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Moodle Markdown – hidden treasure Part 1

Have you ever heard of Markdown? And do you know you can use it in Moodle?

This is part 1 of a short(ish) series of posts about Markdown.

Many people who have used Moodle for years are blissfully unaware of what Markdown is, and how it can be used in Moodle.  Admit it, you are one of these people eh?

As an introduction, let’s have a mini history lesson…

John Gruber created the Markdown language in 2004 in collaboration with Aaron Swartz with the goal of enabling people to “write using an easy-to-read, easy-to-write plain text format, and optionally convert it to structurally valid XHTML or HTML”. [Adapted from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markdown]

OK, so for us in the Moodle world, this simply means we could enter text and formatting using a simple easy-to-read and easy-to-write system.  This is different to writing HTML, where you have to know the corrects tags to use, and these tags make the HTML view difficult for us humans to read easily.

The key design goal for Markdown is readability – that the language be readable as-is, without looking like it has been marked up with tags or formatting instructions, unlike text formatted with a markup language, such as Rich Text Format or HTML, which have obvious tags and formatting instructions. [Adapted from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markdown]

OK, so now we have an idea of who, when, and why Markdown came into existence.

Starting next month, we will look at how you can actually use Markdown within Moodle, and some of the advantages it may have.

If you already use Markdown, do post a reply here to let us know !?

Stuart Mealor
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Stuart Mealor

Stuart is interested in all things e-learning, with specific interests in Moodle, e-learning strategy, and business development. His experience in education over 30 years, MBA in International Business, and knowledge of e-learning systems implementation, together with graphic design background, give him a unique skill set for e-learning projects.

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