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Portfolios: RFC: Moodle LEAP2A implementation

 
Picture of Penny Leach
Portfolios: RFC: Moodle LEAP2A implementation
Core developers
Hello moodle portfolio forum!

I'm looking at doing some more work on the Portfolio API for Moodle 2.0 soon, and I need some help from the community.

When you export content from Moodle, it gets 'rendered' into a format that the target system you're exporting to can handle, which currently is some sort of file, like a pdf, or HTML.

This is a good start, but not particularly helpful. When you export a blog post in Moodle, it should appear as a blog post in Mahara. That's logical right? But it isn't actually that simple. Or at least, wasn't until recently. When I wrote the Portfolio API in the middle of last year, I cast around a bit for a standard to look at, and didn't find anything promising. But now I think I've found a pretty good one to back, so I'm going to start looking at implementing it in Moodle.

Background: Nigel McNie and I have been working recently on the ability to import and export portfolios from/to Mahara, using this standard, which is called LEAP2A, you can read more about here: http://wiki.cetis.ac.uk/LEAP2A_specification.

As Mahara will be able to read LEAP2A, as well as the other portfolio systems here: http://wiki.cetis.ac.uk/Portfolio_interoperability_projects#Participants, it seems to be pretty sensible to teach Moodle to export it.

So far so good.

The problem I am struggling with though, is the types of content that can be exported from Moodle, and what they really mean within the context of a portfolio system.

Here's the list: http://docs.moodle.org/en/Development:Portfolio_API#Current_exhaustive_list_of_export_scenarios

For each of these, I need to map them to LEAP2A types, but also think about what they actually might mean in a portfolio system (allowing for a user to make some of these decisions). For example - a forum post in Moodle might become a blog post, or just an HTML file that can be used in a presentation.

I suspect some of these might not actually make sense in LEAP2A at all.

I think the biggest problem, however, is one of ownership. Moodle currently defines capabilities for all these types of export items, and in some cases, multiple capabilities (eg, export a single forum post I own, export a single forum post someone else owns, export a whole forum thread), which are by default pretty restrictive to students - only allowing them to export content they own.

However, you can as always have enough rope to hang yourself. If someone turns on some of the capabilities around exporting other people's content, this suddently becomes a lot more problematic.

I'm a bit stuck on the best way forward at the moment, and would greatly value some feedback from the community on these issues.

 
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Picture of Simon Grant
Re: Portfolios: RFC: Moodle LEAP2A implementation
 
What about http://creativecommons.org/ ? As it is relatively well-established, would it be feasible to ask people to attach licenses to any material authored by themselves? Then we would have to work out how to behave depending on that licence.
 
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Picture of Penny Leach
Re: Portfolios: RFC: Moodle LEAP2A implementation
Core developers
Actually that's a very interesting point.

During export we don't currently ask for any information about license, although any individual portfolio export plugin is free to ask any additional questions it wants (this enables it to collect more metadata). I'm not sure I would acutally want to centralise that, it doesn't make sense for some plugins.

License of content isn't covered in LEAP2A at the moment, though, is it?
 
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Picture of Simon Grant
Re: Portfolios: RFC: Moodle LEAP2A implementation
 
You're right, Penny, licence is not covered by LEAP2A at present, as there was no call for it from the developers just for e-portfolio usage. But I think we could persuade people to add it in to the next version, as long as it is a simple and straightforward approach. Typically I would expect it to be more important for LMSs than e-portfolio systems.
 
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Picture of Simon Grant
Re: Portfolios: RFC: Moodle LEAP2A implementation
 
Supplementarily, I should mention that I have, since my first reply, found the
Atom License Extension rfc 4946
and (with same examples) the
Creative Commons licences in Atom page
which give a plausible approach.

Anyone know how widely implemented this approach is?
 
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Picture of Penny Leach
Re: Portfolios: RFC: Moodle LEAP2A implementation
Core developers
I don't know anything about how well this is supported, but as I said on the LEAP mailing list, I think including a license is awesome smile smile
 
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Picture of Howard Miller
Re: Portfolios: RFC: Moodle LEAP2A implementation
Core developersDocumentation writersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers
....of course if you screw down exporting/ownership to the point where context is completely lost then there's probably no point.

I think the main point is to make it flexible. If an institution covers itself ("anything you post here might end up in Mahara") then it could be ok. I personally think that the default should probably be own stuff only with the ability to lift that restriction.

I would be disappointed if that involved role overrides on the course or activity. I don't see the need to dig up that argument again except to note that for mere teachers it is off by default sad
 
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Picture of Penny Leach
Re: Portfolios: RFC: Moodle LEAP2A implementation
Core developers
> I don't see the need to dig up that argument again except to note that for mere teachers it is off by default

Sorry - what is off by default for teachers? export own stuff? It should not be, if it is, it's a bug. Have you filed a bug in the tracker about this? I didn't see it - I should get all portfolio related bugs.
 
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Picture of Howard Miller
Re: Portfolios: RFC: Moodle LEAP2A implementation
Core developersDocumentation writersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers
The ability to override roles. I think it says a lot about the perceived (and actual) ease of use of that feature.
 
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Picture of Penny Leach
Re: Portfolios: RFC: Moodle LEAP2A implementation
Core developers
oh sorry Howard, I misunderstood you smile At any rate I hope the defaults for portfolio capabilities are sane...
 
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Nigel's mugshot.
Re: Portfolios: RFC: Moodle LEAP2A implementation
 
I agree with Howard that exporting options should be flexible although I would argue that the default should be all stuff by default!. I think that tying a user down to only exporting their own content is flawed in terms of an eportfolio. Many uses of an e-p demonstrate a process rather than a product and adding material to your e-p with some context makes it easier (or clearer) to demonstrate the learning journey that you have taken at that point.

I could export 3 posts that I have made in a Moodle discussion to Mahara. They might show that my thinking has changed between the first and the third. Adding some of the context to those posts may make it clearer why my thinking has been changed, what influenced me, how I evaluated and weighted the other elements of the discussion. This principle is the same whether I am using my e-p for summative outputs or for internal reflections.

From a technical and admin point of view, I am assuming that anything I export to Mahara will be timestamped and have my user account associated with it. Will the metadata generated be at the level of the export chunk or the individual posts in that chunk? The latter would allow each post to still be differentiated once in Mahara. If people are worried about users 'stealing' someone else's discussion postings, then I can just cut and paste stuff from Moodle into Mahara, which of course will lose any link between the two and I can also 'clean' the post. Stopping users from capturing this context because of 'ownership' issues is a red herring.
 
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Nigel
Re: Portfolios: RFC: Moodle LEAP2A implementation
 
Hi - metadata is at the level of each entry, at least in LEAP2A - so each entry has its own author, etc. While Mahara doesn't quite yet support the concept of having stuff in your portfolio not owned by you, we're heading that way (made all the more necessary by the LEAP work).

FWIW I agree about the ownership issue. Licensing can help that somewhat, but it's like anything on the interwebs - if it's out there, nothing stops people from using good old Ctrl-C, even if it is against the law!
 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: Portfolios: RFC: Moodle LEAP2A implementation
Core developersDocumentation writersParticularly helpful MoodlersPlugin developers
Yes, but on the other hand, it is the job of computers to automate the boring details for us, so if the system can automatically and unobtrusively track the original authorship and licence of each bit of content, that is probably a useful feature.
 
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Nigel
Re: Portfolios: RFC: Moodle LEAP2A implementation
 
That's exactly what I mean when I say Mahara is going to track that kind of information in future smile
 
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