We have 1.9.5 set up on a test server and so much looks great and love the gradebook improvements. I probably got this wrong (memory just is not what it used to be ) but I thought the new gradebook was going to include a "freeze" frame of sorts on the student name column so when you scroll through the gradebook the grades move but the names do not. I was disappointed not to see it on our test server. I see you get little "sticky notes" when you mouse over to see what grades belong to what students but the ability to freeze the name column is really needed. I was hoping would be addressed in 1.9.5 but maybe I will have to wait.
Thanks to everyone for all your hard work and any input you have on this
EDIT.. Ok I just went back and had a look at mine again - and there are some courses with only one or two assignments and they don't have the scroll bar - do you think it might be dependent on how many assignments etc there are?
EDIT EDIT I just went back again and tried - it took me ten grade items but I managed to create a scrolling bar - so perhaps that is your answer! (unless you now tell me you have 20 items and no scroll bar......)
However, please note that this feature is disabled by default in order to introduce the least possible surprise to teachers after upgrade. You can enable it by going to
Administration -> Grades -> Report Settings -> Grader Report
Then tick the "Static students column" checkbox.
Wow - when you enable scrolling it sure does make your font small. I can adjust the size in my web browser - wonder if there is a way to adjust this in the grade settings. I will look it over. Our more "senior" staff will not appreciate the small size.
So excited to get to using this. Going to do a little more testing, make sure it plays nice with Activity Locking and hopefully upgrade our production server on Monday. If anyone has had problems going from 1.9.4+ to 1.9.5 let us know! So far it looks great.
This is perfect timing because I am starting a Intro to Moodle course on June 1 and plan to rework all the grade tutorials and activities and will be a much better experience for folks using this new gradebook. Teaching with the 1.9 gradebook last semester was a nightmare and really dimished the enthusiasm of the moodle newbies.
So thanks to all for getting these changes into 1.9.5! You Rock!
We are just getting started on using Moodle in a K-12 environment and your talking about creating an "Intro to Moodle" course got me thinking about if you knew of any online resources regarding "best practices" of using and setting up the gradebook for teachers.
We are in the 1.9.4 version (but seem to have the gradebook upgrade already - from a weekly build we did late last month) and will go officially to 1.9.5 soon
If you know of any resources like this (I am not a teacher - just the moodle admin - so I really do not know a lot about what are optimal practices for setting up and using the gradebook.
Sorry I missed your post. I think if you just do a quick search on Moodle Training and Moodle Best Practices you will come up with more resources that you can imagine. Also there is a best practice forum which also has a large amount of resources. www.moodlebites.com has a Free Intro course on their website and am sure there are others out there as well along with endles Moodle Training videos on You Tube, Teacher Tube, and YouTube.edu, etc....etc....
Sure wish I would have attended this conference. Looks like it was outstanding.
Just curious why you wouldn't you want to enable it? I find it nearly impossible to use the gradebook in grader view to get a quick look at the classes progress without it but am sure there is something i am not considering. Thanks for your perspective on this.
Plus, it does not play well with browsers. Take a look on the first screenshot here. I am getting the same in IE.
I am rather baffled that you are making these "discoveries" now. You were both quite involved in the testing of the 1.9.5 gradebook, and the horizontal scrolling was on display at the test site for over 3 months! There was a lot of discussion about it, we listened and obtained great feedback, much of which came from Elena.
I'm sure you'll understand that our attentions must be focused on 2.0 now for a while, since we've neglected it a fair bit during the heavy work we had to do on 1.9.5.
Yes--we understand attention must now focus on 2.0. Sometimes for me as a user, though, it takes a bit of time for the theory in my head to catch up to actual practice, so please have patience with us as we reconcile some of the ways we thought it would work with how it might actually work in practice. (And note, too, that sometimes how it works in practice is actually an improvement over how it was in my head--I just need a little time to adjust.)
We do really, really appreciate your openness and willingness to work with us on this, so please bear with us as we teach each other how to work with the improvements. This is kind of normal conversation in faculty rooms any time such changes happen in software we use on a day to day basis. Adapting to change--even change you want--can sometimes be a challenge.
Anyway, how about this: we'll do our best to help each other with the usability questions which are just a matter of figuring out where things are now, really, and try to only call upon help from the developer team when we are absolutely stumped.
I am very happy with the new gradebook and the only new "discovery" I have made is the smaller font size and I did not make it, I realized it after another moodler posted it and now that I have opened up our 1.9.5 test server for school wide testing by faculty they have mentioned it. I did not notice during my testing and certainly will have no bearing on whether we upgrade. I love the improvements and can not wait to get it loaded on our production server.
Unfortunately, Activity locking does not yet play nice with 1.9.5 so we can not upgrade. I was so hoping it would as I wanted to teach my Intro to Moodle course on this new version. It is so difficult to do the gradebook instruction using the 1.9.4 version. I am crossing my fingers that some technically gifted code monkey will release a activity locking for v1.9.5 within the next week (wishful thinking I am sure).
So thanks to you and everyone for the improvements and good luck as you move toward 2.0!
I have posted in Feb, and March, and later, and then voted about giving instructors ability to reprint headers and columns (there are 3 similar tickets at least for this feature). However, no feedback had been given.
Anyway, the main point about the horizontal scroll bar being a bit of a hassle to get to when you have a number of students (need to scroll down to get to the scroll bar) would be better if the scroll bar was positioned on top rather than the bottom.
