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Building Lessons

Planning your lesson

  • A lesson is made up of pages which may have content for the student to read or questions for them to answer. The questions can be created by the teacher or imported. The teacher decides the order in which these pages appear.
  • You need to have a clear idea beforehand of what you want to do with this lesson. Is it to be a graded, linear learning experience? Or an ungraded, non-linear practice session? Will students be able to go back and revisit areas or is it just a once-only opportunity?
  • Even those who are very comfortable working directly online might find it useful to note down on paper the direction they want their lesson pages to go in, rather than having to remember and visualize the navigation in their head.
  • For hints and ideas about using the Lesson module, look at Using Lesson and Lesson FAQ

Adding content and questions to your lesson

  • When you have set up your lesson with the Lesson settings,click "Save and display" and you will be taken to the screen in the screenshot below.
  • If you click "Save and return to course" instead, then click the "update" icon next to the lesson on the page and click "edit" in the Settings block>Lesson Administration

Import questions

  • If you have some questions in the following formats, you can import them to use in your lesson by clicking the Import questions link. For general information about these question types, see Import questions

Import a powerpoint

  • You will only have this setting if your Moodle 2.3 dates from before October 18 2012. It has been removed as it does not work. (MDL-21801) See Import PowerPoint for alternatives.

Add a cluster

  • A cluster is a group of question pages which will be offered randomly to a student as they work through the lesson.It is best if you have made the question pages beforehand and can then decide where to mark the start and end of the cluster. The start is marked by a "cluster" page and the end by an "end of cluster" page. See Clusters for more information.

Add a content page

  • This is a page where a teacher can provide information to move the lesson forward but without requiring the student to answer specific questions.
  • The student sees the page's title, some information and then one or more buttons at the bottom to select.
  • When the student clicks on a button, they go to the next page but their choice is not scored.


  • The title of a content page appears to the student at the top of the page.
  • A teacher will also see the title in the collapsed edit mode when they are working on the Lesson, and they will also be able to choose the title (and hence this page) from the drop down "jump" lists.
  • The title in a content page is also used with the "display left menu" setting.

Page contents

  • This is where the teacher can add information for the student, making use of the Text editor and its multimedia features.


  • Here the teacher writes the words they want the student to click on to get to the next part of the lesson.
  • These words will appear to the student as a button.
  • The teacher can check the box to have the buttons appear horizontally, or uncheck it for them to appear centered vertically.


  • There are 4 format types to choose from when editing text in the content description box. If you wish to have the usual rich text editing icons, choose HTML format. (Note - once you have selected an option, you cannot then go back and change your mind!) However, if you DO choose HTML format, be warned that the student will not see the changes (such as bold or different colours) in the button.

Number of options available

  • How many of these you have depends on your choice in the Maximum Number of Answers setting in Lesson settings

The Jump

  • Each Description in a Content page has a Jumps menu. "Jumps" take a student from one page to another.
  • A "relative jump" is "next page" or "end of lesson" whereas an "absolute jump" gives the actual name of a page.
  • The teacher chooses from the dropdown the correct page to send the student to if they click on the button that will be made from this particular description. Any pages created by the teacher will have their titles appear in this dropdown, allowing them to be selected.
  • When a student clicks on a description button, they are sent to the page defined in the Jump associated with the button.
  • See Jumps for more detailed information.

Add a question page

  • From this link you can choose from a variety of question types which will then be added as pages to your lesson:

  • (Note: These question types are not the same as for the Quiz and are in no way connected with quiz questions.)

Question types


  • The student is given a question and a list of answers. The answer list will be shuffled every time the question is view by a student. By default they choose one answer but you can check the box "multiple answer" to allow them to choose more than one answer.


  • Students can write a longer answer as part of the lesson and this can be graded manually by the teacher. If the main purpose of your lesson is for students to write an essay, consider the Assignment module instead.


  • This allows you to set up lists which must be matched against other lists, for instance, words, pictures, numbers etc. The student must match all correctly to receive the score.


  • This requires a number as an answer. A number within a range may also be accepted as correct. The range separator to be used is the colon : For example, to accept as correct any number between 10 and 12 (10, 11 and 12) you would type 10:12 in the Answer box.

Short answer

  • A student must provide a single word or short phrase answer. The teacher must anticipate the possible answers and enter them in the Jump dropdown boxes, using ** wild cards if appropriate.


  • The student is given a sentence and must decide if it is true or false.

Moving your lesson forward

  • Once you have added your first content or question page, you reach the next screen which displays your page title/type/jumps (ie where the responses take the student to) and actions you can take next:

  • The Actions icons allow you to move (if you have more than one), edit, preview or delete your pages.
  • The drop down allows you to create another page of your choice:

  • Note the different view options:

Collapsed view

  • This gives a brief outline of the lesson structure as in the two screenshots above.

Expanded view

  • This shows more detail as in the screenshot below:

Ending your lesson

  • To bring the lesson to a close, select the "End of Lesson" option from the Jump menu on any relevant pages.
  • The student will then see a generic message as in the next screenshot, with a direction back to the main course page or to view their grades:

Using Lessons


What the student sees

  • A student clicking on a Lesson will see an introductory page with one or more buttons which they choose from to select the path they wish to take.
  • The display may vary according to how the teacher has set up the lesson in Lesson settings. For example; there may or may not be a list of pages down the side; there may or may not be an ongoing score.
  • Students progress through the lesson with either content pages (of information, which is not graded) or various types of question pages(which may be graded) When a question page is used, the following page gives the answer and feedback if offered:

  • The lesson is ended when the student has met the criteria set by the teacher. This could be answering a certain number of questions correctly, accessing a certain number of pages with content (text, audio or video) or following a certain navigational path. A final page appears where the student can check their score, if applicable, and return to the main course page.

