Category Administrator

Maintained by Trevor Jones, Greg Gibeau
Allows non-administrators semi-administrative level control over modules and blocks at the category level. Built to provide faculty/department units with some administrative level control at the University of Alberta.
Latest release:
6 fans
Current versions available: 2

Allows non-administrators semi-administrative level control over modules and blocks at the category level.
Built to provide faculty/department units with some administrative level control at the University of Alberta.


- Disable/enable blocks and modules at any category level.

- Change administrator level settings for modules at category level.

- Allow non-administrators to set administrator level settings and enable disable plugins restricted to their category.

- Category level course search. Allows search to be restricted within a category.

- Category view, show all the categories you have access to despite visibility settings on containing categories.


Screenshot #0
Screenshot #1
Screenshot #2
Screenshot #3


Trevor Jones (Lead maintainer)
Greg Gibeau: Developer
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  • Anthony Borrow
    Thu, Apr 4, 2013, 2:34 PM
    Trevor - Thanks for sharing this patch with the Moodle community. Patches can take significantly more time to review and test. I appreciate your patience as we look into this contribution. Peace - Anthony
  • Anthony Borrow
    Thu, Apr 4, 2013, 2:39 PM
    Trevor - My first question, just looking at things really quickly, is why this could not be addressed with current roles and capabilities within Moodle? In other words, why is this plugin necessary? Peace - Anthony
  • Thu, Apr 4, 2013, 9:50 PM
    Hi Anthony,

    Yes, this addresses functionality which cannot be gained through roles and capabilities.
    This plugin allows administrators (and non-administrators who have the new capabilities) the ability to set administrator level settings restricted to a category and its sub categories. It also allows a plugin to be enabled in one category and disabled in others.

    A few examples:
    1. At the University of Alberta we transitioned from Blackboard Vista which had administrative contexts at each 'category' level. We have a number of sub administrative units spread throughout the university in different faculties and departments. We are able to give these groups access to the administrator level settings they want control over while preventing these settings from affecting any other faculty or department.

    2. Plugin release. When we release a plugin for either evaluation or because the plugin does not make sense for all faculties we restrict its access to certain groups using this plugin.

    3. Lets assume there is a course which has a real need to have 2GB file uploads (eg. private video submissions for an assignment). While we want to allow this course or group of courses the ability to upload this size of file, we do not want to allow every instructor at the university to be able to allow this size of file uploads. In the current system we would have to set the system level max file upload size to 2GB and somehow set all other courses other than this one or this group to our preferred setting and hope that instructors don't change it. With this plugin we can set a 2GB limit in the immediate category this course is within and leave it restricted to our desired max everywhere else.
  • MD shot of me from his iphone4
    Fri, Apr 5, 2013, 2:55 PM
    Hi Trevor,
    This has certainly piqued the interest of some developers here smile.

    While you've pointed out this functionality cannot be gained through current roles and capabilities, we're still racking our brains about why not.
    Sharing this has certainly brought about some benefit already, thanks!

    There are some minor things that would be very useful here that you can consider adding :
    - Code repository url
    - Documentation about how this can be used
    - Perhaps a website to University of Alberta or somewhere this plugin could be seen. This is totally up to you.

    I'd suggest creating an MDL issue to look at improving moodle to be able to take in this plugin without any patching. This seems to fall into the realm of a 'course category management tool' or simply a type of 'admin tool' for non-admins. (improvements will likely be required on both sides). In any case, i think an MDL or a forum post would be a good step forward from here. Plugins without patches are much more easily shared.

    I'll wait for your response on the urls above before approving this smile.
  • Fri, Apr 5, 2013, 10:28 PM
    Hi Aparup,

    We're pleased to hear that our plugin has piqued some interest.

    I've added the github url to the source control field. We'll be pushing out all of our public releases to that repository.
    Where is the best place to put usage documentation? In the README? Description?
    I'll look into getting approval from management to setup a demo site with the plugin.

    As soon as I get a chance I'll make a post or a new ticket and get the ball rolling on that.

  • MD shot of me from his iphone4
    Mon, Apr 8, 2013, 9:18 AM
    How i see it, the best places for docs are :
    - for full fledged documentation.
    - README.txt for an overview and how to get started with the plugin.
    - in the long description here for just a functional description
    - the short description is usually a summary of the long description.
  • Mon, Apr 8, 2013, 1:54 PM
    Trevor, I am interested in testing out this plugin, but do you mind squashing your commits for the core edits into a single commit so it is easier to cherry-pick/merge in the changes? Also, the README on GitHub mentions being able to merge in a branch with your changes dependent for whatever version of Moodle I am using (i.e. contextadmin_22_STABLE), but I don't see any such branches.
  • Tue, Apr 9, 2013, 1:40 AM
    Hi Rex,

    The core files are modified in a number of different commits throughout, and not necessarily by themselves. If I provided a separate branch of the core changes in a single commit would that be sufficient?
    Also github shows me the contextadmin_22_STABLE branch? When you clone does `git branch -a` not show it?
  • Wed, May 1, 2013, 6:30 AM
    For those on 2.4.x I've updated the core patches for this version. The plugin itself has a single minor bug fix but is otherwise unchanged.
  • Thu, Jan 8, 2015, 2:20 PM
    Hi Everyone,

    Happy New Year!

    I'm using Moodle 2.8.

    Is it possible to filter the List of categories?

    Like for example, if I have 5 categories, and I only want to show a specific category e.g. Category 1. Is this doable?

    For reference please visit my post.

    Please helpsad
  • Fri, Jan 9, 2015, 3:25 AM
    Hi Erwin,
    This plugin doesn't support the functionality you've specified.
  • Thu, Jul 9, 2015, 10:51 PM
    Hi, I wonder if you have a working version for Moodle 2.8.

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