Glossary

Random Glossary sideblock - does it have a future?

 
Gordon McLeod
Random Glossary sideblock - does it have a future?
Plugin developers

Hello,

We're in the process of building a bank of 'scenario based' learning activities for vet students, using the lesson activity to enable our students to practice clinical decision making and professional judgement.

Rather than displaying a long list of links to the cases (initially 8 but will grow), I thought a good way to present this supplementary content would be to add a link to each case in a glossary, then present this as a 'case of the week' using the random glossary entry sideblock. This seems to work perfectly, but I'm concerned about how it might work in future versions of Moodle.

We're about to upgrade to 3.3, and it looks as though Moodle have taken a decision to phase out the use of sideblocks to be more mobile device friendly - for a start, the new mobile moodle app doesn't display sideblocks even if they are present in a course.

If Moodle does do away with sideblock functionality completely I'm sure we'll cope - it just means having to redesign all of our courses so that they don't rely on information presented in blocks. I'm concerned that this "feature" needs a clear exit strategy to give us time to adapt - eg "sideblocks will be discontinued in Moodle 3.5, prior to that the mobile app will still display sideblocks", and guidance on which tools can provide equivalent functionality - or will we have the option to add (or move) existing sideblocks to the main screen?

Apologies for this becoming a bit of a rant - my actual question was
Can anyone suggest an alternative to sideblocks as a way of serving up the case scenarios, either randomly or sequentially in a way that doesn't clutter up the page? I'm anticipating we will have 30 scenarios by next year so don't want to simply list all of them. One reason for wanting to randomise is that real-life vets can't predict which cases they'll have to deal with on any given day.

Regards, Gordon.

 
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Troy Patterson
Re: Random Glossary sideblock - does it have a future?
 

Great observation. I truly hope that the Random Glossary block stays. I use it for several purposes. One the biggest is for students to get to know each other. I find the Glossary Module one of the true gems of Moodle. The Random Glossary block is very powerful.

 
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Picture of Gavin Henrick
Re: Random Glossary sideblock - does it have a future?
Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersMoodle HQPlugin developersTesters

Wouldnt this be better as a on-course page label like?

 
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Gordon McLeod
Re: Random Glossary sideblock - does it have a future?
Plugin developers

Hello Gavin,

Adding the links as a label would be quite time intensive and lacks the 'random' element as a member of staff would need to choose which link to make visible each day/week/whatever. I'm assuming that you mean putting them up one at a time, as simply putting all of them on a label or page of links has no advantage over just displaying the lesson activities.

Regards, Gordon.

 
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Picture of Gavin Henrick
Re: Random Glossary sideblock - does it have a future?
Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersMoodle HQPlugin developersTesters

hi,


I meant, the a "Random glossary content" on the course page  - like a label is, but working the same way as the block does.

 
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Troy Patterson
Re: Random Glossary sideblock - does it have a future?
 

Hm. I don't know how to accomplish that.  I don't see any documentation to accomplish what I think that you are describing. 

Can you point me in the direction to add a "Random glossary content" on the course page?


Thanks 

 
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Troy Patterson
Re: Random Glossary sideblock - does it have a future?
 

Thanks. However, the label doesn't have anywhere near the same functionality. The Random Glossary block means that one student at a time is "presented" within the block. The students can reload the page to "meet" another student. By being random and singular, it is a much different experience than me going in and changing the student. (Functionally, I would have to decide how often to change the entry, then have to actually spend time doing that). 

I would have to convert the activity to a Database activity, but would lose the randomness and presentation. 

Please note that I'm not normally big on blocks. However, the Random Glossary block is a special case. This is awesome for presenting facts, tips, tricks, student bios and more. 

 
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