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This checklist outlines what UCL Moodle courses should include to conform to the UCL Moodle Baseline and is intended to be advisory rather than prescriptive or restrictive. These recommendations may be covered within a combination of module, programme and departmental courses. The list was developed after wide consultation on best current UCL practice and was endorsed by the Learning and Teaching Information Services Group (LTISG) on 23 October 2013.

The UCL E-Learning Framework extends this baseline to include further levels that staff may choose to incorporate into their teaching.

 

Categories

Baseline

 

These elements are expected to be available in UCL Moodle for every taught module.

Structure, navigation & clarity

Present elements in a meaningful, clear structure and sequence  - e.g. chronological or by theme.

Avoid disorientation caused by dispersing elements across different Moodle areas - bring together elements in a single area and use Groups and Groupings to give different views where needed.

Clearly group and label items – Helps usability and accessibility.

Minimise cognitive load - avoid overloading the front page by using Pages, Books, Folders & Lessons.

Use headings - if using a Course Menu block, then use Section Headings. Use heading styles within pages as appropriate.

Check links - Regularly fix or remove broken links.

Include blocks to help orientation - Might include Activities, Latest News, Recent Activity, Library Search, Course Menu and People.

If your front page is long  consider using Tabs format, or the Course Menu block, or placing content off the main course page and in Pages, Books or Lessons.

Aim for high standards of usability and student (and colleague) experience.

As a Moodle editor you're also an interface designer.

Further information on structure, navigation & clarity.

Orientation

Staff contact details - Name, position, telephone, email, location, drop-in hours, as appropriate. Profile pictures (for staff and students) help personalise the online environment. 

Module description - into the Course Settings type a very concise module description, so that when students search for a module in Moodle they can distinguish it from others with a similar title.

Syllabus and Learning Outcomes – Text or a link to a file or webpage.

Course usage statement – Describe how students are expected to use Moodle e.g. which activities are optional, assessment process.

Further information on orienting students.

Communication

Communication statement - How students and staff will communicate (e.g. in Moodle forums or email) and expected staff response times.

Announcement / news forum - This is a one-way channel for important news - students can't post or reply. 

Every discussion forum outlines the purpose of the forum, how students are expected to engage with it and how often staff will reply to posts (if at all).

Further information on communication.

Resources

Electronic Documents - such as presentation slides, notes or handouts should be made available on Moodle (see formats below).

Reading list(s) – A list of course readings, preferably using the UCL online reading list service.

Descriptive titles for all items. Consider displaying the item's description on the course homepage.

Further information on providing electronic resources.

Cross platform compatibility

File formats - PDF versions (e.g. of PowerPoints) should be provided wherever possible, as they can be accessed on a variety of devices. Word documents should be used only for electronically-editable documents such as templates, worksheets or coversheets.

Avoid niche proprietary technologies such as Flash (swf files, iSpring etc) as these do not load on all devices.

Further information on which file types to use when.

Accessibility

Ensure graphics have alternative text (for screen-readers etc);navigation is consistent between modules; fonts are large enoughto read (minimum 10pt); and coloured text has high contrastagainst backgrounds; provide original  PowerPoint slides for lectures and screen recordings.

Links should open in the same window – so the browser back button works. If a new window is essential (e.g. to provide pop-up help) warn the students by labelling the link with (opens in new window).

Further information on course and resource accessibility.

Intellectual property

Observe intellectual property legislation  

Further information on intellectual property.

Student support

Ensure students are aware of the full range of support on offer from the department and UCL.

A departmental 'Office' area on Moodle may be a good place to raise awareness without time-consuming duplication of links. 

Further information on student support.

Assessment

Assessment outline

Gather all the information and materials students need in one place, or signpost to them from one place.

Further information on assessment.

 

Example Baseline Moodle Course

An example of what a baseline course could look like is shown below and is available at: https://moodle.ucl.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=15117

This tab view is optional and works best when the tabs do not exceed 2 lines across (as shown)


 

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