on the loading speed of custom myMoodle

A few weeks ago I wrote about the customisations I am doing on myMoodle to let the user have some control of the centre column. After all, the user has control of the two side columns, so why have the centre completely locked down.

Since I wrote my post in April, I have continued to work on this and my colleagues have also made a number of useful suggestions. Below is a picture of there I am up to at the moment.

There are still some details to be worked out, of course. Here’s also a video from a week ago where I had some debug messages turned on and wanted to quickly demonstrate my status then.

  • In normal mode, the user sees top x courses on myMoodle, based on a set order, and the activity details are collapsed using JavaScript. All other ‘surplus’ courses are not displayed.
  • In editing mode the user sees all courses they have access to, and can move courses up and down by clicking on the arrows, or to the top and bottom (need graphics for this), and change the number of courses displayed when not editing.

Some of our users have a very large number of courses (50) on myMoodle, which is one of the reasons I put in the choice for choosing the number of courses to be displayed. A user would have all current courses displayed on myMoodle, and the surplus courses are most likely rarely accessed courses and courses kept for future reference. They become visible in editing mode, where they could potentially moved back up above the line, or be accessed directly by clicking the title. This could potentially be a little confusing: “Why do I have to turn on editing to see last year’s course”.

Someone suggested to me that I I could load the surplus courses as well, but collapse them using JS just like I did it with the details. This however will make the page load slower, especially or the users with 50 or 100 courses. But it would make more sense.

In the end, and after some minimal testing on my local XAMPP and some discussion with colleagues, I came to the conclusion that loading and hiding the surplus courses would not be a good idea, as the page load time would still be the same as on the unmodified myMoodle page. For people with a large number of courses this could take several seconds. If however I only loaded these courses in editing mode, myMoodle would load quickly most of the tme, and be slow only if they needed to access these surplus courses.

user determined order of myMoodle

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