Teaching with Moodle

One course (many topics) vs many courses...

Picture of Michael Roberts
One course (many topics) vs many courses...

Hi all, I've recently started playing with Moodle (there's been many trials already!) and had a quick question.

Background: I teach IB Chemistry which is a 2 year course with 11 standard level topics, 10 higher level topics and a choice of 1 out of 4 option topic (with standard level and higher level aspects). Each of those topics has a number of sub-topics. Some students are SL while others are SL+HL.

Question: Would it be better to have 1 course, with all the topics (I was thinking about the collapsed topic plugin or grid plugin) OR to have each topic as a course and break down the sub-topics as topics?

Pros and cons that I can see immediately:

1 course: All grading available in one area, but huuugggeee! Plus I will be rolling this out slowly (roughly each topic just before it's started in class). Not sure about hiding HL content from SL students - or whether I'd want to (let them explore further if they're interested in the subject)

Many courses: Can keep courses hidden while work in progress. Grading (and other information from plugins) cannot be easily carried between courses? Can restrict access to HL courses (to avoid information overload / confusion... sometimes the HL have a different method due to exceptions that get introduced!)

Any thoughts on this? How would you set it up?


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Picture of Dave Emsley
Re: One course (many topics) vs many courses...
Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Michael,

My gut feeling is to create small courses based on topic.  However I would look at linking them using a metacourse.


Hope this is some help,


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Re: One course (many topics) vs many courses...
Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersParticularly helpful MoodlersTesters

Hi Michael

Would it be possible to do 2 courses, one for standard level and one for high? Do you run on semesters or have breaks where it may make sense to chop the course into smaller chunks based on timing?

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Picture of Chris Kenniburg
Re: One course (many topics) vs many courses...
Particularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers

What is the trigger that would put a student in standard or higher level topics or is it fluid and they move between the two?   

You can show/hide topics based on group enrollment and have everything in one course.  

For the 1 out of 4 optional topic you can use the group choice activity which would allow the student to pick a new group which would then in turn reveal the optional topic of their choice.  

Just some initial thoughts.

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