M01e - Best settings for navigable, usable Moodle courses

This guide helps staff choose the optimal settings for helping students find what they need in their Moodle course.

Choose a Format

The Course Format influences how the content sections of your Moodle course display. 

Enable complementary Blocks

Choose and position blocks on the page that will help students and staff navigate and see new content and announcements.

Succinct, meaningful titles and names

Sections are the central parts of your Moodle course where you link to resources and activities. Give each Section a succinct title so that the various menus and links generated by Moodle are meaningful (rather than the generic and unhelpful Topic 1, Topic 2, etc). This helps students orientate themselves, build a mental model of the course, and navigate between sections.
Make all your names succinct, meaningful, and distinct from each other. If you can't cram all the information you need into the name or title, then supplement by using the Description or Summary field for that element.
But do keep names and titles short.

Show all sections on one page? Or one per page?

If using Topics Format or Weekly Format, you may notice from your course Settings that you have the option (via Course Format > Course Layout) to either 'show all sections on one page' or 'show one section per page'. However, you only see the difference if you keep the Section Summary very minimal.  You can use a Text and Media Area resource (formerly a Label) for any text you would otherwise place in the section summary. 

Please know, with the Onetopic Format (Tabs) you can't configure the course to show all sections on one page, even though it looks as though you can. Showing one section per page in this format may also add topic 0 above the tab navigation. This looks a bit odd and is to be avoided. 

Further information on course formats is available in the UCL guide on Moodle course formats.

Minimal course home page

Of course, this is your judgment call. That said, the more there is on any one web page, the harder it is to make any one thing stand out, or to indicate relationships and importance.
Moodle seems to invite you to put everything on your home page - but in fact gives many opportunities for a deeper structure.
For example, the Book resource is a collection of web pages with its own navigation. Gallery lets you display collections of images. Folders let you post collections of texts behind a single link.