General add-ons

 
 
Picture of Paul Nicholls
Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

If you want to allow students to record audio and submit it as an assignment - without needing to have and know how to use external recording software - your choices have pretty much been limited to Java-based recorders, which pop up big ugly security warnings when first used, or Flash-based recorders which rely on a streaming server to capture the audio - which typically means an extra server and maybe a hefty license fee for the streaming server software.

Having inherited a solution based on a Flash streaming server which wasn't performing very well (especially under load), I thought there must be a better way in this day and age - and now, there is!  I'd like to introduce you to the Online Audio Recording assignment type:

Online Audio Recording

It requires Flash Player 10.1 or higher, as 10.1 introduced the necessary API to capture microphone data locally.  You can record (as seen above) and play back a sound clip, and once you provide a name (as below) and hit the button, it'll transcode it to MP3 and upload it to Moodle via HTTP POST.

Online Audio Recording - Save file

When you set up the assignment, you can choose whether to provide a standard HTML upload form for students to submit their own recordings; this simply appears as a basic HTML form and allows MP3, WMA and WAV files to be uploaded.

If you'd like to be able to have students record audio and upload it as an assignment, please grab a copy from the new Plugins database and give it a go!  Any feedback is most welcome - this version is not far beyond the proof-of-concept stage, so please help shape its future by sharing your feedback.

Cheers,
Paul

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

I should probably add - this is currently for Moodle 1.9, as it's what we're currently running in production.  I'll port it to 2.x once the initial development phase is over - which probably won't be too far away.

Cheers,
Paul

 
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Picture of peter winter
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Hello Paul

I have added your assignment-it all works fine and will be trying it out with some of my Year 4 pupils (8-9 year old). I see it as a good way to get less able writers to contribute orally.

Thankyou for sharing.

 
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Picture of Glenys Hanson
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Hi Paul,

Can I suggest you post info about this on Moodle for Language Teaching?

Language teachers are particularly interested in ways of allowing students to easily make and upload audio recordings.

Cheers,

Glenys

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Glenys,

Thanks for the suggestion - I'll post it there shortly.  It's primarily language teachers here who are interested in it, so I'm well aware of that - I just wasn't aware of the Moodle for Language Teaching course, as I'm not one myself!

Cheers,
Paul

 
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Me at the Moodle Moot NZ11
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Very interesting idea Paul - good stuff.

We would be happy to test the 2.x version when you port it over smile

I would like caution against the idea of focussing this development too much on language teaching actually (sorry!)  I think language teachers do look for this kind of functionality, because they really need it.  But I think an audio element in Moodle that work well, is platform/browser neutral etc. will open up the idea of using audio in Moodle courses for a lot of teachers and students!  With the new iPhone app (and Android at some point) that allows audio to be easily recorded and uploaded I think we will see a growth in audio use across all disciplines?

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Peter,

Have you had a chance to try it out with your Year 4 pupils yet?  I'd love to hear how you get on - it hasn't quite made it to our production environment yet as our student workrooms are all running Flash 10.0 (we're working on getting them upgraded, but it hasn't quite happened yet), so some real-world feedback would be great!

Cheers,
Paul

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi all,
I've just released a version of the Online Audio Recording assignment type for Moodle 2.x (works on 2.0, 2.1 and current 2.2dev). It can be downloaded from the plugins database - it's currently tagged as a beta, as it has been tested but not exhaustively (nor in a production environment). Any feedback from anyone who's willing to test this would be much appreciated.

Cheers,
Paul

 
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Picture of Rob Johnson
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

I am getting an installation error with the Moodle 2 version.  The first error says version is missing from the version file.  I edited the file to say $module instead of $plugin.  This gets me past that error but now I get:

Debug info: Missing mandatory en language pack.
Stack trace:

    line 477 of /lib/upgradelib.php: plugin_defective_exception thrown
    line 271 of /lib/upgradelib.php: call to upgrade_plugins_modules()
    line 1466 of /lib/upgradelib.php: call to upgrade_plugins()
    line 317 of /admin/index.php: call to upgrade_noncore()

Any ideas?

 
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Picture of Rob Johnson
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

I have this installed correctly now.  I thought it was a stand alone module and placed it in the mod folder.  Perhaps I should have read the documentation first. ;)

I would liie to know if there is a way to apply the multimedia filter to the submissions.  This way teachers would not need to download the mp3's and play them in a media player application.  The Nanogong activity functioned like this (though through a Java applet) where the teacher was able to stream the audio.

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Rob,

Can you please double-check that you're grabbing the 2.x version?  The "missing mandatory en language pack" sounds like you might have the 1.9 version, as that uses "en_utf8" rather than "en".  Otherwise, if you can tell me which specific version of Moodle 2 you're using, I'll look into it.

Cheers,
Paul

 
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Picture of Rob Johnson
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

I am using Moodle 2.1.2+, but the problem was me.  I thought this was to go into the mod folder.  Only after I posted did I read the documentation.  After placing it into /mod/assignment/type directory, it worked fine.  I did post above about applying the multimedia filter to the sumissions.  It would be nice if teachers could stream the audio instead of downloading and playing in a media player.

Thank you very much for porting this to Moodle 2.

Rob

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Rob,

I spotted your earlier reply after I'd posted mine - good to hear you got it sorted.  You're not the first to put it in the wrong place wink

Playback without having to download the files is high on my "to do" list for this project - as you suggest, multimedia filters may be the way to do this if I can hook into them easily, so there's some consistency between different players in Moodle (and so I'm not reinventing the wheel!).

Cheers,
Paul

 
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Picture of Rob Johnson
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Paul,

My teachers are reporting that feedback left for students does not appear when the student views the assignment page.  I logged in to a student account to confirm this.  I would like to know if this is just on my site.

I also had a request that mp4 be added to the file upload options.  Student recording with Apple devices have files in mp4 format.

Thanks,

Rob

 
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Picture of John Andrewartha
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Thank you  for a most useful tool.