What the teacher sees

  • A teacher clicking on a lesson will see tabs at the top offering them the chance to preview, edit, view reports or grade essays in the lesson:


  • The lesson opens up in preview mode for the teacher. However, it will not show the score unless the teacher switches their role to a student.


  • The Edit tab allows teachers to alter the lesson once it has been set up. There are two views - Collapsed and Expanded. See Building Lesson for more details on editing the lesson.


  • The reports tab shows the performance of students taking the lesson. There is a general "Overview" and a "Detailed Statistics" tab.


By clicking on the specific attempt, the teacher can view the student's answers to specific questions. It is also possible to delete a student attempt by checking the attempt and using the pull down menu to change "Choose" to "Delete".

  • Below the "Overview" can also be seen general statistics: Average score, Average time, High score, Low score, High time, Low time.

Detailed Statistics

More detailed reports on individual questions are available from this tab, as in the following screenshot:

Grade essays

  • Any essay questions which have been set in the lesson can be accessed and graded here.

Grading lessons

  • Note that for a lesson to be graded, it must have at least one question where a student can receive a score and the lesson can not be a practice lesson. Grades are calculated when the student has completed a lesson. Grades are kept for every student attempt.

Understanding Flow control

  • Settings > Lesson administration > Edit settings > Flow control group
  • Here are some examples to help you understand the Lesson flow control settings. Please note:
  • "Allow student review" setting applies to the review of a whole Lesson, whereas
  • "Provide option to try a question again" setting applies to the review of an individual question page. When the student does not select the correct answer, 'Provide option to try a question again" setting will display 2 buttons. One will direct the student back to the question and the other to continue.
  • "Maximum number of attempts" is designed to prevent a student from being stuck on "This page" where they continually put or select the wrong answer. It will override other settings, such as review or the option to try the question again. When exceeded, it will not allow a score to be recorded for that question.

Case 1

The teacher wants the student to be able to attempt any question no more than 3 times and be given the chance to answer the question again. The teacher wants the student to see the response attached to their answer.Flow control settingsAllow student review YesProvide option to try a question again NoMaximum number of attempts 3Display default feedback NoNumber of pages to show 0Slideshow NoStudent selects wrong answer and will see:"Response for the wrong answer" (if any is shown)"Yes, I'd like to try again" button"Continue" button.Student selects correct answer and will see:"Response for the correct answer" (if any is shown)"Continue" button

Case 2

The teacher wants to allow the student 3 attempts at all questions but not see any feedback except the site default feedback for wrong answers.

  • Flow control settingsAllow student review NoProvide option to try a question again YesMaximum number of attempts 3Display default feedback NoNumber of pages to show 0Slideshow No* Student selects wrong answer and will see:Not quite. Would you like to try again? as text over the"Yes, I'd like to try again" button'"No, I just want to go on to the next question" buttonNote: If the wrong answer jump is set to "This page" and the number of attempts is under the maximum, then the student will return to the question, regardless if they select "No, I just want to go on".* Student selects correct answer and will see:"Your answer: {gives the student's answer)"Response attached to the correct answer (if any)

    Case 3

"Speed bump for speed clickers". Teacher only wants the student to get once chance to record an answer on any question. They will only see the response the teacher provides for any question, or the default feedback if no response has been set for the answer the student selected.

  • Flow control settingsAllow student review NoProvide option to try a question again NoMaximum number of attempts 1Display default feedback YesNumber of pages to show 0Slideshow No* Student selects wrong answer and will see:"Response for the wrong answer" (if any is shown)"Yes, I'd like to try again" button"Continue" button.Note: When teacher sets the Jump to "This page" for a wrong answer, they will return to the page but their score will not change.* Student"Response for the correct answer" (if any is show)"Continue" button

    Ideas for using Lessons

  • Because of its "branching" nature, the lesson module lends itself to a wide variety of activities, not all of which need to be graded. In addition to merely working through a list of question pages, here are some other suggestions:

Self-directed learning of a new topic

  • Use the lesson to introduce a new topic. The learner starts out knowing nothing but can progress at his own pace, reviewing what he is not sure of and moving on when he feels ready. This can be much enhanced by...

Allow for different learning styles

  • When using the lesson to introduce a new topic, offer pages that deliver the content in different ways, according to how the students prefer to learn. For example the button "do you prefer to read?" goes to a page of text; "do you prefer to watch a video?" goes to a screencast ; "do you prefer to listen to instructions?" -goes to a podcast and so on.

Role play simulations/Decision-making exercises

  • Use the lesson to set up situations where the learner has to make a choice each time and the scenario changes according to their selection. This could be a medical emergency for example, deciding upon the correct treatment, or a customer relations exercise, learning how best to deal with an awkward client. In an educational establishment it could serve well in Humanities subjects considering moral/ethical issues.

Interactive fiction

  • For younger (and not so younger!) students, the lesson can be used to create a "choose your own ending" type of story where the student reads a page (or even watches a video/listens to an audio file) and then decides upon the character's next move. Apart from the entertainment value of this, it could be used to help guide pre-teens to behave responsibly by taking decisions for a character who is in a potentially dangerous situation.

Differentiated revision guides

  • Students can be taken to different sets of revision questions according to their answers, allowing them to progress from basic to intermediate to advanced according to their prior knowledge.


  • Have any other good ideas? Please add them here!
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