Moodle Course Formats

Common course formatting and instructions on how to change your course formats

Last Updated: July 24th, 2023

How to change course formats

Beginning winter 2021, courses are set to utilize the “Collapsed Topics” course format. If you would like to change your course appearance from “Collapsed Topics” to a different format, follow these steps.

  1. Click Settings at the top of the page.Course home page with Settings highlighted at the top

  1. Scroll down to “Course Format” and click on the drop-down menu to display the different options.Course format options with additional options for format, hidden sections, and course layout



When changing the existing course format to “Single activity” make sure that you removed all extra activities from the course including "Announcements". Note that the section’s structure may be modified.

Collapsed Topics (default format)

This is a format that is similar to Moodle’s standard Topic and Weekly formats but with a 'toggle' for each section — except week '0' which always remains visible at the top of the course. Though Collapsed topics share features with Moodle's course formats, they are a bit different. Most namely, due dates are presented below assignments. The 'state' of the toggles is remembered on a per-course per-user basis.Course with collapsed topics shown. Each section is labeled numerically with activities under each one

After you select “Collapsed Topics” as your format, you will see a list of settings you can change to modify your course appearance. various settings for the collapsed topics Moodle format including number of sections, hidden sections, etc

Important settings to consider:

Please note: We recommend sticking with the default colors as they have been intentionally selected to maintain visual accessibility requirements

  • Number of sections: the amount of sections that appear on your course, by default set to 11. If you have content beyond the 11 sections you will see the term “orphaned” in front of your activities and resources. By adding more sections using the drop-down menu, your content will automatically be put in the appropriate section.

  • Hidden sections: determines whether hidden sections are displayed to students in collapsed form or are completely hidden.

  • Elements: how much information about the sections you want to display.

  • Structure: the layout structure of the course (click the circular question mark to see the different layout structures)

Topics Format

The course is organized into topic sections that a teacher can give titles to. Each topic section consists of activities, resources, and labels.Course with topics format shown. Each section is labeled numerically with Topic.

Weekly Format

The course is organized week by week, with a clear start date and a finish date. Course with weekly format shown.  Each section is labeled with the week dates.

To change the dates, you can edit each topic. 

One week shown with a red pencil highlighted where you can edit each topic.If you would like to change the dates to stay consistent when importing to another course, you will need to change your “Course Settings”, this can be changed under “Course Start Date”. When you change the course start date, the following weeks will reflect that change.General options shown with course start date highlighted.

ATC Support & Hours of Operation

Weekday Support, Monday - Friday

The ATC is open to in-person assistance. Support is available through the above remote options and on campus at CEN 208

Was this article helpful?