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Matrix for creating engaging online learning activities.

Table of Contents

Use this matrix to see how Moodle activities can enhance your students' learning.

First questions

  • What is it that you are trying to achieve?

  • What is that your students are meant to achieve?

  • what type of teaching intervention are you after?

  • Which learning outcomes do you want to support?

You may also be interested in the Learning Designer tool, which can help further to allow moving your teaching online. By choosing various activities from different cognitive levels it creates a chart for you to see the proportions of learning levels are met in your lesson. You will have to register, but it is free to use (under (CC)).


Choose the right Moodle activities to support the right learning types*/ cognitive domains*

Cognitive domains ('Bloom’s taxonomy revised')

On which to map learning outcomes

and useful verbs to assess these

Laurillard's 6 Learning Types

(ABC approach)

Learning Types explained

Moodle activities that support domains and/or types

How and why? (Links are to our Moodle Guides)


Recall information:

Recognise, list, describe, retrieve, name, find, identify isolate, name.


Learning through acquisition is what learners are doing when they are listening to a lecture or podcast, reading from books or websites, and watching demos or videos.

Resources: documents, videos, weblinks; reading lists, uploaded lectures (Echo360), folder, book:

At its most basic, Moodle is a space for students to access resources and information. Think about structuring these carefully so as to avoid clutter and scrolling. Use folders. For course information consider using a book which will declutter the main course page and allows students to concentrate on learning activities. Use reading lists and echo lectures. Consider using only one link that students can return to rather than one for each week. Choose the grid format to add visual appeal and improve navigation.


Explaining ideas or concepts:

Arrange, categorise, edit, interpret, illustrate summarise, paraphrase, classify, explain.


Learning through investigation guides the learner to explore, compare and critique the texts, documents and resources that reflect the concepts and ideas being taught

Hot questions, database; reading lists, quizzes, polls, choice, lesson, H5P. Q&A forum, Questionnaire:

Hot questions allows students to flag up, in real time, what they haven’t understood in lectures or classes, or what they want a revision class to focus on, or give answers to questions from the teacher.

The H5P activity can be used to produce interactive learning objects containing a variety of media (video, audio embedded quizzes);

The lesson is a structured and individualised pathway that guides students through a piece of learning.


Using information in another familiar situation:

Apply, implement, carry out, use, execute, demonstrate, manipulate, use, show.


Learning through collaboration embraces mainly discussion, practice, and production. Building on investigations and acquisition it is about taking part in the process of knowledge building itself

Wiki, database, forums, blogs, glossary, zoom meetings

Students may benefit from initial testing (applying) their acquired understanding with their peers. Moodle has plenty of tools that encourage peer communication and collaboration. where forums are particularly simple, familiar and accessible. A collaborative wiki, a databse, general forum or blog, all can be used for structured projects that help develop new ideas together in small groups or across a course. A glossary allows students to build up new understanding and subject vocabulary for and with each others. Small group projects can be presented to other groups in seminars using zoom.


Breaking information into parts to explore understandings and relationships:

Analyse, classify, illustrate, combine, compare, organise, deconstruct, interrogate, criticise, contrast.


Learning through discussion requires the learner to articulate their ideas and questions, and to challenge and respond to the ideas and questions from the teacher, and/or from their peers

AsynchronousForums, synchronous chats, study guides, blogs, zoom tutorials, student presentations via zoom, hot questions.

Communication with peers, in informal and formal settings is an essential starting point to examine and critique new notions and theories (= the ‘analyse’ learning stage). Moodle supports this well and asynchronous as well as synchronous activities can be set up. A critical part of this is moderation. If moderating is left to students (the teacher steps back), then clear instructions and expectations have to be given. If teachers engage actively in fora discussions, then they must take care that they do so in a timely manner and do not answer their own questions, as well as making sure every contribution is welcome and considered.


Justifying a decision or course of action:

Appraise, argue, assess, judge, justify, hypothesise, critique, experiment, summarise, validate.


Learning through practice enables the learner to adapt their actions to the task goal, and use the feedback to improve their next action. Feedback may come from self-reflection, from peers, from the teacher, or from the activity itself, if it shows them how to improve the result of their action in relation to the goal.

Quiz activity , Lesson, online presentations (via zoom or teams), Wikis , Assignment activity, Glossary.

Weekly Problem sets can be set up as quizzes. Lessons are used for students to answer case study assignments. Hand over zoom control to students to give presentations. Use polls (using the choice activity) to allow others to evaluate their peers' performances. A glossary can be set up with allowing students to rate each others' contributions and enable a low profile peer assessment activity.


Generating new ideas, products, or ways of viewing things:

Calculate, change, create, design, , construct, plan, produce, invent, tell, write, synthesise.


Learning through production is the way the teacher motivates the learner to consolidate what they have learned by articulating their current conceptual understanding and how they used it in practice.

Wiki, discussion forums, padlet, peer marking, multimedia presentations,

Students can produce shared digital documents in wikis or Forums, or using the database activity; students can create and upload multimedia, eg podcasts, videos, photographs.

Summative assignments submitted for peer marking or normal marking.

Blog posts and comments can be used for summative assessment.


* Note: cognitive domains and learning types are not equivalent/ do not map against each other exactly. This matrix contains suggestions about how Moodle can support create learning activities based on either 'learning levels theory', or in conjunction.