Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

The course element Structure facilitates a clear course design through the thematic grouping of content.

In the content area of the structure element, child elements will be displayed by default in a preview mode including their title, subtitle, and description. Alternatively, it is also possible to display individual content instead of the preview. In addition, the results of a course's assessable elements can be displayed in an assessment summary.


Usage: Learners' View 


Depending on the setting of the course author, you may see an overview of selected child course elements including their title, description, and preview on the home page of the course element Structure. Alternatively, it is also possible that content individually designed by the tutor will be displayed.

Overview course element structure

Functions for users

As a user, you have access to the following functions in a course element of the type Structure:

Course progress

Manual progress

If the course progress indicator is activated for a course, the course element can be marked as done by clicking on Completed. Subsequently, the element gets a corresponding colour marking in the course menu as well as in the details area before the element's title.

The course author can also enable an assessment summary. Further information on the data displayed in the summary can be found in the help section Assessment, certificates, and performance results.

Configuration: Authors' View

In the course editor

The following functions are available to you in the course editor:

Add a course element structure

To integrate a course element into your course, proceed as follows:


Open the course you want to edit.

Use the pencil icon at the top of the page to open the editing mode.

Switch from the course view to the editing mode


Select a course element from the menu on the right.

Select course element


In the new window, you can define the position of the new course element within your course structure (left navigation pane). The available positions are marked with an insert icon.

To insert the new course element into an existing substructure, you need to open the substructure by clicking on the small triangle symbol next to its title. The area will open and you will again see insert icons at the positions which are available.

Click on the insert icon at the desired position within the structure. The selected area will be highlighted.

Confirm your choice with Insert course element.

Insert course element into the course tree


The element will be inserted into the course structure at the selected position.

Depending on the course element, you have to make additional configurations or add content in order to complete the configuration.

For these changes to take effect, you must publish the course. The course element will then also become available in the course view.

Configure and publish course element

General configuration settings

In the course editor, you will find the following configuration tabs:

Title and description

Course editor settings in the tab title and description


You need to enter a title for the course element. The title can comprise a maximum of 100 characters. All special characters and numbers are permitted. The title will appear in the navigation menu of the course and also as a heading in the content area.

(warning)  If you change the title of the first course element, the new content will only be applied to the main course node and then displayed in the opened course. If you wish to edit the course title or description, you can do so using the more settings menu of the course.

SubtitleYou can enter a subtitle for the course element with a maximum of 255 characters. All special characters and numbers are permitted. The title will appear as a tooltip in the navigation menu and - if selected and configured accordingly - as a subtitle in the content area.

Here you can describe the course element. The description will appear in the content area below the title.

Depending on the settings configured in the element Display, this additional text is displayed to the user when opening the course element. The user can expand or collapse the view of the text.


Define which information about the course element should be displayed in the course view. In addition to the content, you can optionally display the title and description. All course elements are provided with a reasonable presetting, which mostly includes the setting Title, description and content. You can adjust this setting in accordance with the options available for each course element. For an example of the different setting options, refer to the help page Displaying information about the course element.

Set link for this course element

Each course element can be accessed via fixed link addresses. Therefore, an internal and an external URL is assigned to each course element. These direct links to concrete elements can be used within courses or provided to learners. The URLs are located below the title and description of the element and will appear upon selecting Set link for this course element.  

  • External link: To refer to this course element from outside of the course or learning platform, you can use the external link and insert it, for example as a href attribute, into the desired HTML page.
  • Internal link: To set a link to another course element within the same course, you can insert the internal link as a href attribute into the desired HTML page.
IDYou will need the ID number of the course element (on the bottom right), for example, if you wish to use the expert mode in the visibility or access tab.


In the areas Visibility and Access, authors and course owners can individually determine the presentation of course elements. If no input is made in the access area, the content of a course element will by default be visible to all course participants after publishing the element. Apart from the general options listed below, additional configuration options are available depending on the course element.

The following general options are available for the configuration of visibility and access:

Course editor - Tab visibility and access

General configuration optionsDescription
Only blocked for guests

Ist diese Checkbox markiert, ist das Element oder die Funktion ausschließlich für angemeldete Lernende, Betreuer und Administratoren des Kurses verfügbar.

Diese Checkbox ist nur notwendig, wenn Sie in einem sonst öffentlichen Kurs (Publikationsstatus "Öffentlich - Für jeden sichtbar" bzw. BARG ) einzelne Kursbausteine oder Funktionsabschnitte dennoch für Gäste sperren und nur für angemeldete Nutzer zugänglich machen wollen.

