Create Awesome Course Layouts With These Top 11 Moodle Course Formats (2019 Updated)

moodle course format

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Updated on June 23rd, 2019. Since we last checked, the Grid course format skyrocketed in popularity. Here are the top 10 Course Format plugins by downloads in the last 12 months:

  1. Grid (11,873 downloads in the past 12 months)
  2. Collapsed Topics (10,650)
  3. Onetopic (10,607)
  4. Buttons (7,045)
  5. Tiles (5,556)
  6. Flexible sections (1,988)
  7. eTask topics (1,895)
  8. Board Grid and Blocks (1,464)
  9. Collapsible Topics (1,413)
  10. Masonry Topics (934)

And here are the top 10 in terms of fans:

  1. Buttons (133)
  2. Grid (113)
  3. Collapsed Topics (98)
  4. Onetopic (92)
  5. Socialwall (69)
  6. Tiles (63)
  7. Flexible sections (56)
  8. eTask (53)
  9. Board Grids and Blocks (50)
  10. MindMap (47)

Original Post:

Moodle as the name suggests is Modular in nature from the heart and allows you to expand the functionality as desired. That is one of the main reason for wide popularity of Moodle to adapt the learning & training needs of different sectors through the extensions/plugins. Moodle contains more than 52 different types of plugins through which you can extend the features to cater your specific requirements.

Among the most popular plugin types, Course Formats is the one which can be used to display your course items with different layouts and structures. By default, Moodle comes with 4 course formats:

  • Weekly Format
  • Topics Format
  • Social Format
  • Single Activity Format

You can change the appearance of your course by adding the course format plugins. You can even create your own or rally behind interesting new ideas. Positive user response is a powerful driver of ongoing development. The opposite case can often be true as well, unfortunately.

Help Make The ‘Rope Team’ Moodle Course Format A Reality

Below we compile the list of top 11 most popular course formats for Moodle version:

Top 11 Most Popular Moodle Course Format Plugins (2018 ranking)

Collapsed Topics

The course format which solves the issue of “Scroll of Death” when a course has many sections/topics. All sections contains a toggle to expand or collapse the section view. The course format is maintained by Gareth J Barnard and as usual like his themes is maintained proactively. Up to Moodle 3.6.

Grid Format

The visual course format for Moodle which hides all topics and create a grid of icons with short titles. Clicking an icon will bring the sections content in a lightbox style display. Again maintained by Gareth so can’t doubt about its code support.

Onetopic Format


Based on the core “Topics” format which allows you to show each topic in a tab, keeping the current tab between calls to resources, in such a way that when it returns from a module as the blog or the glossary it returns to tab from where you started.

Buttons Format

The buttons course format creates a menu with buttons in JavaScript to access the sections, one by one as shown below.

Flexible Sections Format

Developed by Marina Glancy of Moodle HQ, Flexible Sections format organises course content in any number of sections that can be nested. Each section can be displayed expanded or collapsed.

Board (Grid and Blocks) format

The grid course format which provides full flexibility between sections and columns. You can choose quantity and width of columns and quantity of sections in each column.

Menutopic format

This course format plugin allows you to display the course sections in custom menus. . Also, this format allow use the section description as a template to change the appearance of such section.

Mindmap format

Mindmap Course Format allows Moodle users using courses through interactive, personalized mindmap. Additionally, it provides a graphical presentation of conditional dependencies and distinction of modules where student have problems. Please note that it uses Freeplane Java Applet to display map, thus Java is required for this plugin.

Periods format

You can set custom duration for all course sections in Days/Weeks/Months with overriding the individuals ones. You can also collapse or hide the past or future course sections. Again, developed by Marina Glancy from Moodle HQ.

eTask Topics format

One more course format based on the Topics course format and includes grading table on the top of the course page with additional functionality as a highlighting of final grade or setting value for grade to pass.

NED-Tabs course format

Moodle 3.2 or older. Check out a demo here

Course format which displays the course sections as numbered tabs. The best thing in this course format is the alternate activity tracking system which is shown in the form of an icon on the left side of the activity name.

Which course format you are using on your Moodle site? Do you like any other course format which is not mentioned in this list? Do share with us in the comments section below.

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