What I'm thinking is that it would be relatively easy to have a "Skip weeks" input line in the course config page. You could enter "20040315" to skip the week starting on 15 March 2004, or enter something like "20040315, 20040520-20040901" to also skip the period of time from 20 May 2004 through 5 Sept. 2004. The next weekly designation would then start from the following day, 6 Sept 2004.
Would this be useful? Anyone want to work on it?
I am happy to see this discussion.
I agree with Gustav about the ability to really make a week (or even topic) invisible and not just "greyed out". However, I would like to see an additional feature where the visibility of a resource, activity or linked content could be timed along with making the visibility of a week or topic timed. (Of course the visibilty of the week would be automatic because the week would become visible as the week's date came about anyway unless there was some type of way a week would be forced not to show. Some folks begin their week on Monday and not Sunday therefore there would need to be an adjustment for this.)
Corrected from a previous post.
I just talked with a professor here in Japan who decided not to use Moodle last semester simply because he couldn't skip the vacation weeks. This is because, in our school at least, we have a fixed 14 class/semester system. Each class in the semester has a specific number, 1-14. Teachers refer to homework, assignments, etc. by that number. Class schedules are printed with reference to these numbers. Therefore, if Moodle has a way to fix a number to a particular week and show these numbered weeks in the course view, it would have immense value.
The problem with the current system is that when you hide a week, that hidden week keeps the number. For example,
Week 1 visible
Week 2 visible
Week 3 hidden
Week 4 visible
What we need is this option...
Week 1 visible
Week 2 visible
Week 3 visible
I am not a programmer (yet ) but I do want to cooperate on this project.
Tomas, Don and Moodlers,
I have been worring about the same functionality of how to skip weeks.
One way of providing this functionality would be to do away with absolute time altogether, and to have courses timed from the moment a Teacher presses a teacher-attendance or ("finished-teaching-this-class") button.
While I like the idea of Don's suggestion of setting course days (perhaps using the calendar), what happens when a teacher misses a class, or for some other reason, a class is postponed? I find that many part time teachers postpone about 1 or 2 lessons a year.
For irregular classes, I think that it would be nice to set 1-15 "relative-weeks" and then ask teachers to press the "I did this week's class button" after their class. This would open all the tests and other homework and time them from one week (or a set time) from the time that the teacher-attendance-button is pressed.
OR, perhaps this is a better idea, the homework and preparation would be set to expire when the teacher NEXT presses the button! Yeah.
I posted the following on the course formats forum but I am moving it here (I have deleted it there since there were no replies.)
Faced with the prospect of administrating 26 classes worth of moodling, it has been suggested that I just make one course page and let all the students use that. I could then perhaps seperate them out by keying in on their "city" which I change to "class" in the language file.
However, the trouble with that is that since there are some courses on Friday and some on Monday, and some mondays are bank holidays and sometimes teachers are ill, it will mean that all the tests, homework etc will have a window of at least 3 weeks and knowing the students here, my guess is that they will do their homework at a go when some of it is at the end of the three week window.
For the same reason however, it will be very difficult to set up 26 course pages since, if a teacher is ill, takes a holiday, does not advance as fast as expected in the text book, I will have to change the start dates variously.
At the same time the 15 or so teachers that are invovled are not sufficiently moodling nor technophillic nor cooperational to want to administer their courses themselves.
However, if there were a teacher attendance button, that the teacher presses after each lesson, then I think that teachers could be persuaded to do that. This would indicate that a certain lesson has finished and that revison, preparation tasks are set, and get around the need for complex irregular class formats.
Perhaps there is someone out there with php skills. Perhaps I will have some eventually. I do have a LAMP at last.
Actually, I've already finished the code for skipping weeks and it works very simply. All you need to do is to fill in a line in the "Course Settings" labelled "Weeks to skip over" with a listing such as "20040426,20040721-20040915,20041227-20050107" for single weeks or multiple weeks.
Now, if a class is cancelled, all you need to do is to add the cancelled week into the "Weeks to skip over" and reduce the total number of weeks in the course by one.The dates will automatically adjust themselves to the section content.
(Sorry to call you Tomas). By the way, were your replying to my post?