Testing on Moodle 2.1.2, with Firefox 7.0.1, it works as expected, with the exception of.

The plugin appears to ignore the microphone setting in the browser flash plugin.  Hence a rather distorted recording.

I will post any other undocumented features as they occur.

To answer another's Q as to why the recording wont stream.

It has to be embedded to get the attention of the filters.   Usually a mp3 is played by the Flower Player.   If the object is embedded.

 
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Picture of John St
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Developers

This is a fantastic tool Paul! Tested the 2.x version on mac and winxp and works great. 

Quick question, the page type that the recorder is in seems to think that there is content in side-pre and side-post, even though there is no content there... So, on smaller screens, the upload box gets cut off. Any ideas why?

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi John,

Thanks for your feedback.  It looks as though region-pre does contain blocks (at least for me), but for some reason they're falling down below the page content (hence the big empty space below it) and also sitting just off the left-hand side of the page, so you can't see them at all.  I'll look into that...

Cheers,
Paul

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

I've just uploaded a new version with a very simple fix for this - I missed an "echo" on a call to $OUTPUT->box_end(), which resulted in an unclosed div tag.  That should fix the missing content in -pre, but I guess it may still get cut off on small screens; I'd probably consider that a failure of the theme (in that it's cutting off content rather than allowing for horizontal scrolling), as the "standard" theme doesn't cut it off.

That said, I might look at tweaking the display a bit to make it more flexible (and hopefully less problematic on small screens) - so if you're able to provide a bit more details (theme, resolution in question, etc) I'll bear it in mind if/when I do tweak it.

Cheers,
Paul

 
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Picture of Rob Johnson
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

"It has to be embedded to get the attention of the filters.   Usually a mp3 is played by the Flower Player.   If the object is embedded."

Is this possible to do as an upload assignment?

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

A bit of digging suggests that all that's required to get the filters to pick it up is running the content through the format_text method - the only problem is that you then don't see the file name anywhere, as the link gets replaced with (by default, in English) "MP3 Audio [actual player widget here]", but that's easy enough to deal with.  In fact, new versions (for 1.9 and 2.x) are now available which, if you have media filters enabled, will add inline players to the list of files (for MP3 files only, unless you have extra filters which handle WMA and/or WAV).

-Paul

 
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Picture of Rob Johnson
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Paul,

Thank you for such a quick turnaround for adding the filter functionality.  It works like a charm. smile

The other thing on my wish list is for an audio recorder that is integrated with the Moodle 2 text editor.  We used Nanogong with 1.9, but Moodle 2 is still lacking such a plugin.

Rob

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Rob,

I have a suspicion that it's not going to be a straightforward task to integrate an audio recorder into the text editor, thanks to the Moodle 2 filesystem.  Since files now need to be associated with a particular context (you can't just dump them into a folder in the course files, for example), the recorder would need to be able to "find" the context of whatever the text editor is related to, so that it can add the file within that context - I'm not sure how feasible this is from editor plugins, but I'm certainly willing to have a poke around and see what I can do.  I guess the image picker etc must have some way of doing it, so perhaps that's a good place to start...

-Paul

 
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Picture of Rob Johnson
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Perhaps the recorder could be called from the Moodle media icon, and the files would be stored in some sort of repository???

 
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Picture of Magdi Saad
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Hi Rob,

I modified the code to allow students to upload mp4 by using their iPod touch which communicate with moodle through "My moodle mobile" plugin for iPhone/iTouch devices and send their recording to "My private files", then upload it to the designated assignment. If you want the code send me an email.

 
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Picture of Jonathan Kulp
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 
I've installed the latest version you linked to in the previous post but am not seeing any inline players. I enabled media filters, but is there some other setting I need to change or plugin that needs installing? I'm on Moodle 2.1. When I link to an mp3 file in a regular html page, I get the little player, but not for the online recording assignments.
 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Jonathan,

I'm not quite clear where you're expecting the player to appear - I've integrated it into the list of files submitted for the assignment, so they can be played without downloading, but your last sentence sounds as though you might be expecting them to show up somewhere else.  Can you please clarify where you're expecting them to appear?

I've just noticed that the filter doesn't seem to be working in Chrome (in a pretty recent 2.2dev) - but that goes for the MP3 filter anywhere at all, not just my use of it in the Online Audio Recording assignment type.  If you're using Chrome, can you try it in another browser (Firefox 3.6 works fine for me) just to make sure that's not the problem?

Regards,
Paul

 
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Picture of Jonathan Kulp
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 
Hi Paul,

Thanks for responding. I was expecting the players to show in the "View <x> submitted assignments" area. Is there some other place to view the files students have uploaded? Attaching screenshot of what it looks like for me on Firefox 7.1 on Linux. Looks the same on Chrome. I'll have to try another machine for an older version of Firefox...ok tried it on FF 3.5.6 on a Mac and it looks the same there, too. When you click on the link to the mp3 it just asks whether you want to download it or open it in an external media player.

Another weird thing: When creating the assignment I set max upload of 5MB but then student can still only upload max of 1MB. Has anyone else experienced this?

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Sorry - I should have said, the filter should also add the player in the "view submitted assignments" page shown in your screenshot.  It works fine for me (on 2.2dev) in Firefox 7.0.1 on Linux - and, interestingly, also works in Chrome 15 on Linux (despite the player failing to appear for me in Chrome 14 or 15 on Windows XP).

If you're able to let me know the specific version of 2.1 that you're using, I'll flick one of my test sites over to that version and see if I can replicate it - it seems to work fine for me in Moodle 2.1.1+ (Build: 20110826), including in Firefox 7.0.1 on Linux (and even works in Chrome on XP, so that issue seems to be a 2.2dev bug).  If I'm unable to replicate it, are you able to give me access to a test course on your Moodle site (ideally as a teacher, so I can view the list of submissions)?  If so, drop me a private message with the login details and I'll take a look.

The steps you describe for updating should be fine - as it doesn't use any custom database tables/columns etc, the "installation"/"upgrade" via the admin notifications page doesn't really do anything other than bump up the version number Moodle thinks is installed, so it's not strictly necessary (but I guess it's good practice).

