Not sure whether this is the righ forum for a wishlist, if not please point me to the appropriate area.
I have recently downloaded, installed and stated playing with Moodle due to the limited assignment management facilities offered by Blackboard. Moodle is quite impressive, but instructors are a demanding bunch, so my wishlist is below. Moodle might already handle some of these issues or the request might be contrary to the "Moodle philosophy", but here it goes.
Background: I developped an assignment submission system at Macquarie called Submit!, which implemented the features below in response to requests from lecturers/students. I am now at UTS, so looking for other solutions. Some of the wishes probably are more important for large classess (100+). If there is sufficient interest in these features and I can find the time, I might be tempted to check out the source code and contribute some patches.
Please do not take the "wishlist" below as anything more than a wishlist. Moddle has lots of great functionality already and if I can spark interest so others will add some more functionality like the ones below, so much the better.
- Assignment open date
The assignment is visible once it is created, but files can only be submitted after the open date. This allows creating regular weekly tutorial submissions/assignments without having problems with students submitting their assignment to the wrong week. Don't laugh, students submit assignments not just to wrong week even to wrong subject if given the chance.
- Max Late
How long can assignments be submitted after the due date/time. This might be 0 days or 365 based on your needs
- Grace Period
Small amount of time (0-45 minutes) where assignments will not be considered late. This takes care of the 5 minute late problem when the system/network slows to a crawl because 200 students are trying to upload their files simultaneously.
- Lock/unlock assignments
Allow temporary locking of the assignment while you download what is submitted, update the support files, etc
- Extensions to individual students
If you have a class of 400+, exception is the norm. Keeping track of extensions to students is a major hassle. The system should allow individual extensions to students. It is logged, in a shared space so tutors can see it, and the system will not mark the assignment late even though it is submitted after the due date
- Sort submission by field
I only tested Moodle with two students, but listing all the assignments on a single web page does not work for large subjects. You need an excel spreadsheet like interface (with assignments for individual students each on a separate web page) that you can sort based on username, id, submission date, etc. Optionally need to limit how many assignments are displayed per page. 400+ lists can be slow to generate, depending on how the database/program is configured.
- Download assignments in groups
Instructors should be able to select students and download all the files for those students for that assignment with the option to 'select all', 'select late', etc.
- Multiple files per assignment
Why limit it to one file per assignment? Programming subjects often require multiple files.
- View/Delete/Download individual assignment files
Both students and lecturers should be able to view and download assignment files either individually or as a group in a zip file
- View submission log
Allow the teachers to see the activity about the assignmen with dates, actions, etc.
- Specify what file(s) can be submitted
This was one of the most heavily used features of Submit!, specifying what file names would be acceptable for the assignment. Even for simple assignmnets where students are asked to submit "hello.cpp" there will be some that wills ubmit hello.h, hello.cc, hello, etc. Prevents students from making mistakes, makes it easier on lecturers. In addition to individual file names, specifying regular expressions is also possible giving more flexibility (so all files with .html extension are accepted)
- Upload feedback in a zip file
I can work much faster in my favorite editor then the forms on the browser. If I can download all assignments, create a file, say feeback.doc, for each student and upload all of them that makes it much easier for me.
- Upload file on student's behalf
It happens, assignment arrives by email and it is more time consuming to negotiate with the student than it would be to upload the assignment for the student, so it can become part of the feedback/marking stream.
- Become a student
This is a dangerous option and may already be supported by Moodle, but lecturers need to login as if they are the student from tiem to time to verify their claims that "they cannot see the feedback" or whatever.
- Upload/dowload marks
I guess this is more a gradebook functionality, but needs spreadsheet integration, relevant for the next item
- Multiple marking fields per assignment
Assignments have components, some components might even be automatically marked and uploaded to the system. Lectureers shoudl be able to specify marking fields
- Marks visibility
Marks can be released or hidden, I guess gradebook again
- Marking open/closed/locked
Open: tutors can enter marks, closed: only lecturers can enter marks, locked: nobody can change the marks -- prevents errors
- Group students for marking
Students are often divided into groups for labs/tutorials. Provide a way so that only the tutor assigned to the group can see those students assignments and enter marks for them. This provides a bit more privacy and prevents problems where there are 10-15 tutors for a class and you do not want to give full access to each. Will also need to be able to view students by their assigned groups. Students can be in multiple groups, but need to make sure that none of them are left out of the groups. Managing activity of swapping groups is another layer of difficulty.
- Backup of assignments
Witin reason, keep older copies of assignments even when the student has uploaded a new version. Might come in handy in resolving disputes.