I'd like to outline my specific use of the Weekly format, some of the problems I've encountered, some of the solutions I've been looking at, in order to find out if others have found solutions.
My primary use for Moodle for the next year is as a way to organize and present the assessments for 14 classes over 9 months.
I've defined the most common elements for each class and I am trying to develop a template that can be built once and used to construct each of the classes. The classes range from 1 to 4 weeks in length and each day I will present (on average) two lessons. Each lesson will have a pre-assesment quiz, Case study, review questions, and a lesson Quiz. Some lessons will have additional materials such as labs or group activities, but the those 4 items are most common to all lessons.
I have 14 courses to present next year, each being (on average) 3 weeks long. That amounts to 2 lessons per day for 5 days a week for 3 weeks, or 30 lessons per class. Just those 4 activities that I've listed above, plus a few additional resources for structure add up to 150 repetitive additions to create one class, and that does not yet include the introductory section for each class which would include the syllabus, forums, journal, final project, and resource files. Oh, and the final exam for each class.
Thats about 2240 activites and resources at about 4 mouse clicks each to build my classes for next year - actually just to build the structure of my classes for next year, I'd still have to add the actual quizes, case studies, review questions, etc.
So my goals are to:
- build half of those classes (1st semester)
- build 1 lesson (pre-assessment, case study, review, quiz) and duplicate it as many times as needed to create a single week of instruction
- duplicate that week of instruction as many times as needed to create a single course
- duplicate that course 7 times to create my 1st semester
- populate those courses with the quizes, etc that make each lesson unique.
- do this without losing the use of my arm for the next year. (I've got a pretty bad repetitive stress thing going on even before starting this project)
- finish this by July 8.
I've built the first two and 1/2 weeks manually, but I can't continue to build it that way. As far as I can tell, there is no way to complete a week, and then import it as a new week (that alone would solve most of the difficulty for me). Perhaps there is a way to save and import a week of instruction as a Block?
Another direction I've taken is to look at the underlying XML file that defines each course thinking perhaps that I can find a given week and copy and past it as a new week. No such luck however as the XML file is not organized by course format (nor should it be, that would be very inflexible and require a different XML file for each course format). I do think that the XML file is the key to accomplishing what I want rather than using the existing Web interface or even making changes to the Web interface for Moodle. I'd appreciate pointers to the structure of the XML file used to define a course.
A utility that parses the XML file and lets you select for duplication, deletion, or modification to elements of the class would be fantastic. If I dig into the API or analyze the XML file closely enough I might be able to do this, but I don't think I can create this and Moodlize my courses for this Fall in the next week.
Another possibility is that someone has already created a 4 week course that matches my design to some degree and all I would have to do is trim and modify, and that there is a location where such a class is already shared and available for all to use . And of course, I would do the same after completing my template.
So, comments and suggestions gratefully accepted...