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Alison Training


One of our Training Managers, Alison, discusses 5 of the most common questions she gets asked, in Moodle training sessions.

I get asked many questions during a training session that it can be difficult to pick out the top 5. Our clients can be so varied in their requirements and tailoring the sessions to meet their particular needs is key.

Listening and understanding how the client actually wants to use Moodle within their own environment can almost dictate the structure and content of the programme.

However, whatever the content of the session, the training is always interactive and hands on. I have detailed below 5 of the questions, I believe I get asked most frequently by our clients.

What’s the difference between Groups and Cohorts?

  • A Group exists within a course. For example if you have more than one teacher in a course having groups allows each to teacher to only see their own groups assignments tasks and grades.  Groups’ also allows the teacher to allocate a particular activity in a course just to one group of users.

  • A Cohort is used for enrolment purposes to a course. For example a class of students could be added to a cohort and then enrolled in bulk to a course, rather than individually.


Can I reuse courses and content?

  • A lot of our clients want to have the same course running with different people – the groups functionality caters mainly for that purpose. The Import and Backup and Restore functions in Moodle are great for allowing clients to reuse activities and content and to reset courses ready for another academic year for example. The repository feature in Moodle, along with file aliases, is another way to reduce file duplication across multiple  courses but needs to carefully planned and executed.


How long should a Moodle course be?

  • Each teacher/lecturer/trainer  has varying needs and content to be delivered in their courses. Each need to use Moodle courses for so many different purposes. Some may only use a few topic sections whilst others may be running a Moodle course over a 12 month period. Whatever the length there are a few principles that remain the same:

    • Remember your audience

    • Don’t overload with files – moodle is so much more than a file repository.

    • Use inbuilt moodle tools and activities to avoid too many files –such as Page and Book.

    • Consistency is key – font, layout, instructional information etc

    • Use topic summaries and labels to structure and guide users logically through your course

    • Try not to have your end user scrolling down endlessly to find their learning, add navigational aids in association with single topic views.

    • Learning needs to be interactive, reflective, collaborative and progressive – make sure it’s not just the teacher doing all the work


Can we use Moodle on mobile devices?

With the most recent versions of Moodle (3.0 and 3.1) there is support available for a responsive theme. This allows for your Moodle site to be accessed on a mobile phone or tablet with the layout and content of the site adjusting to fit the width of the screen on the device.

Your users won’t want to access everything on both of these devices, most people on phones want to quickly access resources (PDF, web pages, video), check their calendar for upcoming assessments or communicate with other users via messages or forums.

Those using tablets will want to access the same features as those on phones but may want to open activities or learning content to consume on the move or whilst they have time set aside.

Accommodating users on desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile phones, using a single course, does require additional thought and consideration when building your course and content and you do need to consider which technologies and document formats you use to ensure the widest range of devices can open your content, including the playback of video.


And finally…

What I love is listening to the clients as the day goes on, listening to ideas and thoughts really starting to grip and enthuse the clients as they see further potential for the system.

Often our clients are brand new to Moodle – when I arrive they pretty much know very little about the capabilities of the Moodle system.

It’s so satisfying when you leave and they are raring to go., totally enthused and in the background I Hear them make comments like ” this is marvellous” and ” I didn’t realise Moodle was so powerful”. Job satisfaction

Contact us

If you have any questions relating to training or if you would like to arrange training for your organisation. Contact us on 028 9042 2000 or email info@www.synergy-learning.com