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March 09, 2018
If your Moodle page is particularly long and involves a lot of vertical scrolling, you may find it useful to add a 'Table of Contents' block to the sidebar of your module. This is really quick and easy to set up, and works particularly well for modules which have a lot of content on the landing page, such as those using the 'Topics' course format. It allows students to simply click on a menu at the top of the page which will take them straight to the section they want to view.
A quick disclaimer: For courses using the 'Collapsed Topics' format, you may find this tip less useful given that the collapsed sections essentially already act as a table of contents. The same can also be said for courses using the 'Grid' format, and in fact on the grid format the 'Table of Contents' block doesn't currently seem to open up the sections properly (at least not on our Warwick's Moodle site).
Adding the Table of Contents block
Firstly, you will need to 'Turn editing on' for the page via the cog in the far top-right of the module page. This will allow you to add content.
Next, at the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu, choose 'Add a block', as highlighted in red below. If you can't see the left-hand navigation menu, you may need to toggle it on by clicking the menu icon in the top-left of Moodle (also highlighted below).
You will then be presented with a list of possible blocks to add to your page. In this list, select 'Course Contents', as highlighted below.
You will now see the 'Table of Contents' block appearing in the right-hand column of your module page, with the list of sections already populated, as shown below.
You can also now move, show/hide, or configure the block. It's the 'configure' option (via the cog drop-down) that we'll look at next, which can be selected via the cog dropdown.
Configuring the Table of Contents block
On the configure screen, there are a few options available underneath 'Block settings' which I will briefly explain.
- Block title - This overwrites the title of the block if you would rather it say something other than 'Table of Contents'.
- Enumerate section titles - This option is on by default and places a number in a small grey box next to each menu item, as can be seen in the screenshots from earlier.
- Auto title - Instead of lifting the text of each menu item from the section title, it will instead lift it from the section summary (If you are not sure what a section summary is, have a quick look at my other post on 'Using Moodle Labels'). This is probably not advisable if you are using particularly long section summaries, but if they are very short and work better in the menu than the default section title then this could work for you. Note that this option only works if you are using the 'default section name' for each section. If you have specified your own title for a section rather than using the default ('Topic 1', etc) then your own title will still take precedence over the section summary.
I hope you have found it useful to learn how to add the 'Table of Contents' block to your page, and perhaps this is something you may consider providing to help students navigate your course if your Moodle page is particularly long.
If you have any queries or would like further support on your module page, please feel free to contact me.