Faculty can change the look and feel of their Moodle site by choosing a different course format. Many of the course formats below have the advantage of providing a more compact interface for navigating a Moodle site, instead of having to scroll down (and down, and down...) one long page.  

For examples of how faculty at Amherst have used course formats, please see our articles Organizing and Sharing Content for Effective Course Delivery and Enhancing Teaching Presence by Personalizing Moodle.

How to Change Your Course Format:

  1. Go to your course's Moodle site.
  2. Click the "Course Management" gear icon in the top menu bar. 
  3. Click "Edit Course Settings"
  4. Scroll down to the Course Format section, and select one of the formats. See below for the various options.
  5. Depending on the format you selected, you will likely have additional setting options appear that are specific to that format. Click the name of the format below for further documentation. 
    course format settings

Course Formats


This is the default format, which simply shows a section for each week on the main page. The dates are created automatically based on the start date of the course. 


Similar to weekly, but without any dates. Sections are named "Topic 1", "Topic 2", etc., and you can rename them as desired.


Shows a series on "Buttons" at the top of the page, each representing a section of the Moodle page. Only one section shows at a time, and clicking a button displays a particular section. Buttons can be grouped or separated out under headings of your choice. Items in the top-most section can display at the top or bottom of the page.
buttons format

Collapsed Topics

Each section toggles open and shut. When they are all collapsed, you see a nice overview of the course sections. Items in the top-most section are always visible at the top. You can choose a different color scheme for the sections. 
collapsed topics

Flexible Sections

This format is for courses that need nested sections, or sub-sections. 
flexible sections


The initial view shows each section as a clickable "Tile", and clicking a tile expands the content for that section. You can customize the tiles with different colors, icons, or background photos for each tile. Any items in the top-most section are always visible at the top. 

Initial View of Tiles format (with custom photos added):

View after clicking a tile:
tiles expanded

Not Recommended: 

We don't particularly recommend the Social or Single Activity Formats.