The situation is that I have a lot of Hot Potatoes exercises with embedded audio files to figure out how to use in 2.7. The lastest taskchain plugin has been installed. I am also creating a course that I will make copies of for other teachers and want all of the audio files and hot potato files to be available there.
I am used to a situation in 1.9 where I update a hot potatoes file which is in a public_html folder which then updates that file for all courses with a Quizport linking to that file.
So my first question or issue is simple I hope. I create a file in Hot Potatoes that has in the reading text an audio file. So the students listen to the file and answer a few questions. I used to use a sort of Flash Player there. But that was 1.9. Without getting into what I have tried, what should I put now?
The second question has to do with repositories. I have a repository create that stores all my sound files and HP files. When I make a copy of my course for someone else, is this going to be a problem?
Finally, can I update a Hot Potatoes file, say I fix a spelling mistake, and have it update across all courses?
Thanks for your help,
it seems to me that you are asking if you can keep your file structure and access the same as they are in Moodle 1.9, and the answer is "pretty much YES".
You will need to set up a "File system repository", so that Moodle has access to a folder that you designate on your server's hard disk. You can upload files to there in a number of ways, such as FTP or WebDav.
In Moodle, you setup that "File system" repository (Site administration -> Plugins -> Repositories -> File system) so that the Moodle admin can add a "File system" repository instance to any course. This will act as the Moodle 1.9 "Course files".
When you add HotPot or TaskChain activities, you will need to specify the "Source file" as a file from the "File system" repository instance for the course where you are adding the HotPot or TaskChain. Be sure to add the file as a alias/shortcut, so that Moodle will always use the latest version of the file in the folder on the server's hard disk. Using an alias/shortcut will also allow the HotPot and TaskChain modules to locate any secondary files,such as images and audio, that are used within the Hot Potatoes exercises.
The main gotcha (=unexpected problem) I have found with repositories and aliases is that when you backup and restore the course. all the aliasses are converted to hard copies of the files. However, I think there are plans to remedy this in a future version of Moodle. That day may already have arrived
Are you aware that it is now possible to convert directly from QuizPort (Moodle 1.9) to TaskChain (Moodle 2.x) ?
- update to latest Moodle 1.9 (including all plugins)
- backup Moodle database, data folder, and scripts folder
- remove "mod/quizport" from Moodle scripts folder
- update Moodle 1.9 -> 2.0 -> 2.2 -> 2.7
- backup Moodle database and data folder
- enable "File system" repository
- restore old Moodle data folder within the new "moodledata/repository" folder
- add both QuizPort and TaskChain modules
- login as admin and all the QuizPorts should be converted to TaskChains with all the files set up as aliases to the "File system" repository
Altenatively, you can import a Moodle 1.9 course straight into Moodle 2.x and QuizPorts will be converted to TaskChains, but I don't think the aliasses are preserved in this case. All files will be a hard copy.
Thanks for getting back to me Gordon,
As I move to Moodle 2.7, I plan to redo all of the links in all of my Hot Potatoes files. Given the potential problem with aliases when restoring a course, might I not be able to simply hardcode a link to pictures and sound files when creating my Hot Potatoes files like I did under Quizport?
In which case I wonder about what code to use among the following. I have tried some of the html5 I have been finding in this forum without success so far.
or do you think I can count on the aliases not being converted to hard copies of the files. I will be making a backup and restore a copy of my course for teachers in August.
Finally, two other quick questions.
Aliases is a bit of a new concept to me. Might you have a visual on where to set files to aliases?
And the last thing is that I am not sure where I go to edit a quizport either adding or removing items? You had a graphic of that at one point but I haven't found the location.
my link to an mp3 converted to an mp3 player in my last post. Hmmm. Should this happen with my Internet files too?
so this must happen to you frequently. The questions roll in but meanwhile people work away at things and suddenly all the little bits of experimentation, comments and help and align and it works before you have had a chance to answer.
