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5 tips for building an engaging Moodle course

By  Vinny Stocker

In this latest post, we explore ideas for building an engaging Moodle course. Moodle is one of the most prominent and reliable learning platforms in the market. Its open-source offering helps educators develop a comprehensive online learning experience easily and efficiently. Indeed, the platform has become increasingly popular as more educators transition to blended or complete online learning approaches, while considering the importance of diversity and inclusion.

One of the key objectives of any learning professional is to appeal to the learner’s interests throughout the learning process. Several features and functionalities of the Moodle LMS help you increase learner interaction, so here are a few tips on how to make your learning content truly engaging. 

Firstly, ask yourself what you want your students to get out of the Moodle e-learning course you’ve built for them. You’re probably focused on results, such as the progress rate in terms of student grades. However, you can’t just create a course and expect students to want to interact with it. You must motivate them to complete your e-learning Moodle course by making it an enjoyable experience that will help them achieve good grades. 

1. Make it exciting

We’ve all heard the saying: “Learning should be fun!”. There’s a truth to that notion since high levels of engagement and retaining interest are interconnected. Aim to find a sweet spot between the concept of work and play, and reflect that in your LMS with an appealing look and feel.

The overall aesthetic, including interesting yet concise layouts, is a vital element of your course. Arranging text and photos in, say, Google Slides, is one of the simplest ways to add visual appeal and student interaction within Moodle. Make sure the main title of your course is prominent, add a meaningful introduction and consider using an embedded video message from the course facilitator (more about that later).

Then create an exciting, engaging header for each section of the course. If it’s a history class, for example, use popular quotes related to the topic!

2. Use real-world scenario exercises

Scenarios in compliance training are a perfect way for learners to play out the choices they’ll have to make if they face a real-life compliance issue. You should give them those choices in a safe environment in which they can see the results of their actions and learn from them. This is ideal for high-risk enforcement issues, as it helps to embed insight by demonstrating why a particular decision is incorrect.

For scenario-based instruction, the Lesson activity is perfect. Before the learner moves on from one page, you can present content and ask a question. You choose which page the learner goes to, based on their answer, creating a branching scenario exercise that is interactive. The Lesson can be planned as a fun throwback to the “Choose your own adventure” storybooks, with no limit to branching choices.

Other features that make it ideal for scenario-based training include instant feedback on each choice you make, the ability to practice and gain points as you advance, and a visual progress indicator. Give your exercise a sense of competition by using the “Activity results” block to show your learners the top three scores and who earned them.

3. Focus on mobile design

It is not a given that all students use a laptop or desktop computer to access their learning. People these days are more likely to use cell phones to communicate. In fact, the use of mobile devices like smartphones, along with engagement via social media, is common across developed and emerging economies. In many countries, smartphone usage is prevalent among younger generations or more educated groups.

If most of your students use their phones to attend class, a mobile-first strategy is essential. Material is prepared specifically for smaller screens using this process, with long pieces of text being split into smaller bits, buttons and links properly resized, and so on.

4. Keep it personal

A great Moodle course stands out when it has a little personality – ideally your personality. You can also break down formal barriers between instructor and student by building an engaging Moodle course by making it personal.

Begin by including a greeting video. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a video created on your computer. These days, most phone cameras are decent quality, and uploading and embedding your video into your Moodle course is easy.

You should also make sure the language you use in the course shows your enthusiasm for the subject. Use personal touches to let your students know it’s you who’s teaching them. Finally, if any of your students send you an email or private message with a question about the course, ask them to post it to the forum. That way, you only need to respond to it once if others have the same question.

5. Use characters and stories to hold attention

Adding a character and a story to your lessons makes them more relatable and emphasizes the importance of what your students are learning.

This goal of relatability can be extended to tests as well, for example, by adding real-life situations to demonstrate what would be useful in the real world.

Moodle is a powerful tool that can catapult your LMS platform to astronomical heights if deployed correctly. Focus on the learning experience you offer to users by crafting a well-designed interface filled with interesting modules and courses in order to improve engagement and increase traction.

Pukunui provides LMS hosting services, support, training, consulting, and site design for Moodle™ software along with BigBlueButton™ and Mahara™ integrations. 

Learn more at: https://pukunui.com/

Vinny Stocker


Vinny leads the Malaysian team. He's a published author, instructional designer, and Moodle consultant at Pukunui. Vinny also runs LMS training throughout South East Asia.

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