 
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Picture of Jonathan Kulp
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 
My server is running Moodle 2.1.1+ (Build: 20110826) so it ought to work. I'll add you as a teacher and send you login details.
 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Thanks - I've now realised that I'd only been testing with an administrator and a student, not a teacher.  For some reason, while it works for administrators, it's not working for teachers - I can replicate this on my test sites now that I'm using a teacher rather than an admin, so I should hopefully be able to sort it out.  It might not be until next week, though, as it's ten minutes to home time on a Friday here!

-Paul

 
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Picture of Jonathan Kulp
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 
Glad to hear you can replicate although on my end I see the same thing logged in as admin, student, or teacher, no players on any of them. Maybe you could try logging into my site as one of the test students (both have the same passwd as I gave you initially) and see if you see the player. It seems like I must have something configured wrong. Have a nice weekend. Wow the different time zones mess with my head sometimes. Just having Friday morning coffee over here. smile
 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Whoops - I managed to fix it (as I see it at my end, at least) on Friday, but ran out of time to commit it.  I then forgot I'd done so, and commited it as part of the fix that went into Beta 2.1 today - give that a whirl, and let me know whether it works for you now.  If it still doesn't work for you, I'm happy to help you debug further - we can co-ordinate via private message and/or email.

-Paul

 
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Picture of Jonathan Kulp
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 
Perhaps I didn't perform the upgrade correctly? I deleted the old "onlineaudio" dir, then replaced it with the new one, went to admin notifications area and clicked "upgrade." It said "success." Is that the right way to upgrade, or would there still be remnants of the old version lying around somewhere?
 
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Picture of Rob Johnson
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Paul,

I have noticed the optional file upload field of 1 mb stays at 1 mb no matter what the assignment is set to.  That limit seems to overrule the assignment setting.  Also, if I click the browse button, I am not presented with the Moodle 2 file picker.  I can only browse my local drives.  It would be nice to have the options of choosing repository based files. Edit: I just tried the "Advanced upload" link.  That is where the repositories can be browsed.  I noticed here the assignment upload limit is in effect (I set 5 mb).

Lastly, is there a limit on recording duration?  If so, does the limit change based on the assignment upload limit setting?

Rob

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Rob,

Good catch - I hadn't noticed that the max file size wasn't applying properly to the manual upload form.  I've fixed it and uploaded a new version to the plugins database.

There's no hard limit on recording duration, and the max file size is ignored for recordings made using the recorder - imagine how frustrated you'd be as a student if you did a perfect recording, hit the button and it rejected it for being too big?  If it's a local file you're uploading, you can at least re-encode it at a lower quality to shrink it down (or in a more efficient codec if applicable)...

-Paul

 
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Me at Wu Zhun, near Shanghai
Re: Online Audio Recording - not being enabled in all courses
 

Hi Paul,

Hope you can reply to this call for help.

I'm running 2.1.2+, previously running 2.1.2 

And of course, unless I go back and recreate everyghing including the databases I can't revert to the old system. I had Onlineaudio working fine in 2.1.2, and the courses I created under that an earlier versions load the oninaudio gadget fine. However, any course I create now. or even courses that did not originally have the recording ability in them, I can not create an assignment that creates the gadget.

This link is to a page created in a course that already had a gadget in it.

http://your-english-success.com/test2.html

The actual recorder doesn't show up here of course, because it can't find the libraries. Thats ok because it does show the actual recorder and the code is in the page.

 

This link is a page created in a course that has never had the gadget in it. And it won't create one now as you can see if you look at the page code.

http://your-english-success.com/test1.html

 

I Do hope you can help me.

Thanks

Robert

 
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Picture of Rob Johnson
Re: Online Audio Recording - not being enabled in all courses
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Have you tried using a test account with the student role in the courses where the recorder does not show?  I noticed that the gadget does not show for me if I do not have a role assigned in a course.  If I enter as an admin, with no course role assignment, I do not see the recorder.  Only the courses where I have the teacher role assigned will show it to me.  I was thinking I had courses suffering from the problem you describe until I used a test account with the student role.

 
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Me at Wu Zhun, near Shanghai
Re: Online Audio Recording - not being enabled in all courses
 

Thanks for getting back to me. What a mystery this is. 

Firstly I my version, it is 2.1.2+ yep, ok.

I set upa new course as a test, and assigned thre people as students, including one of them as myself, as manager and student.

presto bumpo - I can now create visible recorders.

Now the next test is to see if I can do this retrospectively with the course that is giving me the problem. 

That is a real trap for unwary players .....

robert

 
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Picture of Rob Johnson
Re: Online Audio Recording - not being enabled in all courses
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

This issue will not affect most Moodle users.  My site, for example has four admins for 27,000 users.  Only those four might run into a course where the recorder won't show.  Any other user of said course will have a role assigned, and the recorder will work as expected.

Rob

 
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Picture of Kees Koopman
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Hello,

Online Audio gives the following text when i am in the debugging mode:

Strict Standards: Declaration of assign_submission_onlineaudio::get_files() should be compatible with that of assign_plugin::get_files() in /home/aaa.aa.nl/www/mod/assign/locallib.php on line 293

Can somebody repair this?

Regards, Kees.

 
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Frankie's the name, Moodle's my game!
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
Hi Paul! Fantastic! Works great on my site. Any chance it can work as a block as well? BTW, I spent the last 2 weeks working on this: http://moodurian.blogspot.com/2011/09/mp3-quickie-makeover-version-18.html I think your recorder is more stable than mine, but mine works in a block, whilst yours is an assignment. Frankie Kam
 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Frankie,

I don't see why the recorder itself couldn't be adapted to work in a block.  It's currently got a bit of assignment-specific stuff in how/where it submits the recorded file, though - I'll investigate splitting the recorder out into a standalone widget that can be configured to submit the file wherever you want, which would make using it in a block (or in the editor, or as a question type, etc) easier.