So here is my little "how to" summary for creating a hot potatoes exercise with media in it that people plan to integrate into course that will get backed-up and stored.
How to create a Hot Potatoes file with media in it so that it can be used by taskchain.
Create a repository that you plan to share across the moodle site (i.e. not just your own course but copies of your course that others might be using). Create a folder in that repository that holds all the files you plan to use in the activity created by taskchain. What I don't know is if this folder needs to be in the repositories collection which is in the htdocs folder or can it be below it. Mine currently is not. And Gordon Bateson indicates that you will need to create a repository instance of this folder in order for it to be seen by restored course. I haven't got my mind around this yet.
Create a Hot Potatoes file and put a link to the media file(s) you wish to integrate into it putting square brackets around the filename(s). For example: [mysoundfile.mp3]
Put both of these into your repository. Likely done via ftp.
Create your task chain and drag both of these files into the lesson. When asked how you wish to import them into the taskchain, say that you want them to be aliases so that you can edit or modify the Hot Potatoes file and have that change reflect across all copies of the course where that taskchain or replicated taskchain is using that file.
Taskchain and moodle do the rest. The sound file is recognized by the media player used by Moodle.
The only little snag is that when I went to look at the taskchain files, it seemed to also import other files I had in the folder but wasn't including as tasks. I am not sure why. I went in and deleted the tasks I didn't want.
If you see some sort of error in the process or have things I need a heads up, please let me know.
Two quick more questions here Gordon (or anyone).
When creating a Hot Potatoes file, what code do you recommend between the following two assuming that it will be imported into a taskchain?
<audio controls="controls" preload="metadata"><br/><br/>
<source src="mySoundFile.mp3" type="audio/mpeg"><br/><br/>
No HTML5 audio playback capabilities. No Flash fallback either!
Other? (I know you are out there!)
I recommend the second one because the first one won't currently work on FF
It seems we live in an age of emerging standards so hitherto FF have refused to recognize mp3 as a source for the <audio> tag. However, from my reading around the subject on the internet, I understand that FF have recently decided that they will, at some point, start playing mp3 in the <audio> player. Who knows when - it's up to them.
As I mentioned earlier, I am currently trying to code around this situation. The Moodle mediaplayer seems to handle the situation nicely, so I am hoping the TaskChain will be able to make use of the Moodle mediaplayer code. I am working on the issue right now, so I think it will be solved soon.
encode your mp3 file to two other formats - m4a and oga.
Use this code:
<audio controls="controls" preload="metadata"> <source src="audio-file.m4a" type='audio/mp4; codecs="avc1.42E01E, mp4a.40.2"' /> <source src="audio-file.oga" type='audio/ogg; codecs="vorbis"' /> No HTML5 audio playback capabilities. No Flash fallback either! </audio>
Remember, no line breaks in the code.
More details here: http://www.ewbooks.info/hotpot/hotpotatoes-xhtml5-audio-video
No HTML5 audio playback capabilities. No Flash fallback either! Everything works fine on a machine running Windows 7 with updated browsers. Then I went to do the lesson on a system running XP and the files wouldn't load. Sometimes I saw the player and sometimes not but the player wouldn't play anyways. The labs at school are still running XP. Am I going to have problems? And if so, is there some way around these problems? I will do some testing but perhaps others already know what the best practices are here. Mel
I always forget that many schools are slow to upgrade their OSs, so if your users/students are still using XP, ignore my message.
Just to note Stan, that as part of the transition to HTML 5, I have been making three sound files available for each listening task. The mp3 (which is usually my original file), the m4a and the ogg. My HTML code offers them in that order. The reason why is that mp3 usually has the best sound quality as the other two are often converted from that file. It has also made my code work across browsers and versions of browsers quite well as the mp3 is still needed for some like slightly older versions of IE.
As for audio conversion, I have found that exporting out of Audacity (or other commercially available sound editors), has been the best for me in terms of sound quality rather than the convertors that I have found on the Net.
Tx and once again, I have found your Hot Potatoes Hacks book very useful.