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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.3. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Context.

Template:Moodle site - basic structure

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A context is a "space" in Moodle. For example, a course, an activity, or a Question bank's question category, are all are contexts. A context might contain other contexts.

There is a hierarchy of contexts which helps locate and define a specific space. A course can have many contexts in its space. These might include lesson, assignment, forum and quiz modules and blocks. Generally speaking, this hieracrhy allows a lower context to receive information from a higher context. Thus a student in the context of Course A, will initially be considered a student in a Quiz context that is located in Course A. Or when I theme has been set for the Biology course categories, that is passed on to Biology 101.

Role and contexts

A context is combined with Role permissions to define a user's capabilities on any page in Moodle. Typically contexts have their own organization structure which allow a user's role to be passed along to the context "below" but not to the one above it.

It is possible to assign a user different permissions based upon a specific context. For example, a user might be given the role of "student" for a course but be given a teacher's role in the context of one specific forum. Or a user can be a teacher of one course and a student in another course.

Many Moodle contexts have a place to grant exceptions to specific roles.

Graphic showing contexts within contexts

The image below shows a few contexts and their relationships. The "System" or Moodle site is the overall context. The user is defined iniially in this context.

  • The System context has 2 contexts under it, with other context under them
    • The Front page context has
      • An activity module context and
      • A block context within it
    • The Course Cateory context has
      • A Course context within it. The course context has
        • An activity module context and
        • A block context within it


(Source: Development:Roles#Context)

See also

Moodle Docs

Forum discussions