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Using Moodle Checklists for Student Workload Management


Using Moodle's 'checklist' activity, Andrew Brendon-Penn and Alexa Kirkaldy have streamlined the process of tracking upcoming and completed assignments for their students and created the opportunity for tutors to make sure that their students are not behind their coursework. The weekly checklist is easy to set up and customise; it also contains links that take students to all the relevant Moodle pages with further details, which the students 'tick off' once they have been completed or read. If they wish, students may also add their own entries to the checklists, which are not visible to the tutors. An implementation of the Moodle checklist further enhances the clarity of the course's structure for the students, saving them time and extra effort.


Andrew Brendon-Penn, Mathematics Institute

A photograph of Andrew Brendon-Penn

Lesson plan

  1. First, the tutor/module leader creates the weekly checklist using the 'checklist activity' on Moodle. Detailed instructions on how to set up the checklist can be accessed here.
  2. The tutor then includes links and further details into the checklist, so that the students can use it as a landing page from which to access all of their readings and assignments for the upcoming period.
  3. Once the checklist is set up, the tutor can introduce its functionality to the student, explaining that its use is voluntary but preferable and that their inputs will not be gathered as information identifying any particular individual. The tutor should also explain that students may add their own items to the checklists, should they wish to do so.

Tutor's observations

Andrew: We realised that the students are very anxious about keeping track of everything this year. Their structure has disappeared, and so it is a way of trying to give them back some way of keeping control, some structure ... [where] we can suggest the structure, and they can also be in charge of it. ... From our side of things, it's a very easy, little tiny tool that you can use -- it takes minutes to set up... The barrier to entry is very low. The students seem to know how to use it very quickly, it doesn't seem to be difficult for them to access it, since it's already in Moodle.

Alexa: Most tutors spend an awful lot of time putting material together for students; and, I think, because students have been working remotely, it's really difficult for them sometimes to see... the wood from the trees, and to figure out what's important and what their priority should be. ... I think that's given students a really good direction to go in to then be able to branch out into the information that is available once they become familiar with the topic, the format...

Using Moodle Checklists for Student Workload Management
Andrew Brendon-Penn
Mathematics Institute
Alexa Kirkaldy