Lounge

 
 
Mary Cooch
When you change the number of topics down in a course they don't get deleted
Group Documentation writersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup TestersGroup Translators

Hi allsmile This is a discussion topic (hence its location in the Lounge)although I did wonder about putting it in Using Moodle . Basically...

it relates to an issue  in the tracker here http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-31563

which is that - if you have a course with say 10 sections full of activities and you only want five of them, if you reduce the number they don't actually get deleted; they just stay "unseen". This could be construed as a bug or wrong behaviour -yet on the other hand it is often considered very useful for teachers who like using the "unseen sections" trick to display items on a course page but not actually have them on their course page if you know what I mean ("make your Moodle course page look more like a webpage) The behaviour is the same in Moodle 2 but we as teachers see the words "orphaned a ctitivies".

So I am just gauging opinions here - do people think this is best left as is? Do people think that once you get rid of a section it should be got rid of altogether? Michael de Raadt offered these suggestions - any thoughts?

  1. Maintain the current behaviour
  2. Warn the user that reducing the sections will cause the activities/resources to become invisible, but not deleted
  3. Shift resource/activities from lower hidden sections to the next most visible remaining section
  4. Warn the user that reducing the sections will cause the activities/resources to be deleted, then delete them
  5. Delete activities/resources in sections that become hidden when the number of sections are reduced, without warning
 
Average of ratings: -
Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: When you change the number of topics down in a course they don't get deleted
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

Leave it as it is.

In recent versions, the hidden sections show up when editing is on, in an area called 'Orphaned sections'. The most we need to changes is a usability tweak to make sure that teachers know what that means without reading pages of docs.

3. 4. and 5. are all terrible. They would require a lot of manual work to undo if you make a mistake.

2. Adds an extra click for people who already know what they are doing. 1. is better. Moodle just does something reversible without pestering you, and they you can see the result which should make it clear what happened.

 
Average of ratings: -
Ben talking on the phone beside a monitor
Re: When you change the number of topics down in a course they don't get deleted
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

Voting VERY FIRMLY with Tim on this. Leave as is.

Your conservative Moodler (in this case) ,

Ben

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Richard Oelmann
Re: When you change the number of topics down in a course they don't get deleted
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

Huge +1 with Tim on this one.

I have always made use of this as a feature - create a section to hold resources and activities which are then not visible to students, but are still accessible when linked to, while resources which get 'hidden' are not then available through links either.

Please do not change this behaviour!!!

Richard

 
Average of ratings: -
Just wondering . . .
Re: When you change the number of topics down in a course they don't get deleted
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Richard, can you clarify exactly what you mean here?

  1. If you create items in a section that is not accesible to students by adjusting the number of sections in course settings, how are you linking to them?  Opening up the item and cut and past the link?
  2. What problem are you trying to solve by doing this?  eg Is this so you can create one page and link to it several times?
  3. You refer to the 'scroll of death' in your other post. "If this behaviour is removed, then we have no simple option for holding resources other than scroll-of-death"
    What do you mean here?

IMO: We really shouldn't have a kludge (linking to items in hidden sections) using unpredicatable behaviour (sections behaviour at present) to solve a problem (scroll of death).  But I was really wanting to clarify what you were actually doing and why.

My views: My problem at present is the difficulty of course maintenance. I often would like an "Empty section of all items" option. If a section has 20 items, I dislike having to click 20 delete icons.

I like the current behavour of just leaving the unexposed sections as they are when you change the number of viewed sections.  Do no deleting/moving.  Hence I dislike options 3, 4, 5.

I like option 2: IF the proposed option hides non empty sections, display the warning message.  Otherwise just do it, no warning.  I'm happy for the extra click.

Darko's comment: "I would like to be able to view orphaned sections in course edit mode if I'm teacher or admin regardless of the fact that these sesctions may or may not have activities in them" Agree.  I had not thought of this.

I'm just picking up with Moodle again after 2.2.  Just refreshing my understandings of what is there or not.  Looking to optimise some of the workflows.

-Derek

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Richard Oelmann
Re: When you change the number of topics down in a course they don't get deleted
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

Hi Derek, Thanks for your message about this post - I didn't reply to it specifically as i felt it was answered with the other posts in the discussion. But here is my reasoning.

 

I, and other members of staff, often have a large number of external files such as Word documents and Powerpoint files (and many other types). This can result in 10 or 20 (or more) resources listed in every section of a page. As an example I teach 10 lectures on a module which is made up of 12 different subjects in one section each- it is validated as a single module so is required to be a single Moodle course on our system. If I have 3 or 4 resources for each lecture, I have 30-40 resources listed in my section under summary and with any labels I add into the section.

My prefered method is to add these resources into a 'spare' section at the end of the page which is then hidden from the students by reducing the number of visible sections. The resources are then linked using hyperlinks within the section summary or labels - either within the text or by icons. This makes a much more appealing and attractive way of accessing those lists of resources (imagine every one of the 12subjects having 30/40 resources listed in each section). While there are obviously alternative ways of organising the entire thing (so that each subject had its own moodle course within an overall course page for example) this is not an option the way the relationship between moodle courses and validated modules in our university currently works. Neither is setting up additional courses as holding pages for those materials.

