Blocks ::: block_ask4summary
Maintained by Mohammed Saleh, Maiga Chang
Ask4Summary is question and answer service for Moodle plugins. It will attempt to scan course activities for their sentence content, and compare them to user questions to produce a response.
Latest release:
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Current versions available: 1

Ask4Summary is a course learning block designed to provide users with a summary based on their course material. Ask4Summary will go through and parse course resources and activities, such as Word Documents and URL webpages, for their sentence material. It will then use the VIP Research N-Gram POS Service ( to gather the critical words of these parsed sentences, and store them in the Ask4Summary learning database tables. This will allow students to go to a designated forum - set by their teacher - and ask a question. Ask4Summary will parse their query in the same way, and queue the answering service. The answering service is derived from the VIP Research AskCovidQ algorithm ( which uses cosine similarity to rank the top documents in the course, and their sentences. It will then use those sentences to respond to their original forum posting.


The VIP Research Group is a research group led by Prof. Maiga Chang ( at the School of Computing and Information Systems, Athabasca University. This plugin, Ask4Summary, is one of the research group's works. The research group does have a follow-up research plan to improve it and further use it in other research projects.

Almost all of Prof. Chang's works are open access (or open source). The N-Gram POS service used by the plugin is open access and running on a self-sponsored server, as all of other research projects (see they will be always online, improving, and accessible as long as the cost can be affordable and covered by Prof. Chang.

Of course if in any case just like the access volume of the web service becoming high or any business/commercial takes advantage of using it to make money, then the term of using the web service may look for changes; for examples, donations, personal/academic/business license and subscription modes, etc. However, it is really too early to say that.


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Mohammed Saleh (Lead maintainer)
Maiga Chang: Project lead
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