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printKeywords: Moodle, course format, structure, topics, tabs, grid.

What is it?

A Moodle course format relates to the layout of an individual course. Formats with which to display your course include:

  • Topics format - the default option. Topics appear one under the other
  • Tabs format - topics appear one at a time with a tabbed menu at the top of the course page
  • Collapsed topics format - topics appear one under the other, but are initially collapsed/hidden
  • Grid format - topics appear one at a time with a 'grid' style graphical navigation of the course page.

Why use it?

Depending on your mode of delivery and structural approach employed, use of alternative course formats can create more logical or engaging layouts. Courses with a large amount of content and learning activities, for example, may benefit from the tabs or collapsed topics formats, reducing the amount of material that is visible on the page at any one time.

Who can use it?

  • Tutors
  • Course Administrators

Before I start...

How do I set one up?

Change course format quick guide

  1. Locate the Settings block, click Course Administration and Edit settings
  2. Scroll to Course format and choose your preferred format
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save changes.

Formatting options

  • Show all sections on one page: all topics are displayed on the page, one after another
  • Show one section per page: one topic is displayed per page, with topic headings visible and acting as a link to each preceding and subsequent topic. Below each is a summary of the number and type of resources available in each topic

Topics format

Topics is the most commonly used format. It gives you a page with sequential topic sections one under another.

Tabs format

Tabs show one section at a time with a tabbed navigation at the top of the page. Tabs work well when you have fewer than 8 sections, and take their names from topic titles. 

Collapsed topics format

Collapsed topics offers an 'accordion' style layout, with all sections appearing in an expandable list. This format comes with a range of editable style and behaviour options.

Grid format

Grid displays a grid of clickable images that link to each of your course sections. The format comes with a set of default colours, icons, and blank placeholders for the images. Their style and behaviour can be edited in the course settings.

Further help

Detailed, step-by-step guidance on Course Formats is available from MoodleDocs.

If you find any inaccurate or missing information you can even update this yourself (it's a communal wiki).

If you have a specific question about the tool please contact the Digital Education team.



Examples and case studies


Questions & Answers


Further information