Back to School with 3 ways to Jazz up your Moodle pt 1

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It’s back to school week!  We have all the tips and tricks for getting a jump start with Moodle this school term and will be sharing a few of our favorites all this week.

Some people I’m sure look at a traditional Moodle page with it’s links and topics and think “blech, it’s sooo boring”.  Well, with a little manipulation you can make your Moodle classroom look like any web page you want.  You can also incorporate 3rd party widgets and gadgets to bring a little more interactivity into the classroom.  Here’s the first of 3 easy ways to “Jazz” up your Moodle classroom.

1. Make Moodle look like a web page

This is a Moodle page, which has been formatted with images within a table. Each is linked to a different area of the course to provide a more "web-like" experience.

Getting savvy with the HTML editor can provide you a lot of flexibility in creating a classroom space that doesn’t appear at all Moodle-y. It will take a little bit of tinkering and a solid understanding of how Moodle handles topic areas and hidden topics, but otherwise this is a great option for re-organizing your course’s screen real estate.  Below is embedded a great video from Mary Cooch which highlights the various steps of creating your Moodle as a web page: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtHPUh_BaxM

A few tips:

  • Linking to course resources manually (after all they’ll be hidden generally from students) can be tricky.  When in doubt add the Activities Block to your course for quick access (for you and your students).
  • If you backup and restore your course you will need to relink images and resource/activity links
  • Breadcrumb navigation will stay in your course, so be sure to make sure that your students know how to get back to your main course page
  • The Insert Table option is a wonderful tool to add organized links to any topic, web page or Moodle summaryTry using it and see what you can come up with.
  • Of course, you don’t have to go so far as adding tables and hiding topic sections, an easier route perhaps is simply adding context to your Topic/Weekly format by inserting some images and helpful text (http://www.packtpub.com/article/moodle-makeover).

Here are a few more great links to help you design a kick butt Moodle: