Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.4. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle may be available here: Course formats.

Course formats

From MoodleDocs

A course format refers to the layout of a course. The course format can be selected in Settings > Course administration > Edit settings.

An administrator can enable, disable or delete course formats for courses in Settings>Site administration>Plugins>Courses>Course formats>Manage course formats. They can also change the order in which available course formats are displayed to teachers in the course settings. New feature
in Moodle 2.4!

Manage course formats screen for admins

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

Topic format example

The course is organised into topic sections that a teacher can give titles to. Each topic section consists of activities, resources and labels.

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.

"Show only one section"

With the Weekly format and the Topics format it is possible via Settings > Course administration > Edit settings to "show one section per page". Here is a course with three topics, with the second one currently shown. The links left and right lead to topics 1 and 3:



  1. The course home page shows just the section names and any text in the section description, with the names being clickable.
  2. If editing is ON, on the Main course page, then you will see all the content in all the sections.
  3. There is a link at the bottom "Return to Main course page" on each single section page.

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.

SCORM format

The SCORM format only has 1 section, and allows teacher to insert a pre-built SCORM package. Moodle can use SCORM packages as a content type (see SCORM module), or as a course format.

An example of SCORM format is the New Staff Induction course on the School demo site

Note: 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.

Contributed Course Formats

The Moodle community has developed a number of course formats, available in the plugins directory. If you plan to create a new one, see Developers documentation.

See MDL-27646 and MDL-28555 and maybe the discussion

Collapsed Topics

This is a format that is essentially the same as the standard Topic and Weekly 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. For more information, please visit Collapsed_Topics_course_format.


For an overview of 'Collapsed Topics' please see this video:


Daily format

The daily format is a modification of the weekly format that shows sections by day rather than by week.

Grid format

The grid format is a modular and visual course format. Hides all topics and creates a grid of icons (one for each topic) with short titles. Clicking on an icon brings up the content from the corresponding topic in a "lightbox" style display.

Menutopic format

The menutopic format allows you to display the topics/sections in a menu.

Noticeboard format

The Noticeboard format presents the latest post in the news forum at the top of the course.

Onetopic format

The onetopic format shows each topic in a tab, keeping the current tab between calls to resources, in such a way that when it returns from a module as the blog or the glossary it returns to tab from where you started. This format is based on the Moodle standard format: “Topics”.

Topic format (colors)

The colored topic format is based on the 'Topics' standard format and allows a teacher to specify the foreground and background colours for each course section.

Flexible sections format

The flexible sections format for Moodle 2.4+ allows to have nested sections and each section may be displayed expanded (with all content on the parent section page) or collapsed (as a link to a separate page)

Single activity format

The single activity format for Moodle 2.4+ does not have a course main page and immediately redirects to the activity. It is similar to SCORM format except that it can have any activity type.

Other contributed course formats are available from the modules and plugins database.

See also

Using Moodle forum discussions: