Activities: Allocation form

Maintained by University of Nottingham The University of Nottingham, Picture of Neill Magill Neill Magill
The Allocation form module is designed to allow instructors of a course to create slots that the students can sign themselves up to.
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The Allocation form can be used to provide more than one choice ("choose three workshops from the following selection") and/or to have students allocated to their choices fairly based on the overall choices/preferences made by all students using the Allocation Form you've set up.


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University of Nottingham
The University of Nottingham (Lead maintainer): Lead maintainer
Picture of Neill Magill
Neill Magill: UoNDeveloper
Picture of Barry Oosthuizen
Barry Oosthuizen: Original author
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  • Picture of David Mudrák
    Fri, 22 May 2015, 2:42 AM

    Thanks for sharing this plugin. I like the idea. In fact, I've been thinking just recently how cool would it be to have a plugin like that for Moodle Moots and hackfests organisation. I found the overall UI pretty austere and I assume this is considered more as a prototype rather than a final module. While testing the functionality, I discovered an SQL related issue and reported it to your tracker. I was a bit surprised to see the role selector in the mod_form as it is usually recommended to use capability for these things. I understand though that this makes it easier for the teacher to set up the activity (although you are probably displaying all roles to them which may reveal sensitive information in some cases). So, a capability like "be allocated" would be more flexible and in line with how these things are done in Moodle. I'll be happy to continue with the review once a new version (with the SQL fix included) is added here.

  • Picture of Barry Oosthuizen
    Fri, 22 May 2015, 5:24 AM
    Hi David, thanks for taking a look at this. I forgot to include a disclaimer that this plugin needs a bit of TLC on the UI side and has a lot of historical baggage in terms of functionality etc.

    I will look into fixing the SQL issue and check whether there is any agreement here to change to a capability instead of selecting a role. We do use that in most of our plugins so it might be ok with everyone.
  • Picture of Barry Oosthuizen
    Fri, 22 May 2015, 9:49 PM
    I have fixed the SQL issue and handled the deprecated code. Our resources are currently focused on our Moodle upgrade so unfortunately we won't be making any changes to the UI or functionality at this point.
  • Picture of David Mudrák
    Sat, 23 May 2015, 3:36 AM

    Thanks for prompt fixes Barry. Unfortunately I found another cross-DB issue (reported to your tracker). Maybe you could test the plugin functionality on PostgreSQL before submitting for re-approval. I have to mark this as needing more work yet.

  • Picture of Barry Oosthuizen
    Tue, 26 May 2015, 9:11 PM
    Thanks David, I have added the missing single quotes around the concatenated hyphen which fixes the issue.
  • Picture of David Mudrák
    Wed, 27 May 2015, 4:13 PM

    Oh I see. I did not understand the problem correctly then. Anyway, thanks for fixing it. It seems to work well now for me. I am going to approve this module. You are cleared to land, welcome to the Plugins directory!

  • Picture of Dimitar Kanev
    Fri, 5 Jun 2015, 12:07 PM
    Geat plugin, but when I installed the new update 2015060100 I'm receiving an error:
    Internal Server Error
    The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.
  • Picture of Barry Oosthuizen
    Fri, 5 Jun 2015, 9:02 PM
    Hi Dimitar, thanks for the report. Could you log this in our issue tracker (the link is above) and give us details of your server, Moodle version and whether you have installed any other new plugins recently? The code runs fine on our systems (Windows / Linux, MySQL / Postgres) so it would be hard to know what the problem is from just the information you gave so far. You could also turn developer debugging on and press F12 and check for errors on the Network tab and include this information.
  • Picture of Dimitar Kanev
    Sat, 6 Jun 2015, 1:31 AM
    Hello, Barry! Problem is solved on my Moodle 2.8. Permissions on files were 666 and this returns an error: file is writable by others. I changed them to 644 and now everything is fine. Thanks again for the great plugin!
  • Picture of Barry Oosthuizen
    Wed, 18 Nov 2015, 9:45 PM
    I have updated the UI of the form a bit (See attached screenshot). For editing teachers / admins there is now a progress bar (similar to the progress bar found in the core backup / import screens) at the top and instance info and options lists are now displayed in tables thereby improving readability and making the process clearer.
  • Lina
    Wed, 8 Jun 2016, 4:41 PM
    Dear Developers,
    Many thanks for sharing this wonderful plugins with us. The auto allocation is really a good idea. And it is also easy for us to export the result into an excel.
    But after I installed this plugin in the latest version of Moodle, I found the allocation form is always waiting for process and no result comes out.
    Following is the version information of our environment:
    Version: 3.1 (2016052300)
    Release: 05.23.2016
    PHP: 5.6.20
    MySQL: 5.7.12

    Could you help with this issue?
    Many thanks.
    Best wishes,
  • Lina
    Tue, 28 Jun 2016, 2:55 PM
    Hi Barry. Many thanks for providing this plugin to the community; its functionality is really appreciated by our staff and students, and we’re really grateful to you for your efforts to maintain and update it.

    On that note, please could I quickly query whether you have any plans to update the plugin to be fully compatible with Moodle v3.1, and its new Global Search feature in particular? To clarify: while we’ve tested the Allocation form plugin under v3.1 and all of the core functionality seems to work fine, we’ve found that instances of the activity are not searchable via v3.1’s Global Search feature. Please see the following screenshot for details, which lists all of the available areas that can searched under v3.1 (note that these settings are available via: Site Administration -> Plugins -> Search -> Manage Global Search):

    Note also that the above screenshot was taken on a v3.1 system where the Allocation form plugin is installed and available. However, as you can see, the Allocation form activity is not listed as being available to be searched. Obviously, this is likely to be a significant problem/cause of confusion for users who might want to search for specific instances of the Allocation form activity across Moodle.

    I’m not a developer, but my understanding is that mod plugins can be made searchable relatively easily via the addition of a new search class within the plugin’s codebase (located at ../classes/search/activity.php). Please see the following for further details:

    We really hope this search capability can be added to Allocation form as I’m sure it would be a huge benefit to our users (as well as those of other v3.1 systems) and, again, many thanks for all your efforts to develop this plugin and share it with the community.

    Best wishes,
  • University of Nottingham
    Wed, 29 Jun 2016, 8:09 PM
    Short answer: During the first half of 2017
    Long Answer: The University of Nottingham plan to upgrade to a 3.x version of Moodle for our academic year 17-18 (by Sept 2017). Therefore we will fix any issues on 3.x as part of our upgrade preparation. This usually takes place Jan-Apr.
  • Lina
    Thu, 7 Jul 2016, 2:32 PM
    Thanks a lot for the reply and we will be looking forward to the new release.
    Best wishes,
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