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Plan and set up a lesson

A Lesson is used to create 'branching' exercises using content and/or questions. Once a student has read the content or answered the questions, they will be required to make a choice. Their choice determines which page they are shown next in the sequence.

Lesson may be used:

  • To create very simple sequences leading students through information.
  • To set up complex, many-branched structures that tailor the learning very closely to students' needs.
  • To test the basic knowledge level of students in your courses.
  • To indicate the kinds of readings students, particularly those with less knowledge, should do to catch up.
  • To manage formative assessments in the course.

In this guide:

Why should you use a lesson?

There are several reasons why you might decide to use the lesson activity, such as:

  • For self-directed learning on a new topic
    • Gives students more autonomy over their learning
  • Allowing for different learning styles
    • For example, give students the option to either read content or watch a video
  • Role-play simulations and decision-making
  • Creating a 'choose your own ending' type of story
  • For differentiated revision guides

For more ideas for using the Lesson activity, see Moodle Docs.

Planning a lesson

  • You should have a clear outline of what you wish to do with the lesson, i.e. a graded linear learning experience or an ungraded, non-linear practice session. Will students be able to go back and view or will it be a once-only opportunity?
  • It is advised that a flow chart is produced as part of your planning for the lesson, even for simple lessons.

Setting up a lesson

  1. In the Moodle space, click Turn editing on.
  2. Click Add an activity or resource.
  3. Select Lesson from the list.
  4. Give the Lesson a Name and Description.
  5. To leave all other settings as default, skip to point 9. Alternatively, we have listed some key settings and features for you to review below.
  6. Under Appearance upload files, add a progress bar and review further display options.
  7. Under Flow control select whether students can review the Lesson, whether they can attempt a question repeatedly, and decide what happens when they answer a question correctly.
  8. If you have Activity completion switched on, you can specify a minimum amount of time to be spent on the lesson before it can be marked as completed.
  9. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save and display.

For more detailed guidance on setting up a lesson, see Moodle Docs.

Building content in your lesson

Now you have created your lesson, you can start adding content. These instructions are based on the 'collapsed' view - select the Collapsed tab to follow.

  1. In your lesson, go to the Edit tab.
  2. Select what you would like to do first from the options. It is likely you will first want to Add a content page.
  3. Give your content page a Name and add your Content.
  4. Under the Button text headings, add the titles for your next pages in the Description fields.
  5. Click Save page.
  6. Under Actions, you can now create your next page. Select which type from the drop-down menu and continue to add all of your pages.
  7. You can now map your pages accordingly. Go back to your first content page and click the  Update page icon.
  8. Under the Button text headers, you can now select which pages you want students to choose to see next. Select the relevant page in the Jump drop-down menu.
  9. Click Save page and repeat for all other pages.

For more detailed guidance on building your lesson content, see Moodle Docs.


The information on this page relates to Moodle v3.10 and was last updated November 2021.

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