Flexible sections format

Course formats ::: format_flexsections
Maintained by Marina Glancy
Organises course content in any number of sections that can be nested. Each section can be displayed on the same page or on a separate page
Latest release:
3329 sites
133 fans
Current versions available: 8

This course format looks very similar to Topics format except:

  • sections can be added inside other sections
  • each section (regardless of its nesting level) can be shown either on the same page as parent or on a separate page. Teacher can change it in edit mode.
  • If section is displayed on a separate page, it's name is displayed as a link and on this  page the link "Back to ... " is displayed

If teacher hides a section all nested sections and activities become hidden as well.

Please note that if section has both activities and subsections activities are displayed first.

On the attached screenshots the section "Quizzes" has tree subsections - "Science" and "Mathematics are displayed on the same page and "Other Uses" on a separate page. Note how course navigation looks like in this case.


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Marina Glancy (Lead maintainer)
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  • DTA 28/03/2015
    Tue, Sep 6, 2022, 5:19 PM
    Hi Marina,
    Wondering if you put on your roadmap a sub section level completion bar status, based upon activity completion in this section (to help student to find their way in a long list of topics), the same way Jean-Roch Meurisse did it in format_collapsibletopics.
    If this includes also capacity to keep collapsing state over sessions, this should be a dream.
    Thanks & Regards
  • puneet jhingan
    Mon, Sep 26, 2022, 1:29 PM
    Hello Marina,
    I am getting this error for 4.0 install: Appears to be a version number mismatch. Pl advise asap

    Debugging output enabled
    ZIP /var/www/moodledata/temp/tool_installaddon/63313751746b3/plugin.zip
    Validating format_flexsections ... Error
    [OK] Name of the plugin to be installed [flexsections]
    [OK] Plugin version [2022061900]
    [OK] Required Moodle version [2022041900.00]
    [OK] Full component name [format_flexsections]
    [OK] Declared maturity level [MATURITY_STABLE]
    [OK] Plugin release [4.0.1]
    [Debug] Found language file [format_flexsections]
    [Error] Write access check [/home/ubuntu/moodle/course/format]
    Installation aborted due to validation failure
  • Marina Glancy
    Fri, Dec 2, 2022, 1:01 AM
    Please remember to use the github "Issues" tab for the bug reports and the improvement requests - https://github.com/marinaglancy/moodle-format_flexsections/issues

  • James Calder
    Thu, Mar 30, 2023, 5:29 AM
    Hi Marina,

    I'm also a course format developer (Multitopic format), and I'm looking at what's required to support Moodle 4.2. I think it's probably just the new bulk edit tools. I notice the bulk edit tool for moving sections is disabled on section pages:

    function section_control_items
    line: if (!$sectionreturn && has_capability('moodle/course:movesections', $context, $user)) {
    [Adds move section bulk edit tool]

    I was thinking about requesting it not be disabled, because I think this would make sense for my course format. It occurs to me, though, that it probably does make sense to disable this for Flexible sections format, since sections couldn't really be bulk moved if they're nested, so perhaps I shouldn't request it be changed. Would that be right?

  • James Calder
    Thu, Apr 6, 2023, 6:15 AM
    Actually, never mind. I guess the moving sections bulk edit tool will display on the course main page, so you'll have to overwrite this method anyway.
  • Carlos Souquett
    Mon, Jun 12, 2023, 6:41 AM
    Hi, Marina. the plugin is not working in Moodle 4.2. I use the New Learning theme. I can't collapse or expand the sections. In 4.1 it works fine.
    I wrote to New Learning developer and he said: Just checked this plugin and seems there is a js bug and this plugin doesn't work in all themes, please watch the video:

    Awaiting your reply,

  • Profile picture of Harald Schnurbusch
    Tue, Oct 10, 2023, 9:15 PM
    Hi Marina,

    one of our users noted that if you highlight a section the subsections below that section are highlighted, too. Obviously, he would like to have more flexibility and highlight sections more specifically. Are there any plans for that?

    Thank you for considering
  • Marina Glancy
    Wed, Oct 11, 2023, 4:50 PM
    Hello! Please report all issues on the github - https://github.com/marinaglancy/moodle-format_flexsections/issues , I am not able to follow multiple comments without any threads here
  • Corey Gaitwood
    Fri, Dec 29, 2023, 6:58 AM
    Hello Marina, does this plugin work on the Mobile app?
  • Helena Martin
    Mon, Feb 26, 2024, 9:59 PM
    Hello Marina,
    I am having some issues with setting anchors when subsections are "hidden" in a lower level.
    We want to create a structure where we can link between content in different sections, but we do not want all sections to be open and visible so as not to overwhelm students with content. Is there a way to create a link/anchor to a section that is hidden and have it "open" when the link is clicked?
  • Ezzeddin Hamed
    Sat, May 4, 2024, 4:46 PM

    Would it be possible to add columns to each section separately? For example one section shows one column and another section shows two columns.

  • Blair F.
    Wed, May 15, 2024, 3:11 AM
    In Moodle 4.1, we're unable to drag and drop SECTIONS in the course index. Activities and Resources work, but not full sections. Is this the same for others?
  • Rudraksh Batra
    Wed, May 15, 2024, 6:44 PM
    Hi, I am using moodle 4.3 with flex section, can you please why i am getting this error in specific course, this error was not there earlier i deleted some sections added new section after this it is coming, now i have recreate this course again, whenever i add new section or delete, because of this error :

    Failed to load resource: https://.com/lib/ajax/service.php?sesskey=fG8sG04rHS&info=core_courseformat_get_state the server responded with a status of 500 ()
    (anonymous) @ first.js:434Understand this error
  • Christoph Mylaeus
    Thu, May 16, 2024, 8:35 PM
    Hi, I updated to Moodle 4.4+ today. Now in all courses using the felxible sections format the course index is not shown! Please fix this! Thank's.
  • Marina Glancy
    Sun, May 19, 2024, 5:47 PM
    Version 4.4 is not supported. Please follow the issues in the plugin issue tracker for the progress.
    I recommend you to migrate to the core formats in 4.4 since they now support subsections.
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