Create Awesome course layouts using these Top 11 Moodle course formats #Moodle

Moodle as the name suggests is Modular in nature from the heart and allows you to expand the functionality as desired. That is one of the main reason for wide popularity of Moodle to adapt the learning & training needs of different sectors through the extensions/plugins. Moodle contains more than 52 different types of plugins through which you can extend the features to cater your specific requirements.

Among the most popular plugin types, Course Formats is the one which can be used to display your course items with different layouts and structures. By default, Moodle comes with 4 course formats:

  • Weekly Format
  • Topics Format
  • Social Format
  • Single Activity Format

Top 11 Most Popular Moodle Course Format Plugins

You can change the appearance of your course by adding the course format plugins. Here, I am compiling the list of top 11 most popular course formats for Moodle 3.1 version:

  1. Collapsed Topics – The course format which solves the issue of “Scroll of Death” when a course has many sections/topics. All sections contains a toggle to expand  or collapse the section view. The course format is maintained by Gareth J Barnard and as usual like his themes is maintained proactively.
  2. Grid Format – The visual course format for Moodle which hides all topics and create a grid of icons with short titles. Clicking an icon will bring the sections content in a lightbox style display. Again maintained by Gareth so can’t doubt about its code support.
  3. Onetopic Format – Based on the core “Topics” format which allows you to show 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.
  4. Buttons Format – The most recent addition to the course formats plugins club. The buttons course format creates a menu with buttons in JavaScript to access the sections, one by one as shown below.buttons-course-format
  5. Flexible Sections Format – Developed by Marina Glancy of Moodle HQ, Flexible Sections format organises course content in any number of sections that can be nested. Each section can be displayed expanded or collapsed.
  6. Board (Grid and Blocks) format – The grid course format which provides full flexibility between sections and columns. You can choose quantity and width of columns and quantity of sections in each column.
  7. Menutopic format – This course format plugin allows you to display the course sections in custom menus. . Also, this format allow use the section description as a template to change the appearance of such section.
  8. Mindmap format – Mindmap Course Format allows Moodle users using courses through interactive, personalized mindmap. Additionally,  it provides a graphical presentation of conditional dependencies and distinction of modules where student have problems. Please note that it uses Freeplane Java Applet to display map, thus Java is required for this plugin.
  9. Periods format – You can set custom duration for all course sections in Days/Weeks/Months with overriding the individuals ones. You can also collapse or hide the past or future course sections. Again, developed by Marina Glancy from Moodle HQ.
  10. eTask Topics format – One more course format based on the Topics course format and includes grading table on the top of the course page with additional functionality as a highlighting of final grade or setting value for grade to pass.
  11. NED- Tabs course format – Course format which displays the course sections as numbered tabs. The best thing in this course format is the alternate activity tracking system which is shown in the form of an icon on the left side of the activity name.

Which course format you are using on your Moodle site? Do you like any other course format which is not mentioned in this list? Do share with us in the comments section below.

Jaswinder Singh

Jaswinder Singh, passionate about using Moodle in improving the Indian Education System and reaching the students in far flung areas where still education seems to be a impossible prospect of life. He is the author of the popular Moodle Book "How to use Moodle 2.7". In October 2016, Jaswinder was elected as the Moodle User's Association Committee member - the first to make it from India.

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