Course formats: Collapsed Topics

Maintained by Gareth J Barnard Gareth J Barnard
An interchangeable topic or week based format that solves the issue of the 'Scroll of Death' when a course has many topics.
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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+.

REPORTING ISSUES: 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 'readme' 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
    Thu, 25 Jan 2018, 5:46 AM
    Hi Edmund,

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

    Kind regards,

  • Picture of Anna Krassa
    Fri, 26 Jan 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.
  • Picture of Andy Borrero
    Wed, 7 Feb 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)
  • Picture of Annalise HAmmer
    Fri, 16 Mar 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!!
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Tue, 20 Mar 2018, 8:34 PM
    Hi Andy,

    Uninstall and reinstall again.

  • Gareth J Barnard
    Tue, 20 Mar 2018, 8:35 PM
    Hi Annalise,

    I can replicate but don't have a solution to solve the problem. Any ideas?

  • Picture of Matt Bruce
    Fri, 13 Apr 2018, 4:22 PM
    Great plugin but the number of columns and column orientation doesn't seem to have any affect.

    I'm using plugin version 3.4 (Build: 2017110300) with Moodle 3.4.2 (Build: 20180319). I am using the Moove theme.

    Any help appreciated.
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Fri, 13 Apr 2018, 10:34 PM
    Dear Matt,

    The Moove theme is contributed and uses the Bootstrap V4 system. Willian ( needs to override CT's renderer and set 'bsnewgrid' to true -> or override these methods: as appropriate.

  • Picture of Matt Bruce
    Fri, 13 Apr 2018, 10:38 PM
    Thanks Gareth
  • Picture of Jean-Roch Meurisse
    Wed, 23 May 2018, 10:08 PM
    Hi Gareth,
    I was asked in my university to add simple section collapsing to main core course formats (topics and weeks) without all the layout options that you provide in your great plugin. They don't want all the layout options to keep consistency among course in our moodle instance. Consequently, I cloned the core topics format for a start and added collapsing behaviour using bootstrap built in mechanism. Other institutions in my country are interested by this feature, thus I'd like to submit it to the Moodle plugins repository.
    Before doing that I wanted to ask if it is ok for you since the basic functionality is the same as in your plugin. If it's ok for you I'll of cours add your name to the credits.
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Thu, 24 May 2018, 6:54 AM
    Hi Jean-Roch,

    Thank you for letting me know and for the offer of a credit. To be fair the idea of the toggles partially came from ".Net Magazine Issue 186 - Article on Collapsed Tables by Craig Grannell" and other places, see the 'References' section in the format's file. I don't think I should be credited in code, a reference like I've done is just fine. Please do make a note here with the plugins URL when it's published.

    Kind regards,

  • Picture of Per Hessellund
    Wed, 6 Jun 2018, 5:06 PM
    Is there a 3.5 version of this course format or are it on it's way?
    Best regards

  • Gareth J Barnard
    Wed, 6 Jun 2018, 7:39 PM
    Hi Per,

    Yes and yes.

  • Picture of Jean-Roch Meurisse
    Mon, 18 Jun 2018, 7:54 PM
    Hi Gareth,
    My plugin has been approved! Here is the plugin URL :
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Mon, 18 Jun 2018, 11:30 PM
    Hi Jean-Roch.

    Awesome smile - I've replied there.

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