General help

My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students

 
 
Alexandros
My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 

Dear all,

I am facing at the moment the problem that due to, too many enrolements in several Courses students are facing the issue that their list of Courses in their My Moodle is too long and that they have to search the Courses throught the search options.

I would like to improve the user interface in that field, making it easier in gaining an overview.

1. First question would be, Is it possible that students can choose the Courses which would be visible in their My Moodle page? To explain, for example I am enroled in 100 Courses but want to customise my Moodle page that only specific Courses are visible in my My Moodle page?

2. Is there a way to improve the user interface in such cases? Using categories or something else which you are using in your own Moodle site. I would be iterested to listen to what you have to share of improving user interface in My Moodle pages.

Thank you very much.

Alex  

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Andrew James
Re: My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 

We had a similar problem so I wrote a custom course overview block that looks like this:

1. The plus and minus buttons show and hide the extra course information (assignments, new forum posts etc). The plus button is not displayed if there isn't any information so the student can see where stuff is hidden.

2. The eye buttons hide courses entirely. The student is informed of how many courses are hidden at the top of the course overview and can use manage hidden courses to bring them back.

3. The course filter uses information we encode in the course ids and category to filter the course list by any combination of academic year, semester/term and faculty.

All three have been developed using the moodle YUI framework and CSS, so everything happens instantly but the preferences are saved to the database for next time.

I am considering removing the bits of the course filter that are specific to our institution and making the block available as a plugin - but I suspect someone is working on a better alternative or maybe moodle core will do some of this stuff anyway. 

 
Average of ratings:Useful (1)
Alexandros
Re: My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 

Dear Andrew,

Thanks for the reply. Well done, your block is similar with what I was having in my mind.

That means probably that Moodle by itself has nothing as a solution at the moment.

I would really like to see also other success stories of other members. Please share if you have any.

Kind regards

Alex 

 

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Andrew James
Re: My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 

I've finally got round to producing a version of the block without the course filter (just shows and hides courses or course information). It is in the new plugin database ( http://moodle.org/plugins/pluginversion.php?id=394 ).

Adding the course filter is complicated; we use information coded in the course id number but other institutions will do it differently. I am willing to work with people to create their own course filter.

It has only been tested on Moodle 2.0.x but should work fine on later versions. 

 

 
Average of ratings:Useful (1)
Picture of Glenn Pillsbury
Re: My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 

Andew, that looks fantastic.  Would love it if you made it available in some fashion. smile

In our installation (1.9.7), the only thing I've done about a cluttered My Moodle page is to hack the listing of courses to display the newest or current ones on top based on start date.

 
Average of ratings:Useful (1)
Picture of Gemma Dempster
Re: My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 

Glenn, I'm having an issue with the list of courses on the My Moodle page - it only lists about 20..even if there are more than 20 enrolled. Is there a setting I can change to allow unlimited - I can't seem to find it in site admin.

 
Average of ratings: -
Alexandros
Re: My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 

Dear Gemna,

If I understood well what you mean, you can change it in the Admin Settings,  AdministrationFront Page Front Page settings, where you have to change the number of Courses per page.

Good luck!

Alex

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Gemma Dempster
Re: My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 

I agree with Glenn, that's a brilliant block you've created! Is this something you will make readily available soon? I would like to enforce on a student's/staff members My Moodle page...

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Marin Sok
Re: My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 

Hi Andrew,

 

I'm interesting to the course overview filter. Do you have a sample code?

 

Thanks,

 

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Andrew James
Re: My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 

Hi Marin and other people that have asked about the filter,

I have released a new version of the block ( http://moodle.org/plugins/view.php?plugin=block_course_overview_plus ) that includes three example course filters: by the year the course starts in, by the low level category the course is in and by teacher. These should give you a template for building your own course filter that is specific to your institution (for example, using your term/semester dates). Hope this helps.

PS Get in touch if the block works on 2.2 or 2.3 as I haven't been able to test it on these yet.

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Gus Hagelberg
Re: My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 

I installed "course overview plus" plugin on my Moodle 2.3 system. It's just what I need (sorting alphabetically) but I have a problem.

I followed your direction for activating the block on myMoodle (open myMoodle as admin, erase block "course overview", add block "...plus", etc.

After that a new user sees the new block. If he clicks on "Customise this page" he no longer sees the block.

