Absent such a feature we could just give parents access to the student password, but I thought it would be nice to have a separate account. Has anyone done anything like this?
I have this very same question, but I have a caviat...
I am currently using Moodle and if the students do not have an email address I am having them put their parent's email address. The problem is that I am now having siblings entering my class and it will not let them put their parent's email address in the system, HELP!!!! I want the parent to get the information or at least do what was described above.
Is it possible to remove the email requirement and make it an option? For example, the teacher could switch on or off the requirement for email.
"It would be nice for Parents to get automatic e-mails when grades are posted for their child or children. Also, for parents to be able to see certain comments made by instructors."
This would be a great application not only for parents, but for the business applications (was referred in another post as notifying managers/superisors, etc.)
This is also why I am interested in the php forms module (how is this progressing?). Rather than have parents/managers allowed access to the students account--which I think could get messy--one could develop a form template e.g. "Progress Report" with the pertinent info (grades, assignments completed, etc.) that is filled out and emailed to the parent/manager on a regular basis.
At the start of a semester I send notices home to parents about the course site and what they can expect to find on it.
I give them the option to join us as a guest or register themselves.
This type of grading works great for a single teacher. What would be best is if moodle had these features for the whole district. This is a hot topic, but I cant help but wonder if all the moodlers out there spending money on external programs where to consolidate there funds in a moodle module programmer what a great feature it would be. I would much rather spend my money this way. Just some thoughts. This is a hot topic and one I think we should find a developer willing to help us with.
Unfortunately, asking parents to login as a Guest (even with a key) is not a reasonable option.
The problem is that the parent will have to search thru the course listings (over a hundred) to find EACH of her child's classes. If this were a one-time process, that would be fine.
But the following day when she signs in as a guest, she will have to manually repeat this process all over again. And each time she wants to see her child's assignments, she'll have to do this.
And I just don't see asking a senior in high school to give his mother his username & password. This will unwittingly lead to some parents using features that were only intended for use by the student.
We basically just need the ability for a parent to enter her child's username AND a special read-only password (created by the student when he signed up with Moodle). This way the child gives the parent his username & special read-only password, which is used by the parent to create a "special parental read-only account." And when the parent initially logs in, her child's personal list of "My Courses" will already be set up and ready for the parent to view.
This whole issue really needs to be properly addressed and implemented. I am dismayed by the lack of an integrated parental participation in the Moodle environment.
I've noticed in a number of posts that teachers seem very keen for parents to become involved in or observe online activities within a Moodle site.
If we consider how forums work, for example, it is clear that (unless pseudonyms are used by all child participants) that an enrolled parent could have access to a wealth of information about the thoughts and school work of a range of children other than their own.
Profiles, which are lauded as an important part of the users online identity, are also easily available - perhaps even with an email address for the child.
I would further suggest that access to this information may not be limited to parents, if parents do not conduct themselves in a manner which promotes online security.
Surely it is, at best, naive in the extreme to allow "un-screened" adults access to children in this way. Unfettered access to children could have horrendous consequences. To be blunt - just because someone is a parent it does not mean that they (or their associates) are not paedophiles.
Options which allow access for managers/supervisors i.e. in addition to teachers? Great idea.
Options which allow access to the course work of consenting adults? No problem.
Any parent access options which allow parents access to the input of their child only? Great idea. Who could say this was bad move?
Allowing access to children without proper controls? You cant be serious.
As a parent, I would question the competence of any teacher, school or governing body which put my child at risk in this way.
Ray has raised a number of excellent points here.
During my more than 20 years involved with the IT industry I have seen these sorts of issues raised many times. IT is held responsible for new problems just because it is now possible to do new things. Very rarely do people take a moment to consider IF some activity should be done.
A good example is private use of the Internet. Management rightly becomes concerned if staff are doing their banking, sending personal emails etc all on their employers time, and usually request that the IT section does something to stop or limit it.
