Future major features

MoodleRoom's proposed Outcomes changes

Picture of Kris Stokking
Re: MoodleRoom's proposed Outcomes changes
Plugin developers

We've made a couple of notable improvements to the technical design which bear mention.  

1.  Instead of mapping the outcome/content association to a course, we map it directly to an activity.  We realized we were making it harder on ourselves by giving the system the flexibility to map to anything in the course.  While that might be nice in theory, in actuality a user's performance will be tied to Activity Completion and Grades, concepts that are fundamental to activities but not other plugins/objects.  This works out quite nicely since questions and advanced grading criteria both relate to an activity (when implemented), and we get a major bonus of identifying the content item's relevant context within a course - it's no longer Question A in Course B.  It's Question A, part of the Final Exam (or Practice Exam) in Course B.  The Functional Specs are currently being updated to reflect this.

2.  Outcome attempts now capture additional data points for mingrade, maxgrade, and rawgrade.  This isn't a major change, we are simply updating the spec to capture what we said we would to make it more useful for instructors and recommendation plugins.

You can see the specific changes made by clicking on the following link: http://docs.moodle.org/dev/index.php?title=Outcomes_Technical_Specification&action=historysubmit&diff=37983&oldid=37930

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Picture of Doug Loomer
Re: MoodleRoom's proposed Outcomes changes

Hi Kris and Phil,

Sorry about the tardiness of my response.  I do want to thank you for taking time to explain the philosophical and actual approaches being pursued in this new Outcomes module.  I continue to be very excited about what a tremendous contribution it will make to student learning.

I've spent a lot of time considering the proposed data structure and didn't want to reply until I'd had a chance to really think through its implications.  Although, in the end, I still think many schools will want to report student progress and final standard mastery on a scale rather than a simple yes or no basis, the granularity with which you are capturing performance data is what is really important.  If the data is there (and God bless you for making it so), then those who want to scale it for reporting can do so via a plugin.  Great work.  This is really exciting.

This granularity of data capture will also allow for the creation of plugins that report student progress with a degree of specificity that will truly provide assessment for learing (what teachers and students need to guide student progess in real time) as well as final assessment of learning (what parents and universities care about).  I can't wait to start using it (and probably writing a plugin or two).

Keep up the great work!


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Picture of Jérôme Mouneyrac
Re: MoodleRoom's proposed Outcomes changes
Core developersDocumentation writersPlugin developers

Hi all,
Kriss asked my thoughts about web services. 

I first misunderstood during the dev meeting that people would want to distribute/publish outcomes (either with Mnet, either with Moodle hub repository). It's why I suggested to implement the web services. From the specs it's an import/export feature for admin. So no need of web services.

However it still would be nice to have some web service functions for two reasons:
* it shows when your lib.php API went wrong. When you think as a developer of a teacher/student app or admin tool, you sometimes find out that your API functions do either too much, either not enough. Issues related to parameters, capabilities, return values, abusing of Moodle form, etc... the web service functions will expose the problems of your API. I believe you'll save quite some maintenance time and some future development time if you write web services from start.
* currently we are pushing for web services to make Moodle more open.

If you have some time to create some web services, I wrote this documentation to contribute a web service to core. I'll be happy to answer if you have any specific questions regarding web services.


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