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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.

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:


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Gareth J Barnard
Gareth J Barnard (Lead maintainer)
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  • Gareth J Barnard
    Wed, Jun 8, 2016, 6:41 PM
    Dear Mohammad,

    Please post on for community support.

    Kind regards,

  • Picture of Annick F
    Thu, Jun 9, 2016, 7:01 PM
    Is the version of this great plugin support the Elegance theme?
    I cannot get more than one column to display with the elegance theme, or is it a theme issue?

    Many Thanks

  • Gareth J Barnard
    Fri, Jun 10, 2016, 12:23 AM
    Dear Annick,

    Its a theme issue. As Bootstrap is the parent theme, I've put in a pull request here: - where you can see the changes.

    Kind regards,

  • Picture of Roland Sherwood
    Fri, Jun 17, 2016, 10:57 AM
    Hi Gareth. Many, many thanks for making this plugin available and your continued efforts to maintain and update it. We're going to be switching to Collapsed Topics as the default for all our courses next semester which I really think will please both staff and students a great deal. I did just have a quick query - nothing urgent, but thought it might be worth raising: under Moodle 3.x installations is it possible to easily turn off the 'edit section' "cog" icons which are shown when using Collapsed Topics but which no longer feature in the Moodle 3.x default topics or weeks formats (under those formats a single 'edit section' link can be accessed through the relevant 'Edit' drop down menu associated with the section)? For 3.x users, these additional icons are, effectively, redundant and visually add to page clutter as well as, again, being inconsistent with the other default formats Moodle 3.x offers.

    Again, not urgent - and thanks again for offering this plugin to the community.
  • Picture of Roland Sherwood
    Fri, Jun 17, 2016, 2:22 PM
    Hi again Gareth. Apologies - just one more quick query: under Moodle 3.1 editing of a section title is now possible in the same way that editing of activity/resource names has been for a while now i.e. users can click a little pencil icon to the right of the title and then enter their text directly, without the need to click the dedicated 'edit section' link and be taken to a separate page. However, while this functionality still works when using Collapsed Topics, because clicking anywhere in the region which contains the section title also simultaneously toggles the section's open/closed state, it actually can be quite confusing for users when the contents of a section disappear or appear just as a result of trying to edit the section title. So, in short I just wondered if it's possible to make clicking the pencil icon not activate toggling of the section? If it's not, no worries and, again, just thought it worth raising.
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Fri, Jun 17, 2016, 5:44 PM
    Dear Roland,

    Please let me think about this.

    Kind regards,

  • Picture of Jacques Monnard
    Thu, Jun 23, 2016, 10:07 PM
    Hi Gareth (and Roland),

    Regarding the problem when clicking the pencil icon, please note that in Moodle 3.1, clicking on the section name will also allow one to edit its title. Thus any solution should probably also disable toggling the section when clicking on the title.

    Here are also two temporary workarounds for the two problems mentioned above (use at your own risk wink :
    1. make cog icon for section invisible : add the following to your theme style sheet
    img.tceditsection {
    display: none;
    2. add this if statement at line 125 of /course/format/topcolll/module.js and enclose the three lines that follow between { ... } :
    if (!('parentElement').hasClass('quickediticon') ||'quickeditlink') ))

    Regards and thanks for your great job !


  • Gareth J Barnard
    Fri, Jun 24, 2016, 7:36 PM
    Thank you Jacques,

    Food for thought. I've been thinking about detecting if the icon has been pressed and simply not changing the state of the toggle.


  • Picture of Betsy Springer
    Mon, Aug 22, 2016, 9:46 AM
    Since the last update, the course section titles are in a grey box, and I can't find where to change this color. Thanks
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Tue, Aug 23, 2016, 4:47 AM
    Hi Betsy,

    What 'grey' box? What version of Moodle / CT? If you mean the 'toggle' then its colour has been setable for years in the course settings etc.

  • Picture of Betsy Springer
    Tue, Aug 23, 2016, 6:07 AM
    See this screen shot. The Hover color is blue. Inside the blue is a grey box

    We are using moodle 3.1 and this happened with an update to collapsed topics that came out last week. It was ok before this. It's the same update that included the "edit topic title" option.
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 12:35 AM
    Hi Betsy,

    Thanks for the screen shot. I cannot replicate in any of my themes or the Clean theme. I can only replicate when I mess around with the CSS.

  • Picture of Betsy Springer
    Wed, Aug 24, 2016, 12:37 AM
    How strange. I haven't messed with CSS. I use the them Adaptable. Maybe they aren't getting along.
    I also wonder if it only appears in EDITING ON mode. The class isn't live, so I haven't seen it without editing on. I will try that out today.
  • Picture of Daniel Rodriguez
    Sun, Sep 18, 2016, 8:12 AM
    I have created the translation for spanish. How could I give it to you?
  • Gareth J Barnard
    Mon, Sep 19, 2016, 1:28 AM
    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks smile - I'll PM you contact details. Odd that the AMOS version is not good enough.


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