Blocks: Course Checks Block

block_bcu_course_checks
Maintained by Picture of Jez HJez H, Picture of Mike GrantMike Grant, Picture of Manoj SolankiManoj Solanki, Picture of Kevin MooreKevin Moore
This block carries out a number of automated checks on a course, to encourage a minimum standard of course quality, avoid common mistakes and highlight possible areas for improvement. The block also allows for a course to be cleared of empty sections.
108 sites
21 downloads
30 fans
Current versions available: 2

This block carries out a number of automated checks on a course, that are all user configurable. The checks were designed to encourage a minimum standard of course quality and highlight possible opportunities for improvement.

The block also has the option to allow users to "clear down" a course, simply removing any sections that don't have content. It won't delete any sections that have content and/or a summary.

The checks that can be carried out by this block are:

  • Checks that the course has a summary, and course image set
  • Checks that the course is visible to students
  • Checks that guest access has been disabled on the course, to help prevent issues where enrolled students don't have permissions to do things
  • Check that section headings have been renamed from their defaults.
  • Check that all sections have a summary
  • Check that there are no empty sections, and that they all have content
  • Checks there are no assignment deadlines prior to the course start date (useful in rollover process)
  • Allows site administrators to recommend blocks that should be installed on each course

Future Plans (early 2015)

  • Check for old assignment dates after course rollover
  • Add tool to quickly update assignment deadlines
  • Make sections in block collapsable

Screenshots

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  • Anthony Borrow
    Wed, Oct 8, 2014, 6:30 AM
    Many thanks for sharing this plugin with the Moodle community. I can see where it would be useful especially for a new institution with some formal guidelines for instrutors as they create their courses and could help admins to ensure that the courses are consistently setup in accordance with those guidelines.

    Please consider adding a screenshot of your plugin to help folks get an idea of what it looks like when installed. Actually I took a quick one while testing and will upload that for you; however, feel free to replace it if you prefer something else that may be more representative.

    Please provide a documentation URL. You are welcome to create your documentaiton in Moodle Docs, See http://docs.moodle.org/dev/Plugin_documentation for more information. Actually looking more losely, you mention your intention to create one at http://docs.moodle.org/en/Course_checks_block so I would so you can move forward with that plan.

    When adding the block to a course I received the following PHP notices:

    Notice: Undefined property: stdClass::$bcu_course_checks_coursecleanup in /var/www/m27/blocks/bcu_course_checks/renderer.php on line 102

    Notice: Undefined variable: cleanup in /var/www/m27/blocks/bcu_course_checks/renderer.php on line 108

    Usually those types of notices are easily eliminated by making sure to initiate them.

    In addition, you should add the release name to the version.php file. See https://docs.moodle.org/dev/version.php for more information.

    Another trivial issue is the language files, typically Moodle does initial cap on strings so normally I would expect to see 'Course check block' instead of 'Course Check Block' or 'Course checks' instead of 'Course Checks'.

    I noticed that you are using BitBucket.com to host your code. In order to provide a consistent experience for Moodle developers and site administrators, it is recommended to follow the repository naming convention for Moodle plugins, namely, moodle-{plugintype}_{pluginname}. The recommended repository name for this plugin would be:

    moodle-block_bcu_course_checks

    Would it be worth considering to rename your repository so that it conforms with the naming convention? This is NOT a requirement especially if you have reasons for not wishing to rename it (including I just don't feel like it). I simply like to encourage following the naming convention for consistency. This is mostly a throw back to when folks were using Git to install plugins on their sites so it is less important now. In any case, looking down the road, if you have other plugins that you would like to share with the community, perhaps others you have developed for the BCU, we can group them together in a set if you wish.

    I am going to go ahead and approve this plugin. Please do not hesitate to let me know if there is anything I can do to be supportive of your efforts.

    Peace - Anthony
  • Anthony Borrow
    Wed, Oct 8, 2014, 6:32 AM
    p.s. - You may also consider adding a longer (more detailed) description describing some of the options available in the check.
  • Picture of Bas Brands
    Thu, Nov 6, 2014, 5:29 PM
    Hi Mike,

    I have just tried your new plugin and I think it can be a good aid when trying to promote a nice content structure on any Moodle site. I especially like the checks for course images smile. The can make your course lists much more attractive and searching for the right course easy when the right type of course images are used. So well done!

    I have looked at the code as well. It looks nice and follows Moodle plugin structures. I do have some tips if your wish to improve your plugin.

    * You use a renderer file which is great. There are some hardcoded language strings in there that could be moved to you lang file.
    * I am not sure what the block_bcu_course_checks_course_cleanup() should do. If you want to clear the course cache the core function rebuild_course_cache() might proof useful
    * On clicking the clean course button I got the Notice "Trying to get property of non-object in /www/moodle_27/blocks/bcu_course_checks/locallib.php on line 144"
    * The function in locallib.php do not have a function description. A short description could help other understand what the function is for.

    Hope that helps smile Thanks for sharing your plugin!
  • Picture of Blair F.
    Fri, Nov 7, 2014, 7:44 AM
    What is the "course image," and where is it set? I've never noticed this before and cannot find a setting for it. Where does it show up? I see that it's supposed to be in the Edit Course Settings, but I don't see it anywhere. I'm using Moodle 2.6.4.
  • Picture of Jez H
    Sat, Nov 8, 2014, 12:33 AM
    The course image refers to the "course summary files" which you can see when you edit course settings. If you upload an image there it will show in the category list.

    I will update the wiki page to make that clearer.
  • Picture of Mike Grant
    Tue, Nov 11, 2014, 5:51 PM
    Thanks Bas for reporting them issue and taking a look through it all for me. Really appreciate it. I've fixed the issues that you mentioned, and will appear as version 1.0.3
  • Ricardo Caiado
    Wed, Dec 7, 2016, 8:23 PM
    Any upgrade to Moodle 3.2?

  • Picture of Mathieu Pelletier
    Wed, Feb 15, 2017, 11:06 PM
    This looks great. It would be a nice addition to 3.1.
  • Picture of Jessica Gramp
    Wed, Mar 15, 2017, 6:33 PM
    Some UCL students added a broken link check to this plugin at our last LearnHack event (https://twitter.com/hashtag/learnhack). What's the easiest way to contribute this back into the core plugin? A patch file? Thanks.
  • Picture of Jessica Gramp
    Wed, Mar 15, 2017, 6:36 PM
    Also a +1 for an update for Moodle 3.2. I assume it works, but the version numbers just need updating in the version.php file? I can only currently update my plugins on our dev server via moodle.org (rather than downloading files directly to the server), and it would be great to be able to install this one.
  • Picture of David Mudrák
    Thu, Mar 15, 2018, 5:08 AM

    Plugin service info: For the record, I just made Jeremy (one of the two current maintainers) the lead maintainer of this plugin. Mike no longer seems to be active with Moodle and does not reply to our messages (even though he seems to visit the site from time to time). Same situation happened with mod_bootstrapelements a while ago - see the comment there. I believe that changing the lead maintainer is in a public interest. In case Mike re-appears and does not agree, we will communicate further with how to deal with the ownership of the plugin. Thanks.

  • Picture of Sya Rahim
    Thu, Mar 14, 2019, 4:34 PM
    Hi..I think this is good plugin...Are you going to update it to Moodle 3.5?
  • Picture of Gulshan Kumar
    Mon, Aug 19, 2019, 9:25 PM
    Thanks for sharing such useful links with us.
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