What do we mean?

Course Contact = a nominated staff member to act as the main contact for the Course

Moodle Course Page = a landing page for the entire course (either all years groups, or per year)

Moodle Unit Page = a Moodle page for an individual unit (e.g for AB10001)

Moodle Course and Unit Template = a template for the Course  and Unit Pages. The template consists of two parts: (1) an Essential Unit Information Area; (2) and a Content Area

Moodle Essential Unit Information Area = an area which will appear by default at the top of each new Moodle Unit Template for manual entry of key information in a consistent way

Moodle Content Area = is the main body of your Unit page – in other words, the place where you can upload content, resources and activities

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.


Consistency and why it is important

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.

Considerations

  • Content that is transitioned into the new templates this academic year will be easily ported across into the new Moodle next academic year.
  • The new template is more mobile-friendly. Please note: staff will notice that the right-hand block area is removed in the new theme (but blocks are still available in the left-hand side)
  • The new template will be continued to be developed and refined during the academic year 2020/21 with staff input
  • We will take an archive snapshot of Moodle on 3 August 2020, which will be transferred in due course to the Moodle Archive

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:

DevelopmentDate AvailableSummary & Benefit
New Moodle Themew/c 6 July 2020A 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 TemplateTBC (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 AugustAn 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)LiveA tool to help staff make Moodle content accessible and inclusive; and which allows students to access content in different formats automatically.

The TEL Team will apply the new theme and Essential Information Area for existing spaces on behalf of staff on a rolling basis from the w/c 3 August 2020, leaving Course Teams to edit or update their content. On request, the TEL team will also create blank pages and apply the requested Unit template. Staff may move relevant content into these new pages from existing pages, where required.
However, this should be a Course Team decision, and staff should decide as a Course Team which unit(s) will need the new templates. If the Course Team does not wish to use the new templates or theme, this should be discussed collectively, and time spent to consider how the Course will/does offer a consistent experience to students on existing pages.
Considerations

  • Be consistent on your Moodle Units across a Course – e.g. in terms of layout, structure and formatting
  • Where a Unit is delivered in conjunction with another Department or Faculty/School, there should be coherence across these Units where possible
  • Pay particular attention to any Units you teach across year groups (e.g. first year and second year) to ensure there is consistency for both groups

Moodle Unit template online guide

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This online guide explains how to populate your Moodle unit template and provides examples of learning activities and guidance for students

screenshot from moodle unit template online guide

For support contact the TEL team

Updated on: 04/08/2020