My point of view has always been that it is not an IT issue but a 'private use of company resources' one. This means that the same policies that govern the private use of cars, phone calls and photocopying also apply to the Internet.
With parental access to students learning activities, I would ask what what is your institutions current policy? Parents would not be permitted to just walk into a class room to start poking around, they would normally work through their concerns with the teacher.
Similarly, they would work with the child in reviewing their homework and written workbooks so why is material contained within Moodle any different ? What is stopping the parents sitting down with the child and going through their online work with them ?
If the child is reluctant, then the parent can discuss their concerns with the teacher in the normal way.
Or am I missing something here ?
I agree with you David, I am also from a High school environment and we already have processes in place for communications to parents....(letters, interviews, phone and reports); most Highs schools would (I think) tend to use Moodle in a classroom environment, not as a fully online tool as I think it was originally envisaged.
Also from an IT guys perspective the admin overhead to align student and parent accounts would be huge. Unless this task could be automated (using active directory...if used!!) it would be a nightmare....we have over 1500 students, some with separated parents and we haven't even considered the privacy issues..................
David wrote: What is stopping the parents sitting down with the child and going through their online work with them ?
Good point. So parents can have access to other children's work / details using their child's account.
The potential educational / social benefits of the approaches outlined on this topic seem clear, however, I hope that teachers / schools who employ these methods give proper and careful consideration to the privacy and safety issues.
Very good/interesting comments by all.
As a moodle user for almost 2 years in a high school setting, I have found that I am using it not as an online course but rather a vehicle to communicate with both students and their parents/guardians.
Case in point
1. I post homework daily
2. I am now using the calendar feature (LOVE IT!!) to note important dates for the course and school.
3. Resources are posted to help students with the current topics
4. The forum is used to communicate with all participants important information (test dates, change of schedules)
5. Student marks are posted (using Markbook and posted by student id only)
In this day and age of accountability and technology prevalence, my feeling is
1. I am doing my best to keep parents informed (whether or not they choose to take advantage is up top them)
2. Students will ALWAYS have a way of finding out what was missed
3. The technology (internet, emails, etc) is everywhere and widely available to our students 9here in Canada)
4. I am promoting a more collegial environment and able to provide extras (resources, handouts) with minimal work on my part (teaching the same class again)
Even if moodle was not originally meant for high school, I think the benefit of having a way to generate a report that can be, e-mailed or printed is an awesome addition to moodle. What would seem to fit everyone and still get the job done is if we had a way to give the parent, guidance or tutor a pin number that they could use to log in and receive a report on the student. When a new user account is created, there would also be a random number generated that would be attached to the account. When one logs into moodle they are asked to login with user name and password, another field would be needed that would allow for the pin number. Once the pin number is entered a window with the report pops up for that student with the option to e-mail or print the report.
The report itself would just be a summary of attendance, grades, activities, tests and quizzes as well as a teacher comment area. Then make it so the only way to get the pin number is from the student, so then students have some control over who sees their report card if you will. This way the adult student can just ignore the pin and the young adult student can give the pin to their parent or what ever policy the high school has on the pin number. This makes it more flexible to both the university and the high school. Also for the adult learner it becomes a way for them to have a hard copy of their progress maybe to show an employer or someone in financial aid.
Wouldn't the solution to this be to add a parent email field as an option in the User Profile? Then when an email is sent to the student, a CC of the email is sent to the parent. This parent email field would not HAVE to be unique, as is the case with the User email.
I'm not sure how to code this, but the logic seems easy. Any takers?
I am glad to see that others are thinking and requesting for information about notification of enrollment. Our site needed to capture the name of the a student's supervisor(supname) and their superviosrs e-mail(supemail) for notification purposes.
I have added these two fields in the user profile. Now that we are capturing the data. We need to include the supemail in a notification of enrollment.
