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My Moodle: My Moodle Development Discussions - Purposes

 
Picture of Mike Churchward
My Moodle: My Moodle Development Discussions - Purposes
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There is a discussion unravelling in the wiki (http://docs.moodle.org/en/Development_talk:My_Moodle_Dev_Plans) that should probably take place here...

A lot of it surrounds the purpose and concepts of My Moodle. I am transcribing elements here (indenting gets lost, so you lose the threads... Look at the wiki page for threads):


I don't see the need for CONTEXT_MYPAGE. I think it is fine if all of My Moodle is in the user context, just like all of the pages of the forum module are in CONTEXT_MODULE.

Of course, different capabilities for whether different bits of My Moodle are visible to a given user makes perfect sense.--Tim Hunt 18:54, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

With an extra context level, one could assign different roles to different sub-pages. If we just used the user context, then the permissions would apply to all of a user's My Moodle pages. It could also add the possibility of applying permissions to "'locked' pages that would always be the same layout for all users" ("sticky" pages?), which would not be associated with a specific user context. (Though I'm not sure if this is how Mike was planning on implementing that feature.) --Hubert Chathi 20:35, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes, you could do that, but why would you want to? Give me some use-cases expressed in the user's vocabulary.--Tim Hunt 18:54, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

Assuming we want to do this with block functionality as much as possible (and I assume we do), then you would want to be able to restrict the editing of some subpages to specific roles. For example, the course listing page you will want to always display the course listing information. This would be by pre-configured blocks. You would not want the user to be able to remove this block from that subpage. On the other hand, the home page subpage you would want to give the user free reign over what blocks would be displayed there as well as how they are ordered. I can't think of any other way to do this except through contexts for the My Moodle pages. --Mike Churchward 14:40, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Should we move this discussion to the My Moodle forum? Anyway, I disagree. This feature is called My Moodle. Not 'the teacher's Moodle' - that is the course page - nor 'the admin's Moodle', that is the site front page. This is a space for user's to create their personal dashboard. If they don't want the My courses list, they should be able to delete it. If they suddenly regret deleting it, it should be really easy for them to add that block back. At most, the admin should be able to control the default layout for new users.--Tim Hunt 21:05, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Moving it to the large forum would probably be a good idea. While it is called "My Moodle" one of the main purposes of it is to provide information that user-centric rather than course-centric. It has the dual purpose of providing a customized personal experience as well. Unfortunately, I know that a lot of institutions will want to provide non-customizable pages that pertain to the user - that is the reality we see of the clients we service. That doesn't rule out the customizable bits; just allows for both. The front page is not typically seen as a user-specific page, rather a generic site page. My Moodle is a more natural experience to display information that pertains to the user only. --Mike Churchward 12:52, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

One example is that the admin creates a global "Local News" page, and allows certain people to add content (add RSS feeds or other various blocks), but doesn't want those users to the global "Site News" page. --Hubert Chathi 14:42, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

But surely what you really mean is that the admin will configure a Local News block. And blocks already have a context. In fact, see the OU's newsfeed block, I think it is in contrib.--Tim Hunt 21:05, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

No, I do mean a "Local News" page, in which certain people may have permission to manage the blocks on that page, and add, remove, or manage content (e.g. a new local news site opened up, so someone can create a new RSS feed block. Or someone with the right privileges can rearrange the blocks on the page). --Hubert Chathi 21:16, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

Err, OK. What has that got to do with My Moodle though? If you want that, create a special course, give some people editing teacher access, and add whatever blocks you like there. This threaded discussion really would be easier in a forum.--Tim Hunt 21:55, 13 October 2009 (UTC)




At the heart of this, I believe, is the purposes of My Moodle. While I see it as a place where users have their own customizable Moodle space, I think its original intent should also be maintained - that is, a place where information that is pertinent to the particular user is provided. This means information that may not be customizable by the user, but is only relevant to the user visiting it.

What does everyone else think?

mike
 
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Ray Lawrence
Re: My Moodle: My Moodle Development Discussions - Purposes
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Phew.

