Activities ::: mod_diary
Maintained by AL Rachels
Diary is based on a highly modified version of the Journal plugin. It allows a user to create one or more entries for almost any day. Each entry can be individually rated, with results being shown based on the selected aggregate type of rating. If the, Edit all, setting is enabled, the user can edit any entry. When, Edit all, is disabled, the user can edit only the entry for the current day. If the, Edit entry dates, setting is enabled, the user can create one or more entries for almost any date. If it is disabled, the user can create only one entry on a new calendar day. Weekly course format can use the, Days available, setting to control entry edit access. Open time and Close time, can be used for other course formats, to control entry edit access. When a Diary is closed but accessed by the user, it will automatically display all entries made by the user, along with the rating as well as the date and time the activity was closed for editing. A teacher can still rate and provide feedback to entries when a Diary is closed for editing. Diary now includes new tool buttons on the report page for, Sort ascending, and, Sort descending, as well as the diary name and sort order label.
Latest release:
420 sites
16 fans
Current versions available: 1

The Diary plugin is based off the Journal plugin, but with many more additions and capabilities added. Instead of a single entry, users can start a new entry each calendar day. If enabled, they can go back and edit any previous entry. Also, if enabled, they can edit the date of any entry, which means they can add an entry for previously missed dates. This ALSO means you can make multiple entries for any given day. If, edit dates, is NOT enabled, and a user tries to change the hidden, time created, the attempt will be blocked, an entry put into the logs, and a notice placed in the feedback area for the teacher to see.

There are now three combinations of word count and character count. Raw includes all the hidden formatting and tags. Clean strips all the extra hidden stuff and spaces to give a truer word count. The standardized word count is based on every five characters typed. It will help point out whether the user is using too many small words.

Diary uses individual grades for rating each entry, and uses the Moodle Rating system for grades in the Moodle grade book. All the standard rating methods are supported. The user view lists the rating type and the current rating. The teacher report view, also lists the rating type and the current rating for each user, in their entry.

When the teacher goes to the report page to grade entries, just like the Journal plugin, they only see the most recently created entry from each user. This is to help prevent a very long page scroll. Diary also uses Groups to help shorten the page. To help prevent extra scrolling, a save all feedback and return button is included between each entry. With the v3.1.1 release, on the report page, there is now a link for each student that will let the teacher see all of the entries for the selected student. Each of the entries can be graded and feedback text added. Once the teacher is finished, click Save all feedback will update the data for each entry that was changed. If the teacher does not want to make changes, there is a button to take them back to the regular report page.

At the top of both the view and report pages, their is a tool bar. On the normal view page, the toolbar is hidden until the user makes at least one diary entry and saves it. The download results depends upon the user. A regular user (student) can download only their dairy entries, while teachers get everyone's entries.

The edit tool (pencil) opens for editing the entry at the top of the view page, and on the report page, it gets the current diary entry for marking.

Each of the directional arrows, sorts the list of entries on the view and report pages. If a teacher has skipped a day or two of grading, they will need to sort for, Lowest rated entries, to get entries they haven't marked yet. Or, even better, use the new link after their name on the report page, Get all Diary entries for this user. The resulting page will allow you to rate and provide feedback for any entry made by the selected user.

If the course format is set to, Weekly, the Days available, setting can be used to control how many days a Diary activity will be available for adding/editing entries. For weekly and any other course format, the Open time and Close time settings can be used to control when a Diary activity is available for adding/editing entries. If a diary activity is not open for adding/editing entries, previously made entries can still be read by the user, and the teacher can still grade entries.


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AL Rachels (Lead maintainer)
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  • Sat, Oct 10, 2020, 11:53 PM
    Been doing a lot of work on this plugin since its release last month, which means I have changed the version pretty often. I have not made a new release every time as some of the versions were just due to being a convenient stopping point for my workday, while keeping the code in a way that makes it easy for me to go back to an earlier version, if I need to. I still have a bunch of tickets open on my tracker system, that I will implement as soon as I have time. The current version 2.0.0 has finally fixed the backup and restore process to include Diary ratings, I consider to be fairly important, hence the new release.
  • Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 12:28 AM
    Just released Diary v2.1.1 and the changes in it need some new pictures. I will try to get them added by tomorrow, as I need to take care of family health problems right now.
  • Sat, Nov 21, 2020, 10:02 PM
    This plugin is great for my students in Language Arts, I will give it a try... it needs some tweaks, but could work!
  • Wed, Nov 25, 2020, 4:33 AM
    Hi there. Could a teacher leave verbal feedback (audio recording using atto editor)?
  • Thu, Nov 26, 2020, 12:34 AM
    This is not possible at the present time. This would need a major rewrite of Diary code to use the Atto editor for entering teacher feedback. Same answer for your question over in the Journal forum.
  • Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 2:09 PM
    How to enable opentime amd closetime as default in this plugin
  • Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 12:50 AM
    If it can be done, it would require a significant rewrite and testing of the Diary plugin settings page. No promises, but I will add it to my TODO list of things to try out, but I am currently working on some other items
  • Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 4:48 AM
    I have just created a Diary V3.1.1, but I have to quit for the day right now and do not have time to post it here. It is available on github, for anyone interested. Big new addition to Diary is the capability for the teacher to see a report that lists all the entries for an individual user. The teacher can change the grade and provide feedback to one, some, or all entries from the new page, and the data will all be saved by clicking on Save all feedback.
  • Fri, Dec 25, 2020, 2:26 AM
    Diary V3.1.1 is now available for download.
  • Wazza
    Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 6:03 PM
    When we click on 'view X diary entries' we also see course participants that do not have the role 'student' in the course. Is it possible to show only the users with the role 'student'? We have several site-managers poping up in this list, which is confusing for teachers.
  • Thu, Mar 4, 2021, 1:00 AM
    Hi Richard,
    I thought about excluding everyone but students, but that limits the ways and or people who can use Diary, and then also have someone look at and provide feedback regarding what the user has written. I finally settled on adding group capability, and then set the course to use visible or separate groups. I then place all admins, managers, and teachers into a Management group and all students in some other group or groups. This makes it so the teacher only sees the names and or writing of "management" personnel when they actively chose to look at it.
  • Wed, Jun 16, 2021, 5:20 PM
    My students love the diary activity. However, they are getting error messages with the upgrade to 3.11. I wish I knew how to downgrade but not lose their work.
  • Wed, Jun 16, 2021, 10:32 PM
    Hmm, I was finally able to duplicate being unable to save and have come up with a temporary fix. Edit the Diary activity and in the, Availability, section change the, Edit entry dates, to Yes. This should allow your students to save their work and I will try to come up with a permanent fix ASAP.
  • Sun, Jun 27, 2021, 2:32 AM
    For anyone interested, the latest Diary v3.4.1 fixes the problem experienced by Dr. Nellie Deutsch's students.

    While working on it, I finally took the time to check out the, Essay (autograde) quiz question type and I really like all the extra statistics details given when an essay is graded. I have been working on adding some of the same capability to the Diary plugin. I still have a lot of work to do, plus it will be broken up into stages. If you want to see the current development, head over to: http://www.drachels.com/moodle311/login/index.php, and look in the Diary Development course. Please leave comments there, whether good or bad.
  • Sun, Aug 15, 2021, 11:54 PM
    Hi Vineeth K, I finally had a chance to look at your request to, enable opentime amd closetime as default, and have decided NOT to do it, because it will NOT save you any time and effort. It would require the teacher to look at and manipulate the Open time and Close time setting anyway when creating a new diary activity.
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