Moodle Course Design – Best Practices

With the now proven convenience of digital learning and alternative training models now such common knowledge, everyone is scrambling to find the best technology to suit them, and resources on how to get the most unfettered power out of them. With Moodle being pretty much the every man’s LMS system, this means a lot of demand for advice on Moodle course design.

But Moodle is Easy:

Yes, Moodle is tremendously easy to use for everyone, and it’s pretty much infinitely flexible to accommodate learning models and mixed media experiences.

The problem here is, since it’s boundless and so easy to shape, Moodle course design has no limitation-defined guidelines for wise use. Best practices for this just aren’t common because there just aren’t limits.

The Real Issue:

When it comes down to it, the thing needing the most attention and contemplation is actually your choices of multimedia to convey different ideas. We can debate course structures, learning models and all that, and those are legitimate arguments too, but that’s not really pertinent to basic course creation.

With Moodle, even out of the box, you can use several media formats in which to deliver your educational materials. You can use various text and hypertext mediums (text, HTML, PDF and proprietary analogous protocols like XAML), integrated web video (local source or embedded from any standard video host), and the more clever trainers can even use procedural components like Java, Flash and Silverlight modules.

This immense flexibility is because Moodle is an SaaS (software as a service) model. It’s a web feed in a browser using advanced server-side calculation and data processing, along with high-capacity browser-side interactivity technologies (AJAX, HTML5). Software made of the web naturally allows incorporation of various standard web materials innately.

No Right Choice:

There is no right choice of medium for everyone. Everything appeals to various learning affinities. But, at the same time, some people are put off by certain things.

Video is a big source of contention, because I myself am not much of a video learner. It’s very linear and distracting, where reading things in whatever order and absorbing them dynamically through text is much more natural to me.

So, the biggest thing is, if you use video for more than simple lectures, you must have text transcripts that portray the same information as well, for those who can’t do video very well.

An Enhancement:

Well, there is one other suggestion I can make, and that’s to bring an otherwise impossible learning model into your Moodle courses. That model would be learning by doing, through hands on experience. A surprising ninety percent of trainees actually learn best from this sort of model when it’s possible.

WalkMe, an onboard system designed to guide users in precisely that way, also possesses a Moodle plugin and an analytics tool which means using that new hands on digital training can work directly with Moodle’s integrated courses and student tracking without any difficulty or confusion.

So, the secret to sound Moodle course design is all about mixing the right platforms, and using the extra tools and innovations at your disposal. It’s not more complicated than this for one reason – it’s Moodle!

Nicole Lewis is the Lead Author & Editor of MyLMStips. MyLMStips is dedicated to providing the most engaging topics, information, tips and tricks surrounding Moodle®. It's a place where Moodle® users can receive guidance on how to get the most out of it and increase their productivity and progress.