M21 - Lesson

Keywords: lesson, branching, questions, learning package.

What is it?

The lesson module presents a series of pages to the student who is usually asked to make some sort of choice underneath the content area. The choice will send them to a specific page in the Lesson. In a Lesson page's simplest form, the student can select a continue button at the bottom of the page, which will send them to the next page in the Lesson.

Why use it?

Lessons can be used to build structured pathways through learning materials and test knowledge as students make progress.

Who can use it?

Tutors or Course Administrators can set up Lessons.

Students can then take Lessons. 

Before I start...

Planning your lesson is very important, and can be helpful later on. A lesson is made up of pages which may have content for the student to read or questions for them to answer. The questions can be created by the teacher or imported. The teacher decides the order in which these pages appear.

You need to have a clear idea beforehand of what you want to do with this lesson. Is it to be a graded, linear learning experience? Or an ungraded, non-linear practice session? Will students be able to go back and revisit areas or is it just a once-only opportunity?

Even those who are very comfortable working directly online might find it useful to note down on paper or a digital whiteboard the overall plan and design for the lesson pages, rather than having to remember and visualise the navigation in their head.

Meeting the baseline

The  UCL E-Learning Baseline  suggests the following for  Structure : 

  • 1.2 Minimise cognitive load - Avoid overloading the front page by placing content off the main page in Pages, Books, Folders, Lessons and by hiding unused items.

The Orientation category suggests that you should:

  • 2.2 Explain participation requirements:
    • Identify which activities are compulsory and optional.
    • Provide an indicator of effort (such as timings or page counts) for all compulsory tasks.
    • Explain how students are expected to use UCL and external e-learning tool. Some courses might provide this information as a screen-cast video, with a voice over.
    • Link to instructions for any e-learning tools that students are expected to use.
  • 2.8 Outline the Intended Learning Outcomes for every activity and resource in the description and provide a clear overview of what the student is expected to do.

How do I set one up?

The only required setting for a Lesson is the name (i.e. what appears in the Moodle course). While many of the settings are important to consider, you may want to revisit them once your lesson is created, rather than worrying about them from the start. Click the  icon to see contextual help for that setting if you're unsure.

  1. To add a lesson to your course page, turn on the edit mode  toggle in the top-right of your page.
  2. With the  edit mode  toggle on, choose the  + icon  to add items anywhere in a section. Simply click on the course page, in the section wherever you want to add your activity. This will open up the  activity chooser, allowing you to select your activity or resource. You can still add content from the bottom of any section, as you did in the previous version. To do so, click  add an activity or resource  to open the  activity chooser.
  3. Select lesson.
  4. Give the Lesson a name (as mentioned above you can always come back to the other settings later).
  5. Click save and display  to see the lesson or  save and return to course  to save and return to the main course page.

Further help

Further guidance on the Lesson activity is available from Moodle Docs.

If you find any inaccurate or missing information you can even update this yourself (it's a communal wiki).

If you have a specific question about the tool please contact the Digital Education team.


None at this time.

Examples and case studies

None at this time.

Questions & Answers

 Q. Can I import questions to a Moodle Lesson?

A. If you have some questions in the allowed formats, you can import them to use in your lesson by clicking the Import Questions link. 

Further information

See Moodle Docs.