Today’s review Module is the much downloaded module for 1.9,  Book Module. It provides an easy way to create multi-page resources with a book-like format and navigation.

Background

Book has been around since 2006. It is available for Moodle 1.8, Moodle 1.9 and Moodle 2.0. It is maintained by Petr Å koda.

What does it do?

Where people sometimes create a sequence of web page resources in their courses which then add the the scroll of the course page, using Book helps address these issues. The Book module is basically a series of web pages collected together in chapters and sub chapters as appropriate, so on the course layout its one link, but that opens up to show the book index and content.

So where a course may have a document/pages on things like course overview, course objectives, learning objectives, course requirements, course schedule, reading list, and so on, these can now be maintained in one resource. Or perhaps its a collection of

It may be a simple tool but the use cases are quite broad and it is really quite powerful. One of the aspects I really like is that a learner can choose to either view on the web, or print out one chapter or print out the whole book in one go. But still the teacher can manage it all page by page.

Book has also the ability to mass import content. So previously created websites can be directly imported into the Book module. And you can also export your created book as an IMS Package for others to use in different LMS.

Is it simple to install?

Although the block source is managed in GITHUB all versions of the block are download-able from moodle.org including the Moodle 2.0 version.  The source code is available for browsing through the GitHub web interface. The zip when downloaded holds one folder which contains the files for the block.

You need to upload the book folder to your modfolder in your Moodle site.

When upgrading through the notifications page, I got no errors and it just installed. There was three new global settings as shown below which allow for some simple changes.

Book Global Settings

 

 

Is there documentation for it?

The Plugin Entry for Book has no instructions but it links to the Moodle Docs page which provides information on installation, adding a book and viewing a book. The links on the Docs pages also include a detailed PDF of how to set up the book module which was contributed by Frances Hill of Oldham Lifelong Learning Service.

The comprehensive README file provides good information on the module, some of its design choices and the historical changes.

There is also a very active dedicated forum for discussions on the Book module.

Is it easy for the teacher/admin to use?

Using this tool a teacher can easily package together a suite of pages and content into a chapter-ised learning resource. Adding pages are as easy as using the html editor and media can be easily added and embedded into the resource.

However, advanced users can use their extra html skills or even jquery skills to provide enhanced interactions. One example I have seen of this embedded jquery use is the ID demo site of Remote-Learner where they use some nice interactivity within the book content.

The book does not track like SCORM, or add grades to the Gradebook. Its just a resource, but a very easy one to use.

Is it easy for the learner/student to use?

The student just uses it the same way as any resource type. They can access it and read the content, navigating either by chapter names or using the ICONS on the right side of the book entries, like flipping a page over.

Book View

They can also choose to print the chapter out, or print the whole book out. If they choose to use a pdf spooler they can have a PDF version for offline reading on their Ipad, e-reader etc.

Does it do what it promises?

Oh yes. Through reading this review its probably no secret that I find this a must have tool for your Moodle 2.0 install. This is a very useful tool for the teacher and institution for content creation, management and for students.

The flexibility and simplicity enable so many different use cases. I have seldom come across teachers who didn’t want to avail of this module. Its easy to install, use, and has great support through documentation and forum.

Stars: 5 out of 5 stars for this block.

 

**Standard Reminder**

These reviews check out the plugin for usability not for security. If you are considering installing any module on your site you should also check that is secure and does not impact the server performance.

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