Moodle2 has no course files folder to put these resources in out of sight (they need to be attached to the course not in a private files area for access by other lecturers on the module) and the normal hiding of resources, or sections prevents access to those resources. I want the editor/teacher to haveaccess to those resources (they are visible when editing is turned on) but for the sake of appearances on the page I want them 'hidden' from the students and to me, the method of putting them in a spare section that is then not visible by reducing the number of sections seems to me to be the most intuitive option available.

The idea then of forcing those resources to be moved into another section (which may be completely unrelated to the section they actually relate to) deleting those resources, or forcing any other action would remove that option, while not -as far as I can see- providing an alternative manner to store those resources.

Like you, I would prefer the situation where the unexposed sections are left as they are rather than the resources put into a single 'orphaned activities' section which seems to fit in with Darko's comment of being able to see those orphaned sections in edit mode. My biggest concern with the original proposal was the suggestion that those resources would be randomly moved to another section or even deleted. I don't see the need for a warning message - it'll be obvious as soon as it happens and should be easily reversible - but if it was felt necessary then so be it. And if the decision is to continue putting all the resources into an Orphaned Resources section, then I don't particularly like it, but I can accept it.

 

But my main point from the OP options and those in the tracker is please do not just decide that all resources must be visible on the page - even in a different section - and definitely do not delete resources in these sections!!! Some of us have valid reasons for using non-visible sections.

If anyone can provide a more intuitive alternative to this issue then I'd be happy to hear it and try it out.

Richard

 
Average of ratings: Cool (1)
Picture of Darko Miletić
Re: When you change the number of topics down in a course they don't get deleted
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

The problem with how this thing is handled now is that it is not consistent. Unless reading really carefully the documentation on Moodle wiki users will not be aware of this behaviour (See http://docs.moodle.org/22/en/Course_settings#Number_of_weeks.2Ftopics ).

Furthermore the orphaned sectiones are actually just orphaned activities. Currently Moodle 2.x behaves like this:
If you have more sections than listed in numsections of a course they will be considered hidden and not displayed in general case.
They will be displayed ONLY when course is in edit mode and sections have at least one activity in them. This is just wrong. I am the course editor or admin, I want to know at all times what is in this course which means I need to see this.

The correct thing would be to display orphaned sections always, regardless if they have activities or not.

It is also wrong to display orphaned activities/sections only using course format, what if course format does not have support for orphaned sections?

This should also be displayed in the Course block or a new block at all times to teacher/admin.

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Richard Oelmann
Re: When you change the number of topics down in a course they don't get deleted
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

Suggesting that 'orphaned sections' are always displayed to editors is VERY different to the suggestions of adding all those resources/activities to another section or even deleting them.

In 1.9 I believe these sections were always visible to the course editor (ie when editing was turned on) and hidden to other users. I'm not sure what you mean by at all times Darko - Do you want the course to display those sections to you, even if you do not have editing turned on - surely the advantage the way things are now is that you get to see the course as others see it and then by turning editing on you get the additional features to actually allow you to do the editing?

Richard

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Darko Miletić
Re: When you change the number of topics down in a course they don't get deleted
Group DevelopersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers

I have no problems clarifying my position here so let us start:

I realize that my post in this thread differs from what I wrote in the issue but I'm just being realistic here. If so many users relay on this "feature" we should keep it. My main objection is the way it is presented or not to the user responsable for managing the course. This of course applies to teacher and administrator ONLY.

In Moodle 1.9 these sections are NEVER displayed to any user under any condition in course view regardless of the fact if course editing is off or on (I checked).

In Moodle 2.x these sections are displayed only to teacher/admin (this is correct) when a course is in editing mode but under condition that they have at least one activity (this is wrong in my opinion).

If I'm responsable for a course I want to know what it contains simply by looking at it, not by keeping a hidden knowledge in my skull or looking at database. This is what is wrong with current implementation of orphaned sections in Moodle course. Also the visual representation of these orphaned sections depend on course format impementation. In my opinion that is not good enough. This should go to the course block and be visible to teacher/admin ONLY.

And have in mind that not only the people who create the course are responsable for it, there are other teachers, admins etc.

To summarize:

I would like to be able to view orphaned sections in course edit mode if I'm teacher or admin regardless of the fact that these sesctions may or may not have activities in them.

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Richard Oelmann
Re: When you change the number of topics down in a course they don't get deleted
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

And that makes perfect sense Darko smile

thank you

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: When you change the number of topics down in a course they don't get deleted
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers
According to tracker, it is about versions 2.x

Since 2.x are completely different one could consider this change too.

But, please keep 1.9 as it is!
 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Richard Oelmann
Re: When you change the number of topics down in a course they don't get deleted
Group Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Testers

No - I would say it's even more important for 2.x as there is no Course Files. If this behaviour is removed, then we have no simple option for holding resources other than scroll-of-death

Please keep all versions as they are Please!!!

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Barbara Gardner
Re: When you change the number of topics down in a course they don't get deleted
 

I agree with Richard - we NEED this behaviour

but how about making it an option in course settings? Choose Number of topics and then choose Number of orphan topics.

They will always be set as not visible to students but are always visible to teachers and admin, something like that?

 

 

 
Average of ratings: -
Picture of Paul Ganderton
Re: When you change the number of topics down in a course they don't get deleted
 

I'm following the crowd here Mary! The ability to put materials in a course section and look at them but not display them is very valuable. It's not just the look-and-feel of the thing; it allows staff to be able to develop an idea.

 
Average of ratings: -