The first example I thought of was a literature teacher. Imagine a teacher who was teaching the literature of George Orwell for example. Now I know his works are out of copyright in Australia and you can download them as text files from the internet so designing a course with the actual text of the book inside the course would be very easy and legal (at least in Australia). Instead of weeks or units, you would have books. You could center a course around one or more books. If the book were 1984, you could have students create glossaries of doublespeak that would automatically link to the doublespeak words in 1984. You could have students create journal entries reflecting on each chapter as they read it, or comprehension quizzes to make sure the students are actually doing the reading as they read each chapter that would require them to answer questions about that chapter. You could have activities that were only linked to to a certain part of the book (e.g. the example of journal entries), or in the case of the glossary it would be for the entire book.
Now I'm going to give another example of book format that is very different just to show how it could work for a variety of types of courses, and it might require improving the ability to incorporate images into Moodle (which is something I'd like to see more of personally). Imagine an art teacher, teaching the works of Picasso, Monet etc. Each book would be a gallery of that artist's works, and the chapters could be thought of as rooms in a museum, and related activities would be linked to those various rooms.
In a way, it is a variation on the topic format, but instead of giving equal primacy to all activities in the topic as in the topic format, the focus would be on the multipage resource(s)/book(s)/gallery(ies), whatever you want to call it.
W Page, I'm afraid I can't come up with a visual layout of what I'm thinking of, but perhaps someone else can.
I guess what I was thinking of (and sorry again to W Page for no visuals) was something that looked like a topic on the main page, you could have all of the chapters listed within the topic, but when you clicked on one of those chapters, you would be immediately taken to something that looked like the book module, with a table of contents on the side. Each chapter could have its own associated activities, while there could be certain activities that related to the book as a whole. Where (on the page) and how (drop down list, block, etc.) these related activities would be displayed in relation to the book pages would need to be decided.
I don't quite see how the current topic module could accomodate the linking of specific activities with a specific "chapter," unless each chapter had its own topic. In which case, you would probably have to add another level to the structure to accomodate courses that had as their focus multiple books with multiple books each.
In particular, check out the four topics in the pink box.
You would just continue a second set of chapters after the first, topics 11-20.
I'm still nto sure what you're getting at, but I still think calling it the "Book" format is probably misleading.
I must say I did not initially post the idea of a Book format (which I believe belongs to someone else - have not had a chance to look back yet) in the "Course Formats" forum because I had wanted folks that were not familiar with the "Book" mod to DL it and get a flavor for it first before conceptualizing it as a possible new course format. But N moved the discussion here and placed background links in the initial post. It seems to be jumping off so let's get on with it here.
I look at the course formats as diffferent flavors of a similar thing and that is allowing students to build and retain information based on different introductions and approches to the information. To me different formats allow for more innovation by the instructor in creating interesting courses from lesson plans. For example, I can see a really neat learning interaction about "Safety in the Lab" in a Book format course.
Mick Churchward is working on code to allow additional corse formats with blocks in Moodle [At least this is how I understand it.] You can check out his work at this thread,.
New Course Formats and Blocks
I will put out some kind of an initial layout (few days). If anyone else has a visual idea of what they would like to see please go ahead and post it. In the meanwhile I am reading the posts with interest.
Here's another one I liked, and it demonstrates how the book format could be used with groups. The various sets of images could be separate chapters, and each group of students would be responsible for doing activities for a single chapter. This might be a case where you would want the activities to be related at a "book" level rather than a chapter level, because all students are required to do the same sort of work, but based on the contents of different chapters. The materials the students prepared in the activities would then be linked to the particular chapter they were relevant to:
That's all for now, just some food for thought.
(The advantage of the eWiki is that you still can see your students "on line" during their source collection/ordeming and writing of their summaries/reflections/(re)construction activities)
I toyed with the subsection several months ago, made my own version.
I am afraid, that bringing in more and more levels, disturbs the clear overview for "the student in control" and makes him/here again the slave of the computer like in the good old days of CBT (and their modern remakes)
So I came back to:
- the big line is in the sections/weeks.
- the subsection is only for a procedure with several steps. (lesson and workshop are also good examples on this level)
- do not make a course for a whole year, but divide it in (thematic?) moduls
(we do 4 a year, but making them smaller opens for students the way to free selectable moduls..)