General plugins (Local) ::: local_metadata
Maintained by Mike Churchward
The “local metadata” plugin has been created to allow extra, “metadata” to be defined and assigned to various context level elements in Moodle. It is an abstraction of the current “user profile field” functionality in Moodle and contains much of the same code. This was written for the MUA as a proof of concept for a project to add extra profile data to courses, to see whether one metadata function could be used for multiple Moodle contexts. It is currently in Beta, and is open for participation and discussion.
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The “local metadata” plugin has been created to allow extra, “metadata” to be defined and
assigned to various context level elements in Moodle. It is an abstraction of the current “user
profile field” functionality in Moodle and contains much of the same code.

The data model includes context level identifiers to allow the same data tables and API’s to be
used for all of the different context levels. The plugin has been designed with the ability to be
adopted into core, and completely replace the current user profile field feature if desired.

In its current concept state, the plugin provides metadata functionality for users, courses,
activity modules, groups, cohorts and course caregories. Other context levels can be added through
the context subplugin. NOTE, that the user metadata provided by the plugin is “in addition to” the
current profile data rather than replacing it. For now, it is really intended to show/prove that
this could replace the user profile data feature.

The plugin provides two subplugin types:
- Data contexts - These subplugins provide a Moodle context to apply metadata to.
- Data field types - These subplugins are the same as the user profile data types plugins.

Since it is a plugin, it can only provide interfaces that are available to plugins. For example,
adding specific data to defined course metadata elements must be done through a different
interface form than the main course settings form. The plugin takes advantages of Moodle
hooks and callbacks that allow screens and menus to be added to, where they exist. If brought
into core, these would be able to be more tightly integrated (this could also be better integrated
if/when the proposed “hook” system provides more hooking points).

The plugin can be retrieved from It
should be installed into the Moodle “/local/metadata/” directory (the “metadata” subdirectory
needs to be created). Make sure that the “/local/metadata/” directory contains the root of the

Goto for a walkthrough
of the plugin in its current state.


Screenshot #0


Mike Churchward (Lead maintainer)
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  • Fri, Dec 6, 2019, 1:02 AM
    Zoran Jancic, did you ever figure this out? I also cannot find where to enter the data.
  • Sat, Dec 7, 2019, 7:53 AM
    I'm so excited about the potential of this plugin, but so far many things are confusing to me.

    1) Even with the "Who is this field visible to" set to Everyone, I can only get Admins and Managers to see it. Not teachers.
    2) The LINK field available under the text input field type doesn't seem to convert the text to a link anywhere that I can see.
    3) As mentioned in my previous post (and by Zoran Jancic) I cannot find the category metadata fields that I created

    Any help is appreciated. I don't like to submit "bug reports" until I've confirmed that an issue isn't just me being dumb.
  • Fri, Dec 13, 2019, 10:44 PM
    Very usefull!
    I would embed an iframe tag with google maps coordinates in course metadata using text area type, but it seems it's stripped when it is saved into the db. Is it possible to add this iframe in other way?
  • Thu, Dec 19, 2019, 2:00 AM
    I'm checking in on this plugin and wondering if it's still supported.
  • Fri, Mar 6, 2020, 5:39 PM
    Hi Mike, your plugin is very usefull! I'll would need a Custum Field like "Menu" that use data give from a table into a DB (like,what do you think about this?
  • Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 2:22 AM
    Hi Mike.
    This plugin is perfect.
    Is it possible to automaticly populate the fields of the metadata course when you upload more courses via cvs files?
    Best regards,
  • Wed, Sep 16, 2020, 1:37 AM
    I'm using metadata to add many more fields to courses and I see that backup/restore is not implemented, is it possible? Best regards, Lourdes
  • Wed, Sep 16, 2020, 2:29 PM
    @lourdes maybe you can solve your ploblem with this post (
  • Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 7:21 AM
    Where do I find the "not visible" fields that are only visible to Admins? I don't see them, even though I'm an Admin.
  • Wed, Jan 20, 2021, 3:46 AM
    Just checking back in a month later to see if anyone else is having the same issue I mentioned previously. I've also submitted to items here, but no response to that, either: . I'm just wondering if I'm doing something wrong, or are others experiencing this?
  • Fri, Feb 12, 2021, 7:59 AM
    Is there anyone out there?
  • Sat, Mar 6, 2021, 6:41 AM
    Does anyone have any idea of this plugin is still supported? There hasn't been any activity or responses to questions in quite a while.
  • Wed, Jul 7, 2021, 11:08 PM
    Giving this another try. Since there was an update to 3.11 on May 27th 2021 it seems that this plugin is still supported in some way. However, I don't seen anymore discussion or responses to questions or issues on the bug tracker. As I mentioned, I'm incredibly excited about this plugin so I'm hoping to see some activity on it and see it come out of BETA stage. Can someone here just say "hi" to me so I know I'm not all alone here? big grin
  • Thu, Jul 8, 2021, 12:09 AM
    I've now discovered that the reason my Teachers cannot see and update the fields I've set up for them is because they do not have the moodle/course:create capability. I guess this makes sense, but I wish there was a way to allow them update course information without giving them the ability to create new courses. Perhaps if it were tied to the moodle/course:update capability instead?
  • Thu, Jul 8, 2021, 1:00 AM
    UPDATE: I managed to get it to work by changing line 111 of the context_handler.php from moodle/course:create to moodle/course:update. Now, An teacher can see and add course metadata without having the extra rights of creating a course.
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