Teaching & Learning


Does your Moodle course meet student expectations?

31 January 2020

Course owners are asked to review UCL’s minimum standards for Moodle use, and to identify steps to improve your course design, using our E-learning Baseline Checker form.

Image of students working in a group with a laptop

Minimum standards for Moodle use

Moodle plays a vital role in our students’ education. But is your Moodle course as effective as it could be?

Students rely on Moodle for up-to-date course information and easy-to-find, accessible learning resources. The E-learning Baseline endorsed by UCL’s Education Committee as policy in 2017 – is a set of standards for the use of Moodle in all taught modules at UCL.

There’s a lot of great practice across departments, but National Student Survey (NSS) and Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) comments highlight that some poor Moodle practices continue to affect students’ learning experience. Key concerns include unavailable teaching materials, lack of regular updates to course pages and inconsistent, hard-to-find information:

...Simple and easy formats would prevent time wasted understanding structure and organization which would help increase time spent on learning, analysis and research when possible. (PTES, 2018-2019)
while resources are there, finding them often feels a little like a treasure hunt! (PTES, 2018-2019)

Moodle has a lot to offer but is instead used almost solely as a message board. (PTES, 2018-2019)
I think it is very important that Moodle includes a page on how the course is graded at the end of the year... this information is probably provided somewhere just not very easy to find. (NSS, 2018-19)

Meeting the E-learning Baseline expectations ensures consistent usability, availability and quality of online teaching and learning materials.

It is essential that all your students can access your online resources and activities.  If your Moodle course meets the E-learning Baseline, it will also comply with the UCL-endorsed UK Digital Accessibility legislation. This requires us to make our entire digital estate – all UCL website content, e-learning and library systems – accessible by everyone.

Check how well your Moodle meets expectations

The Baseline Checker – a simple online form – lets you review your progress against the standards and supports you with improving your module delivery on Moodle. Submitting the Baseline Checker helps us in UCL Digital Education to identify areas for supporting that improvement.

Module leads have received an email with a unique link to complete their Checker. You should contact the Digital Education team if you have not received a link for your course

Completing the Checker should take approximately 30 minutes. Course owners should complete one form for each course you lead. If you have completed the Checker form for your module this year, you do not need to redo the full process – you can simply update your answers to reflect any improvements you’ve made since then.

Your initial check may show that your course is not fully aligned with the E-learning Baseline. Full alignment with some sections – particularly around accessibility – may take a little time, and Digital Education can work with you to achieve it.

Support and guidance

Digital Education have developed guidance on how to meet the E-learning Baseline. They can also arrange training and drop-in sessions to support colleagues.

The aim is to reach the Baseline for most Moodle courses over this academic year. Digital Education can provide progress reports to Heads of Department, to meet this target.

Contact UCL Digital Education for further support, or to request templates to help you meet the Moodle standards.