Quick Guides - The Bath Blend Baseline Templates for Moodle
Our approach to course delivery from September 2020 and beyond will be blended, and we have called this the Bath Blend. To enable staff to deliver the Bath Blend on Moodle, we have launched the Bath Blend Baseline for Moodle. Additionally, we have also launched a new Moodle Essential Information Area and theme for existing courses, and two new Unit templates (details below). A Course-Level template is also in development.
The new Moodle Templates provide staff with a quick and easy way to provide structure, consistency and clarity to Moodle spaces, but at the same time provide the flexibility to layout content as benefits your subject or discipline. The Templates also use a new Moodle theme that determines the colours and layout of your Moodle spaces, and is more mobile-friendly and accessible so that all users will benefit from a better online experience.
We recommend that you work as a team across a Course, under the co-ordination of a nominated Course Contact, to ensure a consistent approach for students across their Course. The recommendation is for each Course to have a corresponding Moodle Course page (that is, a landing page for the Course, with key information such as a programme handbooks and a forum to build a sense of community and engagement at Course level) that is linked to the individual Moodle Units in that Course. For each Moodle Unit, it is essential that there is a clear and consistent layout to key information and resources that is similar, or coherent, across the entire Course. In other words, there is a coherent look and feel to each Moodle Unit in a Course. You do not have to use our templates to achieve this, but for staff who need a structured example, or want to start afresh on a blank page, our templates provide a great starting point to developing your pages.
Certainly, it is no coincidence that most online learning providers (such as Wiley – Bath’s chosen partner) use clear, consistent and well-structured courses to guide online learners through content and activities. Well-structured content, that makes clear to students what they are expected to do and by when, can support students to work independently (when accompanied by a course-wide approach to developing independent and active learning). Clear and consistent availability of information enables also students to better understand and locate course content and resources, their assessment deadlines, and how and when they need to communicate with tutors and fellow students. This in turn can lead to students asking fewer questions of staff as the information they need is visible and easy to find.
No, the new templates are on an opt-in basis, but they are highly recommended. If you opt-in, the TEL team will create you a new blank course with the relevant template applied, for you populate with content (either new or existing). The templates can not be applied to existing Moodle pages.
As a Course Team, please read and discuss the Key Developments and Key Decisions information below, and take a look at the new Moodle Templates at the bottom of the page. Once the course Team have reflected on their approach to CASE on their Moodle pages, and have decided as a Team if they wish to use the new templates or not, please contact the TEL team using our online form, ideally via a course leader/contact.
To enable staff to ensure consistency, accessibility, scaffolding and engagement on their Moodle spaces, from July 2020 we will be implementing the following developments on Moodle:
|Development||Date Available||Summary & Benefit|
|New Moodle Theme||w/c 6 July 2020||A new, ‘cleaner’, theme that will automatically be applied to new Courses and Units, and will be automatically applied from 3 August on a rolling basis to existing units.|
|New Moodle Course Template||TBC (in time for Academic Year 2020/21)||A landing page, or community space, for a Course. Each corresponding Unit can be linked to from this main Course page, and any user enrolments will ‘flow’ upwards to the Course page (in other words, any user who is enrolled on a Unit will be enrolled automatically on the Course page)|
|New Moodle Essential Unit Information Area (contained in the new Moodle theme)||w/c 3 August||An area which will appear by default at the top of each new and existing Moodle pages using the new theme from 3 August. At present, this allows for manual entry of key information in a consistent way, and includes spaces for standard unit information (Overview, Learning Outcomes), as well as highlighting the Assessment details and Library Lists (if being used). We plan to automate data entry in future to save staff time. More Information|
|New Moodle Unit Template (per topic) (can only be requested by your nominated Course Contact)||w/c 3 August (for new Moodle spaces)||A new template that consists of two areas: a new Moodle Essential Unit Information Area, and the Moodle Content Area organised by topics. The Content area will come with hints and suggestions for a recommended layout, but staff have the academic freedom and discretion to amend as required for their discipline. However, a consistent approach across the Course is recommended.|
|New Moodle Unit Template (per week) (can only be requested by your nominated Course Contact)||w/c 3 August (for new Moodle spaces)||A new template that consists of two areas: a new Moodle Essential Unit Information Area, and the Moodle Content Area organised by weeks. The Content area will come with hints and suggestions for a recommended layout, but staff have the academic freedom and discretion to amend as required for their discipline. However, a consistent approach across the Course is required.|
|Blackboard Ally (for Digital Accessibility)||Live||A tool to help staff make Moodle content accessible and inclusive; and which allows students to access content in different formats automatically.|
Moodle Unit template online guide
This online guide explains how to populate your Moodle unit template and provides examples of learning activities and guidance for students