When setting up a new course in Moodle default full and short name of the course is shown. These default names consist of words and numbers. I had a discussion recently that in our case it is better not to use any numbers. I have no experience in course mapping but somehow I sense that it might be useful to use numbers in the course names however I missing strong arguments why to do this. In my case the courses are unlikely to be changed or updated often. Just later on additional courses and course categories might be added. Can you share any good practice examples regarding this matter?
Pragmatically I believe that you should not restrict yourself but use whatever naming you require that makes sense to the user.
I have organised a short name prefix in the past to help ensure that they were unique across the organisation, such as 'EN_' for English Department, 'IT_' for IT Department etc. The course creator would then have a free reign on the rest.
Good question - it seems so simple doesn't it to setup course names. However, down the road the choice of naming structure can present problems for both users, teachers and administrators. Here's my view...
1. If you were providing courses in the physical world then these would probably be listed in a 'catalogue' of some kind. The names in the catalogue should be meaningful and attractive to the potential 'users' - they are acting as 'advertising' and 'marketing' devices. So, in a Moodle space the smae should apply.
2. Long Moodle names are thoese that the potential users will see to 'attract' them...they should therefore convey enough menaing to draw people to the right course
3. Short names are used in palces ONCE A USER IS IN A COURSE - these don't have to be so comprehensive but should convey enough meaning for users, teachers and administrators to underdstand the source or target of any e-mail, post, log messages, reports etc.
A tip - if you want to be precise about course identification consider using the Course ID Number field in course settings - this is an internal reference only, it could link to the course providers own catalogue of courses for complete clarity.
Hope this helps.
I am at a small, liberal arts university in the USA using Moodle 1.9.9 with around 650 courses each Fall and Spring semesters. Our organization and approach to the naming of course sites is:
- categories for each academic year - e.g. 2010 - 2011 - and then subcategories for each semester - e.g. Spring 2011
- Full Name is the name of the course that the student/teacher will see and the teacher can change this if they would like. This is also what shows in the "breadcrumb trail" - did a little tweak to accomplish that
- Both the Short Name and Course ID Number are identical and are using the same naming/numbering listed elsewhere across the university with a semester and year tag added. The Short Name and Course ID Number cannot be changed by the teacher. For example:
- Full name = Greek Civilization
- Short name = CLA0731401-spring-11
- Course ID Number = CLA0731401-spring-11
The reason for tweaking the "breadcrumb trail" to show the full name of the course is because that is typically how students and professors refer to their classes.