What do we mean?

  • Asynchronous communication: where participants can communicate without the need to respond immediately (e.g. via an online forum).
  • Synchronous communication: where participants can communicate live, in real time (e.g. via a Teams meeting)
  • Virtual Learning Environment: An online learning platform providing a set of integrated tools that support collaboration, and the sharing of information and resources between tutors and students.
  • Assessment for Learning (AfL): feedback-based process by which lecturers elicit evidence of students’ learning via informal evaluation strategies.


What is Moodle?

Moodle is a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) used for both synchronous  (live) and asynchronous activity such as discussion forums, learning activities (e.g. quizzes), learning materials, lecture notes and presentations, and pre-recorded audio and video.

Whilst Moodle is commonly used to provide students with access to content, one of its greatest strengths is the ease with which it can support a more active approach to learning. We advise that Moodle is the main platform used for blended learning, with other systems such as Re:View used alongside it.

Moodle for learning and teaching

Set expectations
  • Explain to students how you intend to use the Moodle environment.
  • Set clear guidance on when you will be 'present' i.e. when you will respond to questions posted in forum discussions or when you will be uploading content or assessing submitted work (essentially your virtual office hours).
  • Make it clear that you will answer questions 'publicly' in the forums, rather than privately through email.
  • All students can then benefit from the answers. Explain clearly what you expect students to do. Should they log in in every day or specific days?  If you want them to take part in discussions make it clear if their participation is required or optional.
Upload resources and activities
  • Provide students with lecture notes, articles or tasks. Make sure the files are sensibly named.
  • Include instructions so that students know what to do with these resources.
  • Use the resources to keep students 'active' by building in activities around them.
Use discussion forums
Assessment for Learning (AfL) through quizzes:
Set assessment submission points
  • Allow students to upload their work for you to check by setting up a Moodle Assignment.
  • Use the Grade Transfer tool to transfer grades to SAMIS.

Using other University systems alongside Moodle

  • Moodle has a 50mb upload limit so is not suitable for storing video content.
  • Re:View is the University's platform for recorded video and audio content. Use Re:View to store recordings and make them available to students on a unit.
  • Each recording has a unique link and embed code which staff can post in Moodle for students to access the recordings.
Office 365
  • You may use Microsoft Teams meeting for synchronous communication, such as Q&A sessions. Use Moodle to make attendees aware of the meeting and as a place for teaching activities before and after the session.
  • Embed Microsoft Forms in a Moodle page for formative assessment.
  • Microsoft Sway is a digital storytelling app that could be used for embedding and delivering media-rich materials, or as part of Assessment for Learning (AfL).


Updated on: 26 June 2020