Moodlerooms is proposing the inclusion of a new grading interface, currently titled activity grading interface (to be renamed). The specification for the interface can be found at http://docs.moodle.org/dev/Activity_Grading_Interface_Specification.
The specification is based off of our currently working feature Joule Grader. You can see demonstrations of Joule grader in the following YouTube videos:
While this funcitonality exists in our product we would like to make it part of Moodle as a whole. The reason for this is to provide a more cohesive integration and better maintenance as Moodle features like Assignment continue to change. We also want to release this so that our community contributed advanced forums plugin will have all of the features we intended it to have.
I would love to hear any feedback, comments and recommended changes to the currently proposed functionality. While the functionality exists currently we beleive it can always get better.
We also have a technical specification for how we propose the API to work for other Moodle plugins to follow.
Moodlerooms is proposing a whole lot of stuff to throw into Moodle, and it is starting to feel like a Denial of Service attack on the communities ability to review and comment on proposals.
Can't you just concentrate on getting the things that are already being discussed in to Moodle 2.6. Then, when that is done, come back with more.
In the mean time, publish stuff in the plugins database. Really, I think that wherever possible, things should not be added to Moodle core until they have baked in the plugins database for a while.
Also, when did you last give some valuable input into someone else's proposal. If you want to be part of the community, you should not expect it to be all one way.
I am sorry you feel that our suggested improvements are a denial of service attack. It is not our intention, our intention is to be a good open source community member and improve Moodle for all.
The activity grader has been fully baked, we have had clients using it for 1.5 years and have modified it and updated it in several ways based on their input. It is our opinion that it is to the point where the only positive progression forward is the inclusion of more activities within it. When it comes to inclusion of more activities we have 2 options:
1. Continue how we have and hack parts of core Moodle to add activity support and maintain these hacks as the core activities are modified.
2. Ask that Moodle and the community to consider the inclusion of an activity grading interface and work with the community towards consolidating activity grading.
We could release this interface to the community via the plugins but then that would require community members to maintain core hacks. We want to be good citizens and so we try to stay away from releasing features that require core modifications.
On your point about commenting on other's specifications, I believe we have participated in many ways. I have commented on several of the tickets in the tracker on requested features, we have provided accessibility feedback on several tickets and our developers have reviewed several specifications for suggested features. If there is something specific you would like comments on I would be happy to review it and give feedback.
There is nothing about this specification that requires it be in Moodle 2.6, we would definitely think the community would benefit most if it was in 2.6. The interface already works, as I said it has been used for 1.5 years. We can demo it now, in fact anyone can test it out on our public demo site at http://demo2k12.moodlerooms.com/. We plan to complete the lions share of the work that needs to be done to complete the inclusion into core.
We are more than happy maintaining it as a proprietary feature of our product or considering its release as a plugin that requires core modifications and updates with each Moodle release. The reactions to the interface we have received at Moots, from prospects, and our clients though pushed us to request that the feature be added to Moodle and not released as a plugin.
Jason, and MoodleRooms,
Thank you for developing and offering your Activity Grading Interface to the Moodle core. It looks great and I'm excited to see it included in some future version of Moodle.
Agreed that they are working on a lot right now, but not sure that whinge is warranted here.
It's a good thing that Moodlerooms are releasing all this stuff that they've been working on for some time and they are going about it exactly the right way, so I thank them 100%. I've been more aware of all that stuff for quite some time so it's less surprise to me.
The decision on whether and when anything gets into core or not ultimately lies with Moodle HQ, if we have a backlog then we have a backlog (and we have a backlog already).
Will you release Joule grader plugin for 2.4 and 2.5?
Joule grader will be released as part of whatever version of Core Moodle HQ accepts it in. Right now the earliest version Joule grader would be considered for inclusion would be Moodle 2.7. Moodle does not back port new features to older versions of Moodle. Joule grader would be considered a new feature. Joule Grader is a complex system and could have significant impacts to grading in at least one core activity, with additions from advanced forums to core forums probably 2 activities. We do not want to rush inclusion, instead we want to get it in right.
Moodlerooms doesn't plan to release Joule grader outside of a core release. Because it has such a significant impact on activity grading we do not want to have community members installing it incase Moodle HQ determines that apis need to change in order to provide the best functionality for the entire community. Moodlerooms is staffed to handle api changes internally, but we aren't staffed to fully support community members converting from Joule grader to the Moodle activity grader.
We really do need a different name for Joule grader when it is included into core.
I'm happy to see this functionality being considered for Moodle Core.
After reading through the spec, I have a couple of questions/comments:
- When an Advanced Grading option is being used, can it display in the Grading pane, or does it have to pop up in a way that obscures the Submission pane?
- Would the forum grading method have a filter to show only posts by a specific student?
- Would ratings be possible from this interface while grading a forum, database, glossary, etc.?
- Can this interface support multiple graders, and especially peer graders? See e.g. MDL-31237
- How would this interact with sites using TurnItIn or similar? Can this display TurnItIn assignments? Could it help in allowing Advanced Grading (e.g. a rubric) with those assignments?
1. At the moment it obscures the submission pane. We definitely want to improve this usability. Originally we were unable to allow users to adjust the size of the columns, since our last release this has changed and we are considering improving this.
2. We are adding that to our December 2013 release of Joule so that change would be included.
3. Currently only Forums is supported and we could probably add rating capability to the interface, but the original idea was that you would review the forum and rate the posts then use grading interface to grade the overall performance. The idea was that ratings would be used as a metric for grading but not as the grade. Database and glossary don't support grading. Long term I would love to convince Moodle HQ to add grading to many more activities.
4. At the moment no, but that is something we will be looking into as part of the Assignment grading work flow that was added in Moodle 2.6. Long term imo this interface needs to support all grading options a teacher would want for a course.
5. Turnitin would depend on what plugin you are using. Joule grader will have an API that activity plugins can take advantage of. Turnitin Direct would need to add Joule grader support to their plugin. If you are using the plagiarism plugin not the activity then that like PDF annotation should be supported in this interface. But needs to be added. This is something we would need to look into further.