Below is a letter from Tom Murdock originally published at the Moodlerooms blog. Flex page is a slick way to deconstruct the topic format in Moodle and use a more customizable approach to displaying Moodle pages, blocks, resources and activities. Check out the plugin database entry here: http://moodle.org/plugins/view.php?plugin=format_flexpage and the documentation here: http://docs.moodle.org/22/en/Flexpage.
Visit the Moodlerooms blog here: http://www.moodlerooms.com/blog
By: Tom Murdock, Co-Founder and VP of Product Marketing
When I was teaching full time, I looked forward to summer break as a time to decompress, but also to start re-envisioning the substance and design of my next courses. When constructing an online course, you are engaged in an act of design, whether you think of yourself as a designer or not. Placing a label in a course section in order to reduce confusion, or sequencing activities as if they were songs in a playlist, are course whisperer tasks. The instructor shapes future student outcomes by thinking deeply about the course and then surfacing the content and connections that will improve the student experience.
Today we are happy to announce the release of Flexpage for Moodle 2 to the Moodle Community.
Several years ago, we wanted to find a way that let course designers easily re-organize Moodle. To us, Moodle was like a big house; and like any house, everyone likes to organize their furniture differently. So, as part of a project for Intel, Moodlerooms developed Flexpage as a series of components for Moodle 1.
The purpose of Flexpage was to provide an instructor with even more design tools to shape the student experience within Moodle. For example, we made it possible to place course activities in the left and right columns of the page as inline objects, alongside the blocks. Likewise, we allowed blocks to be moved into the center of the course.
Flexpage also provided a way for a Moodle course to be organized on several different pages. By default, a Moodle course is designed as a single page, composed of topic, weekly, or folder sections. With Flexpage, instead of organizing part of the course in a topic, the instructor can create a whole page in the course devoted to the topic. These various pages can be visible or hidden, based on a student’s performance in the course, and they can be surfaced within topline menu navigations, or side navigation blocks.
The original Flexpage plugin was very popular and we released it to the Moodle community almost five years ago. However, when Moodle 2 was released, we didn’t have an immediate upgrade path for it. Our experience was that while Flexpage offered great flexibility, the creation and management of these pages was overly complicated. So in December of 2011, we released a newly designed Flexpage for Moodle 2 to our clients. We made numerous user experience improvements with our upgrade. Differences between the versions included a streamlined page management interface called the Edit Toolbar; and features like child pages and tabbed navigation menus helped teachers and designers put together beautiful and engaging courses and sites.
Today, after watching the success of our updated Flexpage module for Moodle 2 with our joule customers, Moodlerooms is pleased to announce our release of this component to the larger Moodle community. Flexpage is available for download from the Moodle plugin database. Users around the world can install the components on various Moodle servers; review documentation at the Moodle documentation site, and seek community support for installation, design, or instructional purposes within a discussion thread at Moodle.org’s “Using Moodle” course.
We’re pleased to be able to share this module with the Moodle community and expect to make several additional code contributions this summer and beyond that enhance core Moodle functionality.