The gradebook is in the 20% of things just about everyone uses and it has very poor usability. I know that it has been slightly improved for 2.8 and there are additional plans but the software we have now lacks ease of use. The commercial VLE I used for 12 years and generally despised has a far easier to use gradebook.
I know there appears to be a kind of statement-led culture at times around here...but statements are statements. Questions and action are very different.
I struggle with the former.
I don't understand what you mean Dawn
person A I think Moodle is great.
Person B I think Moodle is great.
person A I think gradebook needs more work.
person B it has had work-but it needs more work.
person A yep it needs more work
person B yep the gradebook needs more work
person A it has poor usability
person B yes it has very poor usability
And so on...........what direction is that conversation heading towards........??????
Let us try that again
person A I think Moodle is great because it can be tailored to my institutions needs,
persona B ah tailored to your needs eh. In what way person A?
person A well we added our own theme...and customised the gradebook for example.
person B How did you do that....with a large team on site or paid support outside the site?
person A well it depends on need and reach
person B I see thanks for that.
person A I think gradebook in general in core might benefit from development
person B why?
person A Well it could include features that can be built upon in core across versions-I could be wrong person B, of course.
person A Well thanks for the q&a........how do you think moodle core could take action in terms of future gradebook development?
person B...well I am going to trial a small pilot study with my cohort in terms of trialling ***********
person A I see so you are going to take action then report back on the success of your ideas are you?
person B yes..........
person A I see so we have had a nice q&a there that will lead to action
person B oh yes.....instead of statements that remain statements= words, paragraphs and ideas....regulations-that run risk of becoming obsolete....
person A goodbye, and thanks for that.
If this is not clear Marcus-let me know (All in a playful manner of course) ;) Hope you are laughing-I am!
No Dawn your meaning is not entirely clear, but I will make a guess you are asking for examples. There is a User Interface concept called affordance
Because it is a grid with cells the gradebook looks a little like a spreadsheet and many users will be familiar with that concept, but the gradebook has very little similarity. To give two specific examples I genuinely have no idea how to change the order that items in the gradebook or how to arrange for an item to still exist and be used but to not appear in the gradebook or contribute to the results of calculations (i.e. hide)
I don't actually need to be able to do those things at the moment, but in the past I have tried to do them and been stumped. By contrast if I had a need to perform arcane and unlikely groupings and grade calculations and the time to work on them I suspect the gradebook would allow me to do that.
At this moment I am looking at the gradebook in the alpha of 2.9 and in the default install the left hand column is occupying about a quarter of the left hand side of the screen. I know that the Gradebook is being worked on and I also know it is really complex, but it is something that has frustrated me in the past.
Do you have a question?
I do-two questions. Affordance-know that concept well. And I know you know that I know too.....monkey!
1. So, what is it 'overall' that you want the gradebook to do-in terms of affording possibilities for the user(S) (teacher and learner)-in reference to what you have set out in three paragraphs there? I have a reason for including both users in my question.
2. Can you guess what that reason may be?
....2.9 Alpha, yes you have made your point very clearly.....testing/piloting before release.....well I am glad we connected on that point at least....so we agree about action.....let us do the q&a now eh.
This is fun Marcus.....and if you want to chat about Superheroes anytime....well don't be shy....I know a lot about that topic too...tis fun J
Overall I'd like the gradebook to be easier to use (which I believe people are working on)
yes, gradebook is really dificult to use, but it's gerring better =)
Also, according to https://docs.moodle.org/dev/Roadmap , the current work for 2.9 includes :
- (Platform/Access) Gradebook user interfaces
At the moment, there are 437 open issues on moodle tracker for gradebook component.
Would you like to discuss one of them or propose a new one? =)
flicking through tracker....yep grabbed something I thought about ...
Allow the page size in the Single view report to be configurable or remove pagination
I cannot help but think in a puzzling way, that items across the 400 ish....need to be prioritised in some way that moves the whole show a bit more on that of a swift footing.
Proposals....mmm........yes....want to think about that.
Marcus...Superheroes it is then joke!
How about we settle for rhetoric. Some rhetorical questions....
1. people are working on: Gradebook user interfaces....if Gradebook is creating a lot of noise-why just this?
2. What is the purpose of SIS, SITS and Foxpro? Are there any potential gaps between those DBMS and Moodle gradebook? In view of this:
To give two specific examples I genuinely have no idea how to change the order that items in the gradebook or how to arrange for an item to still exist and be used but to not appear in the gradebook or contribute to the results of calculations (i.e. hide)
3. Is Database a good joint-focus?
4. How can the users (both) make the most of gradebook VIA an interface that aids that?
5. Is there any advantage whatsoever in the use of some joined-up-thinking/action?
I think it's okay for anyone to observe that a feature of Moodle has poor usability w/o having to say exactly why. In my experience, an observation like this is usually the starting point for designers to ask questions and do more user testing to pinpoint more specific causes of problems.
I have two related questions about usability:
1) Is this forum on usability sustainable over time? and
2) How will anything said here impact the usability of Moodle?
I ask Q1 b/c of Helen's comment, "We once had a forum on usability but it didn't stick," and I wonder whether that's b/c people perceived the forum had no practical usefulness. Seems to me that the most useful Moodle community forums have two main features:
1) As a place to get help ("This feature doesn't work - help!"), and
2) As a place to ask the people who are creating Moodle if something could be improved, or why it was made that way in the first place.
IMHO, the quiz forum is the most useful forum b/c Tim, the guy who maintains the quiz tool, is very active in it - solving problems, explaining why things work a certain way, and so forth. But if no one person is really responsible to advocate for improved usability of Moodle, then how will such things happen in this forum? Someone will say, "I think x feature of Moodle could be more usable," and the response will be ... crickets?
Which brings me back to my second question: How does Moodle integrate suggestions on usability, and is this discussion part of that system? I'm aware of a system that tracks suggestions for fixes and improvements, and people can vote on the suggestions. I'd be interested in hearing from someone who works with those suggestions how they actually inform the design of Moodle, or whether there's some other system for incorporating suggestions about improved usability. I'm aware of software design regimes that incorporate formal protocols of regular user testing and feedback, but I've not heard that Moodle has such a regime. Thanks. - Peter
you bring good points into discussion.
I also think that people has the rights to complain, but is always better if you can think a little more about things and propose something useful to do about =)
About this forum being sustainable over time, well, time will tell us =)
I do not work for Moodle HQ, but have fixed some little pieces of moodle over time and having a place to discuss with other people before suggest anything on tracker is good =)
In Moodle Development Process (https://docs.moodle.org/dev/Process):
"All issues on the FRONTEND and BACKEND backlogs are given a relative rank that is based on issue features including priority, security, Partner interest, patches and votes."
The bold was my addition as i think this is the ones with more influence in deciding what will be worked on by Moodle HQ. Of course everyone else (outside) can contribute along the process and get unrelated-new-features added too.
With that in mind, i think this forum is a place to say that we want to get involved as community =)