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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
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This course format looks very similar to Topics format except:

  • there is no parameter "Number of sections", sections can be added and removed as necessary
  • section can also be added inside another section
  • each section (regardless of its nesting level) can be shown expanded or collapsed. Teacher can change it in edit mode.
  • If section is displayed collapsed, it's name is displayed as a link to the separate page and on this separate 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 "Assignments" has Label resource and two subsections - "New assignments" (displayed expanded) and "Old assignments" (collapsed). Note how course navigation looks like in this case.

Screenshots

Screenshot #0
Screenshot #1
Screenshot #2

Contributors

Picture of Marina Glancy
Marina Glancy (Lead maintainer)
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  • Peter Jonker
    Wed, Mar 19, 2014, 12:03 AM
    Having a similar issue as Scott. Created one subsection where the full 'Access' to that subsection is restricted (completely hidden) based on the completion of an activity in an earlier section. The user has not completed the earlier activity but still sees the subsection name/link. On clicking you get the warning that you are not allowed to view hidden sections.
  • Picture of Elizabeth Dalton
    Thu, May 8, 2014, 11:40 PM
    Great work! We'd like to standardize on Flexible Sections in all our courses. However, in order to use the Flexible Sections format, we would need the following enhancements:

    1 - Allow the "One Section Per Page" vs. "All Sections One Page" decision in Course Settings (as with current Topics format).

    2 - Sections and subsections should be collapsable by the student as well as by the teacher, e.g. as Collapsed Topics.

    3 - Section/Subsection default topic title numbering should use outlining style numbers, not just sequential (i.e. a subsection of section 2 should be 2.1, not 3)

    4 - Each Section should allow the course editor to specify a date range. In Course Settings, the default date range per section should be set, e.g. 1 week, but allow the Date Range for the section to be overridden. The date range for the Section can be shown or hidden on the Section itself. Changing the start date of the Course should shift the start dates of the Sections using default dates. This would allow the replacement of all "Weeks" formats as options on "Topics" formats.

    5 - Needs to be in Moodle Core -- we host with a Moodle Partner, and they are very resistant to allowing non-Core plugins. Also, we've found that non-Core add-ons don't always tend to be maintained well through new versions of Moodle.

    We are willing to help fund this development. How can we proceed?

    Elizabeth Dalton
    LMS Administrator
    Granite State College
  • Picture of Marina Glancy
    Mon, May 12, 2014, 11:05 AM
    Hello Elizabeth,
    I work for Moodle HQ, was authoring course format API change in Moodle 2.4 and submitted this course format as an example of the features that the new API can offer. I'm glad it has become a popular plugin.

    As you know 2.7 was released today and now Moodle HQ started planning for 2.8. So it's a very good time to suggest new features. In order to suggest moving the plugin into core you need to create an issue in Moodle Tracker https://tracker.moodle.org/ under project "Moodle" and get approval from Marin Dougiamas. He will also be the person to discuss the funding with.

    Probably will also make sense to create a forum topic and invite people to vote and comment on the issue.

    While this plugin remains as an Add-on, the issues for improvements can be reported here:
    https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/CONTRIB/component/12746/
    Thanks
    Marina
  • Picture of Marina Glancy
    Mon, May 12, 2014, 2:52 PM
    New version 2.5.2 supports Moodle 2.5-2.7, RTL languages.
    Fixed bug with missing edit cog for section 0. Fixed bug with nod displaying the section show/hide control in Bootstrapbase-based themes.

    Also released new version 2.4.3 for Moodle 2.4
  • Picture of Elizabeth Dalton
    Mon, May 12, 2014, 10:43 PM
    Thanks, Marina. I've filed MDL-45518 requesting these changes and inclusion in 2.8 core.
  • Picture of Elizabeth Dalton
    Thu, May 15, 2014, 11:53 PM
    Users who like this format and want it to be added to Core should vote here: MDL-45518
  • Picture of Marina Glancy
    Thu, Sep 4, 2014, 2:38 PM
    New version released 2.6.1 and 2.7.1 for Moodle 2.6 and 2.7 respectively. Included better support for conditional availability of sections, see CONTRIB-5052
  • Picture of Marina Glancy
    Thu, Jan 1, 2015, 6:18 PM
    New versions released 2.7.2 and 2.8.1 for Moodle 2.7 and 2.8 respectively. Implemented CONTRIB-4671 - deleting sections; fixed bug with not expanding current section in navigation; in 2.8 properly implemented inheritance of conditional availability
  • Picture of Giulio Valentino
    Fri, Apr 10, 2015, 6:43 PM
    Hi and first sorry for my bad english.
    I see that this plugin auto number the section (section-1, section-2 etc) In this way is impossible make a link to a specific section because a new add subsection for examploe inside section-1 change then other section id.
    Hope is clear
  • Picture of moris afou
    Wed, Apr 22, 2015, 8:25 PM
    Hi there,
    I've tried to install all plugins to get flexpage format working, but when i create a course with flexpage format i get this error :
    Fatal error: Class course_format_flexpage_lib_condition contains 1 abstract method and must therefore be declared abstract or implement the remaining methods (core_availability\info::get_view_hidden_capability) in /$HOME/moodle/course/format/flexpage/lib/condition.php on line 32
    Im using moodle 2.7.7 and i guess the plugins i downloaded are 2.7.0 its could be the problem ?

    Best regards
  • Picture of Marina Glancy
    Wed, Apr 22, 2015, 8:59 PM
    Hello moris, this is format "flexsections" and your complain about "flexpage" format. They are two different plugins
  • Picture of moris afou
    Wed, Apr 22, 2015, 9:05 PM
    Hi Marina,
    sorry maybe i confused the plugins name, should i redirect to another forum topic?
  • Picture of Giulio Valentino
    Mon, May 11, 2015, 10:38 PM
    Hi, any update for moodle 2.9?
  • Picture of Marina Glancy
    Wed, May 13, 2015, 1:16 PM
    Done, there was a function name conflict with new API in 2.9 so I renamed my function. I did not create a new branch for 2.9 for easier maintenance, so 2.8 is also updated but without any effect on UI
  • Picture of Devon Ritter
    Fri, Jul 10, 2015, 4:59 AM
    Hi All. Does anyone know if suggestions such as Elizabeth's to allow users to expand/collapse sections are being worked on? We really like the flex sections format, and find it most useful to have sections collapsed on the course homepage, so students can more easily get an overview of all the course units. Once they are within a unit however, I think many would prefer to then be able to expand the various sub-sections for quicker and easier navigation.
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