3. Course Design And Settings

Tags Moodle

Moodle allows a number of layout options including the weekly, topics, and tile formats. By default, courses have a weekly format. However, other formats may work better for your class. This page shows you the main options and helps you select the option that works best for your class.

Weekly format (the default setting)

By default, courses have a weekly format, with all sections displaying at once.  Students can easily get to each week by scrolling up and down the page or by selecting a particular week in the navigation menu.

Illustration Moodle course with the default weekly format

white spaceThe weekly format is very easy to use. By default, each week is labeled the dates for that week. When a particular week is current, that week is highlighted by Moodle. Teachers can quickly drag readings into the appropriate week. They can also add forums, assignments, quizzes ad other activities into any week. This makes it easy for students to see when readings and activities are due.

The above illustration points out a few key features of the weekly format. If you like, you can replace the week dates with a custom name for any section. For example, week 2 in the illustration above is renamed “Custom name for this week/topic.” The dates, or custom section labels, show up in the navigation menu on the left side of the course.

Topics format

If you teach a course by topics, and those topics do not correspond to weeks, you may want to switch to a Topics format. Students can easily get to each topic by scrolling up and down the page or by selecting it in the navigation menu — just as they do in the weekly format. 

In the topics format, by the sections are named Topic 1, Topic 2, etc. by default. You can rename any topic and you can manually highlight the current topic. In the illustration below, Topic 1 is highlighted; notice the red bar along the left side of Topic 1 in both the main content area and on the topics index.

If you select the topics format, you will likely want to adjust the number of sections to match the number of topics you list in your Moodle course. By default, each course shows 16 sections, since the semester is 16 weeks.

Illustration of course using the topics format


Tiles format

If you have a lot of content in your Moodle course, either the weekly or the topics format can get very long. Consider using the tiles format to make your course more compact and easy to navigate. In the Tiles format, each section defaults to the name Tile 1, Tile 2, etc. As with other formats, you can customize section names. Like the topics format, you can highlight sections as you move through the course. The illustration below shows Tile 1 highlighted. The tiles format also lets you customize sections further with icons or images, as illustrated below.

Illustration of course using the tiles format


Use course Settings to select desired format

Once you select your course layout and design, follow these instructions to use that layout in your course. It is easy to configure your Moodle site for any of these layouts.

  1.  Go to Course Administration area and select Edit Settings. This is usually found in the top right corner of your course, under the (Gear icon, indicating settings menu) gear menu.
    Illustration of  Moodle course "settings" menu option
  2. Click on the triangle to expand the Course Format section.
    Illustration of course format settings
  3. Once you have your desired settings scroll down and save changes. These settings can be changed later, so it is easy to experiment with different looks.


Remove Unwanted Sections

By default, courses have sixteen sections–one for each week. If you switch to a topics format, you will often need fewer sections. To delete extra sections, follow these steps:

  1. Turn editing button at the top left corner of your course.
    Illustration Moodle "turn editing on" in course administration
  2. Click on the Edit drop-down menu at the top of each section you want to delete, and then select the Delete topic(or Delete week) option.
    NOTE: If you try to delete a section that contains resources or activities, you will get a warning message.
    illustration of how to delete extra Moodle course sections

Add More Sections

If you want additional sections, you can easily add them. Follow these steps:

  1. Turn editing button at the top left corner of your course.
    Illustration Moodle "turn editing on" in course administration
  2. Scroll to the bottom of each section you will see an option to  Add topic (or Add week).
    illustration of "add topic" link

Continue to the next section: Adding Course Content.

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Article ID: 2708
Wed 1/26/22 12:16 PM
Mon 6/5/23 2:45 PM