You are so right Marcus but every now and again Moodle just throws me a box with no HTML editing tools and when I put text in it just strips all the formatting.
That sucks too.
And then when I notice it later and think, "That looks silly. I'll edit that." I can't because the magic 30mins has elasped. And then I think. "I'll delete that and repost it." And I can't
That sucks too.
I also have recently completed giving out Parent accounts.
Feedback from them is similar to what has been enumerated here. Viewing grades is difficult, and they do not understand why they have to view the feedback from teachers one course at a time. They rightfully think that there should be a summary listed somewhere. Also, yes, the calendar system doesn't work for parents, but neither does it work for the users of my system. Plus, there is no way to give parents permissions to view submitted assignments without making them students of the course, which you definitely don't want.
There are tweaks that can be made to make it better. The obvious one is enroll the parents into the courses as a parent.
Far less obviously however, is thatthe custom profile fields feature can be utiltized to actually manually put links to their grades and to forum posts, so that all that parents have to do is access their profile page (which they do by clicking on their kids' names available under the Mentees block, which I renamed to "My Children"). Those links are actually easy to derive if you know their userid. Then it's a very easy call to database update procedure, which you can do directly with sql (you don't even need to use moodle code).
Lastly, remember that the Parent role isn't actually a built-from-the-ground up Moodle feature. It's more like one of the most commonly requested things that was piggy-backed onto the system.
I have to say that I was mightily intrigued by the parent/mentee role in 1.9, but ultimately did not urge us to use it because there is no way to mass enroll parents.
Too, I was concerned that parents/mentors could read messages, which meant that a student coming in later would not know there was a message for them.
Thank's Mary. Your responses are always helpful and you must tire of people like me who are in the mood for a whine and rant.
I know Moodle was designed and developed more for an adult learning environment. In an adult learning environment the need for security and privacy is high. The need for parents to be involved is low.
I do understand that but I want Moodle to continue to develop for the K -12 users as well. K- 12 Users need the ability to Login as a student and see what the student sees across all their courses not just one (Obviously without the ability to edit anything). Parents need this as do home group or pastoral teachers, as do administrators like me.
POS - Parent over shoulder works well with child who open and receptive. Some in the K-12 environment are not.
Moodle is the best Learning Content Management system I have seen. Great for setting up online curriculum. Great for assessing students and giving feedback in a course. Our school has over 1000 users over 300 courses.
The downside is Moodle is terrible at then looking at how a student is progressing across a number of courses. It also does not let parents or home group teachers in to have a look at overall student performance for all the reasons outlined above. Unfortunately unless we can make moodle work better from as overall student academic progress monitoring tool it will not really do the job for us in our setting.
Rob, quite a few random comments here. In the bigger picture, a post with a tone like yours probably doesn't do your cause any good. I do however acknowledge that writing in a Mood on Moodle.org can be theraputic. This is not a setting like a video game development where you are paying people to do your bidding. Be that as it may, I am interested in some of your points.
Have you read http://docs.moodle.org/23/en/Parent_role?
What you want seems to include at least these:
- Parent role with some more functionality.
I'm sure there are tweaks you can do to permissions to manage the calendar and home page questions in your post.
- Parent role to see a summary of grades.
This would require a report, which probably is quite straighforward. All the data is there, obviously, it is jusat a matter of extracting it.
The downside is actually getting the report to be meaningful. What's a quick quiz for some formative assessment etc and what is a significant assessment.
Not insurmountable. You could work on this as a plugin, and maybe even contribute it back to the community. But first, have you done a serious search of available plugins for Moodle?
- On the other hand, as a start, getting parents to visit several courses is at least a good start. The answer to your their question (where they 'don't understand') is that the functionality has not been coded yet. It can be. For a price.
- Just by the way: Is there a problem with (for example forum posts) with parent A seeing the work of students of Parents B? Or do you lock this down and just view via Profile > forum posts?
- Point 6: seeing assignments. Probably permissions on the parents role. This may be complex.
I think your thinking is muddled between guest, roles, permissions, system settings. Having read the pages on parent role, there may be some complex interactions here.
I think: Parents DO need to be enrolled in each course, but with complex permissions to disallow a lot of student functions. They do need to be able to view assignments etc etc as you want. The reason for this is that if they are guests they can go in more places you don't want.
But someone sles should confirm this.
Given this is true, then you will need to tweak the parents role, and the permissions for the home page, list of courses etc etc. This should get them into courses easily. You may find the course menu plugin (which allows custom links in it) is a great way to put the links you want parents to go to somewhere obvious.
Then there is the question of the Mentees blocks (or whatever that show the results). Don't know quite how this goes.
I'd suggest the various bits need to be picked off one at a time.
The two things that may require coding/tweaking are
- Parents enrolment (or use the contrib code)
- The summary of grades (but there MUST be one somewhere you'd think.
And if you think the 30 minute editing 'sucks' this is probably a feature, not a bug. What would you want? Unlimited editing rights forever?
Good luck Rob.
In the past (1.4 - 1.9) we created for all our schools our own parent account. My sucessors did not rebuild it for 2.0. (yet)
It worked this way:
- On the front page of Moodle a person logs in.
- Moodle looks in an extra table -feed by our administration system - if this person is a parent with childern on that school.
- If so the person gets a new screen where he/she can choose to follow one of the children by clicking on the name of that child.
- The parent arrives on the my page of that child and sees all the information the child would see.
- By clicking on one of the courses of the child the parent can access the course and see the course outline, resources and activity descriptions but cannot enter the activities themselves. We also blocked for the parent the forums - in these days with default access - in our courses. (So interaction stays between the teacher and the students.)
Hopefully someone finds the inspiration to setup such approach for Moodle 2.x
Another option we had in the past (2004-..) was that we created an automatic WAP (?!)cellarphone overview screen for all the todo's of the child in our courses. This overview was also visible on the my page of the child as a small block:
- from left to right 10 courses.
- from bottom to top: section with all finished activities(white), with open activities the small block is black.
- click on a block and you jump to that section in that course.
- not visible here, but a horizontal needle showed today in the graph