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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

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Screenshot

Contributors

Picture of Marina Glancy
Marina Glancy (Lead maintainer)
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  • Picture of vishnu prasad
    Sun, Jan 19, 2014, 3:14 PM
    Hello, we are using this format in our course, it was running smooth in the beginning. but recently we are facing some issues with this format, we can't select activities to make a backup its taking more than 2-3 minutes to tick single activity for backup process. this is happening only with the course with flexible section format, the other course in the same site with other format working fine. is there anyone face issue like this?
  • Picture of Marina Glancy
    Mon, Jan 20, 2014, 10:35 AM
    Hello Vishnu,
    course format usually don't affect backup process but I can look at that. Can you please tell what version and what build number of Moodle core you are using?
    Marina
  • Picture of vishnu prasad
    Mon, Jan 20, 2014, 1:19 PM
    Hello we are using version 2.5.1 (2013051400) for Moodle 2.5, 2.6 and the moodle version 2.5 (Build: 20130514) , i understand backup and restore has nothing to do with course format but we having this issue only with this course format this is why i posted here.
  • Picture of William Lu
    Fri, Jan 24, 2014, 6:36 AM
    Collapsed is not working on my Moodle2.6, hence not really useful at this moment. Install successfully, move feature is better than other format. But, when it means 'Subsection' should be able collapsed as the screenshot shown. Any upgraded version soon? Thanks
  • Picture of Marina Glancy
    Fri, Jan 24, 2014, 9:26 AM
    Hello William, please upgrade to 2.6.1. This was discussed above in the comments already. Sorry for this bug.
    Marina
  • Picture of Scott Buchmann
    Sat, Feb 15, 2014, 5:06 AM
    I'm having trouble using Flexible Sections with Group access. If I set a section to be restricted to a specific grouping, and then view that course as a student who is not a member of the grouping, it will properly hide the activities within the section, however the section name still displays for that student.

    With other course formats, turning on Grouping access for a section will also hide the section title. I would prefer this behavior if possible.
  • 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
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