Course formats: Flexible sections format

format_flexsections
Maintained by Picture of Marina Glancy Marina Glancy
Organises course content in any number of sections that can be nested. Each section can be displayed expanded or collapsed

Flexible sections format 2.8.4 for Moodle 2.8, 2.9, 3.0, 3.1

Mary Cooch
Mary Cooch
Friday, 16 September 2016, 6:10 PM
General comments

The Flexible sections course format is exactly what it says it is: it allows teachers to customise the display of individual course sections, adding subsections, nesting sections within others and selecting some to display expanded and some collapsed.

It solves a problem some teachers have with a desire to show separate content within a single topic section but without the 'scroll of death'. It is an improvement on using labels and indented activities to create artificial subsections and also a workaround for teachers used to other LMS where items are saved in 'folders'.

A course section may have more than one subsection, and these may  be fully collapsed, as in the screenshot below, or some may be collapsed and others expanded.

Fully collapsed subsections

Security

The plugin is developed and maintained by Marina Glancy, Development Process Manager at Moodle HQ. We can therefore expect it to meet all security standards.

Usability
Once installed, the plugin is very intuitive to use, but there is a short documentation page available if further explanation is needed: Flexible sections course format.

Once the teacher selects the course format from Course administration >Edit settings and turns on the editing they can then add subsections to each course section:

adding subsection

More than one subsection may be added, and for each subsection there is a link to add activities and resources. The icons for moving, deleting and hiding each subsection are fairly self-explanatory. Each subsection may be shown as expanded (where all content is visible) or collapsed (with just a link):

Show expanded or collapsed

Expanded and collapsed subsections may be combined, as in this  screenshot where the subsection 'Reading materials' is expanded  and 'Group discussions'  and 'Assessment' are collapsed:

Expanded and collapsed subsections

Navigation back to the course section is very straightforward once a student has completed the tasks in a collapsed subsection:

Navigating back to the section

Technical

The plugin is developed and maintained by Marina Glancy, Development Process Manager at Moodle HQ. We can therefore expect it to meet all coding standards.