M04c - Book

Keywords: Moodle, book, HTML, chapter, content.

What is it?

The Book resource is a series of connected Pages, it displays collections of mini web pages in a sequential, easy-to-navigate and printable format. They are especially useful when you have a lot of content but don't want it to clutter the front page of your course. Pages can contain links, images, embedded YouTube videos, etc., as they are constructed with the Moodle Text Editor.

When you select a Book, you'll see its Table of Contents on the right-hand side, displaying any number of Pages (known as chapters) and sub-pages (sub-chapters). Students can use the Table of Contents to jump to a page or click sequentially using the arrow buttons.

If you want to test students' understanding of the content, use a Lesson instead, where you can ask a question at the bottom of each page.

Why use it?

It is good to use the Book resource with content that is subject to change, such as a module handbook. In a nutshell, the advantages are:

  • Content can be updated as frequently as needed, in contrast with word processed or PDF format files that must be uploaded again.
  • Different content can be used, such as video.
  • A single central version can assist with version control, compared to uploaded files which may be downloaded and fall out of date.
  • The clickable table of contents is automatically generated to help readers navigate the material.
  • Content works well on any screen size.
  • Book contents can be printed or exported to other digital formats.

If typography and layout are more important than currency, version control, or media, you may prefer to stick with PDF file uploads.

Who can use it?

Course admins and tutors can create booksand all enrolled users on a course can view them.

Before I start...

You should consider categories 1 and 5 of the UCL Connected Learning Baseline:

  • Category 1, Structure .   Ensure that your Book is presented in a meaningful, clearly structured, and sequenced way using headings, labels, and section overviews.
  • Category 5, Resources . Make use of descriptive titles. Maintain links, and the currency of material contained within your Book.

Meeting the Baseline

The  UCL Connected Learning Baseline  suggests the following for  Structure : 

  • 1.2 Minimise cognitive load - Avoid overloading the front page by placing content off the main page in Pages, Books, FoldersLessons and by hiding unused items.

How do I set one up?

Add a Book quick guide

  1. Turn edit mode on, then click the plus (+) symbol or 'Add an activity or resource' and select Book.
  2. You must then enter a Name and you have the option of including a Description.
  3. Click Save and display

Adding Chapters

  1. Upon adding a Book for the first time you will be prompted to add a Chapter title and the Content.
  2. To add new chapters, Turn edit mode on and click the plus (+) symbol next to any of the existing chapters in the Table of contents on the right hand side.
  3. Repeat the process of adding a Chapter title and Content.
  4. Click Save changes.

Further help

Further guidance on Book settings can be found on Moodle Docs.

If you find any inaccurate or missing information you can even update this yourself (it's a communal wiki).

If you have a specific question about the tool please contact the Digital Education team.

Questions & Answers

Q.  I've set up my book and want to make changes, but I don't see the usual edit icons?

A. To find a Book's settings, select the Book and click 'Settings', (or while on the course's homepage, turn edit mode on and towards the right of a 'Book', click the 3 dots (ellipses) and select 'Edit Settings'.)

Q.  Can I import content directly into a Book? 

A. You can import web (HTML) files directly into your Book. To do this, select a book you've already created:

  1. Then select 'Import Chapter'.
  2. Next, choose whether each HTML file or folder represents one chapter.
  3. Browse for and select the zip file, either using the Add button or the drag and drop method.
  4. Click the Import button.

Further information

Chapters and sub-chapters can be navigated by clicking on the chapter name in the Table of contents. Students can also move through the Book using the 'Next' and 'Previous' navigation buttons. Users can also print out the whole book or individual chapters by clicking the 'More' tab at the top of a Book.