Monthly Archives: September 2009

MoodlePosium Presentation: myMoodle changes (MDL-19430)

Last Monday and Tuesday I attended the MoodlePosium at the University of Canberra. The event was organised jointly by University of Canberra, the Australian National University and the Canberra Institute of Technology, with support from Moodle Partner Netspot.

On Tuesday I gave a short 10 minute presentation on MDL-19430, on what I have unfortunately called “user-determined order and number of courses on myMoodle“. Unfortunately, because with a mouthful of a title like that, it was difficult for delegates to take notes. Aside from the title however, it seemed to me that the functionality added to myMoodle through MDL-19430 was well received. As such I am hoping that I will be able to justify spending more time on it, to improve on it and hopefully make it work in Moodle 2.0.

MDL-19430, the hack that allows users to set the order courses are displayed in on their myMoodle page, and which also allows users to decide how many of their courses are displayed on myMoodle when it loads, currently is a ‘local’ hack that overrides built-in behaviour. Unfortunately it isn’t a module that you can just plunk into your installation of Moodle: First, you’ll need to install MDL-17446 (LOCAL: my moodle centre column override), which will allow you to create a separate file for custom code. (There are more LOCAL handlers in the tracker to override other functionality)

MDL-19430 (user-determined order and number of courses on myMoodle) then just provides this custom functionality. So it almost works like a module once the LOCAL hack is installed.

Once installed, users can ‘Turn Editing On’ on their myMoodle page, and use up and down arrows next to their courses to change the order (on the todo list: drag and drop). This order is saved in a custom profile field, so it will be remembered between sessions.
Users can also use a drop-down list to decide how many of their courses should be visible in ‘Normal Mode’. This means that they could decide to only show their current four classes, or show the ones they are most interested in first.

In the run-up to the MoodlePosium I created a short movie showing how it works here: http://www.minhtam.info/a/screens/MDL-19430_%2820090904%29.swf
My talk from the MoodlePosium should also come online soon.

Please let me kow what you think, either here or in the tracker, or in the moodle.org forum discussion. We have now been using this on the production server for a week. Students will have their second week of break this week, and we’ll see what they say when all 15k or so of them are back.

Survived the MoodlePosium

MoodlePosium foldup toy

MoodlePosium foldup toy

While I probably wasn’t as essential to the organising of the MoodlePosium as the other members of the committee, which was made up of members from the Australian National University, the Canberra Institute of Technology and the University of Canberra (Alan Arnold, Helen Carter, Sue Demoor, Liz Gestier, Marina Lobastov, Annabel McCabe, Penny Neuendorf, Jaymie Parker, Caitlin Reid, Margaret Robson, Kerry Trabinger, Steve Watt, Louisa ‘Buzz’ Wright), I still am quite relieved that it’s over. In the end time passed so quickly and so much needed to be done. I am happy that nothing went majorly wrong.

I had a great two days wth lots of other moodlers, talking with others about how they used certain tools, what they were concerned about and what they were looking forward to in Moodle 2.0. I met the Moodle Possum, I got to catch up with some of the people I had met at the Moodle Moot in Brisbane last year, and spent an evening having fun with Netspot (among others).

While I unfortunately wasn’t able to listen to all of Denise Kirkpatrick’s opening keynote live as I was running around campus looking for lost delegates, I did enjoy hearing what the Open University UK was up to with Moodle.
Martin Dougiamas’ keynote was excellent as always, and he gave us a little more insight into plans for Moodle 2.0 in the afternoon, and how the upgrade process would work. I am very excited to play with the beta once it’s announced in December or January.
Julian Ridden’s keynote on Tuesday morning was inspiring, and as a result I have a list of things we should at least look at to implement in our instance of Moodle.

My own (hardly-worth-being-called-a) presentation about my myMoodle customisation went fairly well, I believe. The title of the short presentation was a mouthful: “User-determined order and number of courses on myMoodle“, which is the same title as the tracker item I created for my little hack. A shorter title here would have also helped the people who wanted to know where they could download it from. (more on this later)
As usual I forgot the dot points I had prepared and as such ended up forgetting to tell people that our instance of Moodle actually celebrated its first birthday on Monday. We changed the banner for the occasion, so hopefully somebody noticed. I also forgot to thank Ashley Holman from Netspot, who has helped me get the code right (read: maintainable).

I had great time at the moodleposium and hope that I will be able to attend the next Moot. People have also been talking about another ‘posium next year, again with a focus on Higher Education.

While we’re waiting for the next Moodle meeting of some sort to come along, you can look at the pictures from the MoodlePosium, the programme and another interesting writeup of the posium and some background information.