## General help

### Conditional by number of days?

Conditional by number of days?

I have searched the forums and haven't found an post that addresses this. I am using Moodle 2.4 and desire to create conditions on activities that make a student wait a set number of days before they can proceed to the next lesson. For instance, the next lesson would release 15 or 30 days after completing the quiz in the prior lesson and getting a score of 70% or greater.  Dates will not work for us because we have a rolling enrollment as this is a self-paced class. So, the conditions need to be set by number of days as opposed to hard static dates.  The conditional features added into 2.4 and 2.4 don't offer this option.  Are there any plugins out there to make this work? Or are there work arounds that I am not readily finding?

I see that at one time there was a module called Activity Locking for Moodle 1.9 and prior.  It appears that it did have the functionality we are looking for but I don't believe that block/module/plugin is available anymore as it was believed the conditional activities in 2.4 addressed the need.  However, as indicated above, our needs don't fall within what 2.4 offers.

Any help, tips and pointers are greatly appreciated.

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Re: Conditional by number of days?

The easiest way I can think of achieving this would be to program a simple add-on activity type that marks itself complete after a certain number of days (you could probably get it to display like a label, rather than having a 'view' page, and the label could give some idea of how long until it was complete).

You could then set up other activities to be available once this new activity type was 'complete'.

This would, of course, require some custom development (but it would avoid having to make any changes to core Moodle code).

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Re: Conditional by number of days?

Davo Smith, that is exactly what I am trying to figure out how to do.  P personally don't know how to do development. Any tips on where I might find someone to develop such a thing? I am extremely limited on cash though... ;0(

The old Activity Locking module in 1.9 looked like it was just the ticket but I can't find whether it would work in 2.4 so I didn't want to risk messing up my school experimenting with it...

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Re: Conditional by number of days?

As an update regarding this issue, I wrote Chardelle Busch since she had developed the original Activity Locking Block.

She responded that her block is no longer supported in Moodle 2.0+ BUT that what I am desireing to do IS POSSIBLE using the new conditional activities feature in Moodle 2.4+.  Here is how she explained to do it:

" You can do this with completion tracking.  Turn it on under the site administration under Advanced features, and then enable it in each course.  Then, you can set a courses to be dependent on completion of another course, AND, then set that course to not be shown as complete until X number of days after enrollment (click on the Completion tracking link in the course administration block)."

I am not certain, but I think this feature might be something new released recently?  As in all the Moodle docs that I have found specifically stated this is not possible. However, I have followed Chardelle's instructions and IT IS POSSIBLE.

I am thinking that a meta course and child course relationship might be necessary to get chained courses to work. Chardelle said that sounded right but she had no experience with that.  Therefore, I am testing it out and will update here.

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Re: Conditional by number of days?

Well, another update, I'm sad to say, I've hit a bit of a snag. Yes, the above is true that I can set a number of days for the course to be considered completed and I can set another course to be conditioned on completion of that course BUT it doesn't keep students from enrolling in the other class and doing whatever they want. So, I am really confused at the end of a long day as to WHY the prerequisite wouldn't block them from getting in until the prior course was completed. I am sitting hear head scratching at nearly midnight tearing my hair and thinking surely, this isn't truly the way of it.  But that is what it appears to be.

QUOTE:

### Course prerequisites

• This setting allows you to have another course as a prerequisite for completing the course you are currently working in.
• NOTECourse prerequisite is a "recommendation". The student can enter the course and will NOT be blocked because they have failed to meet the recommended prerequisites. A student must complete the prerequisites for a course AND complete the other requirements for that course, before that course will be marked complete.

So, I'm going to sleep on this and get up tomorrow and hope something new turns up that I didn't see today.

Good luck to the rest of you. And if you happen to find something, please do post here.

Thanks,

Rayven

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Re: Conditional by number of days?

Hi there. Yes -course prerequistes is a confusing term because many people expect (and would like!) it to mean that you can't get into a second course unless you have completed the first one  -but as you have correctly worked out, it doesn't  stop them from accessing the second one (assuming enrolment allows) - it merely stops the second course from being classed as "complete" (IN 2.5 the wording is "completion of other courses" to highlight this fact better)

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Re: Conditional by number of days?

Forgive me, but in my humble opinion, the feature is worthless for self-paced learning.  There is nothing to throttle a student from going in and simply opening and closing every assignment in a course simultaneously and be considered "complete" without any real effort on their part at all -- and no waiting etc.  Really frustrated.

Have to go back now and rethink our entire process.

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Re: Conditional by number of days?

Depends what the conditions are for the assignment  - if it is to get a grade then it won't be marked complete until the teacher has graded it, surely.

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Re: Conditional by number of days?

That could be true but we are a self-paced environment where the student goes through on their own so our quizes are auto graded with a 70% passing grade requirement -- so once they accomplish that, the next section in the course immediately releases.  We need a time delay between sections by set number of days OR we need dependencies to block entry to a higher level course until a lower level course is completed.  Moodle standard setup doesn't seem to offer these options. Davo Smith has suggested hiring a developer so I have advertised to see if there are any takers with my meager budget. Fingers crossed.

