Future major features

 
 
Picture of Frédéric Massart
Moving 'Reports' from the 'Navigation block' to the 'Settings block'
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There has been some discussion on the Tracker and at the Hackfest about relocating the reports from the Navigation block to the Settings block. So far no decision has been made but we'd be interested to hear the point of view of the community. If you could express your thoughts about it, and/or vote on the tracker issue MDL-31983, that'd be brilliant!

At the moment, the reports are located:

  • User reports (named Activity reports): Navigation block ► My profile ► Activity reports OR Navigation block ► The Course ► Participants ► Kyle Broflovski ► Activity reports
  • Course reports: Navigation block ► The Course ► Reports
  • Module reports: Settings block ► <Module> Settings ► Reports

The proposition is to move them all down to the corresponding node in the Settings block.

Looking forward to hearing from you all!

Fred

 
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Picture of Frédéric Massart
Re: Moving 'Reports' from the 'Navigation block' to the 'Settings block'
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Errata: I meant 'The proposal' not 'The proposition'.

Also, you can find screenshots of how it looks, and would look, on the tracker issue.

 
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Picture of Helen Foster
Re: Moving 'Reports' from the 'Navigation block' to the 'Settings block'
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Hi Fred,

Thanks for your post. I notice in MDL-31983 that Martin mentions a further option - creating a new Reports block. I like this option the best, as reports to me don't seem to fit with either navigation or settings.

 
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Picture of Kerstin Namuth
Svar: Re: Moving 'Reports' from the 'Navigation block' to the 'Settings block'
 

Hi all,

I'd prefer Helen´s solution. Would that be possible? If not, the seetings block seems more logical than the navigation. 

 

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: Moving 'Reports' from the 'Navigation block' to the 'Settings block'
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I think a separate reports block would be unnecssary clutter. A whole extra block, rather than one 'Reports' link in the settings block (my preference, after hearing repeated requests for the move in the Quiz forum).

We do not yet have any mock-ups of the separate block option in the tracker issue. Surely it would help to see what we are voting for. (A quick way to mock it up would be to use a HTML block to fake the proposed reports block, then use Firebug to hide the other links.)

Note that, in MDL-31983, we have already discussed that the Settings block should probably be renamed to something else, particularly if the Reports are going in there.

P.S. Fred's post does no accurately reflect history. A decision was made, but then when people came to implement it they had second thoughts. That is OK, since it is important to get these UI issues right.

 
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Picture of Steve Bond
Re: Moving 'Reports' from the 'Navigation block' to the 'Settings block'
 

I second Tim's post.

The screenshots on the Tracker issue confirm for me that Settings is the right place for reports to appear, for all the different types of report (especially quizzes though - our users can never find those without being told where to look).

It doesn't matter that they are not really settings, since there are plenty of other items in there that are not settings (e.g. backup). These are administrative functions (though I don't think renaming the block is a priority, since the fact that it is called Settings has not to my knowledge caused any problems up till now).

My second choice would be a separate Reports block (anything but the status quo) but I agree with Tim that separating it is unnecessary.

Steve

 
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Picture of Ray Morris
Re: Moving 'Reports' from the 'Navigation block' to the 'Settings block'
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It doesn't matter that they are not really settings, since there are plenty of other items in there that are not settings (e.g. backup).
> These are administrative functions

That's why I wouldn't want reports there.  They are mostly administrative functions, used by administrators, and are used to make changes to the system.  Reports are basically view only, they don't change the system, and are used by teachers and even students.  I don't think it makes sense to mix a report that a student might look it in with administrative functions.

Or as Martin Dougiamas put it "reports are not settings".

 

 
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Picture of Hubert Chathi
Re: Moving 'Reports' from the 'Navigation block' to the 'Settings block'
 

FWIW, "RSS feed of posts" for forums is also in the "Settings" block (look in your Settings block on this page), which is also not an administrative function.

 
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Picture of Steve Bond
Re: Moving 'Reports' from the 'Navigation block' to the 'Settings block'
 

OK, I take your point, but I would argue that reports are mostly used by non-students, for admin purposes. Actually I'm not even sure what reports a student can see in the Navigation block as it stands. I can't see any when I log in with a student account.

Where students definitely *can * see reports is in the Gradebook - which is accessible to them from the Settings block as it stands!

Steve

 
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Picture of Kerstin Namuth
Svar: Re: Moving 'Reports' from the 'Navigation block' to the 'Settings block'
 

I think renaming the block would make it a lot more intuitive. It used to be "Administration" if I'm not mistaken. We use the Swedish interface, but even there it has been changed into the equivalent of settings. "Settings" tends to create some extra confusion and discussion in tutor training sessions.

Reports would fit nicely i an "Administration" block.

 
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Picture of David Scotson
Re: Moving 'Reports' from the 'Navigation block' to the 'Settings block'
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The currently named "Settings" Block appears to be the only available place to collect context-sensitive links that are actually visible in the UI and consistently located and as a result that's where *everything* goes.

If you go to your profile it shows profile related stuff, if you go to admin it shows admin related stuff, if you go to a course it shows course related stuff, same for categories, modules, gradebook etc.

It's hardly elegant but it seems to be all we've got. Maybe if someone can come up with a name that reflects what it actually does then things will make some more sense. Someone could go through and count but there's a whole bunch of things in there that aren't Settings (e.g. there's several links that are "actions" like "purge caches", "backup", "restore", "import", "export", "publish"), possibly as many as half the items, so banishing anything that's not a "setting" doesn't seem like it would work, and where would they go if not here?