MyMoodle: should be just that, for each individual. Control over whether the user is allowed to customise and the extent of that is a good idea (as Mike says, this is the world we live in).

The proposal for a more widely accessed page sounds like the "OurMoodle" page rather than a MyMoodle page option. Configuring access and permissions (across a course, groups, categories, site?) sounds like a big job to develop and manage. It doesn't sound like a Moodle 2.0 project to me, but if the proposal is considered to have merit I suppose the foundations could be laid here i.e. MyMoodle 2.0.

On small feature suggestion: An admin configurable option to prevent the MyMoodle option i.e. mydomain.com/my not leading to a user specific page. This seems like a sensible addition to the current Force configuration option.
 
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Picture of Mike Churchward
Re: My Moodle: My Moodle Development Discussions - Purposes
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"MyMoodle: should be just that, for each individual."

Yes. But this comes in two flavours. Individual pages that the user can customize, and individual pages that are about the user but that they may not be able to change.

mike
 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: My Moodle: My Moodle Development Discussions - Purposes
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I think you have found the key question, and I think the answer has several parts
  1. The user's personal and customisable space. This is what I think of as My Moodle. In other language, it is the user's personal dashboard or view of the Moodle site they are in. This is what I think can be done entirely with pages of blocks.
  2. Stuff about the user which is how they choose to present themselves to other participants in the site. This is part of what you find in the user profile pages.
  3. Stuff the administrator/teachers/parents want to track about the user. This is the other half of what is currently in the user profile.
I think:
  • all this stuff should be in the user context (except for the weird bits of the profile like recent activity which is also in the course context, and a capability in either place lets you see it).
  • all this stuff should appear in a logical, interrelated way in the navigation, while also keeping the sub-categories sufficiently clearly distinguished that users can understand what is going on. (I don't have a solution to what that navigation structure looks like).
I realise that leaves lots of other details that also need to be worked out.



 
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Picture of Mike Churchward
Re: My Moodle: My Moodle Development Discussions - Purposes
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But what about:

4. Stuff about the user that needs to be displayed to that user that is not course specific. Stuff that policies of that site have deemed must be displayed to that user.

mike
 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: My Moodle: My Moodle Development Discussions - Purposes
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Well, leaving aside, for the moment, the option of taking the site administrator outside and shooting them ... wink

Moodle 2.0 has support of un-deletable blocks - currently intended to make it impossible for people to delete the new Navigation or Settings blocks that would then be very hard to get back. Basically the setting holds a comma-separated list of block types, and blocks of those types never get an 'x' delete icon.

Is it enough to add the 'stuff_we_think_you_should_see_for_your_own_good' block (or blocks) to that list?

Actually, the Admin may just be able to set those up as sticky blocks. It is probably similar to the way that admins can use sticky blocks to force the display of information onto every teacher's course page, for the teacher's own good.

Anyway, I think it is worth seeing whether we can cover all the use cases within the blocks editing UI.


One approach to this would be to write down all the use cases you need to cover. Then implement pages that comprise only blocks, because we know we want to have these. Then start implementing different blocks to cover as many use cases as possible, and investigate exactly what is possible with the blocks editing code as it currently is (feel free to improve it). And, only complicate things with other concepts if you get stuck before you have covered all your use cases.
 
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Picture of Mike Churchward
Re: My Moodle: My Moodle Development Discussions - Purposes
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Hey Tim -

I like the approach you describe... We'll see what we can do using that route. I want to use as much as we can that already exists.

One question, in this model, do you see the pages that are defined in My Moodle as all pre-defined, or do you still see room to dynamically add more?

mike
 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: My Moodle: My Moodle Development Discussions - Purposes
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Definitely dynamic, but probably, in most Moodles, everyone will start with one page with sensible defaults set by the administrator.

If you want a design to steal (parts of), go to http://tracker.moodle.org/ and click the "Configure: ON | OFF Manage Dashboard" links.
 
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Picture of Ger Tielemans
Re: My Moodle: My Moodle Development Discussions - Purposes
 
As admin of one moodle for 5 schools I see:

for every user two main personal sets:

I. A personal information part: more "static"

It contains:
- the results and the progress AFTER a course.

- the personal views of that person and the way he wishes to present himself to others: blog, portfolio, personal wiki? (keep the: "page 1= public", "page 2 = controlled view rights for others")

- the personal preferences and the settings. ( I do not like this: settings for the my page should be accessible on that same my page)

- all these parts which are related to activities which are on a higher level then a single course do not fit here in all forms:
  • THE USER is more active on the my page, so boxes or tabs on the (activity centered) my page are a better place to give access for the user/owner.
  • THE VISITORS WANT TO SEE ASPECTS OF THIS PERSON, so they expect the views to be organised around the name of the user.. ..so user/view/!!
- my courses does not fit in this part for the same reason: it is a list of activities for the my page




II. A personal action part: more "dynamic" more "process centered"

It contains:
- a (permanent) central calendar (I use the blocks-in-the-center-patch for frontpage, my page, course page and the sticky blocks choose-page), but the user controls the level of details in the view
- a list of the current courses of the user, but the user colntrols the view (number& sort-rule)
- a set of (permanent) boxes under control of the school: course catalogue, local news boxes (filtered for the user), a html-box with weblinks for the school etc.
- the user is allow to add blocks form a list with allowed boxes (but the school filters.)

Like in a course you have different roles on the my page:

- coursecreators/local support staff
- teachers
- students

More then on the /user/view page, you wish here the option to discriminate between different roles so you can offer them different views: I do it now hardcoded with the global role check in the role-table (like the old "if is teacher in any course")

I know that the current role-system offers a more refined system IF WE HAD A MY PAGE CONTEXT. (and maybe for the same reason a MY PROFILE PAGES CONTEXT smile)




 
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Picture of Hubert Chathi
Re: My Moodle: My Moodle Development Discussions - Purposes
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Having subpages that are controlled by the administrators is similar to the current sticky blocks in the current My Moodle page, so it isn't too much of a stretch to include such functionality. It seems like a natural extension of the current functionality.

Tim: Sure, you can add blocks to a course, but the (default) course formats are sub-optimal for this sort of thing. e.g. no blocks in the centre column, no easy switching between a "Local News" and "Site News" page.

Another issue is the user profile page: one of the goals of the new My Moodle is to replace the user profile page, which means that users may be able to view the My Moodle page for another user (which implies that some blocks may need to be aware of the target user). If the admins want a consistent user profile page*, the user profile page could be a system-level page, and allow only certain users to modify it. This isn't something that can be done with courses. We may also want to have separate contexts for this case too: some users can modify the global user profile page, some users can modify a global user's progress page (and only certain users can view that page), etc.

-----------------

* we could also allow users to customize their own profile page, but I think that's something we would want configurable for each site
 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: My Moodle: My Moodle Development Discussions - Purposes
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See my post above that explains that I see My Moodle and User Profile both as part of a single structure, but also somewhat distinct.

Just because there is not currently a course format that meets a particular need does not necessarily mean that a new feature needs to be added to My Moodle/User Profile. It may be that right solution to that feature request is to make an appropriate course format (or improve the social format).


 
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Picture of Minh-Tam Nguyen
Re: My Moodle: My Moodle Development Discussions - Purposes
 
The way I understood the initial tracker item and the associated mockups was that myMoodle would merge the current myMoodle functionality (myCourses mockup) with the profile and elements on the front page, into a facebook-like Home/Profile area.

We currently force myMoodle on all of our 20k users, as we don't necessarily want them to browse the list of all courses, and having to click an extra step to get to their subjects would be annoying.
We give them the option of adding blocks, and occasionally push important information at them using a sticky block (on myMoodle). These always have to be very short, due to the text wrapping in the block.

If myMoodle in 2.0 had 'sticky pages', or pages where the admin or certain other people could push blocks at the users, it would enable us to move longer announcements to a separate page.


 
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Picture of Ger Tielemans
Re: My Moodle: My Moodle Development Discussions - Purposes
 
A center block (the patch is there..) would be a better solution for you?

Storing information behind a TAB changes the page again from PUSH into PULL: only students who will click the tab will see the important announcement..
 
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