Is Flexpage right for me? Five benefits of Flexpage in Moodle™ 2
Open LMS Inc. recently made a great contribution the open-source Moodle™ community by releasing the Flexpage course format for Moodle™ 2. Flexpage is one of the most versatile course formats created for Moodle™ 1.x and its new and improved version is now available for anyone who wants to install the module in their Moodle™ 2 instance.
I have been working with Flexpage for years and it is by far my favorite type of course format because it allows instructors to build courses with virtually limitless layouts and navigational design options. This unique course format allows the creation of a flexible set of pages and sub pages where blocks resources and activities can reside in any location. Instructors have control over how they want to present course material and assessment to students. You may be asking yourself “Is Flexpage right for me?” If so here are five major benefits that Flexpage provides which might help you make up your mind!
#1: Content arrangement
Using Flexpage instructors can create courses with multiple navigation options even allowing content to be displayed in-line for many modules. Course activities like pages behave like a block and can live in any of the four designated areas on a flexpage. Instructors can break down content in many places and put it where it best serves the end-user. With Flexpage there is no need to display activities and resources all on one page (like with topics or weekly format). In the image below you can see the areas in which you can place content/ modules in a flexpage including a top region left and right columns and a center panel (denoted by the red boxes with dotted outlines).
#2: Conditional release in Flexpages
The Flexpage course format allows instructors to create conditional release rules for not only resources and activities but also for entire flexpages. These settings can be chained together to enable progressive disclosure of flexpages as desired. Access can be restricted based on time grade completion of an activity or on Joule’s Personalized Learning Designer release codes (if you are working from a Joule code base).
#3: Optimized course building interface
Flexpage 2 has an action bar allowing instructors to add elements to the course and change the settings of menus and flexpages from one quick and convenient location. If you were a Flexpage 1.x user you will notice that the action bar has replaced the page tabs (Add Page Manage pages and Manage Activities). In addition to the easy-to-use action bar the entire building interface is much improved making use of AJAX and modal windows allowing instructors to create course elements without the time consumption of multiple page refreshes. In the image below the action bar is close to the top and highlighted with an orange box.
#4: Using templated Flexpages for a consistent look and feel
In the past one of the most time consuming tasks in Flexpage was adding repetitive blocks in every single flexpage of a course to create a consistent look and feel. Flexpage 2 now gives instructors the option to copy existing flexpages using them as a template. By copying an already created flexpage instructors can create cohesive courses with increased ease of use for students since creating a new page from an existing page means it will already have blocks menus and content positioned in the same place as the original flexpage!
#5: Flexpage menus
Menus built by the course designer provide the navigation necessary for users to move through the flexpages in a Flexpage format course. There are now three simple to create menu types for flexpages: Tree Horizontal Navigation and Drop-down. Menus allow instructors to create navigational links to four different locations activities in the course: another flexpage a sub-flexpage an external URL or another flexpage menu. Menus can reside in multiple locations in a Flexpage course meaning that instructors have the ability to design the navigation deemed best for the end-user. The menu you see in the left column on the image below is an example of a Main Menu.
Today’s post only highlights a few of this fascinating new course format’s abilities. If you would like to learn more about Flexpage sign up for one of Open LMS ’ webinars Flexpage 2 and What's New in Flexpage 2. You can also check out the notes provided to the community on Flexpage here: Flexpage on Moodle.org.
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