The menu block will normally appear by default in your newly created module area, in the top right.

This block will contain a list of the topics/sections on your page by default, but you can update this and add other links as well.

  • Turn Editing On
  • Click on the cog ‘Actions’ icon at the top right of the block
  • Select the ‘Configure Menu block’ option
  • You can add the following as links from the Menu block:
    • Calendar
    • Site Pages
    • My Profile
    • My Profile Settings
    • Module Administration
    • My Modules
    • Participants
    • Reports
    • Custom links
  • These will be displayed to students as well (apart from the Reports option, which is available to staff only)

7. Additional Blocks

Apart from the Module Information block, and the Menu block described above, there are several other blocks that may come by default with your QMplus template, or you can add them (and remove them). To learn more about blocks in QMplus, please refer to the ‘Customising your course page with blocks‘ guide.

8. Making Final Checks

One you are finished building your module page, you can begin to add content, such as documents and activities (under the ‘Add a resource or activity’ links within each section/topic area.

Please also refer to our ‘Handy Checklist’ guide to ensure that your module is ready for teaching.

You can also check what the module will look like for students by clicking on the ‘Switch Role to…Student’ link available from your fly-down dashboard.

Further information at:
Produced by the e-Learning Unit at Queen Mary, University of London.


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Produced by the the E-Learning Unit at Queen Mary University of London.

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