Thank you very much for your reply. Your bottom line is important - that there is no easy current no-code solution.
Having said that, I do want to elaborate on your second idea - that the link takes us to a course page that then puts the component inline. This idea sounds sounds very interesting. The problem is, however, that I don't really know how to go about implementing it. I'm a programmer, but have mainly worked with WordPress, and I'm just getting to know Moodle on this project. Do you think you could give mt some clues as to how to go in this direction? Or do you think it's too complicated?
As an aside, I think that a theme with a top menu block would be the best solution - because we don't mind if it's not course specific - but we're now past the stage of looking for themes. We're close to the end of this course development...
Thanks a lot!