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Abstract accepted: Moodlemoot Ireland 2013

Our abstract for Moodle Moot Dublin has been accepted. Woohoo! Here is the abstract we submitted. See you there!

Interface design for rich, beautiful and engaging Moodle courses

Most of our Moodle courses used to look to like messy file repositories. The students’ experience of using them was usually functional, but rarely pleasurable. The courses largely consisted of files for the students to download and open in non-web based, proprietary applications such as MS Word or PowerPoint.

We relatively quickly realised our tutors weren’t doing this by chance. Our tutors are not web designers. They do what the technology they are using encourages them to do. In the case of our Moodle this was to upload resources one after the other with the minimum of context. This usually resulted in the students’ learning sites looking like their tutors’ file directories.

In order to counter this we made a concerted effort to encourage tutors to create rich, beautiful and engaging learning resources for their students. We did not do this by coercion or strict training programmes. We made focused modifications to the Moodle editing interface which changed the tutors’ workflow and enticed them to add inline text, images and videos. This improved the look and feel of the sites and made them easier to use by their students.

This, combined with a focused communications strategy, has made a considerable difference to the learning sites our students are using today. To find out more come to our presentation!!