Hi all. Here at the Open University we have been a bit lax at releasing our customised features for others to use. In some cases, that's because nobody else wants them, and er... this one might be a case in point
However, here is the newsfeed system!
(The URL for that is a temporary home only. Anyone know how to put this into moodle contrib? I don't think I have access.)
What this lets you do is create feeds (think RSS/Atom feed) which display as a block on a course page, with click-through to view full messages. Within the interface you can:
- Post messages (surprise), in a managed way (post then approve, with optional email workflow if you want different people to do the posting/approving). Messages are standard title/html/attachments.
- Aggregate in an arbitrary manner (i.e. include 3 feeds within another one).
- Include external feeds (RSS and Atom) within the system. (I.e. you can use this as a rather weird alternative to the standard RSS block if you like.)
- Allow students to access feeds directly as standard Atom feeds via Firefox 2, IE 7 or any other feed reader.
- Create timed messages that don't appear to students until a particular date. Roll forward these standard messages into a future presentation of the course. Etc.
I did the release based on a current update of MOODLE_18_STABLE so the patches might or might not actually work on stock 1.8, hopefully they do.
Unfortunately due to the legacy implementation (we needed roles, but implemented this way before Moodle got roles) installation involves a rather crappy patch to accesslib and one other file. Apart from that it is implemented as a block... sort of.
There are full install instructions in README.txt, and a sort of user manual (Word format, sorry) is also included in the zip.
If anyone tries this, let me know how you get on.
We plan to release other OU custom features in future, some of which will even plug in without having to patch things! The study calendar course format for instance is pretty cool.