While the ability to skip weeks as per your new code is very nice, I am still worried about the following -
- A teacher decides to do some activity in class that does not relate directly to the lesson content, thus delaying the schedule.
- A teacher is ill, or otherwise cannot hold a lesson on its scheduled date (and I find that our part time teachers take about one lesson off per term)
- A teacher find that students have not understood a lesson so decides to review the previous lesson.
- A significant number of students in one class forget their books so the teacher cannot move on to the next lesson
- A significant number of students in one class do not know how to use moodle, preventing the teacher from moving on to the next section of homework.
- There is a mishap with the server, or with the moodle installation.
- I make a mistake scheduling a class on a day when there is some (non national) holiday.
- And other reasons why a lesson might not occur on the day it is scheduled to take place upon.
If the out of class preparation and revision activities (HotPot module, Quiz Module, Bernard-esque activity linked activities, Lesson modules) are to be performed *between* certain classroom lessons, and are to be meaningful, as preparation and revision, then I bet my bottom dollar that I am going to be adding "20041227-20050107" etc. at frequent intervals.
If however the lessons "weeks" were not linked to any particular absolute time, but simply take place in between clicks on a "this lesson has ended=begun" button then presto, the problem of timing becomes a problem of clicking.
Ideally I suppose there should be two types of button: a "this lesson is being done today" meaning that the homework ends, and a "this lesson was completed today" meaning that the next lot of homework commences. But a two button system would probably be too difficult for most of my part time teachers.
Another characteristic of teaching (English especially) at Universities in Japan is that many of the teachers are part time. I don't think that I will be able to expect them to keep to a predetermined schedule. But, if I am lucky, I might be able to persuade them to click one button a week. Even that may be too much. In that case they might send me a mail or give me a ring, to get me to click the button for them.
By the way, we usually have "catch up days" when two "weeks" are held in the same week, towards the end of the course, because there are not enough non-national-holiday Mondays.
The ability to plan all this in advance, taking account of holidays and catch-up days is cool.
The ability to farm out some of the responsibility for scheduling to teachers would be even cooler.
For these reasons, I dream of the day when I have enough time to be able to create a "week-defined-as-the-time-between-teacher-clicks" format of course. Learn PHP!
Thank you again.
Of course, if you have more than one class or instructor using the very same course page, these don't work. Then you need functionality which is class-specific. In this case which lessons are 'done' would have to be recorded in a separate table that currently doesn't exist where there was one line for every course and and class. This woule be required so that the display could be sensitive to each classes' cancellations, etc. For example,
English 101, Monday-4 Takemoto
English 101, Monday-5 Takemoto
English 101, Tuesday-1 Takemoto, etc.
You can, of course, create clones of one course so that each class has its own main page, but this may make it difficult to share specific modules across courses.
You are right that one way to go about it would be to use the Topic format but, then there would be no timing of the quizzes, without asking teachers to go into their quizes and change the quiz timings. I think that I am going to be hard pressed to get them to open their course page and press even an attendance button.
I hoping that I can have the content of the course(s) pretty much set up by the time the course begins. But the timing is something that I think will remain unpredictable, and it is something that is very sensitive, crucial. My spelling mistakes and the odd duff question are forgivable but if a quiz is closed, or not yet open, for a class then it will not be cool.
The aim is to have some sort of system to ensure that students do a bit of practice each week. Of course instructors will be encouraged to set their own homework, essays or forums or whatever, but if on top of that, if there is some moodle (hotpoodle) evaul-practice then that would be ideal.
So at the moment I am thinking of one Topic format course (perhaps divided into groups) with quizes open for a three week window but as mentioned before, Students will probably do their homework once every three weeks.
Using one course page for all (26) courses will mean that I will not be able to make the window of opportunity smaller than about 3 weeks.
Splitting into 26 courses will mean that both content and timings would require individual attention, but as I say, I think that the content (other than timings) will not need to change all that much. I can always backup and restore 26 times if I find any serious flaws in the content.
The biggest change-reqiring, workload will be in the timing, I think, for the reasons outlined above (teacher sick, students slow or absent, unforseen holiday due to student festival or bomb etc. Yesterday there was a bomb scare at my university.)
