Topic outline

    • Moodle ToolGuide and Selector v3

      In November this year, Catalyst held a personal projects day for all their staff - a 'Catathon'. One of the projects was to rebuild the Moodle toolguide and selector that Richard had made in 2015 and update it for Moodle3.
      The toolguide is based on the fantastic work originally done by Joyce Seitzinger (@catspyjamas) and adapted by Gavin Henrick (@ghenrick) and the original digital adaptation by Richard Oelmann and sits alongside a tool selector, based on original concepts by Alison Ruth. It is released under a CC-NC-By-SA licence, so feel free to use and adapt - but please always credit the original authors.




          This is directly based on the original ToolGuide, produced by Joyce Setizinger and Gavin Henrick's subsequent work for Moodle2. It has been updated for Moodle 3 and includes filters to allow additional plugins (and Catalyst's own out-of-the-box additions) to be highlighted or excluded.

          As with the original, you can look across the columns to what you want to achieve and down the rows to find the tools.

          The grid then gives you a summary of the tool, while clicking on the tool title will take you to a page where more detail can be added (eg. previous iterations for USW included links to University help pages).

          Although colour based for visual impact, each tile has a corresponding icon so that colour is not the only factor in identifying the options.

          The grid is now built from an xml text file and so is much easier to update and add your own plugin set to than previous versions which needed to be built directly in the code.

      Tool Selector

          Based on original work and concepts by Alison Ruth and developed from my Moodle2 version.

          As with the ToolGuide, this is also backed by an xml data file, though the structure also requires some javascript fiddling if it is being edited.

          The Tool Selector enables the tutor to step through what they are trying to achieve, to provide suggestions of suitable tools. The Selector also provides an image of the decision tree backing the selector's branching format and also the (now file used to create the image so that this too can be edited as required.


          The site is built on Boostrap 4 and includes the full range of available Bootswatch templates for BS4. These are selectable from the drop down menu.

          Buttons are also provided to switch from coloured tile backgrounds to outlines only, and also between dark and light text, acknowledging that not all bootswatches are suitable for the default set up. Unfortunately, while the theme choice is persistent across the pages, the outline/text options are not (yet). This is also intended to aid accessibility, though further suggestions for improvements around accessibility are welcomed.


          While a large tabular grid layout like the guide, or a branching structure like the selector, does not lend itself easily to smaller screens, the site has been made responsive as far as possible.

          To reduce scrolling, the content of each tile has been mode into a pop-up tool-top style content on smaller screens.

    • Tool selector map

      Moodle toolguide  Moodle toolguide - alternative theme  Moodle tool selector

    • A small gift for your Moodle for December the 8th, brought to you by Richard Oelmann from Catalyst IT Europe. 
      Richard Oelmann, Senior Solutions Consultant, Catalyst Europe