Cheers,
Paul

 
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not cusack
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 
A block and a multimedia filter would both be amazing! I'd like to thank you on behalf of all desperate language teachers on Moodle 2.x who have been waiting for a voice-recording application since July! Excellent work big grin
 
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Picture of Hartmut Karrasch
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Hello,

works great, but not in our older Moodle Version 1.9.4+. All we can see is the "Get Adobe Flash-Player"-Button. Any ideas?

Regards

Hartmut 

 
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Me at Wu Zhun, near Shanghai
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

This is BRILLIANT. Thank you so much.

 
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Me at Wu Zhun, near Shanghai
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Hi Paul, I have a strange problem.

I have online recording installed fine - and in one course I can add it as an Assignment activity, and it pops into place as it should.

However - when I try to add it to another language course I am setting up, I get the description, but none of the recording buttons etc show up. The plugin is missing. Nothing I do will make that thing appear in that course, but in the TestBed course I have I can add multiple instances anywhere I like.

Do you, or anyone know why I can't add it to a particular course?

I'm using 2.1.2 by the way.

Thanks

 
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Me at Wu Zhun, near Shanghai
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Talking to myself here smile

I'm now after much drama, running 2.1.2+, however the old problem persists.

I installed onlineaudiko, into mod/assignment/type/onlineaudio and it worked fine. It still works fine - in one course only. I can add new activities to the course,

But, it simply ignores the activity in any other course? and won't install the recorder.

It installs the Activity page with the title and description - but not the recorder.

anyone have any ideas.

I'll try reinstalling the module again - but I dont know, can I do that?

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Robert,

Aplogies - I missed your messages as I was out of town at the time.  I hope you've managed to work it out, but if not, I suspect you'll find that you have a student role in your "test bed" course but not in your other courses - the recorder (and upload form, if enabled) will only appear to students (actually, I think they show to any graded role - but that's usually just "student"), not to teachers or admins.

HTH,
Paul

 
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Picture of John St
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Developers

Still working with this and it really is great Paul. Any thoughts or (some direction) on creating this as a repository option, so that users could select this and record right into their pivate files? 

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi John,

The idea is still on my radar, but I haven't had a chance to investigate the repository system and see how possible it is... you're welcome to take the recording widget and have a crack at it yourself - let me know if you need a hand working with the widget, but the assignment code should give you a reasonable idea (and there are some comments in the widget's source which might help a little).

Cheers,
Paul

 
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Picture of Carly Born
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Paul, I've been working on a more complicated version of this (along with a simple assignment upload version) to replace outdated software for our foreign language departments. You can see an open demo of our modules here:  https://moodle.carleton.edu/course/view.php?id=12752

I'd like to take a look at your recorder source code and see if we can extend it for the feedback needs that we have.  Would that be ok with you?  Is the source for the recorder up on Git?

Thanks!

Carly

 

 

I used other software to create the recorders for the proof-of-concept, but I am looking at recreating them in Flash to get more robust compatibility.

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Carly,

Can you please elaborate on your "feedback needs"?  If it's something which other people might find useful, it'd be good to implement as an option in the Online Audio Recording assignment so that other people can take advantage of it.

Cheers,
Paul

 
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Picture of Herbie Herbenmaster
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Hi all!

 

I have following prolem with moodle 1.8.1 and the audio recording assignment:

Every time I execute the assigment I get the message:

"Course Module ID was incorrect"

 

Where could be the problem?

Thanx,

Herbie

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Herbie,

I'm not sure if anyone's tested it on 1.8 - I know I certainly haven't.  Which version of the audio recording assignment are you trying to use?  The 1.9 version *might* work on 1.8 - I haven't had any experience with 1.8, but I wouldn't be surprised to find that something in the assignment module changed between 1.8.1 and later 1.9 builds (from memory, I've tried it on about 1.9.10 onwards).

Is there a reason that you're still running 1.8.1?  I see that the latest 1.8 build is 1.8.14, which was released over a year ago; that's not to mention the entire 1.9 branch all the way up to 1.9.16 and 2.0-2.2.  I can understand not upgrading to 2.x yet (we still haven't made the move yet, but we've been working on it for a while), but if you're stuck with 1.8 for some reason, 1.8.14 is surely the best place to be...

 

-Paul

 
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Picture of Alex Goodyear
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Having some issues with the flash recorder it say loading please wait but never competes, any ideas? we are on moodle version 2.1.3 & have flash player 11.1 installed

 

Loading Please wait

 
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Picture of James Treloar
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Hello - I am having the exact same issue here and cant get it to work on my windows 7 maching with 64bit OS and Flash 11.1 with any browser (Chrome, IE, or Firefox).  However, when I try it on another machine running xp it works just fine in both Chrome and IE with Flash 11.1. 

Any suggestions?

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi James (and Alex),

I can't seem to replicate this at all.  I've tried it on 64-bit Windows 7 with the latest Flash Player 11.1 and it works fine for me in IE, Firefox and Chrome.  I have a couple of thoughts which may or may not be useful:

  • Your system may have more than one version of Flash Player installed, with your browsers picking up the wrong one for some reason - try right-clicking the recorder and seeing what version of Flash Player is reported at the bottom of the context menu
  • One of the first things it does, if you haven't previously told Flash to remember your choice for this site, is ask you whether you want to allow it to access your microphone.  Can you please confirm that you have a microphone plugged in and enabled?  It could be (though I doubt it) that Flash is unable to find a microphone and therefore something is going wrong.
  • Could you install the debug build of Flash Player on a machine that's having the problem, and see if it gives you any indication of what's going wrong?

If you're able to shed any more light on it from the above, or at least narrow it down a bit more, I'll try to look into it further - but at this point I'm stumped, sorry.

-Paul

 
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Picture of James Treloar
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Paul,

Thanks for the quick reply!   I will look into this over the weekend.  

Jim

 
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Picture of James Treloar
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

I did have multiple versions of Flash player installed and when i initially uninstalled the earlier version, it didn't fix the problem, but when I log in now it appears to be working fine.  Great application.  Thanks.  

