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Site wide teacher role not cascading down - Category enrolments

 
 
Picture of Paul Lovatt
Site wide teacher role not cascading down - Category enrolments
 

I'm using a newly installed version of Moodle 2.2 as admin and I want to do the following:

Add a user who is a guest teacher or VIP visitor, a colleague of mine who I want to be able to look around my site relatively unhindered at all the good stuff that is going on.  I do not want them to edit anything or delete anything, but I do not mind if they contribute to forums or post a blog etc.  Like a superguest who can get to course pages without any passwords or keys.  I might want to have more than one person in this role.

How do I do this?

What I have tried is to make them a non-editing teacher site-wide (which in itself took some fathoming out since the option was not there by default).  I have also tried to make them a non-editing teacher in my two existing categories (the site is still new but will grow in size, I don't want to go through every course to give access).

What I expected was that they would then be able to access all courses within those categories as the documentation says the role will cascade downwards.

Instead, when I try to log in as them, I just get the "You can not enrol yourself in this course" error.  What I want them to do does not involve them enrolling on anything, just having access.  I don't want them appearing in the gradebook, so why would I put them in a cohort (of one)?  Or enrol them at all. 

I want them to have access, not enrolment. There are no other teachers whose pages might be compromised by a site-wide role like this as I own and operate the whole site myself.  Besides, when I assigned the role to each course category it still did not work.

I think I may be missing something fundamental, so please can you help.

 
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Picture of Howard Miller
Re: Site wide teacher role not cascading down - Category enrolments
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers
This feature was.... erm... improved in Moodle 2.

The best way to do this is to use Cohorts - see http://docs.moodle.org/22/en/Cohort_sync

There is also a course category sync plugin but I'm honestly not sure if that's effective for site-wide assignments.
 
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Picture of Paul Lovatt
Re: Site wide teacher role not cascading down - Category enrolments
 

Thanks for your reply.

So the assignment of the site-wide role of non-editing teacher (actually non-editing access-all areas VIP guest) or anything approaching what I need, is not available by default, unless you go into admin and make it available, then assign it to someone, then find it doesn't work anyway.  Why would there be an option to enable/disable a feature, and then use it, when it is not then going to work? 

Surely, I am not the first teacher, trying to encourage others to use Moodle, that has wanted the people I am trying to encourage to have access to my courses without being students, appearing in the gradebook, or receiving posts and notifications intended for my students.

I have already noticed that I cannot enrol cohorts in categories, only in all courses separately.  I still feel I must be missing something fundamental, unless I am overestimating Moodle.

I will try to create a non-student cohort of one according to your suggestion,

Cheers.

 
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Picture of Howard Miller
Re: Site wide teacher role not cascading down - Category enrolments
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I recall a similar discussion myself. I think the Cohort sync should work though - why do you think it doesn't?
 
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Picture of Paul Lovatt
Re: Site wide teacher role not cascading down - Category enrolments
 

Thanks Howard,

Yes, it works.  I didn't do it straight off because I mistakenly believed I could use category enrolments to accomplish the task without the tedious process of enrolling the cohort (of one) into every course separately.  Trying to save time has cost me three hours of my day and a lot of frustration ("why doesn't it work?" etc)

I wish I were a Moodle developer.  I could spend my time removing useful functionality while leaving a trail of "re-enable" options just to wind up those old-fashioned enough to have used a previous version (which is now a terrible crime, it seems). 

For the benefit of anyone who comes here through google: to re-enable category enrolments DOES NOT WORK AND IS A WASTE OF YOUR TIME.  They will appear as site-wide or category enrolments but they will not actually be enroled at all.  There, I just saved you all two seconds by typing the important bit in red capitals.

I guess the time will be saved when I add the second, third member to the cohort.  I'm sure I will grow to love Moodle 2.2 someday ...

 
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Picture of Howard Miller
Re: Site wide teacher role not cascading down - Category enrolments
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers
Yes - but you need to add the 'Category Sync' enrollment plugin to the courses. You also need to set the capability enrol/category:synchronised to CAP_ALLOW for the roles you want to sync (how would you not know that??)

My understanding (I haven't looked that much though) is that it won't work by default - i.e., new courses in the category are not included - but I'm not completely sure.

It didn't sound remotely like progress to me either. This was my rant and rave some time ago...

http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-23840
 
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Picture of Paul Lovatt
Re: Site wide teacher role not cascading down - Category enrolments
 

Are you suggesting now that I know I know that (that it is a known known as opposed to an unknown unknown) that I CAN do category enrolments?  Nobody else seems to know they know this, from all the searching I have done.  If so, please run it past me one more time because I'm a little slow, possessing only a mere Physics degree from one of Britain's top universities, and I may onlym half know it.

Capabilities are a bit of a mystery to me, having relied on the default "roles" for so long.   I shall try to work out myself what "set the capability enrol/category:synchronised to CAP_ALLOW" means, though I suspect I may have already done it.

