Future major features

Replacement for the course and category management pages

Sam Hemelryk
Replacement for the course and category management pages
Core developersPlugin developersTesters

Hello everyone,

I've been working on a tool to replace the course and category management pages within Moodle and I'd love to get a bit of feedback or see if anyone has any interesting ideas.

First up there is a tracker issue for the new tool: MDL-31830

I've created a prototype of the tool that can be found on my github account https://github.com/samhemelryk/moodle-tool_coursemanagement and is already functional.
It is in it's very early stages and has only been tested in Firefox + Chrome and presently requires JavaScript however if you're keen to test it out your more than welcome, have a read of the README and on the tracker issue first though just to get an idea of its state.

So a bit about this tool...

I have created with the hope of simplifying the process of creating, ordering, managing and deleting both courses and categories.
It does this by providing all of its management functionality through a single UI (page) that is kept optimal thanks to AJAX loading of content and makes use of JS enhancements such as drag and drop reordering and moving of courses (and in the future categories).

As mentioned it is a prototype and presently you can do the following with this tool:

When viewing a category:

  • Expand the category tree to see subcategories. This happens via AJAX with no reloads or redirections.
  • Create a new basic course through a JS widget that gets automatically added to the stack with no reloads or redirections.

When viewing courses in a category:

  • Use drag and drop to reorder the courses within a category. AJAX is used so that this happens immediately behind the scenes no reloads or redirections.
  • Drag a course over another category to move the course from its current category to the targeted category.
  • Click on a course to view details. Details are loaded by AJAX with no reloads or redirections.

When viewing a courses details:

  • Perform normal actions such as editing, deleting through the existing methods.

At the moment I'd like to see if there is any feedback or good ideas before continuing with development.
When I do I hope to implement drag and drop functionality for the organisation of categories as well as a JS in-page widget to quickly create categories (like you presently can with courses).
I'd also like to include a means of accessing category actions (edit/delete/permissions) and finally bulk actions for courses (you'll notice there are checkboxes already this is what they are for).

The following are a couple of screenshots I've taken of it just to give you a quick idea of its looks. Both have been scales down so if you want a better look open the image in a tab separately.

Main page 

Ajax course creation

So please if you have 5 minutes to spare and are interested I'd be keen to see what you have to say about it, doubly so if you have had a wee play with it.
My appologies if there are bugs, its pretty likely as this is very early on in development.


Average of ratings: Useful (2)
Picture of Hartmut Scherer
Re: Replacement for the course and category management pages
Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Sam,

Thank you for developing this tool. I installed the course management tool on a test site. First impression: I really like what you developed. I am a teacher and site admin, not a developer and I have no clue, how labor intensive any of my following suggestions are.

a) Similar to the duplicate function for activities in the main course page, it may be possible to have the duplicate function for entire courses.

b) As the right column displays all activities and resources of a course, it may be possible to drag (copy) them to other courses, which would make the import function almost a fun activity.

Again, thank you for this tool.

With kind regards,


Average of ratings: -
Sam Hemelryk
Re: Replacement for the course and category management pages
Core developersPlugin developersTesters

Hi Hartmut,

First up thank you for trying it out! that is most appreciated.
In regards to the two ideas that you raised:

a) This is absolutely doable. I could easily create an action for the courses in the list to duplicate them. It would rely on the backup and restore system and could execute a backup and then restore behind the scenes. Of course the user would be required to have the required permissions but that isn't a problem. I think this is a really good idea and have created a sub-task from the main issue to see it implemented (or at least so that it is not forgotten).

b) This is a little more difficult, I think technically it is possible and again could be achieved through the backup+restore systems however I could imagine the mechanics for it would be quite a bit more difficult and out of reach for the initial version of this tool. That being said I'll keep it in mind as we are yet to see where this tool goes.

Once more thank you very much for the feedback!


Average of ratings: -
C'est moi :-)
Re: Replacement for the course and category management pages
Documentation writersParticularly helpful MoodlersTestersTranslators

Hi Sam,

I haven't time to test this for the moment, but i seems really interesting smile

Managing categories is really a pain (at least in 1.9, not tested with 2.x) when you want to reorder them and have a huge number of categories (because of the dropdown lists listing all of them for each category). I've just opened it on my main site, and it generates a web page thats 73 MB (and takes long time to generate) !

And this needs to be used several times, just to move a category several steps up or down...

Thanks for your work, hoping it could be integrated in Moodle core.


Average of ratings: -
Also me
Re: Replacement for the course and category management pages

Hi Sam,

This is brilliant. This solves a problem I've just left on the side for months because of the hugely clunky way management is handled in moodle core.

It would be nice to be able to hide course details agian after veiwing. And it would be nice to be able to edit course settings from within the interface in the same way you can create a course.

Kudos and thanks,


Average of ratings: -
Also me
Re: Replacement for the course and category management pages


It's over a year later and I've been checking back through my forum posts to find this discussion again so I can download your prototype again.

As far as I can see there's nothing around that fulfills my needs like this does. Have you any plans to develop it further? Course and category management pages are crying out for something better.

Cheers, Sam.

Average of ratings: -
Simon Coggins
Re: Replacement for the course and category management pages
Core developersPlugin developers

Have a look at the tracker issue:


There's been quite a bit of recent progress, and the current prototype is at the stage where feedback would be most appreciated.



Average of ratings: -