I have attempted to add the code to the enrol.php but at the timeof this posting I have not been able to get it to work. I am in support of adding this level of functionality to moodle and would be willing to work with anyone who has simaliar needs to notifiy a parent/supervisor as part of enrollment.
I am very new to moodle and I'd like to weigh in on the parental access issue.
Parental access is probably one of the most desirable features for high schools. Parents are constantly lamenting the fact that they don't know what's going on in school with their children. So many parents are unpleasantly surprised when their sons or daughters bring home those quarterly progress reports with D's and F's. Principals and teachers are accused of not communicating with parents, and schools are anxious to find ways to solve this problem. Blackboard solves that problem nicely, and I'm disappointed but not surprised that the public K-12 district in my community just bought Blackboard, with others soon to follow.
Parents are our most effective partners in helping students succeed, and with knowledge they can be a big help. As principal of a private high school, I was hoping to get a LMS so parents could see their student's grades, and so teachers could communicate with parents easily via email. If a parent logs on with his/her student's ID, isn't there only one email address, i.e. the student's, associated with that account? It's very inconvenient for teachers to have to maintain a separate email list and switch to their email program instead of sending parents email directly from moodle. Also, I wouldn't want parents having access to participate in the course. I've met parents who could conceivably get carried away...
Blackboard calls the parental access feature the "Observer", which has been described as follows:
Observer Access allows an assigned user to view a specific student's course interaction, records, and grades. Instructors can limit the amount of access the observer has within the course. Note: Observers do not have access to the Blackboard communication tools (email, discussion, or chat). These accounts must be created and assigned to the specific users by the System Administrator.
I believe that this is more than just a high school feature - if universities are using moodle, it's an easy extension to bring it to the high schools with the promise of preparing students for what lies ahead.
I had very bad experiences with those expensive vendors because they wouldn't pay attention to me - my school is small and it's not a university. I'm hoping the moodle community is different. Please, can the parental access feature be bumped in priority? Is there a way to do something in the short term, with the full meal deal following as a longer term solution?
Ditto to Rhonda's excellent explanation. My district, while nervous about FERPA issues, will go with Blackboard over if they think all logins are "secure", and if parents can have a distinct login and role.
This is a primary reason why I'm changing code and bending over backwards so that my students cannot change their profiles. I want to give parents their children's usernames and passwords (that won't change) so that they can check the gradebook and the schedule.
It appears that you do not have children in school. If so, you would realize just how difficult it is to get any information out of them regarding their schoolwork--no matter how good of a relationship you have--it just doesn't happen. E.g. What did you do in school today? Nothing. The only time your kid is really attentive at letting you know what's going on is when there's a fieldtrip coming up and you have to sign the permission slip.
In my school district the teachers are required to send out weekly emails that include the assignments, due dates, and the grades. And it is just this feature that allows for more parent-child interaction. Once I know an assignment or test is coming up, then I know what I need to talk about or work on with my kids. At the high school level, parents are also given passwords that give them access to student schedules, grades, and gpa. I don't think access to 18-year olds is an issue--if you are the legal guardian, you have legal access to their grades at the high school level.
Your idea of a PTA type of course is a really good one.
Some type of "reporting" feature of assignments/grades would be a great addition to Moodle.
I'm just talking about parents logging in using the student's account. So my code just prohibits the student from changing anything (e.g., username and password) that would lock out their parents.
Nothing fancy here -- I'll just give the parents the student's login.
Our work-around for this is to use an enrolment key (high school). I send home a letter top parents that the start of a semester and invite them to register (so they can receive emails from forums - virtually no one does) or to use the guest account.
The guest account still provides them with course access (they can see homework, assignments, upcoming tests and the course/school calendar).
As for marks, the same letter invites them to email me if they want marks emailed to them. I use markbook(.com) and this allows me to generate html marks - which I post on the site by code #, and also generates detailed students marks for emailing (a few parents take advantage of this).
