I just installed and translated the module in dutch and I love it, but I would like to know what the future will bring on this prespective.
I agree with you on the necessity of a DMS on Moodle !
It works on 1.4, not tested on 1.5 maybe I'll test it later on today. Are there peolpe around here who have tested the myfiles/shared files block on 1.5 ?
Thanks for the translation! There will be a few things to update with the new version, but not too much.
Whether it will become standard is of course up to Martin, Michael has tried to take care of all the issues that were noted about the old version.
I think I tried to find this block before, but couldn't? Is it in CVS/contrib?
Anyway, if you have the code or can point me to the block, send it along and we'll get it in there.
Scroll down to the bottom and take Bertold Altaner's version. I made this block last summer when I was learning PHP. At that moment I thought it would be best to take an existing open source bookmark manager and adapt it to Moodle. You learn a lot reading the code and trying to understand what it does. Just like with my adaptation of Martin's PhotoFrame, problems only show up afterwards. If you really want it to use Moodle functions / layout / database / etc ... you end up having to rewrite most of the code. Using existing code may speed up things in the beginning, but at the end it really starts bothering.
Now I think I would start from scratch and make it use Moodle functions and database from the beginning. I would add it as a resource plugin (link library) or as an addition to the glossary, because I think that is where bookmarks belong.
Another idea I have is to make bookmarks part of a course format. Top of the page shows resources and activities. Bottom of the page shows links to additional webpages about that topic. I added a form which makes it possible for students to add a bookmark. Unfortunately I can't get the navigation menu to look more like the way I want it to look.
I prefer the integration in the block (or both, teacher choice )
Having it in the block, I fits in the design vision (we teach) that mainstream activities go in the sections and supprting activities go in the blocks: looking for interesting resources and collcet them is such activity that is useful in any course. Having it in a block, there is no need to specify this in any course again. (And in Soc. Constr. Students must rememeber that blocks are useful in helping them doing the job, any job.. (my 5 cents)
I think Nicole is referring to my hesitations about fixing this block. To name but a few:
- building this on top of someone else's code was a mistake: it will never integrate fully with Moodle
- it proved to be a mistake to give students the ability to have personal bookmarks
- it is difficult to merge future releases of Stefan Frech's standalone program with the code for the block
- conversion of the existing language strings to Moodle-like language strings is tedious
- a quick fix to make the existing block compatible with Moodle 1.5 will still leave it crippled: no use of the instance configuration, the edit icon, etc...
Nicole, in my posts about this block I was also gathering ideas about how this functionality should really be implemented inside Moodle. Perhaps this added to the confusion. According to me links do not belong in a block. I thought it would be nicer to just start from scratch again and make it work more like the glossary module: students can add links to a certain topic. They are only shown to others when a teacher approves of them. What's your view on this?
I have got bits of code working: a form which is appended at the bottom of each topic to send in links, and the teacher's approval code. I was still looking at the part of the code which does the import / export to your browser.
But I am not a programmer. My work isn't even remotely related to computers. I am just learning PHP during my spare time. It's hard keeping motivated if the functionality you are working on is of no use for yourself and poses no real programming challenges you can learn from.
There is a fun part (even addictive part) in coding, but there is also a very laborious part in it. Michael, I am just starting to grasp the amount of work that is behind all of the code you contribute to Moodle. Thanks!
Ger, Nicole, maybe some other users of the 1.4 version, here is a quick update for version 1.5.
The block reuses the same database tables, so normally you can keep the stored bookmarks. If not, use the export feature of the block to download a copy of your bookmarks to your browser and then import them back again to the block.
I have tested the import / export function. It works with IE and Firefox. I am not sure about Opera.
Since MyFiles already had a method for handling student's links, adding in the bookmarks was pretty easy.
Why did you find it a mistake to allow students to have their own bookmarks?
Not all Moodlers are using Moodle in the same sort of context that you are. At a university like yours, the university is supposed to take care of all the students needs, provide them with a place to live, feed them, give them psychological counseling, provide extracurricular activity opportunities, provide them with job placement services, provide them with entertainment, computing services, free beer etc. etc. I'm getting carried away here but you get the picture, it's their home for four years and is expected to provide them with everything. So having a place to share their links to whatever they want may make sense in that context.