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Re: Conditional by number of days?

Looking into this suggestion.  If I accomplish getting an activity that functions as you have indicated, I will share.  No point in everyone having to reinvent the wheel and throwing out cash outlay to do it ...

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Re: Conditional by number of days?

Finally found my way to the Moodle jobs forum and posted this advert. Don't know how realistic my budget is but we will see. I am very hopeful that it will be short work for a developer and my budget will easily cover the time spent. (fingers crossed)

https://moodle.org/mod/data/view.php?d=54&rid=6089

Job offered: Need Time Release Activity

Type: Contract
Location: telecommute

Very limited budget -- $50 to$100 maximum.

We need a simple add-on activity type compatible with Moodle 2.4.3 (Build: 20130318) that marks itself complete after a certain number of days (perhaps display like a label, rather than having a 'view' page, and the label could give some idea of how long until it was complete).

Other activities connected to that acitivity would not become available until the time had run on  this new activity type and it became marked 'complete'.

Please Note: We have thoroughly investigated the completion tracking and prerequisite/dependencies options in Moodle.  However, Moodle does not restrict access to a higher level course based on a lower level class dependency. So in essence, in basic Moodle, students are not restricted from entering Level 3 of a course even if they haven't done Level 1 or 2.  This is unacceptable to us.

OUR GOAL:

We are setting up sections in a Course by topic.

We condition the release of each item in a section on the prior item so that there is a sequence they must follow.

Once all items in that Section 1 of the course have been completed, Section 2 will be released and so forth.

However, we want a waiting period between release of the sections in the course - we want to have the special activity type that stays grayed out for a number of days of our choosing (options 1 through 30) and then condition the release of the next Section on that special activity -- so in essence we are throttling down the pace of the class so that students will (in theory) spend time on each section.

We are a self-paced environment and therefore, this hands-off approach of releasing sections would be very helpful for us.

If you can help us within the budget outlined above, we would be pleased to hear from you and address any questions you may have.

Sincerely,

Rayven Michaels

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Re: Conditional by number of days?

This is something I've been searching for as well. Please include any future finding here so I may follow.

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Re: Conditional by number of days?

I did find this post as well where someone asked the same question I did but I did not find it earlier -- it shares a suggestion on how to handle it by using an enrollment key to the next class....that way they at least have to finish everything in the first one to get the enrollment key to the 2nd one .... here is the link for others to read.

https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=223241

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Re: Conditional by number of days?

Rayven,

I understand 'conditional by number of days' is important to you.  However, sometimes when we reach a road block, we need to step back and reevaluate our process.  How necessary is this feature?  Is there any other way to reach your objective other than 'conditional by number of days'?  You may want to brainstorm about that with some colleagues.

Having said that, there may be a solution without writing custom code.  The only activity I know of that has a built-in delay by a number of days is the Forum - threshold for  blocking.  It works like this - After a person makes a certain number of posts, that person can be blocked for x number of days from making more posts.  So, you might set up a process like this.

1. At the end of Topic 1, students must post to a forum.  This forum will be configured as follows:
1. Time for blocking x days.
2. Post threshold for blocking: 1
3. Post threshold for warning: 0
4. Activity completion:  student must post 2 discussions.
5. Instructions for the forum will inform students about what will happen.
2. Topic 2 has conditional access set so the forum in Topic 1 must be marked complete.

The action would follow like this:

1. Maria completes Topic 1 and makes her first post to the forum.  She will then be blocked from making any more posts for x days (set in the forum config).
2. After x days, Maria makes her second post to the forum.  She will again be blocked, but the forum will be marked complete because she has made two posts
3. Maria may now continue to Topic 2 because the conditional access for Topic 2 is having the Forum in Topic 1 marked complete.

Give this a try - it is a bit of a kludge, but just may be what you need.

- Floyd

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Re: Conditional by number of days?

Floyd,

This sounds brilliant! Thank you ever so much for this. I was hoping that if it couldn't be done directly, that there was some sort of work around to accomplish the same effect.  Bless you for posting this response.

Sincerely,

Rayven

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Re: Conditional by number of days?

Rayven,

You are welcome!  I wish I had thought of this earlier so you did not have to spend so much time looking at options.   I was following the discussion for several days, but the Forum Blocking idea popped into my head only after ruminating on the problem for a while.

You can do some other things to make this a bit neater:

1. Make the forum a group activity and place each student into a group of one.  That way each student will see only his/her posts.

2. Change the language string for the post blocking message.
1. Go to  Site administration► Language Language customization
2. Select your language pack and open the pack for editing
3. Select string package Core...error.php and search for the word threshold
4. Edit that string message to something that is more meaningful for your students.

Let us know how this works out.

Floyd

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