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Moodle’s random glossary entry block

Bernadette ParryBernadette Parry is the Client Support Coordinator at eWorks. Her role involves juggling all sorts of client-focused tasks including start-up TVC training, advanced Moodle training and support desk services. A self-confessed Moodle ‘geek’, Bernadette loves to discover new ways to navigate and make the most of Moodle. Today she shares some insight into the creative use of Moodle glossary to engage your learners.

Moodle has a glossary?

Moodle’s glossary is a collection of entries that can be added to Moodle. I recently read a blog on excellent alternative uses for the Moodle glossary and found some of these suggestions both interesting and surprising. It’s amazing what you can do with a little creativity:

  1. Bizarre facts– use the glossary to treat your students to a host of bizarre facts.
  2. Graphics and images– there is the option to add pictures to the glossary and this can be a great way to relay facts and important information beyond text definitions.
  3. Biographies– of famous people that are related to the course topics can be included in the glossary.
  4. Student of the day– grab your students’ attention by letting them see themselves in the course! Personalisation taken to a whole new level.
  5. Quotes– use powerful quotes to motivate and inspire your learners.
  6. Movie library– list movies or TV shows related to the course. Be creative, cast the net wide and your students will pay attention.
  7. Book club– list books that are relevant to the course for learners to read. Again think outside the circle with this one in an effort to engage and encourage retention.

You can see the whole post here.

Random Glossary Entry block

The Random Glossary block sits on the Moodle sidebar and pulls a new entry (at random or sequentially) every day.  This means that the page looks different every day a learner visits it. Include a random glossary entry block to further engage your students in their learning. Think of it as encouraging ‘accidental’ learning!

This block has been set up to change the concept and definition daily, so that each day a new term can be displayed on the course page.


Alternatively, you can change the title of the block, and show just the definition, so that your students will really need to THINK! If they don’t know the answer, they can click on ‘view all entries’ to find out.


Turn it around, and have just the definition displaying, testing your students a little more with each visit. Note: to do this, make the definition the ‘concept’ and the ‘concept’ the definition in the glossary.


Time to play with the settings

By playing with the settings of the Random Glossary block, you can:

  1. allow students to add to the definitions (with files attached if you like)
  2. add/remove the links to view all entries, or add an entry. This means you can enable your students to add entries to the glossary (or not), and to view all the entries in the glossary (or not).
  3. have different terms change daily, weekly, or your chosen timeframe – maybe have ‘word of the week’.
  4. change the heading of the block.

But wait, there’s more!

For more Moodle tips and tricks you might enjoy other popular blogs by Bernadette:

  1. SCORM and Moodle: Common issues and easy solutions
  2. Visually track you learners’progress (Moodle’s progress bar)
  3. Gathering feedback from your Moodle courses

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