Course formats

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 1.9. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Course formats.

A course format refers to the layout of a course. They can be changed by the course Course administration block under settings.

Standard course formats

Weekly format

Weekly format example
The course is organized week by week, with a clear start date and a finish date. Moodle will create a section for each week of your course. You can add content, forums, quizzes, and so on in the section for each week.
TIP: If you want all your students to work on the same materials at the same time, this would be a good format to choose.
NOTE: Make sure your course start date is correct. If it is not your weeks will have the wrong date on it. This is especially important if you are restoring a course to use with a new section of students.

Topics format

The course is organised into topic sections. Each topic section consists of activities.

TIP: This is great to use if your course is objective based and each objective may take different amounts of time to complete. An example of this would be scaffolding where the students are building upon the knowledge from earlier topics.

Social format

Social format example
This format is oriented around one main forum, the social forum, which appears listed on the main page. It is useful for situations that are more free form. They may not even be courses. The Moodle Lounge is an example of a social format course.

The social forum can be edited by clicking the 'Update this forum' button on the social forum page. The forum introduction is displayed at the top of the course page (in Moodle 1.9.5 onwards).

LAMS course format

The Learning Activity Management System is an open source LMS which allows teachers to use a flash based authoring environment for developing learning sequences. LAMS has been integrated with Moodle to allow teachers to develop LAMS activities within a Moodle course. This course format makes LAMS central to the course, only displaying the LAMS interface.

TIP: If you are interested in using LAMS, check with your system administrator to see if they have installed and configured LAMS. Very few institutions use LAMS as it duplicates much of the Moodle functionality.

SCORM format

The Sharable Content Reference Model (SCORM) is a content packaging standard. SCORM packages are self-contained bundles of content and JavaScript activities, which can send data to Moodle about the students score and current location. Moodle can use SCORM packages as a content type (see SCORM/AICC module), or as a course format.

TIP: If you have a large SCORM object you want to use as an entire course, then you can select this course format and students will only be able to interact with the SCORM object, not the rest of the Moodle tools.

Weekly format, CSS/no tables

The CSS / No Tables variant of the Weekly format displays the Weekly course format without using tables for layout. This improves the accessibility of the format, but older browsers have trouble displaying it correctly. This format is available in Moodle 1.6 onwards.

Contributed course formats

Page format

Also known as Flexpage, this format is very similar to the Book resource format in a Moodle course. It consists of a theme, course format, and menu module which enables blocks and modules to be intermixed on a 3 column layout, provide tab based navigation through course content, inline display of resources and forums, etc. For more information on Flexpage, please visit this site (You can self-register for this Moodle course.) This feature was developed by a Moodle partner Moodlerooms, Inc.

Collapsed Topics and Weeks formats

Collapsed Topics and its sister format, Collapsed Weeks are formats that are essentially the same as the standard Topic (Course_sections#Topics_format) and Weekly (Course_sections#Weekly_format) formats but with a 'toggle' for each section except '0'. The toggles' purpose is to reduce the amount of initial information presented to the user thus reducing the 'scroll of death' that can plague courses with a lot of content. The 'state' of the toggles is remembered on a per course per user basis. Collapsed Weeks automatically opens the current week. There are versions available for Moodle 1.8, 1.9 and 2.0. For more information, please visit Collapsed_Topics_course_format and Collapsed_Weeks_course_format.

Other contributed course formats

Other contributed course formats include Project Course Format, Weekly Tabs, Monthly Format (for Moodle 1.9), Timeline course format and the Shared activities course format.

An administrator wishing to remove installed formats may do so by removing the format plugin from the installation. That is: remove the directory containing the format for the moodle/course/format directory. You probably should not remove any of the default course formats, or formats that are in use on the site.

See also

Using Moodle forum discussions: