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Best practices for end of school year, start of next?

 
Picture of Lee Trampleasure
Best practices for end of school year, start of next?
 
We just finished our first year using Moodle, are getting ready for the end of the year and am now looking for tips on "best practices" for transitioning from one year to the next (I looked in the FAQ section, and nothing popped up as containing answers to these questions--this would probably be a good FAQ section).

Here's some questions:

Schoolwide:
  1. I'm guessing the best step for student usernames is to delete all the seniors, then bulk add all the new freshman (we bulk added all our students at once for this year).
  2. If we delete all the seniors, does all their work disappear? What if a teacher wants to keep some sample student work to show to the next year? (My thought: take screen shots to show.)
  3. Should new classes be created for each teacher, or simply have teachers adjust the start date to the new year?
Individual teachers:
  1. For teachers who have significant numbers of assignments, files, quizzes, etc. in their class, is there a way to "hide all" of their assignments, rather than having to click the "hide" icon for each assignment?
  2. If a teacher is leaving the school, is there any easy way for her/him to export their work to take with them?
Other tips:

Please offer any other tips for transitioning from one year to the next. I'll try to compile all the information into a new page in the FAQ section.

We're using version 1.9.2

Lee

 
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Picture of Glenys Hanson
Re: Best practices for end of school year, start of next?
 
Hi Lee,

I think I can help with some of your questions.

I'm just teacher not an institution, but at the end of every course (in fact, regularly before the end too) I backup the total course, user data included, download it to my computer where, if necessary, I can restore it on my local version of Moodle. I work in several institutions and transfer courses, or parts of courses, (without user data, of course) from one Moodle platform to another this way. I mean, I just upload the backup zip file to the new course and restore it there. Probably not all of your teachers would know how to install Moodle locally, but they would have a backup file to take away and get somebody else to restore on a different Moodle..

Another possibility is to clone the old course by importing it into a new one without the user data. The old one can then be hidden in an archives section. It would mean keeping the old students in the Moodle base, but they wouldn't appear in the new courses.

If the course is orgnanised in sections (weeks or topics), a whole section can be hidden with one click (usually on a little square in the top, righthand corner of each section) and only opened when needed.

Cheers,
Glenys

 
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Picture of Dennis Daniels
Re: Best practices for end of school year, start of next?
 
I would highly suggest you export all of your classes and post them to the Moodle Exchange!

I left teaching two years ago and with it a mntn of Moodle courses... now, I'm back in the field and having to recreate all my coursework again...

Share your good work and save it somewhere safe at the same time!
smile
Dennis
 
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Picture of Lee Trampleasure
Re: Best practices for end of school year, start of next?
 
Thanks, this was great help. I've made a tutorial with screen shots for our teachers. I particularly like the fact that it's easy for a teacher to take her/his own work to another school if/when a change of employer happens.

I'm also thinking of creating a "samples" course where I could import examples of good student work that I can then show in future classes, but not provide student access to it to "cut and paste" for their own work smile

 
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Anthony Borrow
Re: Best practices for end of school year, start of next?
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Lee - I think there is a bit of an administrative challenge. On one hand you only want folks to being seeing current data; however, you may also want students to have access to previous courses. I have not tried this in practice, but I have become more of a fan of the idea of moving the current semester's courses into a course category for that semester. The disadvantage to this approach is that students would see a whole bunch of courses that they are currently enrolled in. It would be nice if there was a feature to indicate that a course was "active". By default only active courses would be shown; however, older courses could be easily searched and accessed. I think there is room for improvement on this so I would like hear ideas of how teachers and school administrators think about this. Peace - Anthony
 
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Picture of Maurits Lamers
Re: Best practices for end of school year, start of next?
 
Hi,

I don't know whether this subject has been further developed in other forums, but to me the best approach for end-of-year type situations would seem to have the option to have subjects recreated every year including all content but without the students and their submissions.
If a kind of filter would be added to prevent new students seeing older subjects and existing students seeing new subjects not intended for them, it would be very helpful and much easier to keep using Moodle. At the moment we install a fresh Moodle instance almost every year to prevent the spilling over...

greets

Maurits

 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Best practices for end of school year, start of next?
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Maurits: I've been thinking about this issue too - I suppose it depends on whether teachers want students' work to be kept from one year to the next or not. If they are happy for it to go forever, then I would do a simple course reset - press the button and you have an empty course with all the content ready for the new year. If they want to keep the details just to be on the safe side I would (in fact, have) do a backup and save to a DVD. Then press the course reset button safe in the knowledge that the former students' work is still safe somewhere if they ever need it. The difficulty is when teachers want to keep the previous students work on the same course and still have new students in as well. Not a difficulty I suppose - but it can clutter up students course lists and teachers too.
 
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Picture of Maurits Lamers
Re: Best practices for end of school year, start of next?
 
That difficulty is solved when you can create new instances of a course. In that case you can keep both the old course with its subscribers and allow access to it, and create a new course with the same contents but without the subscribers or their work.
In this scenario each college year has one instance of a specific subject. If also is registered what course year a student currently is doing and in what year he or she started, and a course has a field in which a curriculum year can be defined for that course, you can filter out all courses not applicable for a specific student.

It requires a few additions, but it is absolutely doable.
 
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Me
Re: Best practices for end of school year, start of next?
 
I haven't any experience of groups in practice. Would there be any negative consequences if one were to create an new group for the new years students and set that the groups don't see each other?
 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Best practices for end of school year, start of next?
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No negative consequences at all, I reckon.
 
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