 
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Picture of Martin Honar
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Hi there,

 

I'm having problems installing the plugin (assignment_onlineaudio_moodle21_2011102003.zip ). I copied the .zip file to the mod directory, unzipped it which created the onlineaudio directory. When I went to Notifications to upgrade the plugins, I get the following error:

Plugin "mod_onlineaudio" is defective or outdated, can not continue, sorry.

More information about this error

Debug info: Missing version value in version.php
Stack trace:
  • line 449 of /lib/upgradelib.php: plugin_defective_exception thrown
  • line 265 of /lib/upgradelib.php: call to upgrade_plugins_modules()
  • line 1425 of /lib/upgradelib.php: call to upgrade_plugins()
  • line 311 of /admin/index.php: call to upgrade_noncore()
I'm using Moodle 2.0.3+

Any help will be appreciated.

Thank you.

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Martin,

As per the installation instructions on the download page and in various posts in this thread, you need to put the "onlineaudio" folder into /mod/assignment/type/ - NOT just /mod/.  I've just added a note stating this to the description in the plugin DB, which will hopefully be easier to spot than the installation instructions (which aren't necessarily seen when you're downloading a plugin...).

Regards,
Paul

 
Average of ratings:Useful (1)
Picture of Martin Honar
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Hi Paul.

 

Thanks a lot. Should have looked at the thread more closely. It's fine now.

 
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Picture of Narayan Choudhary
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Hello,

I was so fascinated by the capabilities of this plugin that I learnt moodle to just try this plugin out. I have been working making this work since last two days.

And, yes, I got it! smile Thanks a lot for this plug in. Ultimately I am going to embed moodle with a joomla site I am running for my university.

However, there is one thing I still cannt figure out anywhere. Is it possible to do the audio recording in WAV format as default? At present, the recording is done by default in mp3 format which actually is not very good for the speech researches.

So, can anyone help me out make the recrding done in the WAV format by default (and possible give the option for other formats as well)?

Thanks a lot again!

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi,

It's not currently possible to have the audio recorded in WAV format, but I'll add it to my todo list.  The recorder actually uses WAV internally, but converts to MP3 before it uploads - so it shouldn't be too hard to add an option to just upload the WAV without converting.  Other formats are not so easy, as Flash can't do the conversion by itself - MP3 is only possible because there's a very small MP3 encoder (Shine) which can be compiled to a Flash component; I'm not aware of any similar encoders for other formats/codecs (though I haven't looked, so that's not to say they don't exist).

-Paul

 
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Picture of Narayan Choudhary
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Thanks a lot Paul for the quick reply.

Actually, I am trying to use this feature for research in speech data collection for research. The only format we like to use for research purposes is WAV as it is uncompressed and retains all the features of the audio recorded.

I will also be looking for it and if I can find out, I will post here.

Thanks again! smile

 
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Picture of AL Rachels
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

Narayan,

Have you thought of trying the Nanogong module? It is available for Moodle also and will let you save in .spx, .wav, or .flv formats.

 
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Picture of yin bai
回复: how to use it on the android system
 

dear Paul

       thanks for your effort  developing such a useful tool. There is no error using it on the windows system. but when i borwse it on the android system in a tablet PC it does not work. is there any methods to solve this problem?

thanks for your kind help

 
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Picture of yin bai
回复: how to use it on the android system
 

supplement: the tool works on android tablet PC just like what Alex Goodyear posted in this page.

 
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Frankie's the name, Moodle's my game!
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Paul

A shot in the dark:

I don't suppose the Online Audio Recorder could be made to work (run) on a server that is non-Moodle? For example, a PHP-MySQL server but one where Moodle is not installed?

Frankie Kam

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Frankie,

The recorder can certainly be used elsewhere - it's available in a separate Github repository as "local-audio-recorder" (it's a little lacking in documentation at the moment, so if you need a hand getting it working in a non-Moodle project, feel free to flick me a private message).  It can be configured to either submit the recording via HTTP POST to a URL of your choice or to pass it in to a Javascript callback, depending on your needs (for instance, the assignment module uses HTTP POST but the repository plugin uses a callback).

-Paul

 
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Frankie's the name, Moodle's my game!
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Paul

Thanks for your reply!
I've downloaded the zip file from your gitbub link, and have extracted it to my hard drive and to my web server at http://moodurian.com/audio/demo/.

My local harddrive version will load the player control box, allows me to record and playback, but when I click the save button, hangs indefinitly. I suppose it's because I didn't tell it where to upload the file.

As for the web server version, it doesn't even load up the player control box. So I can't record, playback and upload (save) the audio.

I'll appreciate some help to get it working on my web server, presumably using the http post to a URL method of choice. Then again, it would also be good to get it working on http://moodurian.com/audio/demo/ via the Javascript callback method. I've also sent you a PM via moodle.org.

Frankie Kam

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Frankie,

Since it's not related to the assignment type, I think it's best to continue this via PM and/or email - so I've replied to your PM with some suggestions.

-Paul

 
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Picture of Mark Berthelemy
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Hi Paul,

I'm trying to get this plugin working on my Moodle 2.3 testbed. It says it's installed OK, but I can't find any way of adding an audio assignment into a course.

I know the assignment module has changed a lot in 2.3 - is there likely to be something I've missed in setting it up?

Cheers,

Mark

 

 
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Picture of Mark Berthelemy
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

I see what's happened...

Moodle 2.3's new assignment activity is enabled by default, but doesn't seem to support the online audio plugin.

The old assignment activity is disabled by default. By enabling this, I'm now able to use the online audio plugin.

Cheers,

Mark

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Mark,

If you'd like to use it in 2.3, I'd suggest using the submission plugin for the new assignment module - it supports a few more settings than the plugin for the old assignment module, and has had more work put into it lately.

