Posts Tagged ‘Moodle stories’

The story of blogs in Moodle

For those of you interested in some Moodle history, blogs arrived in Moodle in version 1.6, based on the work of Daryl Hawes. Since they were added, the lack of a blog comments option has been discussed at length (see Blogs, Forums and the nature of discussion and Blogs and comments) and as a result, blog comments will be included in Moodle 2.0.

In Moodle 1.7 it became possible to limit blogging to specific users by setting up a Blogger role.

Last year the Open University in the UK released their own blog module, the OU blog, which allows for course and group blogs.

In addition to blog comments, Moodle 2.0 will include a number of other blog improvements (see MDL-19676), such as support for external blogs and blog associations (based on the GSOC 2008 project Blog improvements by Joey Morwick).

As for my own blog on moodle.org, I’ve just moved it to helenfoster.wordpress.com where I’m enjoying discovering lots of cool  WordPress features. Feel free to comment on any of my blog posts here!

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Today I finally got around to renaming and recategorising database documentation pages about the database module to ‘Database activity module‘. Hopefully this will reduce confusion between the activity module and Moodle’s underlying database.

The database activity module, which enables students to create, maintain and search a bank of record entries, was added to Moodle 1.6 by Martin D. It became popular overnight and so was added to Moodle 1.5.4 too.

The database activity module was heavily tested on moodle.org via three front page activities – the Modules and plugins database, the Themes database and the Moodle Buzz database. The creation of a database for ‘all known Moodle modules, hacks and plugins’ was extremely well-received by the Moodle community, as prior to then, contributed code had been scattered across Using Moodle as forum post attachments.

A presets feature was added to the database activity module in Moodle 1.7, allowing database activities to be easily shared. A variety of presets are available for download from the database for databases in the Moodle Exchange.

What does the future hold for the database activity module? As it’s quite similar to the glossary module, it has been suggested that glossary data could be ported to the database module and the glossary module removed from Moodle! (Source: Some feedback on the database module in 1.6dev)

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The Moodle wiki story

There was an interesting discussion in the Lounge last week entitled Why Mediawiki Instead of Moodles Wiki Module for docs.moodle.org? As this question has been asked quite a few times, I decided to add it, together with some of the answers in the thread, to the Moodle.org FAQ.

The current Moodle wiki module, ewiki, based on the ErfurtWiki, was integrated in Moodle by Michael Schneider and Mike Churchward. Rather than trying to keep maintaining the complex code, it was decided that ewiki should be replaced in Moodle 2.0 with either NWiki, developed by Ludo (Marc Alier) and his team in Spain, or the OU wiki, developed by Sam Marshall of the Open University in the UK.

The Moodle community was asked to vote for the wiki they would like in Moodle 2.0 by means of a vote and a discussion Voting on NWiki vs OUWiki. NWiki received the highest number of votes and is now listed in the Roadmap as the wiki for 2.0. Thanks to both Ludo and his team and to Sam for developing wiki modules for Moodle.

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Tags were first introduced with blogs in Moodle 1.6.

Interests, tag pages, Flickr and Youtube blocks and other tag improvements were added to Moodle 1.9 as part of the GSOC 2007 project Social Networking features (MDL-10169).

Further tag improvements were planned for 1.9 and 2.0 – see MDL-13404. However the issue assignee Mathieu Petit-Clair is unfortunately no longer working for Moodle HQ, and so these improvements are currently on hold.

What does the future hold for tags in Moodle? As always, further development depends upon funding and developer availability. Another important factor is community feedback.

Are tags important to you? If so, please vote for / comment on tag issues, discuss tags in the Using Moodle forums and create new tracker issues as required. See also Development:New feature ideas.

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This week I’m off to the Oklahoma MoodleMoot (#mootok09). I’m really looking forward to meeting lots of familiar faces from moodle.org, as well as chatting to newer Moodlers about their experiences.

I’ll be sharing stories from the Moodle community in my presentation, including “Moodle millions?”, “Spam – such a scandal!”, “Which wiki?”, “Moodle ecstasy”, “Our Knight in shining armour”, “Gradebook goings on”, “Moodle and Microsoft” and “Resources revelations”.

You can find lots more interesting stories about Moodle in the Moodle stories forum.

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