Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Making Moodle Courses More Like Web Pages
I've been working with Moodle for just over a year and have learned to use it via online videos and presentations. I can create web pages in Moodle and have learnt how to embed videos and recently a PowerPoint presentation with animations into a course page. However anyone who is familiar with Moodle course pages is well aware how quickly you find you've created a page which requires seemingly endless scrolling to find information and resources. One of the first pages I was involved in suffered from this issue. It was resolved by hiding some areas and creating links to hidden resources. Still required some scrolling so I knew it could be improved further but not how.
Once in a while I'll do a random search looking for anything new on a given topic. I use this most often when I am at work to find out what other people are saying about some of the resources we use in education especially when it comes to our open source VLE. The abundant sharing of knowledge and skills supports beginner, intermediate and advanced learning. I rely heavily on the sharing of highly skilled people who have been using Moodle a lot longer than me and I share my discoveries with colleagues as well as record it here.
A couple of weeks ago I was looking for a challenge so I did a Google video search on Moodle. One of the top five results was a video from channel UsingMoodle on YouTube called Make your Moodle course page look like a webpage. Avoiding the 'scroll of death' was a topic that I was trying to tackle over a year ago and therefore was exactly the challenge I was looking for. Naturally I watched it right away.
I watched it a few times over before attempting to follow the instructions to change one of the course pages for which I am responsible. I would recommend watching the video and pausing at each step while working on your course page. The hardest thing in the whole process which is not obvious in this video is finding images to use for buttons. Moodle is a bit fiddly when it comes to images. You can't just copy a bit of clipart. I would like to be able to just copy and paste and then add a hyperlink like I would in Word. Moodle however insists on you uploading files into a storage area which I find a little irritating. However as this video demonstrates it is possible to avoid the 'scroll of death'. Anything that makes Moodle more presentable is a good thing.