The enrolment key allows parents to access the course as a guest (see what every "student" sees). It does NOT given them access to any particular students work - except it will allow them to view the HTML marks page that I upload. The students name is not used and only their ID # is. This requires parents to ask their child for the code as ALL student marks are displayed.
Hope this helps.
Martin, this would be WONDERFUL!! However, is this something that is being bantered about for 2.0 or something we might see sooner, say 1.4.1?
How many dollars are we talking about to get something like this on the fast track? I believe that there is a market for this and some donations might be in order to get this moving along
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The "passed variable is not an array or object" in lesson/view.php appears to be a bug that was fixed in version 184.108.40.206 and later (around line 1210 there is now verification the variable that was not initialized has been set). If you get this error, upgrade to the latest stable version (be sure to backup all your data first and then restore it to the new version).
Note: I searched for a corresponding bug id in the bug tracker, but was unable to find it.
Great Rob !! Just a few thought !
1. When you say ID number, i hope you mean username because the ID number field is not a necessary field durign signup
2. Is there a way in which Admin can create parents accounts quickly and send them off to parents, they could later change their passwords ?
I have some very good people working on moodle now who can do extensive testing ...let me know in what ways we can help !!!
Waiting for your great work on the parent Account.
Have you uploaded it???
I tried installing this, i think something's missing. I get his error :
Fatal error: Call to undefined function: get_parent_child_courses() in /home/moodle/skool/lib/moodlelib.php on line 2551
I think the file defining the function or class is missing. Maybe i'm missing out something else, pls check !
Thanks ! this seems to be a feature we've been waiting for
With the new fix, it gives this error :
Could not add your parent-student relationship to the database!
Are any fields required to be created manually in the database ?
More problems. It seems the function make_categories_options() is missing from your version of /course/lib.php. This causes the error :
Fatal error: Call to undefined function: make_categories_options() in /moodle/public_html/admin/configvars.php on line 265
I think you will have to do one last fresh install to test this completely.
Thank you for working on this solution. I tried the fix on 1.5.2 but I keep getting an error saying that it couldn't match the parent with the child's ID. What may be the problem? Also I was wondering if you thought of a case where parents have 2 or more children in the same school. Would they need enter multiple student IDs?
Thanks for posting this up. I am interested in converting this to 1.6. Could you possibly post a patch file so I can see the changes you made?
I too have been waiting to see parents access, this is one thing moodle is lacking for my schools, maybe its not so for college or University but for the secondary level it would be great feature.
So after 2-years where are we on this? I understand the vulnerabilities as they relate to FERPA, but before I can propose Moodle to replace Edline we need to have this functionality. Parents able to see grades, but not edit or upload the assignments.
Is this going to happen soon?
I'd like to know if anyone else has managed to write some of the code for this too. With our government body pushing for parental access to their childs work load is this going to be possible?
This may be the wrong place to put this post but hopefully it may start some development.
I have used MarkbookCY a canadian gradebook program for a number of years to record student assessment. It is a great little program and while I can import from the Moodle grade book into MarkbookCY via a csv file the process is fiddley at best and tedious at worst.
This year I have gone 100% Moodle. I'm using the Moodle grade book for both online and offline tasks so all my data is in one place. THis is OK for my students accessing the data but my parents are really missing out. MarkbookCY has a niffty email function where you could "push" assessment info out to parents via email reports. The parents love this. Every 2 or 3 weeks they would get emailed to them an up to date progress report. The two way communication produced by this was super.
By using Moodle there is no way I can "push" assessment info to parents. The only way a parent can get a picture of how the student is going is if the student gives the parent their username and password. Now this will work OK for the students who probably does not need a push along. But for the student who does not want Mum or Dad to know how they are going it is ideal. These parents remain clearly in the dark.
Markbook CY also generated nice printed progress reports that could be sent home to students who don't have internet access at home. Moodle cannot do this either.
How do I communicate assessment information to parents using Moodle?