Moodle Modelling in Nine Steps

So I had time yesterday to peruse some online courses and came across the site, which offers 400 free interactive online courses in areas like business and enterprise skills, digital literacy and IT skills, as well as many other areas.  I decided to do the course ‘Introduction to Instructional Systems Design (ISD)’ and it was a great all-encompassing snapshot of ISD in the process of developing instructional courses and resources.  I personally gained a lot of insight from it but also had much of the way I’ve operated as an educator validated and confirmed through the information shared.  Its comforting to know that the approach I took to planning and preparing programs and resources for my classroom teaching was on the right track with good instructional design.  I love processes and models that can help guide my thinking, I have always been into that kind of cognitive organisation and logical sequencing of my own learning and others’.

Anyway, the course covered topics like: ISD models, learning theories, the role of memory, needs analysis, subject matter experts, learning objectives, delivering and learning technologies.  Within these topics many models were introduced that I had heard of, and some I hadn’t, and I love exploring what these mean for preparing learning and teaching resources.  One such model that I really liked was Dick and Carey’s ISD model, which to me is a more detailed extension on the ADDIE model.  Sourced from

This model to me was a very detailed and well-structured progression of the process I would take if preparing new resources or revising older and being intentional in doing so.  I don’t believe in religiously sticking to a model and only doing as is dictated by the model but these ISD models do give me a structure and foundation from which to go from.

This wiki, Burleson’s Grad Work, has a page that graphically explores many models and theories and being a visual person myself, I found it very useful in seeing the models next to each other and comparing them.  They might be helpful in the future even as a reference point. However, that does raise the point of how valid are these models in how we plan for learning and teaching today, and for using the technologies we do.  Being a big user of Moodle, how would these apply to me as I perhaps designed/redesigned a course in Moodle?

When I think about that I think that Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction is probably a good guide in terms of how I might design the learning experience in a Moodle course.  Gagne’s model is a great cyclic model that addresses motivation, engagement, background knowledge, memory, retention and more.

Gagne's Nine events of instruction model

  1. Gaining attention – Doing this in Moodle could be simply having the right headings for topic/weekly sections and an effective layout designed that is not cluttered and includes an appropriate image.
  2. Describe goal – The topic summary area to me would be the ideal place to put topic/week’s goals and objectives.
  3. Stimulate Prior Knowledge – A review quiz, a discussion forum or something similar, could be used to recall prior and background knowledge on the subject matter.
  4. Present material – can be done in any number of ways but short and sweet is definitely good.  I would use a Moodle book module for this as it can offer so many opportunities in presenting information whilst making it easy to navigate as well.  Books can include audio, video and images as well to present information in a way that is accessible for all learners.
  5. Provide guidance – be available through forums and other communication activities within the course and provide adequate scaffolding for activities.
  6. Elicit performance; practice – get students to apply new knowledge and information, reflect on it in a Moodle blog and present a summary or product showing how they applied the information.
  7. Provide feedback – this can be through the Moodle forums or by commenting on blog posts and summaries etc that are presented.  Peer feedback is also very valuable and could be done through forums, blog comments and through perhaps a Moodle workshop module as well.
  8. Assess performance – many Moodle tools can be used for assessment purposes, including forums, workshops, quizzes and more.
  9. Enhance retention and transfer – to me this could simply be a statement of how this topic or new information can be useful in the long-term and how it will be built onto in coming topics/weeks.  Giving a preview of the next steps and how this particular subject matter will play a part in what is to come will help students see relevance and significance, which will in turn help transition them to next topic and retain engagement.

My thoughts, and as always, comments are welcome…

Dick and Carey image sourced from

Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction model image sourced from


15 thoughts on “Moodle Modelling in Nine Steps

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