Many teachers feel very restricted when it comes to course design. I often here complaints that the course layouts built into Moodle are too limiting. But did you know that there are a growing number of community created (contrib) course formats are available? In todays blog I want to highlight some of the better additions that have been added in recent months to provide a few different course layout options.
The New Course Formats
- Accordion Format
- This is definitely one of my favorites and I use it in many courses I create. Picture this often occurring issue, you have 3 teachers populating one course space and they are all keen users. So keen in fact that by half way through the year their 10 topic course now takes three pages of scrolling to get through. How can we fix this? The Accordion format uses AJAX to dynamically hide and show topics as users click on them. Apart from being a great space saver it also adds a visually dynamic appearance to courses that my students love.
Download Information | Demo Site | Forum Discussions |
- Flexible Page Format
This format is very new on the Moodle scene and is quickly becoming a new favorite of mine. Created by Moodlerooms, Inc. and Intel® Education, this format provides a whole new way of thinking when it comes to course layouts. It treats everything on the page as a block..and I mean everything. Each label, resource, activity and block are all treated as individual blocks in their own right. These can then be place on the left right or middle columns as you wish. This allows for activities in side columns, and Moodle blocks in the middle. On top of this the format also allows for multiple pages that can be navigated by tabs at the top of the screen or via a menu.
- Study Calendar Format
This is an enhanced version of the weekly course format that many users are already familiar with. The additional options however that this format provides include the ability to combine, rename, and generally configure weeks. (E.g. group together 2 weeks, call it ‘Easter break’; or group together 6 weeks, call it ‘Block 2′.). It also allows teachers to integrates Moodle calendar events into the main display and lastly students can use checkboxes to mark their progress by ticking activities and events.
- Shared Activities Format
This format was created by Open University for a specific need they had but has now been shared with the wider Moodle community. The adds the facility for any Moodle user (e.g. students) to create their own shared activities which they can invite a list of other people to
join. When they invite people, those people receive an with a link to the activity. It ties in well with the OU Wiki which they also have shared with the community
- Project Course Format
This format was created by Don Hinkelman and changes the layout and operations of the main center column of a Moodle course. Inside a course, you can select the format of a course by clicking on Admin >> Course Settings. Typically, Topics format or Weekly format is used. This format is like Topics format, except that each section of a course can be “packaged” separately. It has a separate directory and it can be backed up separately with all resources and activities together. The import function allows a teacher to share and move the section (project) anywhere on the site. Fast resource creation and bulk media file upload are also possible. Tested only on 1.9.
These are just a few of the more interesting and mature Course Format now available. Be sure to check out Moodle.org for others that might suit your needs.
This video shows some of the formats in action