-Paul

 
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Picture of Boris Puhanic
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Hi Paul,

first of all, just want to say this is a great tool and I've been using the 2.2 type for about a year with no problems.  Recently however, I started using the new submission plugin and there's a few things/problems I've noticed.

The main one is that I get the following error when I click the green tick/check image when trying to grade assignment submissions:

Coding error detected, it must be fixed by a programmer: Row is out of bounds for the current grading table: -1

which causes any grades not saved previously to be lost.  I vaugely remember this already being reported about a week ago somewhere, but I can't seem to find the thread.

Also, I noticed that when I first installed the new submission plugin the fields and labels for 'Default filename pattern' & 'Allow students to change filename' are displayed as [defaultname1] or something like that.  Only after installing the old 2.2 assignment type as well did the fields display properly.  But, whether that's what fixed it, I'm not sure.

The last thing is, the location of the 'Feedback' field is too far away from the grade box.  In the 2.2 type it was conveniently placed right next to the grade, so it was very easy to type in a comment quickly.  Now, it's on the other side of the submitted audio recordings, and when there's a long list of submissions and the names of the submitted recordings are long (as they usually are in my case), you end up having to do an awful lot of scrolling around.

Cheers, Boris.

 
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Picture of Martin Henits
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

How about developing an Online Audio Recording question type?

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Martin,

Is that a request or an offer?  I've certainly considered it, but I've been holding the fort as the sole developer supporting my university's e-learning systems for the better part of the last couple of years - so I haven't had time to look into it, as it's not something that is high on our priorities list at present.  It's also not the highest item on my personal priorities list relating to audio recording - before doing much else, I'd like to rebuild the recorder to have a more flexible (and easily translated) interface, and ideally to support HTML5 audio capture where available.  That's all still a bit of a pipe dream at the moment, but I'll hopefully have the time to be able to revisit it in a couple of months or so.

-Paul

 
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Picture of Martin Henits
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

It's just a couple of hours that I saw your recorder and I'm really excited about it. I posted some comments here https://moodle.org/plugins/view.php?plugin=assignsubmission_onlineaudio

Unfortunately I don't think that I have enough knowledge to to develop a whole plugin. I can do some minor modifications in the existing plugins to change some behaviours, but developing a whole plugin is too big/scary for me.

about the recorder swf that you use... is that open source? if so I might be able to at least hard code my translations.

Thanks again for the nice and usefull plugin. great job

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Martin,

The source for the recorder is available on my GitHub: https://github.com/pauln/local-audio-recorder - but you'll need a suitably recent version of the Adobe Flash authoring tool (and the know-how to drive it) in order to make any changes.

There's already a "lang-cn" branch which contains contributed Chinese translations; I'm happy to add branches for other contributed languages too, if you're willing to share yours.

 

-Paul

 
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Matt Bury
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

If you're looking for a free and open source Actionscript IDE, I think this one's great: http://www.flashdevelop.org/ It feels similar to Netbeans and has everything you need "out of the box." There's also a range of 3rd party plugins available.

Flash is now an Apache priority open source project: http://flex.apache.org/ and there's talk of integrating Actionscript runtimes into browsers as a standard (started a few years ago and stalled but there's now renewed interest) similar to the way Javascript engines work. However, Actionscript is a fully object oriented programming language (supporting strict typing, encapsulation, explicit classes, etc.) and has major advantages over Javascript, as we've seen in this discussion. In fact, many of the new code libraries for Javascript have been ported over from Actionscript, e.g. http://createjs.com/#!/CreateJS

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Matt,

Thanks for the recommendation - I'd come across FlashDevelop but hadn't had time to actually try it out yet.  I'll make sure to try it out when I have time.

-Paul

 
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Picture of Martin Henits
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Thanks Paul,

Could you please let me (other who are also interested to contribute) know that how I can provide you a translation file?

I looked into the sourse files, bit I was not able to find a language file to translate.

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Martin,

There's no language file - the strings are hardcoded into the Flash project.  The Chinese translation was done by somebody sending me a list of translations, which I then manually embedded into a copy of the Flash project - this is necessary in part because the length of the relevant strings will vary from language to language, so buttons etc need to be resized to make them fit.  I don't currently have time for that, sorry - and I'm not currently set up to do it (as I was just upgraded to a new PC with Windows 7, and haven't had cause to use Flash yet), but if you can find somebody with the requisite familiarity with Flash to create a translated version, I'll gladly add a new branch for the translation (in order to make it available to others in the same place as my original version).  Otherwise, if you can make do for a few months, hopefully I'll have time to work on my planned new version and produce a recorder that's easy to translate.

-Paul

 
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wen photo
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Paul, thanks for this wonderful assignment type! One quick question. Is it possible to add a timer to this assignment type? 

What I'm trying to achieve is to create a quiz (not assignment) that can simulate TOEFL ibt "speaking test," which can take student's voice recording and submit it for manual grading. I tried to use Nanogong with Moodle quiz "essay" type of questions, but Nanogong does NOT work with Moodle quiz (yet)...

Here are one sample question from TOEFL "speaking test"...

1. Talk about a pleasant and memorable event that happened while you were in school. Explain why this event brings back fond memories.

Preparation Time: 15 seconds
Response Time: 45 seconds

Thoughts and comments about how this might be achieved, possibly by using the Online Audio Recording assignment type or other plugins? Many thanks!

Wen

 
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Matt Bury
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Wen,

I work with EFL/ESL elearning a lot and have developed a few applications to meet the specific needs of various English tests.

The Flash recorder app is open source so we'd be able to customise it without any problems.

What I suggest is to leave the default functions of the recorder app as they are and add an option to include a small external XML configuration file that the app can load when its URL is passed in as a FlashVar. In that configuration file, we could set time limits as well as other parameters to adjust the recorder's behaviour. In this way, we could create a number of "profiles" that teachers and curriculum developers can select to meet their particular needs, e.g. toefl_speaking_test.xml or ielts_speaking_practice.xml

How does that sound?

 
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Picture of Doug Moody
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Not a programmer, but here's  a thought...

