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Med School Moodle Guidelines


How you present your Moodle course to students has an impact on their experience at Medical School. Over time, students have provided feedback on what formats work best for them, and the Otago Medical School has increasingly requested common approaches to navigation alongside the minimum requirements for information on Moodle.

Here we explain the agreed standards and provides advice on best practice for your course.

If you believe your course requirements fall outside of these guidelines, please contact your eLearning Facilitator and Education Advisor.

Course Format

  • The recommended format is the Medschool Topics format. This provides all sections on the front page, with automatically built navigation buttons.
  • The minimum requirement is a topics format with all content showing, with easy navigation to each section

Students have asked for quick access buttons to jump to sections, as well as all information initially presented on one page. This allows students to use the find function in their browser to quickly locate specific resources.

Course structure

  • Module Info
  • Assessment
  • Subject Specialist sections

The first section in your course should be for Module Information, and the second section for Assessments.

Section One: Module Information

The Overview information in your Module Info section should contain an overall description of the student experience in your module. This overview might include a welcome to students, information about the structure of the module and how it is taught.

Objectives must be clearly stated in the Module Information section or, if you use Objectives to identify assessments, in the Assessment section. Objectives should ideally consist of 5-6 short statements that define the main points that students should learn during your module. Please contact your Education Advisor for help with writing objectives.

The Assessment Information component should contain a brief description of the number and type of assessments in your module, their contribution to the final grade, and the criteria for achieving Potential Distinction.

Section Two: Assessment

All assessments for the module are required to be in the Assessment section. Assessment information can be included in either the Module Information or the Assessment section.Screenshot of an example of the module structure to be used in Med Moodle.

Assessment information must include the number of summative assessments and their contribution towards the final mark.  In addition, criteria for Potential Distinction should be included.

Screenshot of information required in assessment section of MedSchool module.

Other sections that follow will be determined by subject specialties. It is preferred that there are no more than 10 sections but this may be increased for some large modules.

Course Blocks

  • People
  • Events
  • Grades
  • Admin
  • CMAP

Course blocks are the grey items that sit on the right of the screen. Each course must have the following blocks in this order from the top right. People (list of conveners and admin), upcoming events (events and calendar), Grades, and Administration. After this the Curriculum Map block needs to be shown and any other blocks you have chosen to show. This uniform structure again provides consistency in navigation and content. Your eLearning Facilitator will set this up for you at the start of each academic year, and requests that you do not add or remove blocks without consultation.


Having too much text showing on the front Moodle page is not recommended. This takes up valuable real estate and creates a long scroll for students. Text should be either in a show/collapse toggle, on a separate web page or in a Moodle book. Avoid the use of direct formatting on text, especially the use of  colours. We recommend using the standard formatting options available in your Moodle editor to highlight important information. Your eLearning Facilitator is happy to provide training on how to apply these styles consistently.


The default file type is pdf. This allows students quick access, and ensures consistent presentation to students. It also reduces the risk of reuse of the material in the PDF.

Other files are permitted: Word for templates and forms to be completed. PowerPoints with multi-media like videos and audio. Video files: MP4 less than 200mb. Anything else contact your local eLearning Facilitator.

The maximum upload size for files is 200mb. Adding files is straightforward: with editing on you can simply drag and drop them onto the page, and re-order them using the drag handles beside each file. When files are initially dropped in, they appear at the bottom of a topic section


Each course should contain an e-reserve repository for references. This should be in the course information area.

Calendar Upload (all events to be formatted as per Excel calendar uploader)

The calendar upload specifies the student requested form of appointment. It has been developed over the past 3 years. The uploader specifies 2 main areas: First the header or title and then the body of the appointment. The header needs to contain the following in this order:

  • Event type-short name (eg Tut: Intravenous Drug)
  • Group
  • Module short name
  • Location short name

The body can have the extended versions of all plus comments and links to learning content. Use the Calendar page below to find more information.

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