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Organising QMplus course content into tabs

For: StaffApplication: Design and Build , QMplusTagged: course design , course format , design , tabbed format , tabs

To provide more flexibility in structuring content in your QMplus areas, it is possible to move sections into separate tabs. These tabs appear towards the top of your QMplus area and are therefore particularly useful for content that needs to be accessed quickly.

This guide shows you how to make the best use of tabs in your QMplus course.

What tabs look like

A video walkthrough of the tabbed course format functionality.

Tabs at the top of a QMplus course area

Once you have set them up, tabs appear at the top of your QMplus course area. They appear below the news and announcements section. Each tab can contain any number of sections. By default you can have up to 5 tabs. It is possible to increase this but we don’t recommend that you add too many tabs to your course as the display can become crowded.

Understanding tab settings

Tabs are available if you are using the Collapsed Topics or Topics formats. You do not need to do anything to turn them on. There are, however, some things that you can configure and you will find these settings via Edit Settings in the Settings block in your course area.

Go to your course area and select Settings > Edit Settings
Scroll down to the Course format section.

Settings for tabs in the course settings

  1. Here you can set the number of tabs that are allowed. By default you have 5. We do not recommend that you have lots of tabs as the display will become cluttered.
  2. This setting controls how much text is shown in your tab when the tab is not open. The default, 0, means no limit…the whole tab title will be displayed. When a tab is selected, its full title will display. Note The shortening feature will not work if you have & in your tab title.
  3. This setting controls what happens if you only have one section in a tab. If you check this option, the tab title will automatically be set to the title of the section it contains. If you uncheck the box you will be able to give the tab a different title to the section inside it.
  4. If you are using the Assessment Information block in your course area, this setting allows you to define how it displays. You can select Tab to put it into a tab.

Adding tabs to a course

Although tabs may already be configured in your course area, they won’t display until you put content in to them. Adding content to a tab is easy…you simply select the section and send it to display in one of your tabs.

To do this, first turn editing on.

Go to the section you wish to put into a tab, click on the Edit item on the right of the section title and choose the tab you want the section to display in. In this example, we send the "Hints and Tips" section to Tab 1

Now we have a tab with the title Hints and Tips which contains the content in the Hints and Tips section.

You can continue to choose sections and send them to display in tabs.

Moving and renaming tabs

By default, tabs are ordered according to when they were added. Their names, unless taken from a section name, are Tab 1, 2 etc until you rename them.

  1. To move a tab: hover the mouse over the tab until a cross hair appears, then click and drag the tab to its new position. (At the moment you have to drop it onto an existing tab which then moves to the location the original tab occupied – in other words they swap places. In a later version, this will be improved upon.) Note that you cannot move any tabs to the left of the Module Content tab.
  2. To rename a tab: select the pencil, type the new name and press Enter.

Controlling where topic 0 appears

"Topic 0 " is the section which appears at the top of your main QMplus course content. It is generally where you will find the Module Announcements or News forum. When you are using tabs, you can choose whether you want to display Topic 0 in the usual place or whether you would like it to appear above the tabs.

Topic 0 displaying above the tabs in QMplus

The screenshot above shows Topic 0 appearing above the tabs.

To change where Topic 0 displays, first turn editing on.

Change topic 0 to display at the top

Go to the Edit drop-down menu on Topic 0 and select Show always on top. Topic 0 will now appear above the tabs.

Set topic 0 to display inline

To put Topic 0 back in the main module content. Select Show inline.

Tips for tabs

  • Don’t use too many tabs
  • Tabs work well for resources that need to be quickly accessed e.g a reading list for a module, course handbooks, assessment information

Did this answer your query? If not, you can raise a ticket on the online Helpdesk or email: its-helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk . Alternatively you can also request a particular guide or highlight an error in this guide using our guides request tracker.

Produced by the the E-Learning Unit at Queen Mary University of London.
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