If you pre-calculated the size of a recorded MP3 file, based on its bitrate, and then limit an upload size to that, then by default no one could record longer than the upload limit specified for the assignment. This would mean that all files submitted for the assignmet would be at a preset size or smaller, but could not exceed the preset time/size.

Just a thought.

 
Average of ratings: -
Matt Bury
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Doug,

I think the idea wouldd be to provide a countdown timer or progress bar to indicate how much time learners have used and how much they have left as clearly as possible. Then the recorder automatically encodes and uploads the MP3 file or optionally allows learners to re-record their attempt.

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Wen,

Although I've certainly heard the suggestion before, time limits are not something which is (to my knowledge) useful at my university - so I don't currently have time to work on it, sorry.  That said, I have been planning a rewrite of the recorder - so I might be able to fit in some extra features such as time limits; I can't even begin to guess when that might happen though.

However, as Matt pointed out, it's open source - so if you or somebody else has the time and requisite Flash (and PHP, for the Moodle side) skills to add this functionality, be my guest!  Don't let my lack of time hold you back wink

 

-Paul

 
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Picture of AL Rachels
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

Hi Wen,

Did you know that there is a PoodLL quiz question type available? It does not support timing like you want, but you could do a single questions quiz and put a time limit on the quiz. And, not only does the PoodLL question let you record audio, it will also let you record video.

Also, the PoodLL online audio assignment submission type will let you put a time limit on the recording, if you were to use it.

The current version of PoodLL even lets you use smart phones for the recording. I just created a one question quiz and took it with my student login account using my Samsung S4 phone and it recorded in HD. Looks really nice.

Let me know by direct email (in my profile) if you would like access to my dev site to try it out.

AL

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Justin Hunt
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

As Al said you can put a timer on the recording in PoodLL. 

The setting looks like this in the onlinepoodll assignment. I thought it was also possible in the question too, but somehow I never did that. I will add that change shortly. 

 
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Frankie's the name, Moodle's my game!
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Paul

I installed it under Moodle 2.5, but when I try to locate it from the Activities Menu (Assignment activity), I can't find any reference to it inside the Assginment form! Does anyone else have this problem? Does the Online Audio Recording work for you in Moodle 2.5+ (latest as of June 29th 2013)?

I like the functionality and ease of use of the recording/player and so I am hoping that it will work for my Moodle 2.5+ production site.

Frankie Kam

 
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Picture of Boris Puhanic
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Hi Frankie,

works for me, I have both 2.2 and 2.3 installed.  The 2.2 is listed separately under the Assignment 2.2 as Online Audio Recording, but the newer one (2.3) is not.  There is just an "Assignment" option, right at the top of the list. After selecting that there is a checkbox in the form to select Online Audio Recording.

Boris.

 
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Frankie's the name, Moodle's my game!
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Paul and Boris

Okay! I finally found the correct link:
https://moodle.org/plugins/view.php?plugin=assignsubmission_onlineaudio

I've installed it and setup an 'Online Audio Recording" assignment with the correct setting ticked. However, when I load up the Recorder, I get this overlay message "Loading Please Wait" that goes on forever. See image. What's wrong with my site?

If I click the Cancel or Upload button, nothing happens. I have PoodLL installed. My filters are:

Need a little help here...
Frankie Kam

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Boris Puhanic
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Just a stab in the dark, but have you tried after temporarily deactivating PoodLL?  Maybe there's some conflict with the way mp3 files are handled while poodll is running.

 
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Frankie's the name, Moodle's my game!
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Boris

I disabled PoodLL and it makes no difference. The problem remains.

Frankie

 
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Frankie's the name, Moodle's my game!
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Boris 

It's confirmed working on my Windows XP laptop.
Couldn't get it to work on my Windows 7 PC. Strange.

Frankie Kam

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of AL Rachels
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

Hi Boris and Frankie,

Frankie, I hate to say this, but I think it might be something to do with your Windows 7 PC. I am using Win 7 and the onlineaudio submission works fine for me, with PoodLL installed. In fact, my PoodLL filter is providing the player for the onlineaudio submission in the student assignment after recording, and also in the grade book view.

Just for fun, I just made an assignment that included File submissions, Online text, Online audio recording, and Online PoodLL all at the same time. It worked. Just have to do the online audio recording before doing the online Poodll recording due to the save and upload buttons used by online audio. It wipes out the online Poodll recording if it was made first.

AL

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Frankie,

The fact that the Cancel and Upload buttons (and the progress bar) are visible is a sign that it hasn't loaded correctly.  The most common reason for this is that an incompatible version of Flash Player is being used.

Which browser (and version) are you using, and which version of Flash Player is in use?  You can check the latter by right-clicking on the recorder (broken though it may be) - one of the items in the context menu should be "About Adobe Flash Player [version]".  Note that some browsers can have multiple Flash Player versions installed at the same time - so even if you have the latest version installed, it might be using an older one...

 

-Paul

 
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Frankie's the name, Moodle's my game!
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Paul

Thanks for checking in. I'm using "You have version 11,7,700,225 installed" of the Flash PLayer. Google Chrome Version 27.0.1453.116 m. Also doesn't work on my Mozilla Firefox 17.0. Strange. I've tested it on my colleague's PC (also Win7) and the same thing happens.

Frankie

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Boris Puhanic
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
 

Hi Frankie,

it's working for me with Win 7, Shockwave Flash 11.7.700.224 and Firefox 22, and also with Internet Explorer 10 (same Flash version).

Boris.

 
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Matt Bury
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

It sounds like something's making it hang/crash. There's an official debug version of Flash Player that traces errors in a popup window. It suspends code execution until you dismiss it (like break points). If there's any coding errors, they'll show up there: https://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/downloads.html

These are the two you want:

Download the Windows Flash Player 11.7 ActiveX control content debugger (for IE) (EXE, 16.58MB)

Download the Windows Flash Player 11.7 Plugin content debugger (for Netscape-compatible browsers) (EXE, 17.21MB)

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Frankie,

This might sound a little odd, given that we're discussing an audio recording plugin - but do you have an audio input plugged in and enabled?  I tested in the exact same Chrome version (which therefore has the exact same Flash Player version), and also in Firefox 17, both on Win7 - and it worked perfectly... I wrote a response with possible next steps, but while I was doing so, I thought about what might possibly be different between your setup and mine.  That's when it hit me that lack of an input source might cause unexpected behaviour - and sure enough, if I unplug my USB headset (the only audio input) and try again, it does exactly what you're reporting.