Hat Ihr Kurs den Publikationsstatus "Öffentlich - für registrierte Nutzer" haben nicht angemeldete Nutzer (= Gäste) grundsätzlich keinen Zugang zum Kurs.

Blocked for learners

Wenn Sie die Checkbox markieren, ist der Bereich oder Funktionsabschnitt ausschließlich für Betreuer und Administratoren des Kurses sichtbar bzw zugänglich. Angemeldete Lernende und auch nicht registrierte Gäste sehen das Element nicht bzw. haben keinen Zugang zum Inhalt.

Block access or visibility for learners
Depending on dateMark this checkbox to specify a particular access time. You can set individual dates or date ranges by filling in only one or both input fields respectively. You can also create or delete dates via the + and - buttons.

Set access or visibility rights depending on dates

Depending on group

Select this checkbox to restrict the accessibility of the course element to learning groups or learning areas. You can then select existing groups and areas or create new ones.

If you set restrictions with the configuration option "depending on group", the corresponding course element will be restricted for all non-members of the group. This includes, for example, users who have not yet confirmed the group invitation or who are on the waiting list for a group. Such users cannot yet see or access the restricted course element.

Set access or visibility rights depending on groups

Depending on assessmentHere, you will find all assessable course elements. These include, for example, the elements test, assessment, task, or structure. 

If you select the option Check for "passed", you will be able to choose a course element from the input field Course element, which the user must have passed as a prerequisite to accessing this course element. 

If you select the option Check score, you can indicate a number of points in the input field "Passing score", which have to be achieved in order to be able to access the course element.

Set access or visibility rights depending on assessments

Depending on attribute

Whether or not this option is displayed is system-dependent. You can use it to set visibility or access privileges according to user attributes. Only users who meet the predefined conditions will see the course element or have access to its content. If you want to use several attributes, you need to link them with one of the operators (AND/OR) above the attribute list.

The following comparison operators can be used depending on the selected attribute:

  • "contains the value"
  • "does not contain value"
  • "has exactly the value"
  • "does not have value"
  • "starts with value"
  • "ends with value"
  • "greater than" (>)
  • "less than" (<)
  • "greater than/equals" (<=)
  • "less than/equals" (>=)

See the Overview of OPAL-Shibboleth attributes page for a list of attributes available for selected institutions.

OPAL School authors can use the Main school attribute to restrict course access to their own school. An example can be found on the Publish course only for users of one/my school help page.

The verification of the created attribute rules is not case-sensitive to the specified values. That means, for example, if your access rule reads "Study group" attribute contains the value "Law", the actual verification will be done with the word "law" in lowercase. As a result, the course element will be accessible both to users in the "Law" and to users in the "Family law" study group alike.

Set access or visibility rights depending on attributes

Apply rules also for author, owner and tutorThis option does not become visible until one of the other options has been selected. If you activate the checkbox, the same access rules which apply to users will also be valid for tutors and course administrators.

Apply rules also for author, owner and tutor

PasswordThis option is only available in the area Access and can either be applied to the whole course or a structural element of the course. Enter the desired password, which users will need to use in order to gain access to the course content, in the text field.

Set access or visibility rights depending on passwords

Display expert modeClick on the button Display expert mode to open an input field, which allows you to perform a more complex configuration according to your needs. For more detailed information about the expert mode, see the help page Publishing within courses (expert mode).
Set access or visibility rights in the expert mode
Advanced configuration optionsIn the case of individual course element types, there are further attributes to configure access to editing rights for course participants.

If various restrictive single options are set, they will be linked with AND, i.e. all conditions of the single options must be met for the user to see and have access to the course element. The only exceptions are the single options Attributes. In this case, various restrictive single options can also be linked with OR. The OR linking only requires the fulfilment of one condition in order to enable visibility or access, unless other restrictive single options prevent this.

All restrictions are also automatically valid for all subordinate course elements.

Note about hiding access restrictions

If a course element is visible, but there are

  • current or future access restrictions or
  • restricted rights for the course element,

the user will be informed accordingly when accessing the course element. This information helps the user to learn more about the functions available, e.g. which functions will be available at what time and under what conditions.

If required, however, you can hide this information text (from the user) for each course element individually.

Notification message about existing access and authorisation restrictions in the course view:

Course element with notification message about authorisation restrictions


To hide this message, open the course editor and switch to the Visibility tab of the respective course element.

In the section Information if course node is visible but not accessible (max. 248 characters), remove the check mark in front of the entry Show access restrictions below the text field.

Publish your changes.

Course editor setting to hide notification message


The note will no longer be visible in the course view.

Course element without notification message about authorisation restrictions


In this tab, you have the opportunity to decide on the presentation of the course element. Detailed instructions are given in the following section Configuration.


The structure element is an assessable course element. Scores, marks, and passed statuses from other course elements can be collected and displayed in an assessment summary. Detailed information can be found in the section Assessment

MultilingualismIn this tab, different translations can be added to individual course element areas.


Open the course editor and go to the tab Configuration of a structure element. Now you can configure the following presentation settings:

Automatic overview

If you prefer an automatic summary of the selected elements, you have the following options:

  • Automatic overview: The first ten child elements are displayed, including their title, subtitle, and description (if present). 

  • Automatic overview and preview: Up to ten child course elements are displayed, including their title, subtitle, and description (if present), as well as a preview of the content. This setting option also allows you to choose from a list of available elements. All you need to do is enable the checkboxes in front of the desired elements. 

Both settings ignore the display configuration in the tab Title and description of the course element. This setting is applied only when opening a single element. 

  • Display in two columns: In the case of more than five elements, we recommend a two column overview. Just activate the corresponding checkbox. 

Confirm your entries with Save.

Automatic overview
Your HTML page

You have the following options to embed an HTML page as a summary page in the course element. 

  • Create HTML page (option 1)
  • Select HTML page (option 2)
  • Upload HTML page (option 3)

  1. Activate the checkbox Your HTML page and click on Save.
Your HTML page - Activate checkbox

2. Then click on Select or create page.

Select or create page button
3. A window with functions for creating, selecting, or uploading an HTML page opens. Decide on one of the following options:Different options

Create HTML page (option 1)

  • Enter the name of the new file in the appropriate text field and optionally select a different character set.
  • The editor window for creating a new HTML page opens. For further information about formatting options, click here.
  • Click on Save to complete the creation process.
Create an HTML page

Select HTML page (option 2)

  • Click on the button Select page.
  • Select the desired file by clicking on its name.
  • Confirm your selection with Select.
Select HTML page

Upload HTML page (option 3)

  • Click on the button Select file.
  • Select a file from your computer.
  • Then click on Upload.
Upload HTML page

The HTML page will now be displayed in the tab Configuration under Selected Page.


Selected page

After adding an HTML page, you have the following options:

Open page in editor:

  • Click on this button to make changes to your HTML page.

Replace page:

  • Click on this button to create, select, or upload a new HTML page. Follow the steps outlined above.
Functions after adding an HTML page

Display settings:

Determine the height of the HTML page's visible area.

If you would like the height of the visible area to be determined automatically, then select the first option. Otherwise, select the second option Define height manually and enter the desired height in pixels (min. 300 pixels).

Click on Save to confirm your entries and publish the course.

If the page is longer than the configured visible area, scroll bars will appear in the right margin of the page.

Course editor - Display settings
External HTML page

This option allows you to embed an external HTML page as a summary page in the course element Structure.

  1. Activate the checkbox External HTML page and click on Save.
Checkbox external HTML page

2. Now enter the URL in the appropriate text field.

3. If the page is password protected, you also have the option to enter the password and user name. Your information will not be displayed to the user in the learning platform. However, it will be automatically transmitted when the external page is accessed.

4. If necessary, configure the height of the external page's visible area under Display settings. If you would like the height of the visible area to be determined automatically, then select the first option. Otherwise, select the second option Define height manually and enter the desired height in pixels (min. 300 pixels). If the page is longer than the configured visible area, scroll bars will appear in the right margin of the page.

5. Confirm your entries with Save.

Enter URL


In the course element Structure, as in the main course node, you can collect assessment information of other course elements, resulting in an overall assessment.

Select the desired assessment category (score, mark, passing score) in the tab Assessment as well as the course elements that are to be included in the overall assessment of the structure element.

Further information is provided in the chapter Teaching>Assessment.

Assessment tab
In the course view

In the course view of a course element Structure, you have access to all functions available to users. Detailed information can be found in the section Functions for users.

If you have created or selected an HTML page, you can access the editor view of the page and make changes directly.

Edit HTML page

Here you have the possibility to edit an HTML page referenced in the course element Structure.

  1. Open the course element Structure and click on Edit.
Edit button

2. The editor environment opens. Make your desired changes.

3. Click on Save to complete the editing process.

Editor window