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Simplifying your Moodle course

At this point in the semester, your Moodle course may packed with content which can lead to “Moodle sprawl” — an endless scroll of PDF files and links. Here are a few ways to reduce the clutter.

Put Files into Folders

If each topic or week has more than a few files, it may be better to create a folder and move the files into the folder. A long list of individual files can be replaced with a single folder. There is less control over the title and order of the files, but if that is not critical, a folder can simplify the student view.

Use Pages

Similarly, if you have a long list of individual web links, it is often better to create a Moodle Page and insert the links into the page. The Page format allows for more flexibility to add descriptive text or images.

Topic/week summary information or label content can also be moved to a page to reduce the amount of information facing a student on the main course page.

In many cases it is easier and more accessible to enter text on a Moodle page than to create and upload a PDF file with the same content.

Use Stealth Activities

A “stealth” activity is any item that is hidden from students but can be made available via a link. For example, if there are 5 quizzes in a Moodle course, an instructor can hide the quizzes on the main page but make them available from a link on a Moodle page to reduce visual distraction and have more control over how the quizzes are presented.

To put an activity in stealth mode, edit the settings. Goto “Common Module Settings” ==> “Availability” ==> “Make available but not shown on course page.” Then simply type the name of the stealth activity anywhere else in Moodle such as a Page, Label, or Topic summary and Moodle will automatically link to the activity.


The Moodle Documentation on Streamline your course page was the inspiration and provided much of the information for this blog post.