Today I am reviewing the Course contents block for Moodle 2. This block provides an alternate in-course navigation to the standard navigation block.
It helps achieve a similar outcome to the other module Course menu Block that I reviewed.
What does it do?
This development for Moodle creates a table of contents for the course it is added to. This is a list of all the topics or weeks that the user can see (so hidden ones don’t show). The name of the link is created from (in descending order)
- the section name (if defined)
- Short extract from the section summary
- Unit X (where X is the number)
The nice aspect is that if you click on the link, it will focus on that topic/week so you only see that topic if you are already focusing on a topic. Thus helping avoid that “scroll of death” people talk about. If you are not focusing, it just jumps down. So this follows your decision on how you look at the course.
The author also explains that you can use this with the multi-lingual aspect of Moodle to show the correct menu for the different languages depending on profile choice which is a good feature.
Is it simple to install?
After I downloaded the zip, and unzipped it there was a folder called course_content. I uploaded this into the moodle/block folder of my Moodle site. When it was installed through the notifications page it produced no errors and created no global settings.
Is there documentation for it?
The plugin entry has a brief overview on how it works and the a Moodle Docs page outlining the how it works, and explaining how to install from GIT or how to get the zip file. It also provides an example of how the link name is created from summary HTML section.
Is it easy for the teacher/admin to use?
Yes, this is a simple block which is easy to add to the course. Just add the block and it works. Of course if you don’t have section names set, you should be careful about what you add to the section summary to ensure you get a good consistent menu, so I recommend to use the section name.
Once it is added, there are no extra options, this is a very straight forward block which does what it says.
Is it easy for the learner/student to use?
For the student this provides a clear menu which they can help navigate around the course. The normal site navigation block does not provide a feature to jump to the correct topic, only resources so this block can really help in-course navigation.
Does it do what it promises?
Yes. This is a good block to consider which has an immediate benefit to help the navigation of your courses. It has just been updated and with the contributors you expect it to be always uptodate. The choice between using it and using the Course menu block will be a matter of which features are most important to you.
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.
This work by Gavin Henrick is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.