Now you are talking Matt. I want the students locked in place down the left, the assessment item titles (column headings) locked in place at the top and i want to be able to drag the cells around to get to the right position.
My staff are complaining about having to vertically scroll to get to the horizontal scroll bar. With a class of 30 students you scroll to get the horizontal bar then loose sight of the column headings. I know they appear with "mouse over" in the cells but with a wide grade book (25 items in 3 categories) it gets pretty tough to navigate.
Another request. I want to be able to hide multiple items in the grade book at once. We love multiple move but we hate having to wait for screen refreshes when we want to hide (or unhide) 10 items at a time.
This idea might work with 10 users and 20 items, but when you have 600 users and 30 items and the instructor shows all on a single page, his browser WILL lock up, leading to support calls claiming that Moodle is broken.
We went down this road when we developed the frozen name panel in our LSU gradebook and found it to be lacking in practicality.
We (LSU) could very easily lock the top category area OR the students area but not both at the same time.
The js solutions seem workable, but we haven't gotten around to them yet.
Here is the idea:
Here is it in action:
Hopefully we can rock this solution soon.
One of my main concerns with scrolling both horizontally and vertically (with locked headers on both axes) is that good usability will be very hard to implement. Having to keep moving the mouse cursor between the two scrollbars to see something seems crazy, unless the mouse wheel is used to scroll up and down.
Thanks for investigating the possible solutions. I'm sure we can eventually improve the gradebook in this area, but I doubt this feature will be implemented until 2.1. We already have more than enough to chew with 2.0
Feeback always appreciated, especially on:
- Do we want up/down page scrolling when grabbing too?
- Does this interfere with anything else (seems to be fine with editing on)?
- Can you find a way to break it?
Just replace index.php with the attached one (styles.php does not need to be changed).
Thanks for having a go at this, it's quite an interesting idea. I've just tried it but with a very wide gradebook I can't grab and drag to the end. It only goes about one drag far.
I could add acceleration so that it scrolls faster than the mouse pointer is moving. I'll try it tomorrow once I've had some sleep.
Overall, I believe that less tech solution would be better for now.
I had been running with this idea for a while (which is basically about repeating columns/rows every x column/rows)
What does everyone think?
If we can come to a consensus, then we can update this ticket MDL-13771 and vote.
You have stated earlier that this should wait until 2.1 (not even 2.0). So, if we will do simple "repeat columns/rows", will it be possible to add such controls earlier, like for 1.9.6?
The column header repetition would be good for large gradebooks, but it makes it no easier to scroll if you are not at the bottom of the page. In fact if you show all the students on one long page, I think it's the only way that scrolling can be made to be intuitive and easy to use.
My vote goes for both solutions being implemented at the same time.
The static column is turning out to be a no go for us for these reasons:
1. The gradebook is forced to be a lot wider (you can't wrap the headers).
2. You have to scroll down to get the horizontal scroll bar.
3. If you print the page the students and grade items will be on separate pages. Grab & Drag (by Matt Gibson) is probably OK for small gradebooks that are just a little too wide for the screen. We have to drag more than 5 times to get to the end of the grader report as we have over 30 grade items with long names. (We can only see about 4 grade items on the screen at a time). Using the scrollbar we can get there in one drag of the scroll bar.
Tip: By wrapping the grade headers in the CSS and not using a fixed column we can shrink the width of our gradebook 3 - 5 times!
I just found a pretty straightforwards function that should do it...
I have a large grade book. Aprox 35 items with long names and it is a nightmare to navigate. Unfortunately it has become worse since upgrading to 1.9.5.
How do I "Tip: By wrapping the grade headers in the CSS and not using a fixed column we can shrink the width of our gradebook 3 - 5 times! "
That would be a good start.
Second is there any way to make excluding students from a task easier. Would it be possible to have a user report with an exclude button on it?
Please note you can't use this solution if you keep the fixed student column as the students and grades won't be aligned.
You have to find the CSS file that affects the grader report. I used the Web development and Firebug plugins for Firefox to help me, probably the styles.php file for the Grader Report or the user_styles.css for your theme.
In the CSS file find the parts which show: white-space: nowrap;
and change it to: white-space: normal;
If you want to keep the fixed students column (and maybe the Grab and Drag feature) you might want to consider rather changing the number of characters displayed in the grade items of the grader report. See http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=125266 This will shrink your grader report even more than wrapping the grade items. I use the grade categories and tooltips to figure out which grade item I'm looking at.
Lastly, you can switch off the activity icons in My preferences and save a few pixels
Going to the scroll bar in 1.9.5 was great, but made the width of the table even worse. Perhaps we should start to think about short and long names for each quiz and assignment. Otherwise, how to we get the table width down without making the students have to figure out a bunch of cryptic titles.
I used firebug to search for instances of white-space in the CSS code.
changing from 'nowrap' to 'normal' in the following line fixed the column width problem for me, using Firefox...was already no problem when using IE
- Clone my current browser page (the page that's displaying the grade-book)
- Now, I have two "copies" of my grade-book in two independent browsers.
- You may need PowerMenu, a free app that allows this. Click here for the windows download. (Unfortunately, I don't think there's a Mac version, but then again, Mac probably already does this... ;) ).
- Make sure that you align the "top" browser exactly, otherwise, your columns will be off, which could be catastrophic, especially if you or your TA doesn't realize this and enters grades into the wrong column.
Yes, it's quite clunky, but it's the only work-around I know of...and it does work really well. I don't understand why the powers-that-be didn't fix this issue long ago with "frozen" table headers. It seems so obvious to me....