I recently updated the AutoEnrol enrolment plugin to work with Moodle 2.7 and 2.8 and am encouraged to see people are still using it, however I've been pondering it's future and would love to get some feedback on my thoughts.
I originally wrote AutoEnrol for Moodle 2.2 when enrol_cohort was less efficient and took longer to enrol or unenrol large numbers of users. These days that isn't such a problem, and I believe people are using the plugin for two main reasons:
- The plugin can automatically group users on a course.
- The plugin can restrict enrolments to users with particular values in some profile fields; although it doesn't remove users when they no longer match the rules.
Aside from these two points, I don't see any benefit that AutoEnrol offers over Cohorts functionality. (Would be interested to know if I am wrong there! :P)
For point 1, I am currently working on a commissioned plugin which will give similar auto-grouping functionality without being linked to a specific enrolment method. Effectively it won't matter how the user has been enrolled, they will always be placed in a dynamic group based upon whatever information the configurer has selected from the user's profile field. More on this early next year!
Item 2 is a bigger fish of course! I've been working with Totara for the past year or so and the dynamic cohort's they've added enable a lot of interesting possibilities, however I have to admit I am not a fan of the way they have been implemented as as different "kind" of cohort, with static cohorts still haunting the system like an overlooked sibling.
I am making plans for the development of a "dynamic membership" system which would listen for Moodle's relevant events and automatically assign user's to a cohort based upon a variety of rules including information from their profile. Instead of having two types of cohorts you would simply need to set up your cohorts and then choose who should be added as a member.
My feeling is that with these two developments the existing enrol_cohorts would offer a better solution to the use-case which AutoEnrol is currently filling.
Would love to everyone's thoughts on this!