Grid Format

Course formats ::: format_grid
Maintained by Gareth J BarnardGareth J Barnard
A modular and visual course format. Hides all topics and creates a grid of icons (one for each topic) with short titles. Clicking on an icon brings up the content from the corresponding topic.
Latest release:
7336 sites
157 fans
Current versions available: 20

A modular and visual course format. Hides all topics and creates a grid of icons (one for each topic) with short titles. Clicking on an icon brings up the content from the corresponding topic in a "lightbox" style display.


The format comes with NO support.  Please see the 'Support' section in '' file that comes with the format.  This is because the format is complex and I regret that I don't have the time / resources to freely assist with questions pertaining to specific enhancements / changes / knowledge improvement.

I will investigate genuine bugs and issue fixes in a timescale set by myself.  When reporting issues you MUST clearly state the full version and release of both Moodle and the Grid format format as contained within their 'version.php' files - if not it takes me longer to figure out, often resulting in me asking for the details anyway and slowing the process of solving your problem down.  It really helps to upload and describe in detail the issue you are having on the 'Course formats' forum.

Screen cast:

More to follow as new icons have been added....

Privacy API support starts with V3.3.0.5 for M3.3 and V3.4.0.4 for M3.4 where the API has been implemented in the minor release of Moodle.


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Gareth J Barnard
Gareth J Barnard (Lead maintainer): Maintainer
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  • Thu, Oct 15, 2015, 11:39 PM
    I installed this theme and I can't update an image like main image in the grill.
    There are some restriction? about... the pixels? about the size or about... i don't know! But the true is that I can't update a picture.
    I select Options in the "blox" > Upload an image > I select the image or drag and drop > Delete image = NO > Save changes
    And... the result is nothing. No changes.
    ¿Some idea? Thanks and congratulations for this idea for the courses smile
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Thu, Oct 15, 2015, 11:49 PM
    Hi Juan,

    I have no idea why it is not working for you with this course format from your description. Have you checked the permissions as stated in the readme file? After dragging and dropping the image are you saving the changes? Please post version and screen shots of the issue on the 'Courses and course formats' forum.

    Kind regards,

  • Thu, Oct 15, 2015, 11:54 PM
    Hi Gareth
    Sorry! I was all in the moorning with this problem and just now... when I writed you... WOW! I take the answer!
    For another people if I can help you -> The problem is than you must to send the picture in just the same size. Don't upload a image more bigger or smaller. JUST the size.
    If you like to see the size, one option is use a develop browser. I used Firefox Developer and I saw that the image must to be 210x140 px.
    Sorry for this Gareth. Thanks for all!
  • Fri, Oct 16, 2015, 4:50 PM
    Dear Gareth, we appreciate the effort of all Moodle developers and we are glad for the Grid format. We used TabTopics format till now (sadly not working in 2.9, since our staff and students loved it). Now we upgraded to 2.9 and we have chosen Grid. What we miss is some sort of "Sections map", "Document map" (like in Microsoft Word) or a sort of ribbon with titles and links of all available sections. Currently we have just links to previous and next sections. Any plans for this in the future? Thanks.
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Fri, Oct 16, 2015, 5:08 PM
    Hi Mitja,

    Thank you for choosing the Grid format.

    I have no plans to change it as it works well as it is. Adding anything else will almost certainly confuse things.

    Microsoft has a patent over the ribbon and as such anybody replicating its sort of functionality would be a patent infringement.

    Kind regards,

  • Fri, Dec 25, 2015, 5:32 AM
    Hi Gareth. I have been using the grid format in a course for about 4 months and it works really good, up until now, at the end of the course. When the students try to see their grades they see all the quizzes grades from all the sections, but for the forums and assignments grades only shows the current section grades ( forums and assignments). Also in the navigation block only display the contents for the current section. Is there something that I miss? Thank you for your help. I like the grid format and I don't want to change it at the end
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Fri, Dec 25, 2015, 6:21 AM
    Hi Jairo,

    All the grid format does is change the display of the content area. Therefore the problems you are having would occur if you were using any other course format like topics. I do not know how to solve them without spending time and as they are not to do with the format then I'm sorry but I cannot spare the time. I suggest to post in an appropriate forum for community support.

    Kind regards,

  • Wed, Jan 6, 2016, 1:36 PM
    I see this makes a grid of the topics....but what I would LOVE would be to make a grid of the activities UNDER the topics....not the topics. Is that possible?
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Thu, Jan 7, 2016, 1:22 AM
    Hi Tina,

    Yes. With images, possibly. There would be a cost involved.

    Kind regards,

  • Wed, Jan 13, 2016, 10:34 PM
    Hello Gareth,

    We started using your Grid course format plug-in last August with Moodle 2.8 and we have received excellent feedback on it so far. We using the latest release

    This week I received an email from a lecturer with feedback from one of their students, who is visually-impaired and uses screen-reading software with Moodle:

    "Jane's reader software struggled with the Moodle page for [course name]. This was the only module that had a popup style interface. To her reader software each popup was empty. This meant Claire knew where the material was but couldn’t get to it without help from her part time assistant, classmates or myself. This was also true for submitting work. The other modules did not have this issue.

    It was a pity nobody told me about this before, of course, as I could easily have reformatted the page! However, on a more general point, I assume you want to know this so that you can advise others about this problem. The students in general really seemed to like it, as you suggested they might, but, clearly, it is not suitable for students like Jane."

    In future development work on the plug-in is there some way you could add an 'alternative text' or an image description field to make this work with screen-reading software?

    Kind Regards,

  • Gareth J Barnard
    Thu, Jan 14, 2016, 12:22 AM
    Hi Mags,

    I'm sorry that the Grid format was not working for her. I have been attempting to improve its accessibility for years. Some people have told me as a third party that it does not work with JAWS but gave no way of me testing / replicating / knowing what to change. I have in the past attempted to use NDA, but that has been guess work about what to change too.

    I am completely open to being told specifically what is wrong in what area and I'll double check the 'alternative text' as I'm sure I've done something in the M2.9 version a few months ago. What screen reading software does she use and how can I get hold of a copy with a 'free' developers licence so that I can test with it please?

    In the past, Moodle did have a 'screen-reader' setting in the user profile field that I could react to and present a different page. If this was reinstigated then I could change it so that it looked more like the topics course format for users who needed it to be so.

    Kind regards,

  • Tue, Jan 26, 2016, 6:10 PM
    Hi Gareth,

    I have a weird issue. Whenever I click on the tile, it doesn't pop up any thing. This is happening on some courses not all of them. I tried to produce the error and noticed when I click on a tile and pops up for the first time, then click (x) to close, the tile stops popping up. Do you ahve any idea about what that could be or how I can track the problem?

  • Gareth J Barnard
    Tue, Jan 26, 2016, 7:04 PM
    Hi Chris,

    Probably broken JavaScript by anything. Please post screen shots of browser console and full details in the courses and course formats forum.

  • Thu, Feb 4, 2016, 8:47 PM
    hi Gareth, probably something we overlooked but in the languagefiles I don't see in courseformat Grid the option to translate "Replace section x" into Dutch. I do have that option in Essential. Am I overlooking, or is it missing? Thank you Gem
  • Wed, Feb 10, 2016, 12:03 PM
    Hi Gareth,

    Is there plans to add lazy loading feature for the sections? I run a course that is accessed by roughly 200 students simultaneously and the server quite often falls over because loading the course and all of the images is really intensive. It would be great if those students only needed to load the section that they required for that day.
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