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Moodle developments – adding pedagogical context to selecting resources and activities

Moodle has a plethora of options of types of learning materials a tutor can add to their site.

Anyone editing in moodle is used to two very familiar drop down menus as the main methods for adding content.

Add a resource

Add an activity

The problem

Examining the sites tutors built at Sussex showed us they tended used a limited set of these.


Interviews with tutors brought up some interesting issues with these drop down menus and the language used, verses the aims of the tutors and the support they needed.

Time is always a premium to our tutors and so they simply didn’t have time to try adding things they didn’t understand or know if they would perform the task they wanted.

Our solution

We replaced the two dropdown menu with two buttons.

Clicking on the buttons brings up a model dialogue of the options.

The resources a user can add are shown in clear sections, based on tasks. e.g. The Create Pages section contains links to add a web page, text page or our custom youtube page.

Each resource has supporting text, detailing at a glance what the resource enables the user to do, and a link to help with the resource. This comes into its own with activites, where tutors may be unfamiliar with concepts such as a wiki, and if using an activity can help them achieve their learning aims for the site.

By removing some of the jargon labels, splitting resources and activities into task based sections, and adding brief inline descriptions we hope to help our tutors pick the right tools for the learning outcomes they want to achieve.

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