Avid readers of this blog will no doubt remember that over summer we welcomed Marcus Green to our Moodle development team. As Senior Developer, Marcus takes the lead on many of our bespoke projects, and he’s certainly hit the ground running at Titus Learning.
Here, Marcus gives a quick round-up of some of the exciting work he and the team have been doing this term – some of which is still a work in progress.
Building the Titus Wall
I have worked on the creation of Titus Wall, a Moodle plugin that allows students to post images and links to videos within a course. It has a social element in that students can “like” the posts of other students by clicking a heart image.
Students can flag posts made by other students if they are of concern and the tutor will be notified. I have also worked on a custom plugin for awarding badges based on when a student’s post has been rated by another student.
Tidying up the Homework block
The Moodle assignment module offers teachers enormous power and flexibility but sometimes this comes at the price of complexity that can be off putting. The Homework block offers a simplified interface to the assignment module making it easier to create and mark assignments.
I have worked on improvements so the teacher is presented a list of subjects to select from rather than a free-form text box. This makes it easier to analyse data – for example maths homework will be listed as ‘Maths’ and not either ‘Maths’ ‘Math’ or ‘Mathematics’.
We have added an archiving feature so that after a pre-set period following the submission deadline assignments are archived to a hidden area of the course. This presents a clearer course structure to students allowing them to focus on current assigned work.
Moodle in the palm of your hand
We have been testing the MoodleBox installation of Moodle, which is a version that runs on the Raspberry Pi single board computer. This is small enough to fit in one hand including a battery power source and will work as a WiFi access point so making it usable in remote areas without any Internet access.
It is a fully featured installation of Moodle that will run standard plugins and we are exploring possibilities of co-operating with charities that look after education in remote areas of the world.
Mapping the Moodle database
I have created and maintain the single most comprehensive diagram and documentation of the Moodle database available anywhere.
The Moodle database has grown in complexity and now includes around 400 tables. This diagram is useful for both developers and report writers as it helps to understand the relationships between the tables.
This is made available under a Creative Commons license and can be viewed at http://www.examulator.com/er
Keep an eye on the blog to see the official announcement as each of these projects goes live. In the meantime, if you’ve got a Moodle puzzle which you’d like our team to solve, please get in touch.