On the other hand, going the opposite direction and moving profile related stuff out of the "Navigation" Block and putting it into "Settings" and thereby leaving a list of enrolled courses seems like it could be an improvement. And then move everything below the level of the course name (e.g. participants list, reports) also back into "Settings" under the "course" sub-heading.

This also seems to be the relevant place for any other reports, particularly as there's already a bunch of things that could happily described as reports that live there already (e.g. Grader Report, Outcomes Report, Overview Report, User Report, Enrolled Users, Groups Overview, Check Permissions, Other Users, This User's Role Assignments, Browse List of Users, Cohorts, everything under Site administration -> Reports etc.)





 
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Picture of Ray Morris
Re: Moving 'Reports' from the 'Navigation block' to the 'Settings block'
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 Maybe if someone can come up with a name that reflects what it actually does then things will make some more sense.
> Someone could go through and count but there's a whole bunch of things in there that aren't Settings (e.g. there's several links that are
> "actions" like "purge caches", "backup", "restore", "import", "export", "publish")

I think that's an important point, those things are actions, they do something, which implies one must be careful with them, and access to many of them will be limited.

Reports, on the other hand, show information and it's safe to "look around" by looking at reports.  From the very earliest days of the web, this distinction was clearly marked - you GET a web page but you POST a message.  "Changing things / making things" versus "seeing what someone did made" is a fundamental difference.

 

 

 
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Tim at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Re: Moving 'Reports' from the 'Navigation block' to the 'Settings block'
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Except that some reports, having shown you some data, then let you do something with it. For example, some quiz reports let you delete selected attempts (if you have the appropriate capability.)

I think we shoud be thinking about alternative names for the 'Settings' block. So far we have had

  • Administration

it could also be

  • Management

I think Adminstration is the best so far, but there might be something better.

 
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Picture of David Scotson
Re: Moving 'Reports' from the 'Navigation block' to the 'Settings block'
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If you added a list of courses you're enrolled in to the top of the "Settings" block as another collapsable section (I'll try and mock that up if I get time), and killed the current "Navigation" block, I'd be happy with calling the combined entity "Navigation Block" (though I realise that on the web, that's a bit of a tautology as clicking any link is generally navigation). It would be good to be able to lock that combined block in the top corner and know that everyone would see all those things in the same place.

Other very generic and general suggestions: "Moodle Block", "Main Block", "Context Block", "Dashboard Block", "Primary Block", and getting desperate and turning to the thesaurus now, "Thingy Block", "Whatchamacallit Block", "Paraphernalia Block".

edit: added mockup, note that the courses are just links, if you want to access anything about a course you need to click on the link, which will take you to the course, and then you'll see a) the front page of the course with list of activities etc, b) the course administration tab will appear and expand, giving you access to the contextual actions for a course. If you need to access the contextual actions for a student or module then you'd need to click into that item and see its primary content and contextual menu. This is an intentional design decision, I think the attempt to allow you to dig 6 levels deep in the current Navigation Block is the worst thing about it.


 
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Picture of Helen Foster
Re: renaming the Settings block
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Regarding renaming the Settings block, I remember at the hackfest someone (possibly Martin) saying that 'Administration' was considered but rejected due to possible confusion with the Administration block for administrators in pre-2.0 Moodle, but that now a few years have elapsed since the release of 2.0 it would be OK to call the block 'Administration'.

Looking at the hackfest Navigation and UI session notes I see 'Rename “Settings” to Administration - Agreed'.

David, I agree wholeheartedly with you regarding clicking into an item to obtain a contextual menu and it being bad having tons of levels in the Navigation block.

 
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Picture of Frédéric Massart
Re: Moving 'Reports' from the 'Navigation block' to the 'Settings block'
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Thanks everyone for your feedback. As Helen noticed, I forgot to mention the proposal of Martin to have another block just for reports. I have added a screenshot as a proof of concept for such a block (it's been quickly made, and nothing in there should be considered as definitive or approved).

To follow the discussion about renaming the Settings block, the option 'Switch role' is not a 'write' option either. Also, as a student, Grades under 'Settings > Course administration' is not a writeable option, and doesn't make much sense to me.

I think there has been (and still has) a lot of confusion on what has to go where, another example would be the blogs. The parameters of the blogs are in Settings, but the creation of new blog entries are in Navigation. I'm not saying it's incorrect, but if writing/setting new data is from Settings, then Navigation should maybe just be to 'Navigate' throughout the site.


 
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Picture of Ralf Hilgenstock
Re: Moving 'Reports' from the 'Navigation block' to the 'Settings block'
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We had a discussion in our team and agree to all solutions that create consitency in placements and functionalities.

We suggest to discuss such issues in a wider focus about consistency of locations for functions. I.e. the order of issures in settings block is not user friendly. It should be ordered by the criteria how often a typical user uses a feature. We should also think about reducing the number of links in settings blocks.

We have some concerns about a new reporting block. The number or blocks confuses lots of users and on mobile devices we should minimize the number of blocks. Personally I'm thinking what the sense and function of blocks in fututre could be.

Actually the settings blocks has settings for grades and the grades itself. Renaming to 'administration' makes more sense for us.

ralf

 

 
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