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Aim

See how to change between different course formats and layout settings. This can help you to avoid "the scroll of death".


Moodle offers five formats in which to display your course. We recommend four of them for general use;

  • 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.

Other formatting options common to Topics and Tabs formats

To change your course format, go to the Settings block, click on Course Administration -> Edit settings

Go to Course format, choose your preferred format.Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on Save changes.

 

Topics  format

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


Formatting options – course layout
'Show all sections on one page' – this is the most common course format setting. You will see all topics displayed on the page, one underneath another.
'Show one section per page' - you will see a 'course summary' when you first enter the course. Each topic heading is visible (and acts as a hyperlink to that topic) and below is a summary of the number and type of resources in each topic.
Once you click into a topic you will continue to see Topic 0 at the top of the screen and the topic you have selected displayed below. You will also see 'Previous' and 'Next' topic navigation buttons.

Tabs format

In the tabs format you see one section at a time with a tabbed navigation at the top. Tabs format works well when you have fewer than about 8 sections. More than this and the tabbed navigation becomes cluttered. The tabs take their names from the Topic titles. 

The tabs format includes the ability to:

  • Add and remove tabs - by clicking the small + or - icons to the right of the last tab
  • Move the current tab to a new location in another tab - in edit mode a 'Tabs editing options' link near the bottom, left back button (which takes you to the previous tab), you can temporarily enable the ability to move items between tabs. 
    • Editing actions are only enabled for the current session, it is not permanent. Therefore, Moodle will revert back to disabling this setting next time you log in.


Formatting options – course layout

'Show all sections on one page' – this is the most common course format setting. You will see one topic displayed on the page at a time with Previous' and 'Next' topic navigation buttons.
'Show one section per page' - we don't recommend that you use this setting with Tabs format. Topic 0 is permanently displayed at the top of the screen and the topic you have selected displayed below. You will also see 'Previous' and 'Next' topic navigation buttons. The tabs navigation gets displayed BETWEEN topic 0 and the current topic.

 

Collapsed topics format

More information can be found at the Collapsed topics Moodle plugin page

Grid format

More information can be found at the Grid format Moodle plugin page

Other formatting options common to Topics and Tabs formats are:

1. You can select the number of topics of tabs you want to have in your course.
2. You can choose how hidden sections display to students (hidden topics display an 'unavailable' message – not recommended).