How can you use Moodle to best organize and present your course content? How can Moodle help you achieve your instructional goals? In this workshop we explore some best practices for designing your course in Moodle. Join us as we review example courses and discuss tips and strategies for structuring and delivering content in Moodle.
Register for the workshop: Best Practices for Designing Your Moodle Course
How to Get Started
1. Plan Your Moodle Course
A course map is a document that can be very helpful in planning the structure of your course before you start to organize it in Moodle. A course map helps you ensure alignment among critical components of your course.
- Course learning objectives: What will students be able to do by the end of the course?
- Module learning objectives: What will students be able to do by the end of this module, unit or lesson?
- Instructional Materials and Learning Activities: How will students get the information and build the knowledge they need to achieve the learning objectives?
- Assessments: How will you measure students’ ability to demonstrate the learning objectives?
2. Start with the Moodle Quick Start Course Shell
The Moodle Quick Start Course Shell provides a framework for organizing your content in Moodle.
- Quick Start Course Shell demo: Preview the Quick Start Course Shell in a Moodle project space.
- Quick Start Course Shell User Guide: Guidance on how to use the Quick Start Course Shell.
3. Review the basics of editing in Moodle
1. Use a consistent structure in each module
Make it easy for students to scan the main course page and find information quickly.
- Use the “Show one section per page” setting to prevent excess scrolling
- Use short descriptive names and include dates in module titles.
- Use labels as section headings, and make sure labels are consistent in each module.
- Use indentation to group course components.
- Start each resource or activity name with an action verb that lets students know how they are expected to interact with it.
2. Organize content into manageable pieces
Avoid walls of text and clutter on the homepage by organizing information into subpages.
- Reduce clutter and scrolling on the main course page by putting information in a Moodle Page.
- Organize multiple pages of content using the NC State Book resource.
3. Make important information easy to find
Add blocks to the right side of your course to highlight important information and links.
- Use the Activities block to provide easy access to assignments and other course activities
- Create an custom text block for your instructor information
- Add the Student Services block to provide easy access to help for students.
4. Make Your Content More Accessible
- Provide alt-text or descriptions for all images.
- Use properly nested heading styles in document and text editors.
- Use descriptive link names instead of the full URL.
- Provide captions and/or transcripts for audio and video content.
NC State has a wealth of accessibility resources to help you make your course content more accessible for all learners.
5. Improve Student Engagement
Increase engagement in your Moodle course by creating quality interactions between students and the course interface, the instructor, other students and the course content.
- Be “present” in the Moodle using Announcement and Help forums.
- Solicit and give timely feedback.
- Provide opportunities for students to learn from and with each other.
- Use groups to make discussions more engaging.
- Incorporate active learning and interactive content.
Provide consistent structure throughout modules
In the examples below, Moodle Labels are used as headings to group similar types of content together. The naming style, structure and order of components is similar in each module
What does a well-organized Moodle course look like?
Take a look at these examples of real NC State courses to see how they effectively organize content and make it easy for students to find information.
View the workshop slides (Google Slide deck opens in a new window)
Strategies improving interactions and increasing student engagement in your online course:
- Student-to-Instructor Interaction (6:55)
- Student-to-Student Interaction (6:23)
- Student-to-Content Interaction (5:37)
- 5 Tips to Boost Social Presence in an Online Class (4:22)
Examples, Templates and Guides
- Accessibility Quick Guide: High-level understanding of how to use different types of campus technologies accessibly
- Quick Course Content Checklist: Accessibility concepts and guidance for using campus technologies accessibly
- Video captioning grant: Faculty may apply at any time
Register to attend upcoming sessions:
- Engagement in Synchronous and Asynchronous Classrooms
- Tips for Increasing Engagement in Moodle
- Moodle Forums: Creating Dynamic Discussion Areas for Your Students
Ready to do more with online course design?
- Introduction to Online Course Design and Development. This five-week facilitated, asynchronous course gives participants the opportunity get some hands-on practice designing a module in Moodle. Register for Introduction to Online Course Design and Development
- Designing Your Online Course (DYOC). In this workshop, Participants will explore ways to apply best practices to the design of a new online course based on the Quality Matters Rubric for Higher Education. This workshop is offered in two formats:
- Register for Designing Your Online Course (Synchronous) Zoom workshop. This workshop consists of two 3-hour sessions over two consecutive days.
- Register for Designing Your Online Course (Asynchronous) online workshop. This workshop runs over the course of two weeks. Participants can expect to commit 7-8 hours per week.