Customise your Moodle courses using the course layout feature

October 20, 2017

Did you know Moodle gives educators the ability to customise their course layout?

Using the course layout feature, educators can control how their Moodle course appears to students. These special features are unique to Moodle.

For example, educators can change the full name of the course and the short name of the course which appears in the navigation bar.

course format

Educators can change the format of their course, meaning they can decide how the resources and activities are displayed.

The course layout feature also allows educators to choose how they would like to display their resources.

Let’s explore the options available:

Weekly format

As the name suggests, in the weekly format, sections are named as weeks.

The weekly format gives educators the ability to decide whether they want to show all the sections on one page, or show only one section per page.

Showing only one section per page would benefit educators who have lots of sections on their course as it will reduce the amount a student will need to scroll.

Topic format

As displayed in the image below, the topic format gives educators numbered topic sections that they can give titles to.

Each topic section contains activities, resources and labels. In newer installations of Moodle, this is the default format.

Similar to the weekly format, when using the topic format educators can decide between showing all the sections on one page, or one per page.


The social format creates a big message board for discussions and is useful for learning and teaching situations that are more free form.

The social forum can be edited by clicking the ‘Update this forum’ button on the social forum page. The forum introduction is displayed at the top of the course page. Activities and resources can be added on the side by using the social activities block.

The single activity format

If an educator wishes to add just one particular item such as a SCORM package or a quiz, the single activity format would be the most suitable choice.

When the single activity format is selected, a drop down menu appears for the teacher to choose the activity they wish to use.

So how can you, as an educator, make these changes?

  1. Go to the gear menu top right and click edit settings.
  2. This will take you to the setup screen. Here you can change the full name, short name and (if enabled by your organisation/administrator) the category in which it appears.
  3. Set the course dates to hide the changes until you’re ready for them to be published.
  4. Further customise your Moodle course by adding a course description for students who are not yet enrolled. You can also upload a file, such as an image or additional information about your course.
  5. Click “course format” to choose how you would like the resources to be displayed. You can choose between; topics, a weekly format, a social format, or single activity format.
  6. Select “appearance” to then decide how many news items you want to show in the announcements forum.
  7. Click to save.

To learn more about the course layout feature read our documentation on, or you can check out our Learn Moodle video below: