When designing your course page, think of it like you would a web page. If you were viewing your course for the first time (as a prospective student) how would you feel about it? Is there any text on it that explains the course? Would it make sense to you? Would you want to explore? Or would it simply look like a bunch of documents and links?
Design your course page as if it was a web page. Design it as you might if you were going to showcase it for other faculty members. Your students should find the course welcoming, not intimidating. They should be able to easily scan the course page and get an idea about the structure of the course. It should make sense visually.
There are very simple things that can make the course more inviting:
1. Add a "welcome" to your course in Topic 0. Use a large font and make it Bold. You can even add an image or a banner. To do these things, turn editing on and click the pencil tool at the top of that section.
2.Put all the general course related materials in the Welcome section (syllabus, general forum, etc).
3. Label each topic: click the pencil tool next to the number of the topic to do that. Use a relatively large font and make it bold.
4. Use labels to explain some of the items on your course page. For example: in Topic #1 you might have a label for Readings, Assignments, and Discussions. You can access "labels" in the "add a resource" menu.
5. Eliminate blocks you are not using--both the ones on either side of the content area, and the topic blocks you aren't using.
These steps will make the course much more inviting, and make navigating the course easier for students. (It will make a bit more sense to them visually)