It is important to consider the experience of your students online as well as face to face. Put yourself in your students’ shoes and ask yourself “is this Moodle page appealing and does it make sense?”
Here are some quick wins for improving your Moodle page:
Students should be able to find the information or activities they need quickly and easily. One way you can achieve this is by carefully organising the layout of your page, clearly labelling items and providing short summaries for individual sections, assignments and assessments.
Avoid the scroll of death
There is nothing more demotivating for a student than entering a Moodle page and being faced with a long list of files and links. Ensure items are up to date and remove anything unnecessary. Being bombarded with irrelevant material will only confuse students. Also consider grouping resources into folders, and releasing material incrementally as and when students need it.
Make material accessible
If you want your students to engage fully with your course, ensure they can access the material! For instance, you should convert any MS Word documents or PowerPoint presentations into PDF files before uploading to Moodle so that files can be opened “in the browser” on a student’s computer or device without the need for additional software.
You should aim to make the most of the medium by embedding images, audio or video into labels or web pages (so long as they are relevant!) Little steps can take your Moodle course pages a long way! Try inserting an image, or copying the embed code for a YouTube clip or Soundcloud into the HTML view of a label, and you will be surprised how much more interesting your page looks already.
Of course, if you are aware of any students with special needs, you will need to provide suitable, alternative formats too.
Use alternative page layouts
Did you know that you are not restricted to a linear date or topics format in Moodle? The “Grid Format” adds an image grid on the main course page that links to each of the topics. A visual menu, such as the one illustrated above for Foundation and GCSE English, is much more attractive to students. Also, a “Collapsed Topics Format” will hide the content of each topic until it is clicked on and by choosing to “Show one section per page”, you will give each topic its own web page.
Need some help?
If you need further advice or support in improving the student experience of a Moodle course page, or would like inspiration in designing engaging online or blended learning activities, do not hesitate to contact the eLearning team at firstname.lastname@example.org!