Whilst there is much written about how to structure Moodle courses, there isn’t quite so much about how to structure a whole Moodle site.
Moodle has a hierarchical structure.
At the top we have Categories, and of course sub-Categories. Site administrators can make decisions about deep to display the sub-Category structure on the front page.
If managed well, many Moodle sites may have also have development Category, where courses in development but not ready for release yet, could be located. Also an Archive Category, and perhaps many archive sub-categories, where courses from previous years, semesters, or discontinued courses can safely be housed.
It’s vital to think carefully about how you want to organise your site so the hierarchy makes sense to teachers and students. For example, a Lesson about RAM might go in a Topic about laptops, which will be part of a ‘Foundation in IT’ Course.
Logically all IT Courses will be housed in one Category – for example ‘Technology’.
A well organised and logical Category and Course model makes sense for Teachers, and even more importantly for learners (who may be accessing multiple Courses), and this structure also makes it easier for the IT department or Moodle administrator to manage the site.
The ways Students and Teachers able able to navigate between their courses are numerous – from the Front Page, using the Navigation Block – with care taken around how Course links are displayed here, and the Dashboard (previously Home, or MyHome).
One thing to avoid is creating hard-coding HTML links for example, as although Moodle Course ID numbers are unlikely to change, these may become more confusing or redundant when new core functionality is introduced.
Finally, don’t underestimate the potential use on the custom menu at the top of the Front Page. Although this requires some manual setup (and likely maintenance) by the Moodle site administrator, it can provide another, or even alternative method for providing direct links to Categories and/or Courses, depending on the scale of the site.
Ultimately there is no right or wrong way to structure your site – but there are better ways, and not so good ways !
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