Those of us involved with developing and teaching courses hear a lot about the desirability of consistency which sometimes seems to be interpreted as just short of uniformity. Historically that is based on student responses to a survey conducted a few years ago which was interpreted as students wanting to see the same features in the same locations in different courses. An alternative interpretation of the data I saw might be that students wanted more consistency in the availability of staff in courses. At times it has seemed as though having courses appear too similar has confused students about where they are leading to questions being directed to the wrong staff. Nevertheless, there is probably value in looking for consistency at a high level such as exists among different web browsers or word processors in respect of essential features.
I’ve spent more than a few hours this week plumbing the depths of Moodle books as a means of presenting online content in a course. In the end I think I finished with a suitable solution for the first course in which I’ve tried it but that involved some tinkering that seems worth recording with some brief history for context.