The best Moodle extensions you might not have heard about

Update 3 July 2020: This post is showing its age. Most of the information contained here is now out of date. I’m leaving the post here so there is a record of information about the book I wrote all those years ago.

Last year I wrote a book titled Moodle 1.9 Top Extensions Cookbook. The timing wasn’t great as Moodle 2.0 was just about to be released. Although much of the content is relevant to 1.9 and 2.0, the publishers (Packt) insisted on being version specific. I hope to have the chance to update the book in the future.

I gave a presentation at the Australian Moodle Moot (MootAu11) and I’ve had a few requests to share that presentation since, so I thought I would flesh out my presentation into a more digestible form.

Moodle 1.9 Top Extensions Cookbook

ISBN : 1849512167
Publishers Book Page
Moodle Books page

Moodle receives a 5% royalty on all Moodle books published by Packt.

To receive 20% off when you buy this book or eBook direct from the publisher, enter the discount code MoodleTopEx20.

I’ll start at my number ten and work my way to number one.

10: Course Contents block

Course Contents Block

The Course Content block creates an automatic table of contents for a Moodle course. I’ve often seen instructors doing this manually.This is a handy tool when course pages grow long.There is only a version for 1.9 available. In Moodle 2.x there is the Sections block, but it does not show section titles like the Course Contents block.

AuthorDavid Mudrak
David Mudrák

9: Translation block

Translation Block

The Translation block allows you to translate strings into multiple languages, right in Moodle.Application ideas:

  • Language classes
  • Common words in multiple languages (Sudoku, café)
  • Crazy re-translations
  • Translating Moodle strings

There are numerous similar alternatives, but this block works nicely.

Paul Holden
Compatibility1.7 to 1.9

8: Hidden Text filter

The Hidden Text filter allows you to reveal hidden snippets of content, as students read it.

Application ideas:

  • Micro-formative assessment
  • Annotations
  • Avoiding over-complicating content
  • Hiding “Easter eggs”
Hidden text before
Hidden text after
AuthorDmitry Pupinin
Dmitry Pupinin
Compatibility1.8, 1.9, ?2.0

7: Map module

Map module

The Map module allows you to embed dynamic maps into your course. It allows you and your students to add markers on the map.Application ideas:

  • Allowing students to show holiday destinations
  • Geographically, historically or politically significant locations
  • War zones

The potential of this module is really huge.

AuthorTed Bowman
Ted Bowman
TypeActivity Module
Compatibility1.8, 1.9

6: Twitter Search block

Twitter search

The Twitter search block allows you to micro-blog with your students.Searches are based on a configurable hashtag and could be used to search for:

  • Institutional notices
  • Teacher tweets
  • Student tweets
  • Topical news
  • Info popular for students
AuthorKevin Hughes
Kevin Hughes
Compatibility1.9, 2.x

5: Progress Bar block

Progress Bar block
Progress overview

The Progress Bar block shows students their progress in a course. It’s an easy way to help students monitor their progress and to motivate them to complete set tasks in the course.In the Moodle 2.x version there is an overview page that shows teachers the progress bar of each student. This allows teachers to see which students are keeping up and which are falling behind.

AuthorMichael de Raadt
Michael de Raadt (yours’ truly)
Compatibility1.9, 2.x

4: Group Selection module

Group Selection module

The Group Selection module allows allow students to sort themselves into groups. Once student choose their groups, the groups work as normal Moodle groups.Application ideas:

  • Project groups
  • Interest clubs
  • Research collaborations

This is something I have heard lots of instructors calling out for.

AuthorDavid MudrakPetr SkodaHelen Foster
David Mudrák, Petr Škoda, Helen Foster, Anna Vanova
TypeActivity module
Compatibility1.9, 2.x

3: Feedback module

Feedback module
Feedback analysis

The Feedback module allows you to create custom surveys and analyse the feedback.Application ideas:

  • Attitudinal feedback
  • Student input into future content of a course
  • Express opinions on topical issue
  • Collecting data for statistics lessons

The feedback modules is included as a standard module in Moodle 2.x, but is hidden by default

AuthorAndreas Grabs
Andreas Grab
TypeActivity module
Compatibility1.5 onwards

2: Collapsed formats

Collapsed formats

The Collapsed formats allow you to avoid the dreaded “Scroll of death”.Sections can be toggled open and close. The format sets the current week or topic open automatically and each user’s state is remembered when they return to the course page.There is a topics format and a weekly format.

AuthorGareth Bernard
Gareth Barnard
TypeCourse formats
Compatibility1.9, 2.x

1: UploadPDF


The UploadPDF assignment type allows you to mark and annotate assignments without leaving your browser.The only downside is that students have to upload a PDF document, but that’s not such a big deal any more.

AuthorDavo Smith
Davo Smith
TypeAssignment type
Compatibility1.9, 2.x

I struggled to narrow my favourite plugins to a top 10. The following plugins were also great.

  • Lightbox
  • Book
  • Wikipedia filter
  • Peer Review AT
  • Online Users map
  • Mindmap
  • Shoutbox

If you’d like to see my original presentation. Here it is…

2 thoughts on “The best Moodle extensions you might not have heard about

  1. Dan Poltawski September 17, 2011 / 3:15 am

    I’d be careful of depending on the translate widget as it looks like its using the Google Translate API which is shutting down soon (and thus the block will likely stop working 😦 )

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