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:
6042 sites
145 fans
Current versions available: 23

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, Aug 11, 2017, 1:00 AM
    Hi Chris,

    That CSS will disable the section editing menu for anybody trying to edit the course.

  • Mon, Oct 9, 2017, 7:28 PM
    Why is there no MOODLE_33 branch?
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Mon, Oct 9, 2017, 7:37 PM
    There is, as the current stable version of Moodle is M3.3 then 'master' is the Moodle 3.3 branch for Collapsed Topics. All the downloads with their tags point to that branch as such. And when you look at all you need to do is scroll down and read to see the Readme that stipulates the version that branch is for.
  • Andrew Normore
    Fri, Oct 13, 2017, 12:08 AM
    Just installed on our new clean Moodle 3.3.1, works perfectly with our courses coming from Moodle 2.4.6 and 2.6.x. Thanks for keeping this up to date.
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Fri, Oct 13, 2017, 6:40 PM
    Thank you Andrew smile
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Wed, Oct 18, 2017, 10:42 PM
    Hi Eden,

    The format comes with NO support. Please ask on an appropriate forum.

    Kind regards,

  • Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 11:46 PM

    Just wanted to say love the format plugin, thank you.

    Might I ask where I could find information about what it would take to add new custom icon selections? Is that something that is covered in the "Complete Guide"?

  • Gareth J Barnard
    Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 12:28 AM
    Thanks Wade, If you mean 'adding a new icon set' then yes it is. The book is now a little out of date, so I've just reduced its price and made the table of contents available in the preview so its clear what it does cover.
  • Wed, Jan 24, 2018, 4:48 PM
    Hello Gareth, thank you for maintaining this cool plugin!

    We have recently upgraded our site to Moodle 3.4 and we are using Collapsed Topics

    In our courses we use several module restrictions, and for the first time, I see the restrictions as part of the collapsed topic bar (below module's dates).

    Is this how it supposed to be?

  • Wed, Jan 24, 2018, 4:58 PM
    How to remove the word "Toggle" that appears after the section name? I tried to change the Layout to "No additions" yet I can still see the same toggle word in every section. I am using Moodle v3.1
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Thu, Jan 25, 2018, 5:42 AM
    Hi Anna,


    1. Why are you using the Moodle 3.3 version on Moodle 3.4?
    2. I cannot visualise what you are saying, please post screen shots on or the GitHub account.

    Kind regards,

  • Gareth J Barnard
    Thu, Jan 25, 2018, 5:46 AM
    Hi Edmund,

    Change the course setting 'Elements' to 'No additions'.

    Kind regards,

  • Fri, Jan 26, 2018, 1:02 AM
    Thank you Gareth!
    Technical support reported that 3.4 version is not showing as an available update, thus we were bit reluctant. Will upgrade asap.
  • Wed, Feb 7, 2018, 4:16 AM
    hello, i just installed in Moodle 3.3.1+ but I'm having a problem with the toggled text, when I activate the plugin it simply stops seeing the text although it is there because seeing the source code of the page it appears, the Moodle theme is the default one (Boost)
  • Fri, Mar 16, 2018, 12:28 AM
    When you are in an activity and click back to a specific topic on the left hand toggle options, it takes you back out to the main course page while cutting off the topic heading you are hoping to view. Is there any way to bump this so when you click on a topic it takes you to a view where the heading shows? This can get confusing if you're in the right topic. The image shows which topic I clicked on and how the screen looks (with topic heading cut off). Thanks!!
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