Moodle Templates: Supporting the Bath Baseline
Moodle is the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and since 2019 the CLT have encouraged an approach to Moodle space design, using the Bath Blend Baseline, which provides an effective experience for teaching and learning. In line with this the TEL team have created Moodle templates to enable a quick and easy way to provide structure, consistency and clarity when designing Moodle spaces, but at the same time provide the flexibility to layout content as benefits your subject or discipline.
What does the Moodle terminology mean?
In Moodle terminology each virtual classroom area (i.e. set of connected web pages) is called a ‘course’. However, this can be confusing as the University also refers to a programme of study as a ‘course’ and the two do not always match up. To avoid confusion, we will refer to Moodle ‘spaces’ instead of Moodle courses. Be aware that Moodle documentation prepared outside the University of Bath will use the term ‘course’.
We also refer to ‘owners’ and this relates to the person who has responsibility for the content and ensuring the right people are enrolled. This is usually the Unit Convenor, who has the Teacher+ role in Moodle, but can be others in the Teacher role.
- Moodle Course hub – a Moodle space for the entire course cohort (either all year groups, or per year groups).
- Moodle unit – a Moodle space for an individual unit (e.g for AB10001).
Why Moodle templates?
To develop a consistent space design, templates can be applied to blank (empty) Moodle courses. A template is a pre-defined design that is imported into a blank Moodle space and can be provided either by TEL or created and used by course-teams. 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. Clear and consistent availability of information allows 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.
Course team approach
Whichever template approach is used, it is recommended that full course teams work together, under the co-ordination of the Unit Convenor (or other nominated person) to make decisions about Moodle space design across the whole course. Individual units should not diverge from the ‘course design’ without sound pedagogical reasons (e.g. a lab work unit may differ from a normal teaching unit).
Our advice is that course team members should plan the design of Moodle spaces before the course starts, accompanied by an agreed set of simple design principles which are documented for all tutors, lecturers and administrators who may work in those spaces. This can ensure everyone is working to the same approach, resulting in a consistent experience for students as they progress through the units of a course. This can also be helpful for new staff, or staff who move between courses, in getting up to speed quickly with the course approach.
You can download the document below to help you keep track of your Moodle spaces and the agreed course decisions.