Moodle Best Practices

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From Moodle Moot 2011

Michelle Moore, Chief Evangelist, Remote-Learner:

Teaching with Moodle Best Practices

  • Best practices are always evolving
  • Know your audience
  • Don't use more than 3 font style changes on a page --that includes colour, size, font face
  • Do maintain consistency
  • Don't use the front course page for content--use it as a launch pad
  • Don't be the one doing all the work (let your students find and share resources and content)
  • Do let students participate and contribute (consider letting student "teach" or facilitate parts of the course--you can do this with roles)
  • Don't make readers scroll sideways -- make your content fit on the page without scrolling (check your site on different resolutions)
  • Use the logs to see what the students are using
  • Keep activity names short (so the link name doesn't go on forever)
  • Use labels to organize the page and guide students
  • Use white space
  • Use topic summaries for titles
  • Avoid the SOD -scroll of death -- rule of thumb is to have everything fit on one screen without scrolling down
  • Use images that are of appropriate size and consistent style (ie. all photos or all line drawings etc.)
  • Simplify delivery
  • Branch out (use external links to activities, content, open tools)

Mary Pringle, Athabasca University

Developing Teaching Presence in Virtual Learning Environments

  • students need to know "somebody is out there and somebody cares"
  • Instructor persona -- have a real photo of you, adopt a personal tone, try a welcome video
  • Design and organization -- keep it simple, less is more
  • Pre-empt confusion--edit carefully, alert students to changes, no matter how small, continuous orientation
  • Facilitate discourse -- guiding questions, reliable feedback, explain grading
  • Contact non-attending students
  • Clear communication preference, 24-48 hour response time
  • Weekly performance check, mid-point evaluation

Richard Wallace, Top Ten Tips for Moodle (Australian Flavour)

  • Use headings H1-H6 rather than manually changing styles
  • Don't copy and paste from Word (paste into plain text editor and recopy or use Clean Word icon )
  • Optimize images before uploading--resize outside of Moodle, compress images in PowerPoint
  • Use PDFs so students don't need additional software
  • Move blocks to one side of the course only
  • Use topic summaries to explain what you are going to teach
  • Put lengthy content into separate pages, or other resource formats like lessons or books
  • Convert PowerPoint to flash files so students don't need the software
  • Use images as links
  • Use new window for external links
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