When you're building your Moodle course, you may find that using the standard topic/week blocks on the main page is not the most ideal way to present and apply your content and learning activities. The topic blocks can be handy, but they can comprise a "scroll of death" (note one way to avoid this here) and tend to present like a database and 'list' things like downloads and quizzes and assignments without many real options to contextualise them or present them in a 'fuller' learning sequence.
Another option you might like to consider is avoiding the topic/week blocks altogether and using pages in the Book Module application instead. This allows you to present content and learning activities more creatively and with more contextualisation - not as a simple list of downloads.
I've provided overviews and ways to build book module content here, but in this case what I'd like to show you is a way to link directly to your book module pages from your main menu/course header... AND still feature downloadable assignments or quizzes and assignment uploads.
First of all, look at the link just provided on how you can access and build a book module. Now you want to build a menu bar on your main page in the header section (again, how to do this is demonstrated here). You want to end up with something along the lines of this:
Now, the idea is to link from the different parts of that menu to different individual book module pages. So open up the book module you produced and go to one of the pages you want to link to directly from the main page.
When you have that book module page open, highlight the URL as per the example below and copy/control+c:
Return to your main course page and click to edit your course header with the menu you produced. Highlight the part of the menu you want to link to your book module page and then click on the link button:
When the link builder opens, click into the Link URL box and paste/control+v the URL of the book module page. Then click on update.
After you've put in your link and updated/saved changes, that section of your menu (when clicked) should take you directly to your book module page:
Okay, so that's all fine and dandy... you've linked from a menu to one or more book module pages. But what about things like the downloads, quizzes and assignment activities? Aren't we going to need to open up topic blocks to feature those?
Well, sure, but that doesn't mean the learners have to see/use the actual topic blocks, and it doesn't mean we can't feature those downloads/links/quizzes/assignments right inside the actual book module pages.
Essentially, what we want to do is build all the downloads and activities into topic blocks, turn the topic blocks themselves completely invisible so the learners won't see them at all, then link to those downloads and activities from the relevant book module pages.
The result will be a simple clean interface with a menu on the main page, no topic/week blocks to speak of (as far as the users are concerned), direct links to nicely formatted book module pages and then downloads, quizzes, assignments integrated into the book module pages.
Here's what I mean (and how to do it!):
Hope that gives you some tips and tricks to consider in setting up a slightly different approach to your Moodle course.
Check out more Moodle tutorials on this blog.