After a few philosophical (I was just as surprised….) and travel posts time its to get back to something practical.  I’ve been building a moodle course with a group of colleagues.  Our goal is to compile resources, activities, and share perspective on the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.  As we built it, it took a turn to becoming an unwieldy string of resources that is hard to navigate and find anything in.

I’ve been working on reformatting it to make it easy to navigate and have everything accessible off of a main set of icons, hyper linked to pages organized by topic.  The secret to my organization is putting everything in one section or topic.  You can’t put everything in the first topic, in fact you should leave it blank.  If you hide a topic, the resources in it are blocked and inaccessible.  If you dump everything in another topic then change your settings to only have one topic, the activities can be hyper linked to, but are not shown on the main page.

In step by step directions:

Setup a moodle course with at least 2 topics
Add content (activities, links, resources) to any topic other than topic 1. Leave the topics as visible (eye icon open)
Compose a webpage under the Add an Activity option. On the webpage create hyperlinks to all of the activities, links, and resources that would have normally gone under one topic. Each activity you create has its own unique URL, all you have to do if copy and paste the hyperlink when a given activity is open.
Use the URL of the new pages you’ve created to hyperlink to an image or text on the main page. It is this hyperlink to a page with a set of activities on one topic that replaces an entire section on moodle. The main icon set can be one or two, or a table with a dozen choices. The main icon set, hyper linked to pages organized by activities, replaces a long string of moodle topics. It is much easier for students to choice an image than scroll through a long list.
To hide all of the activities so you just see the main icon set:1) Hide the first topic by choosing the eye icon to be closed (there should be nothing in this section anyway, and it must be there by default)2) On the main settings administration page choose for hidden sections to be completely invisible and for there to only be 1 topic. This makes the makes the extra topic sections disappear, but the activities can still be accessed by hyperlinks.
Hopefully my steps make sense. I often get told to quit speaking geek and to speak English, I’m especially bad when I get going on moodle. Let me know if you have questions!