Collapsed Topics

Course formats ::: format_topcoll
Maintained by Gareth J BarnardGareth J Barnard
An interchangeable topic or week based format that solves the issue of the 'Scroll of Death' when a course has many topics.
Latest release:
6006 sites
148 fans
Current versions available: 24

An interchangeable topic or week (day for 2.3.1+) based format that solves the issue of the 'Scroll of Death' when a course has many topics / weeks. All sections except zero have a toggle that displays that section. One or more sections can be displayed at any given time. Toggles are persistent on a per browser session per course basis but can be made to persist longer by a small code change. Full installation instructions, code adapt-ions and credits are included in the '' file.

If you have a course with more than fifty two sections then currently the toggle persistence will not work for the fifty third section and above.  Then you need to upgrade to the Moodle 2.5 version+.


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 Collapsed Topics 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 read the 'Reporting Issues' section in the '' file and upload and describe in detail the issue you are having on the 'Course formats' forum.


NEW: 'The Complete Guide to Collapsed Topics' (and 'Blurb') book is now available, covering: installation, upgrade, uninstallation, course and global features, resetting, capabilities, language strings, overriding icons / styles in a theme and adding a new icon set.

The Complete Guide to Collapsed Topics book

The Complete Guide to Collapsed Topics book on a book stand

Inside the Complete Guide to Collapsed Topics.

NOTE: The latest version incorporates functionality to support new UK / EU Cookie Law which is implemented as a user acceptance in the 1.9 version and no 'cookie' is used at all in 2.x versions.

Screen casts:

Privacy API support starts with V3.3.1.2 for M3.3 and V3.4.0.2 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)
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  • Gareth J Barnard
    Fri, Jun 17, 2016, 5:44 PM
    Dear Roland,

    Please let me think about this.

    Kind regards,

  • Thu, Jun 23, 2016, 10:07 PM
    Hi Gareth (and Roland),

    Regarding the problem when clicking the pencil icon, please note that in Moodle 3.1, clicking on the section name will also allow one to edit its title. Thus any solution should probably also disable toggling the section when clicking on the title.

    Here are also two temporary workarounds for the two problems mentioned above (use at your own risk wink :
    1. make cog icon for section invisible : add the following to your theme style sheet
    img.tceditsection {
    display: none;
    2. add this if statement at line 125 of /course/format/topcolll/module.js and enclose the three lines that follow between { ... } :
    if (!('parentElement').hasClass('quickediticon') ||'quickeditlink') ))

    Regards and thanks for your great job !


  • Gareth J Barnard
    Fri, Jun 24, 2016, 7:36 PM
    Thank you Jacques,

    Food for thought. I've been thinking about detecting if the icon has been pressed and simply not changing the state of the toggle.


  • Mon, Aug 22, 2016, 9:46 AM
    Since the last update, the course section titles are in a grey box, and I can't find where to change this color. Thanks
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Tue, Aug 23, 2016, 4:47 AM
    Hi Betsy,

    What 'grey' box? What version of Moodle / CT? If you mean the 'toggle' then its colour has been setable for years in the course settings etc.

  • Tue, Aug 23, 2016, 6:07 AM
    See this screen shot. The Hover color is blue. Inside the blue is a grey box

    We are using moodle 3.1 and this happened with an update to collapsed topics that came out last week. It was ok before this. It's the same update that included the "edit topic title" option.
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 12:35 AM
    Hi Betsy,

    Thanks for the screen shot. I cannot replicate in any of my themes or the Clean theme. I can only replicate when I mess around with the CSS.

  • Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 12:37 AM
    How strange. I haven't messed with CSS. I use the them Adaptable. Maybe they aren't getting along.
    I also wonder if it only appears in EDITING ON mode. The class isn't live, so I haven't seen it without editing on. I will try that out today.
  • Sun, Sep 18, 2016, 8:12 AM
    I have created the translation for spanish. How could I give it to you?
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Mon, Sep 19, 2016, 1:28 AM
    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks smile - I'll PM you contact details. Odd that the AMOS version is not good enough.


  • Gareth J Barnard
    Tue, Oct 4, 2016, 4:31 PM
    Nothings wrong as that is how its meant to work. No point in having toggles for a one line link when not editing. When editing then the content is shown for such and there is a point.
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Wed, Oct 5, 2016, 8:02 PM
    Hi Helson,

    Please see my reply to the same question above.

    Kind regards,

  • Gareth J Barnard
    Fri, Oct 7, 2016, 1:16 AM
    Hi Helson,

    Yes, I know! Its the same question the third time. Its intentional. Please refer to my answer above.

  • Wed, Oct 12, 2016, 4:47 PM
    Hi Gareth,
    Some teachers from my university really like you course format plugin, but they keep asking me to be able to add section_summary to collapsed sections (like default behaviour in one section per page mode). Do you think this could be added to the plugin preferences?

    Kind regards

    Jean-Roch Meurisse
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Wed, Oct 12, 2016, 11:22 PM
    Hi Jean-Roch,

    Please use the 'Show the section summary when collapsed' setting in the course settings for the format.

    Kind regards,

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