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Plan: a "K-12" Moodle 1.9.x branch

Martin Langhoff - Sailing
Plan: a "K-12" Moodle 1.9.x branch

I have been planning to do this for a while; but in the deluge of things, it keeps slipping. So I am posting it to both invite people, and to force myself to get it done (or face the public shame...).

My plan is to create a branch (using git) tracking MOODLE_19_STABLE, and to add merge into that branch various things:

  • José Cedeno's timeline courseformat, set to be the default. This exists today.
  • TinyMCE with a simplified set of buttons (bold, italics, colour, fontsize)
  • PaintWeb -- got to get in motion with Mihai to get a workable hack on 1.9.x for the img storage...
  • Enable AJAX in the course page.
  • Easier course creation -- imagine: "create course"-> all settings to default, creator is enrolled as teacher, and... -> straight into "enrol students".
  • Enrol-into-course screen has a bug "DONE" button that takes you to course.
  • Whatever curly hack is needed to only allow the "natural" role/context-types enrolments in the usual UI. When enrolling to a course, show only teacher and student.
  • A simplified set of default blocks.
  • Other simplifications we can come up with, targetted at lowering barriers to entry for teachers and students using Moodle a little bit every day.

The result will be an experimental, unsupported Moodle. I do plan to use it for OLPC's XS but that's because I am a bit insane.

And before anyone panics, it is not meant to be for inclusion in 1.9.x. It is a way to get something good for OLPC today, and to see what sinks, what swims, and what we can polish for a 2.x smile

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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: Plan: a "K-12" Moodle 1.9.x branch
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Whatever curly hack is needed to only allow the "natural" role/context-types enrolments in the usual UI. When enrolling to a course, show only teacher and student.

This is already in Moodle 2.0, and Penny did a backport to 1.9 for a client. You may be able to take that.
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Dan at desk in Moodle HQ, Perth
Re: Plan: a "K-12" Moodle 1.9.x branch
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Enable AJAX in the course page.

I've always felt that the course page ajax is quite heavy weight [1], is that a good choice for the XO?

[1] of course i've never done anything about it.... now might be the chance!

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Martin Langhoff - Sailing
Re: Plan: a "K-12" Moodle 1.9.x branch
If it's a good alibi for you to hack on it... delighted smile

We looked at it a bit with José earlier this year. In my opinion, the main "heavyness" is not so much on the walking of the DOM but on the replacing of DOM elements... with different-sized DOM elements.

This is something we discussed w Mihai at other times. DOM walking and manipulations can be quite fast in modern browsers... as long as you don't trigger a reflow of the page. Triggering a reflow means a ton of computations spanning a good chunk of the page. A chain of reflows (which is what we currently do) gives the worst possible performance evar.

So one way to lighten it up would be to ensure that the before/after icons and whatnot are exactly the same size.

Of course, there are probably much better ways too, like laying out the AJAX stuff from the start. The current code doesn't score high in the elegance dept.

Edit: You do have an XO to test the DOM manipulation performance, do I remember right? smile Need help to get it running with up-to-date software?
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I Teach With Moodle
Re: Plan: a "K-12" Moodle 1.9.x branch
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Great idea Martin,

I work in a High School and I have had to train around 100 teachers to use Moodle (50 last year and 50 this year) and I believe this would make my life (and everybody else who is doing the same thing) a lot easier. I know that some features/modules etc can be switched off by the admin but having it already done out of the box would be a great improvement and would stop newcomers from feeling overwhelmed with features.

Here are my ideas:
- I would love to see a simpler gradebook, without any advanced calculations/options...
- All of one teacher's gradebook in the same place (tabs to choose at top of page), and accessible from all courses
- Only keep timeline, weeks and topics course formats
- 'Sharing cart' functionality in the core
- Give admin the ability to 'remove' assignment types from the drop down list e.g. only keep 'advanced uploading of files'
- each teacher creates a list of people they would like to share questions with (in the question bank), rather than it being decided by the admin.

Would it be possible to have a few distributions of Moodle? Sort of Moodle for Primary school, Moodle for High School, Moodle for University, Moodle for corporations, Moodle Lite, etc

Good luck with this smile

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Picture of Helen Foster
Re: Plan: a "K-12" Moodle 1.9.x branch
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Fred, regarding having a simpler gradebook, you may be interested in the documentation Simplifying the gradebook by changing permissions. Further gradebook simplifications are planned for Moodle 2.0
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