Moodle 3.2: Maximise the City Course Format

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As you think about the design of your Moodle modules for the new academic year, this blog post provides some tips to maximise the City Course Format.

All taught Moodle modules at City are created with the City Course Format to provide students with:

  • a consistent layout for Moodle modules across a programme;
  • quick access to key information, links and activities at the top of a module;
  • an overview of the content of a module, while reducing scrolling using collapsed topics.

We revisited the City Course Format to check if it is still meeting student requirements during our user evaluation sessions in Term 1.

Students reported that that the format was helpful in quickly locating important links and activities via the Module Dashboard. They found collapsed sections useful in providing an overview of the module content.

Module Dashboard and Collapsed sections

Module Dashboard and collapsed sections

Tips to maximise City Course Format

Assessment section

During our user evaluation sessions, our module had an assessment topic located near the top of the module content. This section contained all assessment criteria and activities, including assignment submission areas. Students reacted positively to having all relevant assessment information located in one section at top of the module.

Assessment Section

Assessment section

Signposting sections and content

Provide meaningful names and short summaries for each week/topic to help students easily locate relevant content. Longer summaries will be truncated and the truncated text will only be visible to students when they open the section.

Students responded positively to well structured sections, where it was obvious when they were expected to engage with the content: e.g.  pre-lecture, additional reading, required reading. You can use the City styles to provide well-structured sections.

Structured section

Structured section using City styles


Blocks on the right

The City Course Format is designed for a two column layout with blocks on the right. Standard blocks (Quickmail, Module updates, Module events and School Student Information) are added by default to all new modules. Key functionality, including reading lists and contact information, are linked through the Module Dashboard.

To maximise your module layout we recommend limiting the amount of blocks that you make available for students. Blocks default to the end of a module page when users are accessing Moodle on a mobile device, and the information contained in these blocks can easily be missed by students.

Add/update your contact details

Contact details are available to students in a consistent location across modules using the City Course Format. Lecturers and Course Officers need to add/update their contact details from their Profile.

Staff contact details will then appear in the links to Lecturers and Course Officers on the Module Dashboard. For Course Officer contact details to display, staff need to be enrolled in the Course Officer role on relevant modules.

Indicating the Module Leader

If a module is taught by a module team you should indicate the Module Leader(s) so that students know who to contact. This needs to be done module-by module. Students will be able to view the Module Leader(s) and their contact details from the link to Lecturers on the Module Dashboard.

Module Leader

Module Leader



Do you have any other tips to maximise the City Course Format?

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