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:
3339 sites
134 fans
Current versions available: 9

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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  • James Calder
    Thu, 30 Mar 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, 6 Apr 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, 12 Jun 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, 10 Oct 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, 11 Oct 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, 29 Dec 2023, 6:58 AM
    Hello Marina, does this plugin work on the Mobile app?
  • Helena Martin
    Mon, 26 Feb 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, 4 May 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, 15 May 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, 15 May 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, 16 May 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, 19 May 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.
  • Blair F.
    Wed, 22 May 2024, 5:36 AM
    Marina, can you clarify "core formats in 4.4... now support subsections?" I don't see any option for subsections in 4.4 nor do I find any reference to it in the "what's new" documentation.
  • Neil Stapleton
    Wed, 22 May 2024, 9:55 PM
    Marina is, I think is referring to the new Custom Sections https://docs.moodle.org/404/en/Course_formats#Custom_sections in 4.4, but like you I don't think the subsections support is in 4.4, I think that's going to be a 4.5 feature perhaps. Could you clarify Marina?
  • Blair F.
    Wed, 22 May 2024, 11:22 PM
    My apologies for reposting my question from May 14th, but I'm still wondering if others experience the same thing (in which case I'll post it to the github issues), or is it something I should troubleshoot on my end.
    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?
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