There seems to be some conflicts here. For one moodle recommends installing "sticky blocks" as follows:
o    Login as admin: Add the block to the front page
o    Change Block settings: “Page contexts” to "Display throughout the entire site", and under “On this page” choose visible: No.
o    go to  myMoodle, edit the block and set “display on page types” to “My home page”

Your block, however, is not available at the "Site home". It can only be added at myMoodle which then makes the "Original block location" the user and not system.

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Andrew James
Re: My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 

Hi Gus,

Course overview plus just happens to display courses alphabetically because that's what the university it was developed for asked for. It's main purpose was the showing and hiding of courses and course overviews. In future, I'll allow the user to decide how they would like things ordered. 

The instructions were written for a user wanting to replace their course overview block not for making it sticky across the site - I'll alter the block so that it can be added to the front page and update the readme. Thanks for letting me know and a new version should appear in the next couple of days.

If it is just alphabetical ordering you need and don't want to faff about with sticky blocks, a quick change in the normal course overview block might be best.

In blocks/course_overview/block_course_overview.php line 67 there is

$courses = enrol_get_my_courses('id, shortname, modinfo', 'visible DESC,sortorder ASC', $courses_limit);

The ordering is determined by the 'visible DESC,sortorder ASC' bit so for example for visible courses to appear first in alphabetical order by fullname, then hidden courses in the same order change to:

$courses=enrol_get_my_courses('id, shortname, modinfo','visible DESC, fullname ASC',$courses_limit);

Hope that helps.

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Gus Hagelberg
Re: My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for your help. We have some rather specific wishes here at our school for displaying and sorting courses. Your plugin may be just the thing we are looking for. I would need your help in tweeking it a bit to fit our needs.

One initial question: I would rather not change the standard course overview page for the majority of the students. I would like to use your block on some kind of a separate page in Moodle where I can link students to who are looking for a specific set of courses. It involves elective courses offered here at my school.

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Andrew James
Re: My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 

Gus,

You could just install the block and provide instructions on how to replace the standard course overview to those students who need it. I could also produce a companion block that would have a single button that does the replacement and toggles between the normal course overview and course overview plus to make the switch as easy as possible.

That is fairly simple but if that is not acceptable, it would be possible to create a seperate page that is just the contents of the course overview plus block but this is more work.

 

 

  

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Gus Hagelberg
Re: My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 

Thanks Andrew,

I may well contact you about customizing your block to our needs. A seperate page where only the course overview block appears would be cool. We would also need additional filters.

Gus

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Kristen Eshleman
Re: My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 
Andrew, We too need the ability to filter by term/semester. Any chance you can share that code so we can add it to our course overview plus installation? Many thanks.
 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Andrew James
Re: My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 

Hi Kristen,

The code for the term/semester filter works in a similar way to the other filters provided in the plugin as templates. If there's nobody over there that can tinker with the templates to customise them to your institution, I can have a go at knocking something up. The big question is how the filter will know which term a course is part of - is it in the course ID? does it come from the category of the course? maybe you'd like to specify the term dates and base it on the course start dates (but what about courses that span terms?).

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Kristen Eshleman
Re: My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 

Andrew,

Thanks for the generous offer of taking a stab at it. Yes, our course ID identifies the year and term as well as the course. Here are two examples: ENG101_201201 and ENG201_201202. The number is first the academic year beginning 2012 and the second numbers are the first term (01=fall) and the second term (02=spring). Each year repeats the same pattern but with a different year. Next fall would be ENG101_201301, for example. Do you think it's doable?

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Andrew James
Re: My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 

Looks easy enough. I've added a branch on github at https://github.com/jimmy57/moodle-block_course_overview_plus/tree/KristenTermFilter so you'll be able to download the whole thing as a zip when I'm done.

I'm going to assume you want the filter to say Fall and Spring instead of 01 and 02 and to simplify things I'm going to replace one of the existing example filters with the new term filter - so it's going to replace the teacher filter (let me know if you still want this and I'll replace the category filter instead).  

  

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Kristen Eshleman
Re: My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 
This is amazing, thank you! Yes, a Fall/Spring filter would be ideal. Replacing the Teacher category would be fine, thanks. Can we make you brownies or something? Smile.
 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Andrew James
Re: My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 

OK, I think I've made all the necessary changes on your branch so download it and try it out. I'll be sure to merge in any future changes to the main plugin as well.  

Thanks for the offer of brownies, I'll have to make do with the less fattening virtual versions.

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Kristen Eshleman
Re: My Moodle: Customisation of My Moodle page by Students
 

Many thanks, Andrew. We'll give it a spin right after the holiday! Hope you have a nice Thanksgiving.

 
Average of ratings: -