How to allow open access to your Moodle course? #Moodleplugins

Let students automatically enrolled in your course

Do you want to allow open access to your Moodle courses? Do you have online courses which can be accessed by everyone? How do you assign groups to the students accessing your courses using the open access?

Moodle plugins are the easiest way to introduce new functionality in Moodle. You can tweak the available features and add new features by installing Moodle plugins. Moodle plugins are contributed by Moodle community developers and now there are more than 1450 plugins available.

There are 2 Moodle plugins which enables you to allow open access to your Moodle course. These plugins are very similar in nature with minor differences in features. Both of them allows the students to enroll in the course based on the actions they take within the system.

AutoEnrol Plugin:

The first one is the AutoEnrol plugin. This Autoenrol plugin adds functionality to automatically enroll users onto a course, either as they log into your Moodle site or as they access a course. The plugin is available for Moodle 2.6 version onwards.

One of the best thing about this plugin is the support for automatically grouping and filtering users based upon their attributes. Based on the value of a custom profile field, this plugin can enroll the student in a specific group in the course.

You can also setup a maximum enrollment limit for this enrollment method. The plugin will stop further enrollment once that limit is reached. You can define the default role assigned to users enrolling using this enrollment method. A custom welcome message can also be configured in plain text or HTML which will be sent to students upon enrollment. You can also configure the period for which this enrollment method is available for your course.

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Auto enrolment Plugin:

But the autoenrol plugin cant enroll the students in a course based on the their actions in a course activity. Here comes the second plugin in action – Auto Enrollment. The Auto Enrollment plugin allows for an automatic enrollment into a course when a user views a course or course activity/resource or simply login to Moodle.

Auto enrollment can be configured for the following scenarios:

  • Upon course view
  • On login
  • Upon activity/activities view

One of the cons for this plugin is that it doesn’t support groups. The students can’t be added to a group using this enrollment method as you can do with the AutoEnrol plugin. The other one is that it doesn’t allows to specify the duration for the enrollment.

You can also setup custom welcome message and specify the default role.


If you are looking for an enrollment plugin which enables to enroll students in a group based on profile fields, then choose AutoEnrol plugin. However, if you need the students to take part in any other course activity before enrollment, then choose the AutoEnrolment plugin.

Do you ever need to allow open access to your Moodle courses? What are the other ways to allow automatic enrollments? Do share with us in the comments section below.

Jaswinder Singh

Jaswinder Singh, passionate about using Moodle in improving the Indian Education System and reaching the students in far flung areas where still education seems to be a impossible prospect of life. He is the author of the popular Moodle Book "How to use Moodle 2.7". In October 2016, Jaswinder was elected as the Moodle User's Association Committee member - the first to make it from India.

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