Check Out These ‘Ginux’-Based Instructional Design Secrets For Effective LMS

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Gisele Bruger, MSc, Computer Scientist with a decade and a half of devotion to the Moodle community in Brazil, including the twice-yearly MoodleMoot, recently invited the community in São Luís where the last one took place last month into her open kitchen, to share with everyone her favorite Moodle recipes.

Ginux” is the name that since 2007 she carries for her independent consulting on open source technology, focused in education and Moodle. She earned her Masters in Linux Network Administration, just another exhibit to her commitment to open source in education.

The following tools are available for Moodle and Moodle-based LMS (Totara, Blackboard Open LMS, Learnbook among others). Similarly features LMS may offer similar functionality. Ask your admin.

Her favorite course formats

  • Tiles. One you don’t see on the popularity charts, but one that resonates with the visual tinkerer. More than just an arrangement of images, each tile provides a surprising degree of flexibility and information about the course and student progress.
  • Grid. A classic and unanimous favorite. Clicking an icon will bring the sections content in a lightbox style display. Again maintained by Gareth so can’t doubt about its code support.
  • OneTopic. A twist on the built-in “Topics” format. It shows each topic in a tab, in such a way that when you return from a module, it takes you back to the tab from where you started.
  • Buttons. This one creates a snappy menu with buttons to access the sections.

Her ‘hidden’ or rather stealthy secrets

A few tweaks in the Moodle settings might be hidden in plain sight. Thanks to this Moodle sleuth you can set them up and look like a pro. (May require Moodle 3.6 or newer.)

  • Stealth activities. A stealth activity lets you add interactive content across your course modules (or “orphaned’) without showing them to students. They can still access it with the direct URL.
  • Conditional activities. A growing set of conditions and combinations thereof are available to determine who can (earn the right to?) access a given activity.
  • Context freeze. An experimental feature that lets you set content as “read only.” Meaning students can access them but their interaction will not be saved and it will not modify the content. Ideal for demos, showcases, proofs of content.

Her Atto enhancements

A full category of Moodle plugins covers the Atto editor, one of the default tools for Moodle. They extend the basic functionality, often adding an icon on the toolbar or enabling special commands (shortcodes, or in Moodle lingo, filters)

Check out the full list of Atto plugin types. Mix them up for extra special effects!

See Brugger’s full set of advice on her presentation slides. (Google Slides, Portuguese)

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