Let's say one teacher has created an excellent resource in their course (a Book, a Page, an Assignment or whatever it might be). If another teacher in another course wants to use that resource in their course, currently they have to duplicate it - either import/export or copy and paste! Then, if the first teacher makes any changes to the resource, they are not reflected in the copy.
Is there a way to have some sort of "Moodle Resource Repository" where resources like books, pages, assignments, etc... can live, so that there is only ONE copy of it which can be accessed by a number of courses. This might mean that changes to the resource only need to happen in one place.
We have been toying with the idea of creating an "Everything" course that we keep all our resources site-wide, but this is a bit of a dodgy work-around and not really ideal at all (as EVERY student would need to be a member, etc...) A better solution would be to allow connections to be made to a resource in an existing course, so the the resource only exists ONCE in the Moodle Database. One to Many: this one resource exists in these courses. Maybe when you add a resource, you can get the option to link to an existing resource in another course?
I'd love to hear from other people who have the same thoughts, or from anyone who has any ideas
PS: I'm using Moodle 2.2
I would also like to see something along these lines.
I'd like to see a 'content bank' similar to the question bank, consisting of html pages which could then be added to any resource that uses the html editor (page, book, assignment etc). Like the question bank, it would then be possible to edit the original page, and it would be updated everywhere (just as changing a question results in the updated version being used in every quiz where the question is used).
Yeah, that sounds like the kind of thing that would be useful - a "Content Bank"
The "Repositories" such as Knowledge Tree and even a simple WebDAV are great for sharing files, but can't help with sharing Moodle resource and activities such as "Pages", "Books", "Assignments" etc... as the details of these types of resources/activities are stored in the DB. I think you know what I mean.
Maybe when creating a resource or activity, there could be a simple option to "Allow Sharing".
The original author could opt to give 'Read Only' or 'Write' access to other Moodle users who share the approperait Role - such as a "Teacher". Maybe something as simple as this:
If another Teacher choses to use that shared resource or activity, it is linked in their course stripped of user data. If the original teacher (or any teacher, if the resource is shared with 'Write' premissions) makes a change, it would be reflected everywhere (becasue it really only exists once!)
I imagine this would be a matter of a small modification the DB to include a 'One-to-Many' type situation so that one resource/activity can exist in many courses - and only particular users can make changes to it.
To add a shared resource or activity from the "Resource Sharing Content Bank", a teacher could select an option from the existing "Add a Resource" or the "Add an Activity" drop down. This would then present them with a searchable index of shared resources and activities. Maybe something like this:
This is not about sharing files, like in a traditional Moodle Repo, but more about sharing resources that are stored in the Moodle DB.
I think something like this would be a wonderful feature.
I'm with Marcus.
We're just creating our first course (in 2.2) having never used Moodle before. We've had issues with course backups (due to the course size), so storing files etc. inside the course doesn't sound like a great idea.
The book 'Moodle 2 Administration' says that Alfresco and SharePoint can be used as external repositories. SharePoint is out (it's Microsoft, costs a fortune, and is a monster), and although there's a comunity version of Alfresco, using it just as a file repository is in the sledge hammer/nut category. Both would require significant time and learning which we just can't do (for both cost and timescale reasons).
So, is there anything else which could be a single repository for any Moodle course?
A couple of options to consider as WebDAV repositories for Moodle 2.
KnowledgeTree Community Edition. Many of the capabilities of SharePoint and Alfresco (repository, groups, versioning, indexing, work-flow. AD/LDAP authentication) but runs on a LAMP stack. Been around for a few years so should be pretty mature and stable. Documentation is good though recent emphasis seems to be on the commercial version at knowledgetree.com rather than the open source version (community edition) at knowledgetree.org.
ownCloud. Similar to a self-hosted DropBox. LDAP authentication, groups. No versioning (yet) or workflow. Simpler and less mature than KnowledgeTree, but under active and rapid development. Also, runs on a minimal LAMP stack.
See also the ownCloud thread on these forums.
It is possible to either link to resources in these repositories or copy the files into Moodle 2 through the WebDAV repository interface
Copying defeats one of the reasons for having a repository (unnecessary resource duplication) but does avoid permission issues.
Linking is conceptually neater but does involve setting appropriate access permissions in the repository. Otherwise, students may not be able to 'see' resources added by a teacher, for example.
Hope that helps
Another issue is that there are a lot of organizations that for any number of reasons cannot afford an external repository. In my case, my employer would go seriously ape over the very mention of an external repository. The current internal repository system is too complex and I would suggest even bizarre. If you want to create a new repository, then you have to do so by FTP, then you have to access it in the Adminsitration pages to activate it before you can use it in a course.Say whaaa...?
Would it not be better if an internal repository could be created either automatically or manually when a course is created and is made accessible to the Teacher? These repositories could be used as substitutes for the current Private files or if permissions are reset for each repository, made available category wide or site wide. mmm possibilities.
I tried to set up 'ownCloud' on my hosting account and failed. Their instructions leave a lot to be desired. I'm no novice (in run the hosting for fifty client websites), but couldn't work it out. With pressing deadlines, I've abandoned the idea of a repository for now, and will just have to copy files into the course.
I'm living in hope that a simple solution will be 'discovered' or implemented in the next few months ... otherwise I'll have to start investigating document management systems for a suitable repository ... not a task for an afternoon!
I am looking at developing a Digital Teacher Repository for school teachers (and others) Check out the Lesson Forum
- Insert clickable thumbnails of images/videos in any Moodle HTML block that link to full size web images/videos, optimised for fast download/viewing.
- Your own searchable image Folders
- All Department staff can assist in content development.
- Copy/past individual code into most Moodle Course Activities.