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Plans to review all taught modules against the baseline

In 2017/2018 a new framework for reviewing UCL’s taught courses against the existing E-learning Baseline will be introduced. It is proposed to review every taught module against the baseline during the summer of 2018.  Digital Education are working on the detailed mechanics for the Baseline Review; the document below is to brief colleagues on what is proposed, and to seek their input and support. The first draft of the framework will be considered by the Quality Review Sub Committee (QRSC) on 30th March. 

What has changed since the last UCL Moodle baseline?

Quite a bit has changed since the last Baseline, due to the merger with the Institute of Education, and the addition of a Baseline+ for wholly-online courses.

If your Moodle course met the UCL Moodle Baseline 2013, then you can use the list below to update your Moodle course for campus-based course to the new Baseline.


Note: Wholly online courses will need to meet both the new Baseline and the UCL Baseline+.


Text in italics following the information icon explains the changes.

(green star) Text following the star icon denotes new elements of the Baseline.


UCL Baseline


MUST for all (wholly online and campus-based).

These NEW items are expected for every taught module at UCL.

 1. Structure

(info) Section overviews are expected and the library resources block is a suggested addition:

(green star) Provide section overviews - Provide a description in each section to introduce the topic or set of resources / activities.

☐ 1.3 Include navigation aids - (green star) add the Library Resources block.

 2. Orientation

(info) The course usage statement is better defined:

(green star) ☐ 2.2 Explain participation requirements:

  • Outline how students are expected to use Moodle in an introductory statement.
  • Identify which activities are compulsory and optional.
  • Explicitly signpost all online and offline activities and how they interrelate.
  • Provide an indicator of effort (such as timings or page counts) for all compulsory tasks.
  • Explain how students are expected to use UCL and external e-learning tools. This PowerPoint Induction template provides a starting point. Wholly online courses might provide this information as a screen-cast video, with a voice over.
  • Link to instructions for any e-learning tools that students are expected to use.
  • Explain what digital devices and software students are expected to provide for themselves.

(info) Accurate staff roles in Moodle are expected:

(green star) ☐ 2.4 Moodle roles reflect the functions of staff (e.g. Tutor, Course Administrator, Leader).

(info) Linking to support services is better defined:

☐ 2.5 Ensure students are aware of all services and support available from the department and UCL. Link to:

 3. Communication


(info) No changes.

 4. Assessment


(info) The course assessment outline is better defined:

☐ 4.1 Provide an assessment outline (green star) with a clear description of the module assessment, including schedule, criteria and submission details. To avoid duplication this might include a link to a module webpage.

(green star) ☐ 4.2 Provide tools and information for avoiding plagiarism - Link to the Plagiarism and Academic Writing course, where students can check their work for plagiarism independent of assessment submission points.

 5. Resources


(info) Reading list provision is better defined:

☐ 5.3 Provide reading list(s) – Provide a list of course readings, preferably using the UCL online reading list service, (green star) outlining which are compulsory and which are optional.

(info) All resources are expected to be kept up to date (not just links):

☐ 5.4 Check resources - (green star) check that all resources are up-to-date before releasing these to students.

 6. Cross-platform compatibility

(info) File format considerations are better defined:

☐ 6.1 Consider file formats - (green star) Avoid niche proprietary technologies such as Flash (swf files, iSpring etc.) as these do not load on all devices.

 7. Accessibility


(info) Accessibility considerations are better defined:

☐ 7.1 Provide accessible learning resources by ensuring:

  • (green star) Links are descriptive (avoiding 'click here'). 

(green star) ☐ 7.3 Adhere to the UK Equality Act - If a student with a disability requests an accessible format of any resource, this must be provided, within reason. Read more atwww.ucl.ac.uk/disability.

 8. Legal

(info) Intellectual property and copyright legislation adherence is better defined:

☐ 8.1 Observe intellectual property and copyright legislation (green star) by utilising the ReadingLists@UCL service for all reading; linking out to useful websites rather than copying text directly into a course; and using open-source or copyright-cleared images.

(info) Data protection adherence is expected:

(green star) ☐ 8.2 Avoid guest access (without a password) unless you are sure your material is copyright-cleared for open access - Copyrighted/licensed material must only be supplied through a password protected system (such as Moodle), which complies with the terms and conditions of the publishers and of the Copyright Licensing Agency licence.

(green star) ☐ 8.3 Communicate potential data protection issues when students are asked to use non-UCL systems. An alternative must be provided if students refuse to register with an external service. Please contact the UCL Data Protection Officer for advice.

(green star) ☐ 8.4 Ensure student-generated content is stored on a password protected system(e.g. discussion boards, blogs, wikis, videos). Non-password protected sites should only be used if students are aware the material is publicly available, and are satisfied with the implications of this - e.g. their full names may appear alongside their work.

9. Student Active Participation

(info) N/A (Baseline+ only).

 10. Quality Assurance

(info) Quality Assurance through module/programme evaluation of online elements is expected:

(green star) ☐ 10.1 Students can evaluate the module anonymously, including its online elements, e.g. via an end-of-module questionnaire.

(green star) ☐ 10.2 All stakeholders, including tutors, administrators and support staff, can contribute to the module/programme evaluation, including its online elements, at regular intervals (e.g. yearly, or at major reviews).

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