Blocks: Progress Bar

block_progress
Maintained by My mug Michael de Raadt
A time management tool for you and your students
Picture of Gavin Henrick
Gavin Henrick
Sunday, 2 October 2011, 7:14 PM
General comments

This was one block that I really liked using with Moodle 1.9. It provided a simple visual queue to the progress of a user through the course materials.

What does it do?

The block provides a colour coded display of the required actions of a learner in a course. Each box represents an activity or resource that the student must read/complete. There is also an expected date aspect, so that a student can quickly see whether they have completed something or not and on time or not. This can really help guide a student in managing their time during completing the course.

Is it simple to install?

The zip holds one folder which contains the files for the block. Once you unzip, you need to upload the progress folder into your Moodle 2.0 blocks folder. When upgrading through the notifications page, it installed successfully. There was no new global settings for this block. The file is hosted on the Moodle Contrib site so you can download and/or browse the source code. 

Is there documentation for it?

The Moodle Docs page clearly outlines the key features and provides information how to install and configure the block. It also has a link to a demo video which is very helpful.

Is it easy for the teacher/admin to use?

It is straight forward to use. When you add the progress bar block it has no tracked events so you are prompted to configure it. On the configuration page for the block you can specify for each activity/resource whether they are tracked by the block, and how.
Different activities have different options for tracking, like assignments being submitted.

Is it easy for the learner/student to use?

The simple colour coding of each trackable event provides a nice instant view of where the student is in the course. The block also has options to use ticks and crosses to cater for colour blind students.
The blocks once configured have different colours namely:
Green = completed
Red = overdue
Blue = in the future
When the student mouses over the block they get extra information on the tracked item. According to the video the block helps retention of students, and I can understand why a student would want to “play the game” and turn it all green.

Does it do what it promises?

Yes, it is great to see the block delivering the same features as the earlier one but taking advantage of the Moodle 2.0 extra functionality. Nice job!