And of coures I can edit timings too. But I just think it is going to be fraught. I will get a mail saying "Half the students were late so we could only do half the material," I will reply saying "So, do you want me to extend the homework for an extra week?" and by the time I get the reply I will be busy or forget exactly until when the teacher wants me to postpone to...
Well... Honest, it seemed to me that a "class-done!" button and quiz-timings relative to presses of that button would be a really good way of going about things.
It would also ensure that teachers visited their pages at least once a week, and who knows, they might feel like posting to forums and the like.
Yes, it would need an extra database entry I suppose. I am not sure though. To implement the lesser of the two types of "class-done" (teacher-attendance) button, that creates a one week time-frame from the moment it is pressed, then it might be possible to use current moodle functionality...
When we make a quiz normally then pressing the final "save quiz button" creates a one week window of opportunity from the time of that key press. One quick option might be to implement the "course-done" button by somehow adding a sort of "(re)make quiz" button on the course page (as opposed to the quiz page). I know that remaking a quiz does not normally reset the dates of that quiz. So the button would both have to be moved (from inside the quiz to on the course page) and its function changed so that instead of REmaking it has the same effect of making from scratch, except leaving the questions intact.
To set up a system to make quizes run *between* button presses would be a lot more difficult.
next version of activity linking will probably support groups but without user interface Your request for a lock/unlock mecanisim will be nearly entirely satisfied if each teacher if enrolled in only one group at a time. A course common lock/unlock quiz may be use to control access to all items of a Topic. For example, if teacher of group #3 unlock the topic then the topic will be unlocked for only the students of that group.
Each group will have their own pace. A small trick may permit to lock again the topic for the group if desired.
If the teacher is in 2 or more groups the things are a little bit more complicated ( may require an user interface , and that require time )
..If you remove the numbers of the sections in weekview from your week format and start the title of each section with a number (hiding the holidays) Would that help?
around line 254, this // will do it:
echo "<td nowrap $colorsides valign=top width=20>";
// echo "<p align=center><font size=3><b>$section</b></font></p>";
Promoting and demoting the sections across hidden sections will adept the weekdates,
but you need to renumber by hand, or you drop the numbers and steer by date..
Doing two weeks in one week is handwork move them to one section..
By the way real weeks have numbers, so how can I place these numbers in the week sections?
Tom, Bernard, Ger
I am still worrying about what do do when I start to administer 26 classes in the Fall (autumn) semester.
Either the activities do not have submission dates or
I am going to have to change the timings each time a teacher takes a holiday.
If the activities do not have submission dates the the students are going going to do the course work together at the end of term.
If the activities do have submission dates then lets say the teacher misses week 5. And lets say that Thomas Robb lets me have his code for skipping classes.
I presume the week 5 content will then be shown on week 6. Will all the submission dates be moved along too?
Either I need a "start button" (as suggested above) or I need a way of removing and insterting weeks into the weekly course format. Perhaps I could even muster up $300 from my pocket money (please let me know first.)
Lately my students have started posting to the forums without the threat of evaluation (I am evaulating them anyway though). This is a great success for social constructionism. I eat my hat. It seemed to be the photos that did it. People like to be seen.
just rethinking about your situation.
If you want to stay with plain stock supported Moodle ( witch is a good choice ) , then the easiest solution is to use 27 courses, the first one as the original, without student.
The topic format should be used to eliminate the dates variations.
The teachers will only have to show/hide the appropriate(s) topic(s) starting with the "Turn editing on" button. If they aren't able to learn that, maybe they will also have problems to teach english
Maybe two small hacks that may simplify your life:
1) Modify moodle/course/view.php to always display for "non editing teacher" only all the show/hide icons ( topics and activities ). That way these teachers will allways see ( and being able to use ) these show/hide icons and never being able to edit, destroy or move anything
2) I just played with moodle/backup/restore.php: if the names of the courses are similar but ternimated with a number ( 1-26 ) it will not be too hard to restore all 26 courses with the options you choose in one operation
Have a good cogitation,
In order to cope with missed lessons groups would need to have different times. For that I could use Bernard's super calendar.
A simpler way of doing it would be to be able to set quizes RELATIVE to the time of the course week. If that were done then all one would need to do is insert a black week into the course, and all submission dates on subsquent weeks would automatically keep pace with the new week start date.
Aparently this would be quite difficult however.