M04 - Display content directly in Moodle

Keywords: content, information, accessibility, structure, media

What is it?

Content can be displayed in a number of ways in Moodle. You can either upload files (refer to Links, files and folders), or you can add content directly to Moodle. There are a number of options for doing this and the options you choose will depend on the length and complexity of your content, and whether you want students to interact with it (e.g. answer questions or reflect on the content within Moodle as they progress).

  • Text and media area - good for heading and short descriptions or instructions on the Moodle course homepage.
  • Page - good for short content
  • Book - good for longer content that can be split (or "chunked") into smaller "chapters" of content.
  • Lesson - good for longer content that you want students to read and then answer a short question on to check their understanding, or have them reflect (e.g. a case study).

Why use it?

Adding content directly to Moodle means it is:

  • easy for you and your colleagues to update. You don't need to download a file, edit it, then upload it again.
  • you can embed videos, audioimages and other media, like Twitter feeds so students can view this directly from the browser.
  • accessible to those using assistive technologies for disabilities, and others who use these tools to study in flexible ways. (e.g. there are apps that read aloud content directly from a web browser and this often works better than reading PDFs, which have repeating headings and footer text that can get in the way). 

Who can use it?

Staff provide the content. Students can view, and in the case of lessons also interact with the content.

Before I start...

Evaluate your content and decide the best option for displaying the content, as either a file/folder, text and media area, page, book or lesson. See 'What is it?' above.

Meeting the baseline

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

  • 2.1 Include the Module Syllabus and Intended Learning Outcomes - Include these directly in Moodle, or via a link to the module handbook or departmental website.

How do I display content?

  1. Turn Edit mode on via the toggle switch at the top of your course and  go to the section of your course where you would like to add the content.
  2. To add content to the course homepage, click the + Plus symbol and then select 'Text and Media area'.  Be careful not to add too much information, or you will overwhelm students.
  3. To add content to a Moodle page that will be linked from the course homepage, choose to add either a:
  4. Follow the instructions for each of the above items.

Further help

Further guidance on Resources is available from MoodleDocs.

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.


Avoid adding a lot of text to text and media areas or section headings on the course homepage, or to single pages that mean students need to scroll to read it all. It is better to split (or chunk) this information into blocks of content, known as chapters using the book resource.

Examples and case studies

- None  at this time .

Questions & Answers

- None  at this time .

Further information

Also see: