I am trying to create a custom table of contents format. What I want to do is to have the description of the section inside a block environment like:

\section{Section 1}
\frame{
\begin{block}
This is section description 1
\end{block}
}

\section{Section 2}
\frame{
\begin{block}
This is section description 2
\end{block}
}

\section{Section 3}
\frame{
\begin{block}
This is section description 3
\end{block}
}


Let me explain why I need this. In my presentation I have three research questions that guide the overall presentation, and split it to several sections (each question is one section). Initially, I present all three together in one slide, but I then want to present only one of them, basically shading the rest, like what happens in the table of contents.

Is something like that possible?

-

Below there's one possible solution; the basic idea is to redefine the section in toc template in such a way that the mandatory argument of \section will now be used for the description of the section and will be placed inside a block in the ToCs; the optional argument of \section can be used for the headline (in case an outer theme with section in the headline is being used). Here's the code:

\documentclass[breaklinks]{beamer}
\useoutertheme{miniframes}

\makeatletter
\AtBeginSection{%
\begin{frame}
\frametitle{Outline}
\tableofcontents[currentsection]
\end{frame}
}

\setbeamertemplate{section in toc}{\protect\block{Research Question~\inserttocsectionnumber}\inserttocsection\protect\endblock}

\begin{document}
\begin{frame}
\frametitle{General Outline}
\tableofcontents
\end{frame}

\section[Section one title]{This is section description 1}
\begin{frame}
Contents of section one
\end{frame}

\section[Section two title]{This is a very long section description. This is a very long section description. This is a very long section description. This is a very long section description.}
\begin{frame}
Contents of section two
\end{frame}

\section[Section three title]{This is section description 3}
\begin{frame}
Contents of section three
\end{frame}

\end{document}


and some of the resulting frames showing the two first partial ToCs with the descriptions inside a block (current section with normal code and other section shaded as requested) and the headline with the titles:

-