Moodle Course Layout

Moodle hosts over 2500 LSE courses, half of these look the same, and the rest have explored the available options for displaying content and resources to students. Courses within Moodle often feature an endless need for scrolling due to the amount of course information, documents and links. Such that, items can be missed or lost, links might break or documents need updating.

Learning Technology and Innovation (LTI) want to encourage course administrators to make the most of Moodle, to create a course that appeals to its students and motivates them to return to it.

Speaking to a number of innovative Moodle users we asked for their views on the course layouts that they use, as we believe they offer the best userability options for users.

“We chose to have a collapsible view as otherwise the page was far too long and meant that students would have to scroll through a lot of unnecessary information to find what they were looking for.”  

(European Institute Charlie Fiddy MSC General Programme)

Courses within Moodle often feature an endless need for scrolling due to the amount of course information and resources; it is something that might cause frustration or a loss of interest. Students are used to being able to access information immediately; it needs to be at a click of a button or at least no more than three clicks away. A collapsible layout can act like a contents page.

“The grid format gives clarity – you don’t have to keep scrolling down the page through all the materials […] aesthetically I find it more pleasing than the list version; it makes it more interesting to look at.”  (Lucy Pickles, International Development, DV411)

 A grid layout in Moodle works by structuring the front page of your course in a box or grid layout. Imagery is used to offer an aesthetical element to what would otherwise be a bland page; it also removes the need for a long scrolling list.

Identified below are the various course layout Moodle offers, is it time to start thinking about what students might respond better to rather than what is the default setting?

Currently Moodle offers six different layout options:

  • Grid
    • Structure your course front page in a box or grid layout that uses imagery and removes the need of a long scrolling list to find a resource
  • Collapsed
    • Similar to topics, a collapsed structure allows you to expand and collapse segments.
  • Topics
    • Organises sections with a topic title and consists of activities resources and labels.
  • Weekly
    • Structured via weeks and can have a clear start and finish date. Each weekly section can be created by Moodle and content can be added for each week.
  • Social
    • This is more of a forum which has discussion threads that are suited to more a free form course.
  • Single Activity
    • This displays all content as a single list which allows for only one activity to be added to the course.

Did you know?

If you have Teacher (Editor) access you can alter the course layout simply by going to Edit settings in the Administration panel, scrolling down the page until you see Course Format; clicking on the Format drop down box, all available layout options are presented. Don’t forget to save!