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

What is it?

The Book resource doesn't have much to do with real books, but displays collections of web pages in a sequential, easy-to-navigate and printable format. They are especially useful when you have a lot of web 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. Books feature a Table of Contents on the left hand side, indexing any number of web 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 Book with content that is subject to change, such as a module handbook. In a nutshell, the advantages are that:

  • Content can be updated as frequently as needed, in contrast with word processed or PDF format files that must be uploaded again.
  • Different media can be employed, 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• A single central version can assist with version control, compared to uploaded files which may be downloaded and fall out of date.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 material.
  • Content works well on any size screen.
  • Book contents can be printed or exported to other digital formats.

However, 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 e-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 E-Learning Baseline suggests the following for Structure: 

How do I set one up?

Add a Book quick guide

  1. Turn editing on, click Add an activity or resource, select Book, and Add
  2. Enter a Name and Description
  3. Click Save and display

Adding Chapters

  1. Upon opening the Book for the first time you will be prompted to add a Chapter title and Content
  2. To add new chapters, Turn editing 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 Name and Description
  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 my book up and want to make changes, but I don't see the usual edit icons?

A. If you don't see the edit icons when you are trying to edit the book, use the Settings menu and under Book administration click Turn editing on.

Q.  Can I import content directly into a Book? 

A. You can import web (HTML) files directly into your Book. To do this:

  1. Open the appropriate Book and click the plus symbol to add a new chapter (which appears below it). Within the Settings block and under Book Administration click Import chapter
  2. Choose the zipped folder of a single or multiple HTML files that you want to import and whether each HTML file or folder represents a single chapter. Click Import

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 arrows located to the top-left and bottom-left of the content. Users can also print out the whole book or individual chapters using the icons at the top left of the content.