I tested this in 3.2. "Topics" course format; "Display one topic per page", and you select "Display course" by default you are going to see all of the topics on the same page. In order to only see one topic per page, you have to actually click on the individual topic. Then it will show you the one topic per page, with the next, previous, and jump to buttons.
This sounds like a bug in the "Topics" course format, but maybe that is how it is supposed to work. I use collapsed topics which also works that way. All topics are displayed on a single page, and you to click on an individual topic to see the one topic.
Also, in the 3.x version, there is only one button "Add activity or resource", not the two buttons as in the 2.x version. Are you sure that when the system admin updated your site to the 3.x line that he/she deleted all of the old files and did a clean install?
Here is a combination that will give you what you are looking for:
1. Topics course format
2. Snap theme
You will probably be happy with that combination to get the functionality that you want.
FYI: The admin can setup the option to allow each course to choose its own theme, so you can change the theme for your specific course without it affecting the whole site.
Another FYI: You can change the course format and the theme and it does not affect the individual topics. I like to use the collapsed theme for creating my course, but I am considering switching to snap for the actual displaying of the course when the student uses the course.