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Organize Your Moodle Course Page

There are a number of ways to add structure and visual interest to your Moodle course page. The less cluttered and better organized you make your course page, the easier it will be for your students to use.

To help your students find their way around your course page:

  • Avoid unnecessary content on the course page.
  • Provide custom Section names.
  • Provide concise Summary text for course Sections.
  • Use subheadings to organize course content within each Section.
  • Give Resources and Activities informative names.
  • Use indents to create visual hierarchy on your course page.
  • Use images for context, but limit image dimensions.

Here is an example of a well-organized course page:

Annotated example of well-organized course(click to enlarge)

Customize Course Image

Add a custom header image at the top of your Moodle course page. You can use this to make it easier to recognize your courses and add personality.

  1. In the menu bar at the top of your course page, select the Course Management button (gear icon). The Course Management panel will open.
  2. On the Course Management panel, under Course settings, select Edit course settings. The Edit course settings page will open.
  3. On the Edit course settings page, under Description, locate the Upload course image block.  Drag and drop your image file into the Upload block.  Note: Alternatively, you can also select the file icon file icon screenshot (top left). The File picker will open. Select Choose File and select your file and click Open. Select Upload this file.
  4. Select Save and display (bottom of page). Your Course page will refresh and the header image will appear.

Avoid Unnecessary Content on your Course Page

Avoid long paragraphs of text, embedded videos, or large images on your course page.

  • Provide instructions in activity or resource Descriptions, and avoid displaying Descriptions on the course page unless they are very brief.
  • Embed media in Descriptions for activities such as Assignments or Forums rather than on the main course page.
  • Use a Page resource to deliver video or large images on a separate page.

Customize Section Names

Sections in Moodle courses are named "Topic 1," "Topic 2," "Topic 3," etc. To help orient students and encourage engagement with the material, provide a descriptive Section name.

  1. In the menu bar at the top of your course page, select Turn editing on (green pencil icon Turn editing on (green pencil icon)). Editing icons and links will appear.
  2. Next to the Section name, select the Pencil icon (Pencil icon screenshot). The name will become highlighted.
  3. Enter a new Section name and press Enter/Return to save your changes (or Esc to cancel).

Note: You can change the format of sections from the default Collapsible Topic format to, for example, Weekly format, or Single activity format on your Moodle course settings (see Important Settings for your Moodle Course).

Provide Summary Text for Course Sections

It may be helpful to add a sentence or two at the top of each section summarizing the goals for the week or topic. The Summary will show at the top of a Section (under the Section name). 

  1. In the menu bar at the top of your course page, select Turn editing on (green pencil icon Turn editing on (green pencil icon)). Editing icons and links will appear.
  2. Locate the Section of the Moodle course you wish to edit select Edit (at the top right of Section). A drop-down list will open. From the list, select Edit Topic (or Edit Week, depending on your course format). The Summary page will open.
  3. To add a custom Section name, on the Summary page select the Custom checkbox (to right of Section name, in General settings). Type a new name in the small textbox
  4. To add a Section summary, in the Summary textbox, enter text and/or add images to display below the Section name.
  5. Click Save changes.

Note: With Collapsible Topics format, if you add a Summary to a section, it will always show, even when the section is collapsed. We recommend adding section descriptions as Labels at the top of the section (see Important Settings for your Moodle Course).

Add Text in a Label

Use Labels to add subheadings and make your course content easy to find. For example, you might create subheadings within each section for Readings, Discussion, Assignments, Quizzes, etc. 

  1. In the menu bar at the top of your course page, select Turn editing on (green pencil icon Turn editing on (green pencil icon)). Editing icons and links will appear.
  2. Locate the Section where you want the Label to appear. (If the section is collapsed, click the arrow icon above the Section name to expand the section.) At the bottom of the section, click + Add an activity or resource. The Add an activity or resource pop-up will open showing a tile for each available resource or activity. 
    Note: By default, the panel opens to All and shows all resources and activities. If you have starred favorite activities or resources, the panel will open to Starred. To only view resources, at the top of the pop-up, click Resources.
  3. Select the Label icon Label Icon Screenshot. The Adding a new Label page opens. 
  4. On the Settings page, for Label text, enter and format your text
    Important! To accommodate accessibility for all students, use Paragraph styles (). For example, Heading (medium) could be used to format subheadings rather than choosing bold and larger text.
    Paragraph styles screenshot of Annotated example of medium size heading (click to enlarge)
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save and return to course.
  6. New items always appear at the bottom of the section. Use the Move icon (The move icon at the left) to drag the Label upwards or downwards into the desired position. For details, see Reorder Sections or Items in your Moodle Course.

Give Resources and Activities Concise, Informative Names

Rather than just naming your activities as "Assignment 1, Quiz 1, Forum 1" describe the topic, e.g., "Essay 1 - Thinking like an Archeologist." For more on adding course content see About Adding Activities to a Moodle Course, and About Adding Resources to a Moodle Course.

Indent Items in Course Sections to Create an Outline Form

Indenting content in your Moodle course is a way of making it easier to read and more user-friendly (much like a "skimmable" outline). 

  1. In the menu bar at the top of your course page, select Turn editing on (green pencil icon Turn editing on (green pencil icon)). Editing icons and links will appear.
  2. For the item you wish to indent, select Edit (at right), and in the Edit drop-down menu,  Move right, or to move back,  Move left.

Add an Image to a Label or Section Summary

Images in Section summaries or Labels can provide landmarks and can create visual engagement, but a little goes a long way. Large images or videos take up space on the page, require extra scrolling, and cause pages to load slowly.

You can add images in Section summaries or in Labels using the Insert image (Insert Image Icon Screenshot) button on the Moodle Editor toolbar. Be sure to keep images small in dimension and to provide brief "Alternative text" to make your course page accessible to all students. For step-by-step instructions, see Add Images in Moodle.

Size Guidelines for Images on a Course Page

Use the guidelines below to avoid large images that can require extra scrolling and slow down your course page loading.

Image Use Image type Pixel Dimensions
Thumbnail image A small illustration, sometimes links to a larger version. ~ 100 pixels wide
Course image Image to replace default course image at top of the Course page 1200 x 800 pixels
Block image An image placed in a Moodle HTML block. No more than 340 pixels wide
Illustration An image placed in a page of text (avoid on course page). Up to 1200 pixels wide*

*Moodle will automatically make large images fit in the available area of the page, but the full-sized image file still downloads to browsers. Pages load faster if you resize images before uploading them to your course.