Interesting concept. I would assume this would require some sort of porting student records to emails to parents. I think this would not be a safe thing to do. For example: If the teacher made a mistake and entered the wrong email address, and the scores were sent to the wrong email address, the teacher would be in violation of student record confidentiality policies. So, the feature would have to have a complex login feature. The parent's would have to enroll themselves and the teacher would have to validate the email address it correct. This is not something I would take lightly. Teachers can get fired of this real easy. I would not be able to use this feature. Less than 10% of my parents have email addresses. So, if I had this feature, I would spend twice the time preparing progress reports. However, I can see were some applications of Moodle this might work. Maybe a monthly use report would be interesting for parents to evalute. Teachers would have to explain how over and over what the report means in relation to what their child is learning...
Lots of issues...I would like to read what others thinking about this issue too.
This all needs funding. It won't even make it next year unless we get some big donations or lots of little ones.
in principle - could we define a role of 'External Examiner' someone who could view students work arranged as some kind of portfolio (e.g. forum, uploaded assignment, wiki etc) but leave no trace they have been there. UK exam boards are keen on this idea (to save travel expenses)
Cheers, Andy D
[Just noticed Don's Posting so I appreciate the timescale]
I have been able to accomodate their wishes by making a few minor changes in our Moodle setup. First of all, I added a new field "advisor" to the Moodle user table. Then I implemented a custom authentication method, based on Moodle's imap authentication, which works as follows. When the username/password pair is authenticated, the authentication function connects to the imap server with the given username and password. If this fails, the authentication function does a database lookup for the advisor corresponding to the given username. It then queries the imap server using the advisor's username instead, but with the same password as before. If this succeeds, then the advisor is logged in as the student advisee and can look up his charge's grades.
This year I have had two parents ask to see their child's grades and online Moodle contributions. I suggested that they ask their child for the username and password then login together to go over their work. It was akin to asking a child for their school book or diary to glance over the work that has been set and what has been submitted. The students did not object to this request.
This has been most satisfactory with some positive feedback and a deeper understanding about what it means to work online. It certainly saves having to create a parent type account or access level.