Dashboard Announcements with Adaptable News Slider

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Over the past eighteen months the Adaptable Theme for Moodle has grown to become one of the most popular freely available themes in the Moodle.Org plugin directory.

One of the features of this theme is the ability to define layouts of block regions on the dashboard page (and Moodle front page).

This was of course done with the intention of facilitating improvements to the information presented to students on their Dashboard.

One such improvement is now freely available in the form of a new plugin, the Adaptable News Slider.

When added to the dashbaord it can be set to show a combination of both:

  • Site News
  • Unread course announcements

Site news posts are sticky showing the last X number of posts with links back to “read more” and “older posts”.

Course level announements only show until they are read.

This provides a space efficient way to provide students with a quick view of latest announcements across their Moodle site.

Our own experience of adding this to the dashboard vs leaving site announcements on the front page where students had to scroll down to read them has been a significant increase in student responses to the news items posted.

Next Steps

We are in the process of adding another block region to Adaptable to allow this block to be added to course pages where it will hopefully show a combined list of course level announcements and possible forum posts.

We also hope to add support for “sticky posts” whcih are currently missing.

If you are already using the Adaptable Theme this new block is definitely worth a look!