Hello Everyone! I am part of a group working within a State agency and we have recently acquired Moodle to launch our E-learning leg of training development and presentation. We are trainers by blood, but are learning lots of new technical skills to develop and operate Moodle. We are however, a little lost. Our issues are centered around how to set this program up best to serve our needs. We have two sides to our agency. We have roughly 140 branches through out the state that will be utilizing this system as well as a central office that will be utilizing it as well. Problem being: The two sides need totally different things.
I need to be able to group the 140 branches so that each manager will be able to view the scores/progress of their employees, but no that of other branches. I would also like to place the branches into groups by region and allow the regional managers to view the progress/scores of each of their branches, but not those of other regions.
I would basically need the same set up for the central office. I would like to take individuals and place them into the appropriate departments and allow the department directors the ability to view the progress and scores of their employees. And then group the departments so that the Assistant Commissioners can view their departments' progress.
Another issue we are having though is that we want to specify which groups have access to or see which courses. Our branches would need different courses and quizzes than our central office. And the different departments with in Central Office would need different courses than each other.
We have looked at the groups and grouping features and these look promising, but we are almost wondering if we are going to need groups, groupings and then sub-groups - but we don't know if sub-groups exist.
If anyone else is using Moodle in our type of agency/cooperation, please let me know! I would like any advice anyone can offer! Thanks!
Some of what you need could be accomplished with Groups (within a course), some with creating new Roles. However, it's likely what is needed is a Groups feature at the Site level that can also leverage Categories, which Moodle currently doesn't have. You might want to consider contacting a Moodle partner for help with a custom feature. The great thing about Moodle is the open source model encourages this by making source code available to the user.
You're right: site-wide groups could accomplish some of this and have not been implemented yet (though on the roadmap for Moodle 2.0).
I'm working with some organizations that are trying to tackle a very similar issue (filtering reports by branch, region, business unit, cost center, etc). I had a meeting with three of them today about this, so I thought I'd share my notes here while they are fresh in my mind:
One of the ways I'm looking to get around using site-wide groups (but still use roles for this), is to populate custom user fields for each user with branch / region data, and then restrict gradebook report filtering (and progress tracking report filtering--also to be released in 2.0) by these custom user fields.
For a basic example, here is some same user data (the standard 'username' field, as well as custom 'region' and 'branch' fields):
staff_member_1, region_1, branch_1
staff_member_2, region_1, branch_2
staff_member_3, region_1, branch_2
staff_member_4, region_2, branch_4
Two new custom roles:
Two new custom capabilities:
- 'viewreportsbyregion' "Can view reports by region"
- 'viewreportsbybranch' "Can view reports by branch"
The reporting scenarios could then be:
If staff_member_1 is assigned a role as a Regional manager, she can see a report for herself, staff_member_2, and staff_member_3 (who are all in region_1), but not staff_member_4 (who is in region_2).
If staff_member_2 is assigned a role as a Branch manager, he can see a report for himself and staff_member_3 (who are in branch_2), but not staff_member_1 (who is in branch 1) and staff_member_4 (who is in branch_4).
Moodle's gradebook does not currently implement this (ie, support filtering by a custom user field), however I think it could be an easier way to get around using groups if reporting is the only place you'd need to provide this kind of filtering. This is the case for some of the organisations I'm working with (who are happy to release their work under GPL), and so right now I'm looking into how scalable this implementation can be.
Regarding controlling access and visibility to courses (by central-office or non-central-office), assuming you have this organisational user data stored somewhere in your organisation: you can use one of Moodle's many course enrolment plugins (such as database enrolment or LDAP enrolment). Force users to use My Moodle, and they will only be able to see and access courses that they are enroled in.
Don't you just love asking for help in an open source forum and then get a "Particularly Helpful Moodler" try to sell you their help.
You seem to be embarking on a very large project. In my opinion, your best bet is to hire a good programmer/database person and a good "general technology" specialists, or two, and have them dive into this and learn it backward and forward. With the size implementation you are considering, you will be best suited building your own in-house technology capacity to develop and support this.
- As Bryan suggested, you could hire someone with a great deal of Moodle experience such as a Moodle Partner that could help write some custom code to help you out with navigating what is capable with the current code and what needs to be customized. (perhaps quicker and good quality but not cheap)
- As Steve suggests, you could opt to hire someone in house to work on developing the code to do it. (perhaps quicker and cheaper but with less quality assurance)
- As Jonathan suggests, you could work with others in the community who are working on developing this code (perhaps more quality control and cheap but not quick results)
As with all that I post, use it in so far as it is helpful to you and ignore the rest.
Peace - Anthony
I'm confused...are you asking me or Anthony?
If you're asking me, just let me know and I'll answer...but be careful what you ask because you may not like the answer
No, it wasn't sarcasm. It was a rhetorical question (hence, no question mark) for the OP, and anyone else who reads the thread to think about. When a person posts for help here, in an open source forum, do they really expect to receive a reply from a Moodle Partner (Particularly Helpful Moodler) suggesting they contact a Moodle Partner for help. Let me interpret that for you....contact me and I'll help you for a price.
Of course, Bryan constantly does this...in fact, trolling for customers and attempting to run off people who are giving away what he is selling, is about all he does around here. Since our latest little "conflict" I see he hasn't been around "helping" much, but it seems he still can't resist trolling for business.
It makes one wonder what PHM really means. On the one hand, you have people like John Isner (and a few others), who is really a PHM....he is here all the time actually helping people in the true spirit of Open Source and isn't trying to sell anyone anything. Contrast that with Bryan, who simply trolls for business. We had one other PHM/Moodle Partner post an all-out advertisement here in the forums just a few days ago...kudos to the moderators here for deleting it.
If all Bryan is going to do is advise people to contact Moodle Partners, then I say that's not "Particularly Helpful" to anyone, but his company.
Of course, I'm probably just being a "bitter ax grinder", but the trolling for business in an open source forum under the guise of being "Particularly Helpful" strikes me as being a bit of a conflict of interest.
And please, save all the sanctimonious lectures about the value and importance of Moodle Partners...I think we all have that speech memorized by now.
Now, as I said, you probably won't like this answer, but you asked, so there it is. Also, just know, when the disciples jump in, I'm not going to be shy about replying to anything I feel I need/want to reply to...so understand that you may be starting the second discussion in the history of moodle.org to be closed...of course, if it gets deleted that wouldn't be the first or second...
I assume you're referring to my post in the Documentation forum. That was a simple misunderstanding on my part and it needed to be deleted to conform with guidelines for posts here. To err is human...
"...you are quite insightful."
Thanks...I've been called a lot worse