Thanks for raising this issue Helen. And thanks everyone for joining this discussion.
We have used collapsible areas in Workshop UI a lot. As the main Workshop page usually displays a lot of information (especially for teachers), I found collapsible areas pretty useful. My general approach to them has always been: the page should display all the information that requires the user's attention. All other information should be hidden (collapsed) and displayed on demand only.
In practise, this for example means that if assessing example submissions is required prior to submitting own work, the relevant section is expanded by default to students. If, however, assessing example submissions is optional, the section is collapsed, giving more screen space to other more important information. This is how Workshop works already in stable branches.
When it comes to the workshop setting form, I must admit I like the possibility to have both collapsible sections and advanced settings (appearing only after "Show more" link). By declaring a setting as advanced, I am trying to send an implicit message to the Workshop users that it's safe to ignore such setting unless they know they need it. I believe it can help especially to those who are starting with this activity. So, to summarise, my suggestion is:
Following sections should be expanded by default because they should be always checked and eventually amended to the teacher's needs:
- Grading settings - the grades and the grading strategy are essential settings
- Submission settings - the Instructions for submission are expected to contain essential information for students. The submission attachments settings might be moved into the advanced setting as their default value is reasonably set to "1" already (only one attachment file is allowed).
- Assessment settings - again, I think it is important to describe what peer-reviewers are supposed to do via the instructions field. The rest of the settings can be advanced.
All other sections can be collapsed by default as the defaults are usually ok:
- Workshop features - this just needs to be fixed so that "Students may assess the work of others" is checked (enabled) by default. I have this on my todo list for 2.5 yet.
- Miscellaneous settings - this contains the Conclusion field at the moment only but the section provides a container for future miscellaneous options that do not fit to an other section and are not worth enough of having their own section.
- Access control - if the section is collapsed by default, there is no need to keep the deadline settings as advanced (so I propose to change it). I would still prefer having "Switch to the next phase after the submissions deadline" setting as advanced though.
- Common module settings - obviously.
Please let me know what you think of this proposal. Thanks in advance.
p.s. I forgot to mention that assessment forms and the forms for editing assessment forms should not use collapsible sections at all.