I am usually much more comfortable with known unknowns, where I can use my default capability "known unknown/searchmethod:google=TRUE".

BTW I always know when in mid-rant that I am not the first and good to have it confirmed!

 
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Picture of Paul Lovatt
Re: Site wide teacher role not cascading down - Category enrolments
 

Ok, I have now read through your tracker post and notice that it was resolved in August 2010.

I don't think so, since I have just had the exact same experience. 

Did you ever actually find the solution because this capabilities thing has me defeated.  All I want to do is assign my cohort of one a site-wide or category-wide role.  Can we be the only two people who ever wanted to do this?

 
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Picture of Howard Miller
Re: Site wide teacher role not cascading down - Category enrolments
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers
Once a couple of coffees have settled in I'll have a go and write the results in the docs.

Mind you, I only have a Maths & Computing degree from Newcastle University so I've got little or no chance big grin

You're not the only one - we use this feature a lot in 1.9 to assign additional rights to whole departments (where department == course category). It's a really useful feature. I was really miffed when it was, effectively, scuppered in Moodle 2. If necessary, I'll have to write a new enrollment plugin to cover this.

The tracker was closed as "not a bug" which just means that Moodle is working the way it was designed to work. I'd better leave it at that...
 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Site wide teacher role not cascading down - Category enrolments
Group Documentation writersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup TestersGroup Translators

I have a degree in French from University College London so I am way out of my depth! Don't know if this helps  -perhaps it needs to be more detailed (over to you Howard) http://docs.moodle.org/22/en/Category_enrolments

 
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Picture of Howard Miller
Re: Site wide teacher role not cascading down - Category enrolments
Group DevelopersGroup Documentation writersGroup Particularly helpful Moodlers
Hi Mary,

That sounds about right to me. I'll run through it again having not looked at this for a while. It's certainly not even slightly intuitive for a feature that used to "just work".

Thanks
 
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Picture of Paul Lovatt
Re: Site wide teacher role not cascading down - Category enrolments
 

Thanks Mary.  I am pretty sure I did all that. 

Not that I would stand a chance of remembering how or what I ever do in moodle, it being a new form of logic available only to developers and not to users. I remember everything afterwards for the pain it caused me, but not how I did it.  Maybe that is what education today is supposed to be like.

I must admit to being absolutely stunned by some aspects of Moodle 2.2 (like completely stripped out thou-shalt-not file management).  It's like the first day I fired up my new Windows Vista machine, an error I compounded by buying it from Dixons, raised to the power ten, on a bad day. 

Is there a self help group for "users" who want to actually run courses on Moodle, as opposed to spending all their time in here hoping to find a forum with a snippet of a clue how to do the next what-should-be-easy thing?

Howard, if you ever do publish a complete set of instructions on how to enrol someone across a category I'd be very very grateful.  I have given up.

 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Site wide teacher role not cascading down - Category enrolments
Group Documentation writersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup TestersGroup Translators

Hi Paul. Sorry for coming late to this thread (and not paying attention) but can you re-state what exactly you were needing to do and if Howard doesn't get to it first then I will try to pad out the category enrolment page.

* Do you want to enrol a user into a category such that they are then able to access, either as a or a student  all courses current or subsequent in that category? Is that what you wanted?

 
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Picture of Chris Baldwin
Re: Site wide teacher role not cascading down - Category enrolments
 

I agree totally with what Howard says here - I need a way to easily give access to VIP users (potential clients) to all the courses in one or more categories. Cohort sync doesn't seem to do this - all it seems to do is enrol a cohort at a course level (if it can, please can someone tell me how). I'm not that keen on enrolling them in every single course and creating a 'demo' group for all of them (that's another issue - site wide groups that I would have loved but that 'cohorts' isn't).

 
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Picture of Paul Lovatt
Re: Site wide teacher role not cascading down - Category enrolments
 

Yes, that's it exactly.  Category enrolments is supposed to do that, but then it does not work, not for me.  I get the "cannot enrol yourself" message, so it is not cascading down as it is supposed to.  The problem woth cohort sync is that it only works one course at a time as has been well discussed.

Independent of the fact it does not work, there seems no way to give VIP access to people that does not involve "enrolling" them.  The "VIP" description seems to best fit what others are also asking for.

Paul

 
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Mary Cooch
Re: Site wide teacher role not cascading down - Category enrolments
Group Documentation writersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Moodle HQGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup TestersGroup Translators

Coming back to this just now - if you give your sitewide teacher the capability http://docs.moodle.org/23/en/Capabilities/moodle/course:view then they should be able to see all courses without being listed as participants (except in the "other users" bit)

 
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Picture of Bret Miller
Re: Site wide teacher role not cascading down - Category enrolments
Group Particularly helpful Moodlers

Actually, we used the site-wide permission feature a lot in Moodle 1.9. I expect things have been busy enough that those it affects just haven't noticed that they lost their permissions in Moodle 2.1 or 2.2. Thanks for the discussion. At least I have some clue as to how to resolve it when they do notice, and they will eventually.

 
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