There are at least four drivers for wanting to use a Module Template:
We have run the Jisc Digital Experience Tracker for three consecutive years and students have been clear that they want greater consistency on Moodle.
The Template will help ensure we comply with our duties under the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
We can meet the expectations of our students by ensuring easy access to accurate and up-to-date information.
The Template has been created in tandem with the new curriculum structure for September 2019.
Student feedback on the subject of Moodle module standardisation has been growing, both in the recent surveying conducted for the Moodle theme refresh at the beginning of the 2018–2019 academic year, and as part of the Jisc Digital Experience Tracker in 2017 and 2018.
Students have requested that key information be easily accessible on Moodle modules, and that equivalent information be found in the same place in modules across their course. The Moodle Baseline hopes to fulfil these requirements and provide a structured and cohesive section at the head of each of the module pages for students to access this information.
The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 is the UK implementation of the EU Web Accessibility Directive 2016. These requirements will be applicable from 23 September 2019 for websites published after 23 September 2018, and from 23 September 2020 for pre-existing websites. After these dates all public sector websites (University websites fall under this heading) must adhere to specific accessibility standards laid out in the regulations.
This legislation should merely cement the accessibility standards that we should already be maintaining, as creating accessible content is should always be a primary concern for content creators on Moodle. Ensuring your content is Accessible not only ensures as many differently abled students as possible can take our courses, it also improves the experience for all students that access those courses.
The Moodle Baseline helps content creators to add essential content to their modules in an accessible and easy to use way. For example combining the Moodle Baseline tabbed block with the existing 'Jump to...' list menu removes any need for custom navigation to be created for Modules – something that is often created with little regard to adhering to simple accessibility guidelines. To read more about Accessibility implications of this legislation and guidance for your modules see the Accessibility section of Moodle Best Practice.
The Department of Student and Academic Administration has a remit to ensure that students receive everything that is advertised to them as part of their course, this includes providing the most accurate information possible to students about course content. The Moodle Baseline will provide this information directly to the students in the most up-to-date way possible.
Technology Enhanced Learning were tasked by the Curriculum Framework Review Group to produce a standard template to streamline the student experience with Moodle in line with the teaching structure refresh happening in the 2019–2020 academic year.