Format and structure my Moodle course

From September 2023 all academic modules (i.e. the ones with a module code that are linked to Banner, our Student Record System) will use the new Brookes VLE template which provides accessibility improvements, consistency and standardises layout, number of core sections and labelling.

A clear structure and effective organisation and enable students to find the information they need quickly.

Why would a teacher use this approach/tool, and link to the 4C features


  • Structuring the modules with sections and labelling topics appropriately will provide for an effective student experience. Grouping learning content and activities into the relevant sections will help students find what they need.


  • Adopting a consistent structure across all modules within a programme will help students to spend more time on learning content rather than searching within specific modules.


  • With clear structure and effective labelling of sections of content, students are able to locate what they need at that time. Grouping sections of content can help students navigate freely between learning topics.


  • Consider using forum discussions within your Moodle course to build community.

How to use this approach/tool

How to achieve a well-structured course

  • The Brookes VLE template includes 5 standard sections followed with weekly sections/units/topics. See How do I use the Brookes VLE template? for advice on organising content, do’s and don’ts.
  • Don’t overwhelm the Overview section (at the top of the course) with content. It should set the context of your Moodle course and include a brief overview of what the module will cover. It can also include a 'Welcome' component. By default the Overview section also includes the 'Announcements' forum, a short video about navigation for students, and the 'Module Evaluation' (initially hidden).
  • Don’t swamp the main course page with content. Consider moving text and video content from the course page to a Page resource to reduce scroll on your course page whilst also organising your course content in a more structured manner. If you have a file-heavy course, with many presentations or word-processed documents, instead of listing them one by one, consider adding them to a folder. This has the benefit of not only shortening your course page but also allows you to organise your files into subfolders.
  • Use clear and specific instructions. Clearly state the expectations from your students (you might want to use the Description field in the activity/resource settings for this).
  • Use consistent terminology across courses. All sections and activities/resources should have sensible names describing the content. Assignment naming convention for assignment submission dropboxes should be consistent across modules within a programme.
  • Displaying media on the course page.  This should be done sparingly due to having to scroll past thumbnails/images to access other course materials. Videos should be uploaded to our video library Panopto. You can use the Panopto LTI 'selected content' option in Moodle to link to a video from a specific section of your course.
  • When creating Forum activities, consider the subscription mode: choose Forced subscription if students need to be notified or Auto subscription (students will receive notifications initially but can unsubscribe if they wish).
  • Consider using completion tracking to monitor student engagement.

Inclusivity and Accessibility review

By selecting a core format (such as Topics), as opposed to one of the additional course formats, you are mitigating the risk of any updates to Moodle (there are two version upgrades every year) introducing any compatibility issues or need for additional restyling. Moodle version upgrades introduce new features and, by adopting a core course format, you will be able to take advantage of new accessibility features specifically targeted at the module “home page”.

Ensure all relevant activities are added to the Student Study Plan for the module in question.

All online resources should be compatible with the UK Digital Accessibility Standards 2020. See Creating Digitally Accessible Learning and Teaching Materials Brookes Moodle course.

Use the Blackboard Ally tool to help check the accessibility of the content you have prepared (available within Moodle late July - early August 2020).


  • Becky Horton
  • Richard Hall