General guidelines for course content

Note

If you are copying and pasting content over from a Word or PDF document, you may find that extra (unnecessary) styling is also copied over into the HTML editor field in Moodle. To remove this use the ‘clear formatting’ option in the Moodle editor.

These are some general rules of thumb that we have found useful when developing courses so they ‘look good’ on the mobile device, although clearly much depends on the screen size of the devices your learners are using:

  • Number of sections/topics per course module: up to 10 sections/topics.
  • Activity titles: we’ve found that about 4-6 words max will work best when displayed on the mobile.
  • Number of activities per section/topic: up to 10 activities. There is no requirement for a particular order of activity types.
  • Course/Activity icons: although there are generic icons for each activity type, your course will look more attractive if you can add custom icons/images for each activity.
  • Length of page content: as a rough guide approx 200-250 words is the most that will fit on each page, otherwise the user may need to do a lot of scrolling.
  • Images: try to keep the filesize of images down as far as possible, although the course/activity icons are automatically resized on export, other images contained within the activities are not. Best to keep an image files below about 400px wide.
  • Media content: long videos may be uncomfortable to view on a small screen, we suggest keeping videos quite short (less than 3-5 mins). Consider splitting you videos into different parts if you really need to include long video content. As with images, try to keep the video filesize as low as possible, users are unlikely to need very hi-res versions of videos if they are viewing on a 4″ screen. We use Handbrake to convert our videos, using the ‘Android’ preset – this always gives a good balance between video quality and the filesize.
  • File resources: we discourage including long pdf files or presentation type files for 2 main reasons, (1) it can be hard to read long pdfs/presentations on smaller screens and (2) users may need to have specific apps installed to open these types of files.