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13: Glossary

The Glossary activity allows participants to create and maintain a list of definitions, like a dictionary. While it can be set up and used only by the teacher, its main function is as a collaborative exercise. The Glossary auto-linking filter will highlight any word in the course which is located in the Glossary.

Students access the Glossary by clicking the icon on the course page. The Display format depends on the teacher’s settings and also the administrator’s settings, although students will see the Add a new entry button and a Search button.

Their entries may be approved by default and always editable, or the teacher may decide to approve them manually and not allow editing. Comments and ratings may or may not be enabled. Icons for editing, (if enabled), deleting and permalinking are shown bottom right of a student’s entry.


Brightspace offers a Glossary tool which you can use to provide students with definitions. These definitions could either be generated by your or by the students. Collaborative glossary activities are a great way of engaging students in co-creating some learning materials and can help keep students engaged in online and blended teaching.

Bottom line

Glossary activity works similiarily between Moodle and Brightspace. Recommened practice is to create a new glossary and not to import it from a Moodle course as the imported content is not 100% accurate.

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