Year-end lists are an easy excuse to write a blog post, and I thought this year I would shout out some of the Moodle plugins I found to be really cool/helpful/inspiring. They aren’t necessarily new, just new to me. These are all plugins I either added recently to UP’s Moodle or am rolling out next semester. So, here goes, in no particular order:
Moodle is at it’s best when used as a social collaborative learning environment and Moodle groups are a key method to support that pedagogical approach. But sometimes groups can be a chore to manage. This awesome plugin lets students opt into joining the groups of their choice or even provision their own groups. More learner agency and less work for instructors is a win-win.
Boost Campus Theme
I’ve had our site rocking the Boost theme since it first became the standard and have had few complaints. But, what complaints I’ve had, the Boost Campus theme addresses. It keeps the layout and overall look very familiar offers the option to enable all sorts of little quality of life improvements.
My favorite things about Boost Campus are the subtle re-organizing of the navigation drawer that somehow makes it much more intuitive, the improved settings menu, and the return of an ever-present “Editing On” button!
Kickstart Course Format
Our faculty often struggle with their new, blank-slate course shells. It’s generally a lot of support work to guide them in importing past course content or in figuring out how to provide useful course templates. The Kickstart format looked like it could solve that problem for us, giving faculty a useful dashboard of options when they first hit their new semester courses. We tried the free version which allows three templates and we were impressed enough that we purchased the premium version which allows unlimited templates and course imports. A bonus feature, strangely unadvertised, is that when courses are imported via the premium version of this plugin, it automatically updates the due dates for assignments based on the start date of the new course. A simple thing, but I had multiple faculty sending me overjoyed emails as they found out they didn’t have to manually change a bunch of dates!