Not all universities work that way. And some of us are simply providing educational services, and often very specialized ones at that. If someone wants to share links with their classmates, I don't want them to be for their favorite garage band, their church, or their favorite recipe for chocolate fudge. I want it to have something to do with the learning objectives of the site. And therefore, having a way to organize student contributed material of the kind that Myfiles stores in a way that is aligned with the learning goals and not the individual is important.
And also, I agree a block is not the best way to store bookmarks. But then there is a lot of stuff in bookmarks that doesn't belong there. But in the absence of better instructions on making a new module I think a lot of people who have limited programming skills have chosen this way of creating stuff for Moodle becuase it is easier.
Giving students privat room for files and bookmarks AND an easy opportunity to share these in the context of the current course with other students does the opposite: It could stimulate to share inside a course.
(Students already have lots of fancy tools to store and share files in the outside world. I ask my daughters now and then to keep me updated on that point.)
Ask your students to show you some, you will be amazed.
For that privat reason they do not need our simple moodle tools (understand me well: I love simple )
...but all these tools are disconnected from their courses.
Tools, integrated in Moodle can work like a hint or cue to share with the others, for example in a projectgroup. (And the best of all: teachers can choose to offer these blocks or not in their own courses.
And last but not least: is it ok to have my school's name written at the top of the page from which this student is opening his private collection of bookmarks?
Ger, I would be glad to find out how my students are using furl / msn etc.. to store stuff, but I don't want the school's name to be clearly printed on top of all the materials they collect. It may not be clear to everyone that part of the page 'www.olvrode.be' is actually a list of links collected by the student himself / not by the school.
Do not misunderstand me: I say that they already share a lot outside the context of school as privat persons.
And that I prefer - like you - to let them share with elegant blocks like my files - inside the security shell of Moodle.
We use the shool LDAP as login mechanism, so we have a closed circulation, reglated by courseboundaries and keys.
With the trusted relations between two Moodles we even can share inside the secure shell of two connected school Moodle's (as soon as our teachers are ready for that, Moodle is
For files, you can limit the amount of storage space each student gets.
If students are just going to take a few courses on your site and leave, it's probably not going to be a place many of them are going to want to store huge amounts of private bookmarks.
In any event, we'll provide the block with bookmarks, and if folks want to add configuration options to it or delete code from it, thats fine.
You could organise your courses around Wikipedia pages and public available tools like Ferl and use your course to bring them there.. (And loose them there as clients?)
Why not offer them a reason to come back to your website and then see/discover that you have (again) a new very interesting course for them? Why couldn't your website grow into a community of experts - former students of your courses - who share experience after the courses and send you new persons to be trained?
Thanks in advance
Hi Micheal P!
Please take a look a William Castillo's bookmark effort located here,
Private bookmarks, thoughts and files.
I had a little problem with the script but Ger did not. So, I may not have known how to do something properly. I think the use of the "finger" is a good shortcut idea for the bookmark function.
I think you will also find some good comments in that thread as well.
No W Page, we had a lot of trouble, but could fix William's bookmarks and the modul subsections every release including 1.4.4.
Now with 1.5 I give up William's Bookmarks and the modul subsections:
- Storing and sharing files is much better done in the modul of Michael P. (Thanks Michael for this nice Soc. Constr. contribution )
I already cripled William's bookmarks to show only bookmarks (in Dutch: donkey ears) without files attach option, to prevent doubling of this feature. We now consider to implement a simple flat Donkey-ears-option: students can set bookmarks with yellow notes on every page in every course to go back easy: having it in a sideblock, or integrated in My Files would be nice.
- Subsections, a way to give sections a hyperlink to it's own subsection (which can contain a hyperlink to.. etc) is more difficult to grasp then the nice combination of a good cascaded layout in the sections and sideblocks.
- Having a place to store notes about that particular page will be easy to implement in a block when every Moodle page will have a separate page id. That way you can hook comments to that pageid. (Or mark that page with a donkey ear for easy reference)
- Ideally a student should have the option to add notes to different parts of the page. I'm still thinking about this idea for student's comments added to resources and moodle activitites. Unfortunately the way it is implemented now, it's up to the teacher to provide the 'hooks' where students can attach comments to. Linking them to words like in this example is no solution because one word can show up multiple times on a page. When you're annotating Heidegger you might want to have a different annotation for every time the man uses the word being