I'll have a quick poke around and see if I can tweak the recorder to put up a "Please plug in a microphone" message in such circumstances, rather than failing in that most useless of ways.

 

-Paul

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Just a quick update:

  • I've just put together a new version of the recorder which includes a new message for that situation: "Couldn't initialise microphone."
  • I'll do a bit more testing (with my other Moodle plugins which use it) to make sure I haven't broken anything, then I'll roll out updates to all three plugins (old assignment type, new assignment submission and repository) with the new recorder
  • Chrome now seems to latch on to the microphone request, and blocks access until you allow it as well:

    This seems to pop up the first time you hit the record button - which is annoying, as it results in you recording silence until you hit "Allow".  It's a once-only (per site) thing, though; by default, it'll remember your choice.  You can always stop and restart that initial recording to get rid of the silence...

-Paul

 
Average of ratings: -
Matt Bury
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

It looks like your testing it in Google Chrome. Chrome manages Flash Player differently and it looks like instead of putting the access to mic message in a context menu in the FP window, it's doing it through the browser.

Does it still record silence in other browsers when the standard context menu for mic access pops up? If so, you can pre-empt the permissions so that it asks as soon as the app loads.

BTW, you can test for mics and cameras with flash.system.Capabilities: http://help.adobe.com/en_US/FlashPlatform/reference/actionscript/3/flash/system/Capabilities.html

I hope this helps! smile

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Matt,

Yes, that was Chrome.  As I said, it does this in addition to Flash Player's request for access to the mic.  So for somebody who hasn't used it on a given site (in Chrome) before, the process (assuming the user accepts everything) is as follows:

  • When the page loads, the recorder will display the Flash Player settings request for access to the microphone
  • User allows access
  • User clicks play button
  • Recorder starts recording silence
  • Chrome slides out the banner in the screenshot above
  • User clicks on "Allow"
  • Recorder starts actually receiving audio

So it seems that Chrome has tried to be clever by supplying Flash Player with a silent audio source until the user grants access (again).  This is quite annoying, since Flash Player already allows the user to control access; my guess is that it's an attempt at consistency with the HTML5 getUserMedia() system, which uses the same grey banner at the top of the page - and I think it's even consolidated, so granting Flash Player access will then allow getUserMedia() the same access from that site (and vice versa, assuming Flash is also granted access through its own system).  To me, this seems like a half-baked attempt - if Chrome wants to control Flash Player's access to mic/webcam, it should take over completely rather than adding a second layer of settings; that's a pretty big step, though, since it'd require changes to Flash Player and would make the behaviour inconsistent between different Flash Players (Chrome's Pepper Flash vs everyone else's Flash).  This isn't really the place for that discussion, so I'll hunt for existing discussions in the appropriate places (and start one if there isn't already one).

 

-Paul

 
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Matt Bury
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Maybe there's a workaround where you can prompt the Chrome access first with JavaScript so the Chrome bar pops up as soon as the page loads?

It looks like there's a similar bug in the Chromium tracker: https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=180204

[edit] I took the liberty of copying and pasting your description of the issue into the Chromium bug tracker. Very clear and concise and better put than I could've done it. I hope you don't mind.

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Matt,

Thanks for that.  I'm not sure about a workaround; it could work, but you'd still have to give permission twice - which is what I'm most annoyed about! 

I'm not sure if that issue you found is quite the same thing - that sounds like two related-but-separate places where you can consume audio inputs, which currently require separate approval rather than prompting once and it then working for both.  I've started a separate issue for our Flash-related problem, with another copy-paste of a large part of my earlier post here along with some more information: https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=257514

-Paul

P.S. I've run out of time today to prepare and release updated versions of the plugins, but if anyone's desperate for it before next week, they can drop the SWF from the "build" directory of the audio recorder's git repo (https://github.com/pauln/local-audio-recorder) into the "assets" directory within whichever of my Moodle plugins they're using - overwrite the existing one.  I've done some quick testing in the assignment submission and repository plugins, and it seems to work fine in both.

 
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Picture of Rob Johnson
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Paul,

It was recently brought to my attention that the current release of Chrome (version 33+) is no longer working with the audio recording assignment plugin.  After granting permission to the microphone (twice), the student can record and playback, but the page gets stuck on the upload.  This bug was reported to your github by someone else, but I can't tell from there if you know about it. 

My site is Moodle 2.4.8 and the current release of audio recording assign submission plugin.  Thanks for any help getting this sorted.

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Rob,

Thanks for bringing it to my attention - that Github issue must have slipped my notice (perhaps the email notification got filtered as spam?).

It looks as though the Pepper (PPAPI) version of Flash Player, which is usually the default in Chrome, is in some way preventing the HTTP POST request from the recording widget.  I'll try to find a workaround (if necessary, I can implement an automatic toggle to use a completely different submission method in Chrome, but I hope I can avoid that) - but in the mean time, if you have control over the computers in question (i.e. a computer workroom), you can disable the Pepper Flash Player but leave the NPAPI version enabled (chrome://plugins - restart Chrome after making changes) and it should start working again.

 
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Picture of Paul Nicholls
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Rob (and everyone else),

I've just released v1.1.1 of the assignment submission plugin, which fixes the Chrome issue - no more need to switch to the NPAPI version of Flash Player.

-Paul

 
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Matt Bury
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your speedy update! smile

 
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Picture of Rob Johnson
Re: Online Audio Recording - free Flash-based record & upload assignment
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Thanks Paul.  I will have my teachers test it this week.

 
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