A must watch Moodle Design Presentation by Stephan Schmidt @ozesteph1992 (+ 13 helpful videos)

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If you’re not planning on attending any upcoming Moot or local presentation, have no fear: you can have your own personal professional development session about Moodle just by sitting back at your computer and listening to Stephan Schmidt’s “Think Outside the Square with Moodle” presentation recorded this past April 6th.  Of the session Stephan (@ozesteph1992) says,

I will show you how to think outside the square with Moodle, by showing you an alternative way to build your online course – a technique/principle that works around the scroll of death in Moodle…..well sort of.   Let’s build the shell together and you enter your own content.

The 2 hour session highlights Stephan’s background in working with Moodlers and different LMSs and how he’s managed to create some of the most striking Moodle sites and courses (that hardly look like Moodle).  You might say that much of his success comes from putting himself in users’ shoes and asking “what looks good?”  He goes on to explain and showcase several tips and tricks that even the non-tech savvy can exploit to create fresh, consistently laid out and navigation friendly Moodle courses.*

You can watch the entire session, all of the supporting tutorial videos and presentation slides by visiting

Just one example of Stephan's anti scroll Moodle design...

Below is the first of 13 short videos that also help to illustrate Stephan’s presentation [direct link:]

For all of the resources go to:

*Note that many of the features and methods that Stephan employs are made possible by the Book module which is not a standard Moodle module.

10 Responses

  1. I am also a big fan of Moodle books, as a scroll of death remedy, but also all the other learning components or assets that make Moodle…. well Moodle.

    I applaud the visual outcome Stephan creates and would also suggest collapsed topics offer a similar end. One questions for Stephan and the community, if topics are set to 1, can grade items be sent to gradebook from the unseen topics?

    Defintely a strong contender for ‘best looking course’ now this needs marrying to best learning course.’

    I will defintely be using the visual headers and footers Stephan, great idea.

  2. Great work Stephan! I attended the presentation and it was great and very helpful. Learned some new tips such as the use of headers and footers for consistency. Thanks Stephan!

  3. Hi Kristian & Zifang,
    thanks for the feedback I am pleased to hear that you find it useful.
    Kristian: In regards to your question I am not a 100% sure I haven’t tried the gradebook yet with this type of design, but given that I am not ‘hiding’ anything only visually show week/topic 1 it should still work. When I get a second I’ll will test it and see how it behaves. I also would like to invite others who may know the answer to Kristian’s question.
    Thanks everyone – Stephan (@ozesteph1992)

  4. Assignments and grades are still logged for those activities as usual. Note that you should not ‘hide’ the resources/activities, they only become invisible by changing the # of course topics and remain unchanged (but not shown to students)

  5. I watched the screencasts with fascination and admiration. This is a clever way to get Moodle to bend to your design will.

    Is there any concern about the reliance on so many internal hyperlinks (ie absolute paths vs relative paths)? If I export a class and import it to a different server, would many of this links stop working?

  6. Zach, it’s a great question. Since you’re creating the links manually they would probably all break and need to be recreated if you restored the course to another Moodle site (or even made a new copy on your current site). This is definitely a consideration you’ll want to make in your course design… Part of the reason Stephan’s advice (80% planning/20% building) is so vital to the process.

    While the course design is top notch, its ability to be moved, restored or changed is affected. If you’re interested in course formats that might make some of this possible without affecting the courses modularity/mobility you might check out some of the 3rd party course formats (project, flexpage or condensed topics). Some of those can alleviate the “scroll of death” while maintaining your course’s ability to be shared/restored elsewhere.



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