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Progress Bar Reference Guide

Progress Bar Reference Guide


The Progress Bar is a simple visual tool which enables students and instructors to easily monitor progress within their course site.


  • Color-coded to help students quickly see what they have/have not completed.
  • Instructors select which activities/resources are tracked - progress is ordered by times/deadlines or course order.
  • Overview page for instructors shows the progress of all students, which makes it easy to identify at-risk students.

Adding a Progress Bar

How do I add the Progress Bar to my GauchoSpace course site?

The Progress Bar is added to your course as a block. To add the Progress Bar block to your course, use the following instructions:

  1. Log in to GauchoSpace and enter your course site.
  2. Click Turn editing on.
  3. Scroll down to find the "Add a Block" block on the lower left side of the browser window.
  4. Click the Add... drop-down menu and select "Progress bar."
  5. The Progress Bar block will now appear on your course page.
  6. When the Progress Bar block is first added, it will show "No activities or resources are being monitored. Use config to set up monitoring."

  7. Click the button for either "Select activities/resources" or "Add all activities/resources". In the first option, modules will only be monitored and appear as a small square in the progress bar if you select "Yes" to monitor the module, allowing you to choose what is shown in the the Progress Bar. In the second option, all activities/resources will be defaulted to "Yes" under the "Monitored" option, which will show all modules.
  8. Clicking either of these options will bring you into the Configuration page. 

Understanding Progress Bar Settings

Block Settings

  • Alternate title: If you choose, you may give the Progress Bar a different name in this field. There can be multiple instances of the Progress Bar block. You may use different Progress Bar blocks to monitor different sets of activities or resources. For instance, you could track progress in assignments in one block and quizzes in another. For this reason you can override the default title and set a more appropriate block title for each instance.

  • Use icons in bar: You may wish to add tick and cross icons in the Progress Bar to make this block more visually accessible for students with color-blindness. It may also make the meaning of the block clearer if you believe colors are not intuitive. The "X" will show when an activity has not been completed, and a check mark will show when it has been completed.

  • Order bar items by: There are two ways items in the Progress Bar can be ordered.
    • "Expected by" date-time (default)
      The due dates or manually set dates of activities/resources are used to order items shown in the Progress Bar.
    • Ordering in course
      Activities/resources are presented in the same order as they are on the course page. When this option is used, time-related aspects are disabled.

  • Use ◤NOW: Not all courses are focused on completion of tasks by specific times. Some courses may have an open-enrollment, allowing students to enroll and complete when they can. To use the Progress Bar as a tool in such courses, create "Expected by" dates in the far-future and set the "Use NOW" setting to No.

  • Show percentage to students: It is possible to show an overall percentage of progress to students. This is calculated as the number of items complete divided by the total number of items in the bar. The progress percentage appears until the student mouses over an item in the bar.


You will see a list of all the modules that you have created which can be monitored by the Progress Bar block. Each module will be listed with the following options:

  • Monitored: Modules will only be monitored and appear as a small section in the progress bar if you select Yes to monitor the module. If you select No, it will not be included.

    **Note: Adding additional activities after setting up the Progress Bar may cause it to exhibit unexpected behavior.  It is recommended to add all of the activities/assignments that you would like to monitor to your course site before configuring the Progress Bar.**
  • Expected by: The Expected by date-time is when the related activity/resource is expected to be completed (viewed, submitted, posted-to, etc...). If there is already a deadline associated with an activity, like an assignment deadline, this deadline can be used as the expected time for the event as long as the "Locked to Deadline" checkbox is checked. By deselecting locking an independent expected time can be created, and altering this will not affect the actual deadline of the activity.

When you first visit the configuration page for the Progress Bar, or if you create a new activity/resource and return to the configuration page, a guess will be made about the expected date-time for the activity/resource.

  • For an activity with an existing deadline, this deadline will used.
  • When there is no activity deadline, the current date it used.

Once an expected date-time is set, it is independent of any deadline or other information for that activity/resource.

  • Action: The action the student must take in order to mark the assignment complete in the Progress Bar.

Because different activities and resources are used differently, what is monitored for each module varies. For example, for assignments, submission can be monitored; quizzes can be monitored on attempt; forums can be monitored for student postings; choice activities can monitored for answering and viewing resources is monitored. Some modules may have a default action that cannot be changed.

Where this block appears:

  • Original block location: provides information about where the block was initially created.

  • Display on page types: allows the user to set the context that the block can appear in. These options will vary depending upon the permissions of the user. For example a site administrator might see a setting that will allow the block to appear on Any page, or any type of course main page, while a teacher may only see the option to place it on every page in the course.
  • Default region: Usually a right column or left column option.

  • Default weight: Where in the column you want it to appear if there are other blocks in that column: -10 will put it at the top, 10 will put it at the bottom. A zero is neutral.

On this page:

  • Visible: Yes or No (selecting No will hide the block).
  • Region: Here you can override the column preference on this page.
  • Weight: Here you can override the default setting on this page.

    When you are finished configuring your settings, click Save Changes. The Progress Bar will now display on your course site.

Using the Progress Bar

Progress Bar Block

  • Once your Progress Bar has been configured, the block will display on your course site as a color-coded bar with smaller sections corresponding to each activity you have chosen to monitor. Depending on how much material you are tracking, your progress bar may have a lot of sections and colors. Here is an example of a course that is tracking every activity/assignment in the course:

  • The colors correspond to different stages of completion:
    • Green indicates an activity has been completed.
    • Red indicates an activity has not been completed, and it is past the deadline.
    • Blue indicates an activity that has not been completed, but the deadline has not passed.
  • Students will see their own version of the Progress Bar block (without the Overview of students button) that will display for each course using the Progress Bar. This is an easy visual way for students to keep track of their own progress in the course.

Overview of Students

  • If you click the "Overview of students" button, it will take you to a new page where you are able to see the progress of all your students. This is especially useful to quickly identify at-risk students.

  • Hovering over each item in the Progress Bar will display the related activity so that you can see which activities which might be late. The percentage of activities completed will also display next to the bar.

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