Skip to Main Content
Banner Image
ESR & Bethany Resources
Friends Collection & College Archives
Facilities & Services
Library Home

Moodle Help

This guide is designed to assist with Moodle 4.1 questions.

Best Practices for Maintaining an Online Presence

Maintaining an Online Course Presence

There are several things to consider when developing a fully online course OR a course with online components. To learn about best practices in the preparation of online courses, click the highlighted link. Note that you must be logged into your Earlham account to access the information.

Tips: Online Discussions

Managing Online Discussions

Discussions, when utilized properly, teach students to utilize higher-order thinking skills, which will benefit them in all aspects of life. Consider the following to implement effective online discussions: 

  1. Provide a model of an exemplary discussion post. You can use an example produced by a student in a previous term (with their permission).
  2. Consider requiring variation in student responses. You can require students to incorporate class readings to support their responses. You can also consider implementing the 3C+Q method, as outlined by Johns Hopkins
  3. Make sure students understand how they will be graded. You can achieve this by providing students with a rubric of how the discussion will be graded.
  4. Consider incorporating video responses. You and your students can upload video responses using Kaltura.

All of these recommendations were inspired by the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering.

Tips: Online Lectures

To create online lectures, do the following:

According to Quality Matters, online lectures should be between 6 to 15 minutes, and long lectures should be broken up into smaller videos. To make quality online videos, consider the following: 

  1. The majority of online lectures worldwide are "homemade" videos recorded by a faculty member narrating a slide deck on their computer and/or using their webcam -- even at large state universities and for-profit online institutions. 
  2. Test your computer microphone and/or headset in advance. 
  3. Speak slowly if possible, as this will help automatic captions. 
  4. It's OK to flub your lines, etc. This is where shorter lectures make things easier for you. You don't necessarily need to start over unless you think your lecture needs major improvement. Remember the power of the pause button.
  5. Inform students what they should be tracking as you transition to new segments:
    1. "Be sure to understand the 5 characteristics of X."
    2. "As we begin the next section, recall the 4 elements of Z and pay particular attention to how they link with the 2 types of Q that I'll be introducing as we move forward."
  6. Moving a face-to-face course online does not mean pushing all of your lectures online.  In other words, if you lecture for 150 minutes every week in your MWF 8-8:50a course, please avoid recording 150 minutes of equivalent lectures every week and putting them in Moodle. For further guidance, contact the Moodle team at

Tips: Academic Integrity and Online Quizzes

Maintaining Academic Integrity

While online, it is impossible to prevent students from taking quizzes and finals with open books or open note. Instead of thinking of quizzes as a way to assess student memorization, think of it as an activity to reinforce or support lessons. Some examples of the above are the following:

  1. Apply a concept that was covered in class to an example that wasn't exactly discussed or included in the textbook so answers can't be found in open notes or textbooks.
  2. Allow students to retake exams multiple times and let the highest score count.
  3. Ask questions about concepts instead of exact answers.
  4. Give students a list of options that are not an exact thing, but ask them to pick which one is most like the thing. (None of these songs are by Beethoven -- which is the most like Beethoven)
  5. Change from multiple choice questions to open ended responses.
  6. Have students engage in a real-world related skill, such as writing a review, writing a report, etc.

If you want to keep using traditional quizzes in Moodle, there are a few tweaks that could make it more difficult for students to share answers. Do the following:

  1. Change when correct answers are revealed: Moodle's default setting is to let students see the complete answers as soon as they finish their quiz attempt. To change this, go to quiz settings, located under review options. Uncheck all the options in the columns, making it so results and correct answers are not revealed until after the quiz is closed. 
  2. Question Bank: ​You can set up a bank of questions so that students are asked different questions. This is more work for faculty and can be less fair for students if there is varying difficulty in the questions.

Earlham College • 801 National Road West • Richmond, Indiana 47374-4095