These features are nearing production readiness and we'd like to share them with the community with the hope of targeting inclusion into Moodle Core. You can try them out at http://moodledev.luns.net.uk/a. The code is available from our git repository on the MDL-uidemo-master-1 branch.
The first of these features is a Module Chooser. It acts rather like the questionbank question type selector and gives the help text for each module, plus it's icon. With this module we wanted to reduce the confusion caused by the 'Is it a resource or an activity?' issue that we've seen amongst our users. We also wanted to present the icons and give additional information about what that module does to help users to identify each module more quickly and without having to change page and use the help icon to check that they have the correct module.
The second of these features was aimed at simplifying moodle forms by hiding optional/unimportant settings to make the forms less scary. We've received a lot of feedback from our users simply saying that the forms are too long and there are too many options. We also found that many of them don't use the 'Show/Hide Advanced' button - I suspect that this is because they don't consider themselves 'Advanced' users, so don't think that the options are relevant to them. As a result, we've seen queries coming in from users unable to get a module to behave as they'd like, because they haven't clicked on 'Show Advanced'.
This enhancement works by:
- always displaying the 'General' section and closing all others by default;
- always displaying a section with a required element;
- opening any section which contains validation errors;
- opening any section which was previously open on previous submit (e.g. when adding new choices);
- displaying elements which are coded as expanded by default (e.g. $mform->setExpanded('foo');); and
- removing the 'Show Advanced' button (using JS) - this is something we're trying to explore at present.
There are still a couple of minor issues that we're aware of and working to address:
- repeated elements are not shown by default because none of them are required until they're submitted - we've fixed it for the 'choice' module, and we're working on extending it to all affected modules;
- the modchooser currently doesn't work on the frontpage.
Any feedback would be gratefully appreciated.
Thank you in advance,
Andrew Nicols and Ruslan Kabalin