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Blocks: Supervised

Maintained by Picture of Oleg Sychev Oleg Sychev
This block allows teachers to plan and start supervised sessions in particular classroom, with particular group and of particular lesson type.

This block is devoted to track supervised sessions, where students work on the site in classroom under teacher (or staff) supervision. The session can have it's type (lesson type), classroom and group of students.

The classroom is defined via IP subnet, so students off class won't be recorded as participating in sessions.

The block allows you to see logs on what is going in each particular session.

More importantly, you can control students permissions, given them special abilities (like attempting exam quiz) only during supervised sessions. For now there is quiz access control rule, allowing you to restrict quiz access to supervised sessions. There will be more options later.


This plugin is part of set Student Access Control Kit.


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Picture of Oleg Sychev
Oleg Sychev (Lead maintainer): Idea, project leader
Picture of Andrey Ushakov
Andrey Ushakov: Implementation
Picture of Анастасия Поцелуйко
Анастасия Поцелуйко: Converting to new logging, maintainer
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  • Picture of Oleg Sychev
    Sat, Mar 29, 2014, 3:38 AM
    Hi, Aparup (and others).
    One of my first contributions that is not entirely for the questions.
    I hope you can fast look and approve it, we already use it in production site on the course with 100+ students - it should not have many problems.

    Also, please create a new plugins set named "Student Access Control Kit" and add there this block and its access rule There will be more plugins for it later, so I don't want "supervised" as a name of set.
  • Anthony Borrow
    Sun, Mar 30, 2014, 1:45 PM

    Many thanks for sharing this plugin with the Moodle community.

    For the source code URL I think it would be better if it were:
    that way it allows folks to browse the particular code for this plugin.

    I was able to install the plugin but did not do much to test the functionality but trust that since you are using it in production that it is actually working as intended.

    I noticed that your plugin is storing its settings in the mdl_config table rather than the mdl_config_plugins table. In order to avoid what I call $CFG bloat, it is recommended to use get_config to pull the data out of mdl_config_plugins. I would suggest modifying your settings.php and changing things like block_supervised_session_duration to block_supervised/session_duration.

    Overall, I am not clear about the concept of Lesson Types and how that is used. My initial impression is that this block and the quiz access rule that you created allows you to restrict the time and IP addresses for which students can access a quiz; however, I believe that this can already be done with core. Might you explain how you envision this being used and the additional functionality that it adds. I realize that you have other plugins coming but I think some more explanation may be helpful. What happens if a student is taking a quiz and the session expires before they submit their answers? When you speak of groups, are you referring to Moodle groups/groupings functionality?

    Regarding logs, you may want to have a look at

    Please consider adding screenshot of your plugin to help folks get an idea of what it looks like when installed.

    I will create the set with the desired name. Do you have any suggestions for the description of that set?

    For now, I am going to mark this plugin as needing more work until we get these issue resolved. Thanks for your patience with the review and approval process. Please do not hesitate to let me know if there is anything I can do to be supportive of your efforts. Peace - Anthony
  • Picture of Oleg Sychev
    Sun, Mar 30, 2014, 7:16 PM
    Hi, Anthony.
    We already have this discussion about source code URL link. You can't insert you link in the source control system and get code - and link is "source control", not "source code" (as source code can be downloaded from Moodle site).

    I will consider moving settings in mdl_config_plugins, thought it would be better to leave it for the next release, as now I'm quite busy and this release is long overdue.

    You can use block and rule completely without lesson types and not notice it, it's just there for when you need it. You a correct that this could be done with core, but usability is in question. Consider just one our course - 7 quizzes, which one is available from some lesson only in class. If student failed, he can try quiz next lessons, so last lessons should make available all 7 quizzes. Imagine youself editing date/time availability (and IP too, in case you have several computer classes, so each time you should change quiz only to the current class) of the 7 quizzes at the start of each lesson (several groups of students, so each lesson start several times). It can be done theoretically, but with the amount of effort - we never were able to do this actually. With this block you can set which quizz should be on which lesson (and enter IP range of each class just one time), and then just click "start lesson" on the course page - all quizzes become available to the students; "end lesson" - all become unavailable. (Sometimes big classes are used and there are actually two groups in class, that is time where group filtering is useful - and yes, they are usual Moodle groups, I would use another word if that would be something another.) That alone is quite a gain. Also teacher could look a logs for each lesson, filtered from all that was in the course at a time, which is useful when you have assistants on you labs instead of managing them all personally. And as I said, there will be more.

    Thanks for the link to the logs, but Moodle docs link there tells "a new logging system is being introduced in Moodle 2.7. ", so converting logs should be done in the 2.7 release of the block, not in this 2.6 one.

    I'll certainly add a screenshots, thought those on the Moodle docs should be sufficient and screenshots could be added at any moment. Should it really block the availability of the module?

    "What happens if a student is taking a quiz and the session expires before they submit their answers?" - this is coded in quiz module, quiz access rule just tells if access allowed or not. I have no control on this, it's Tim Hunt's code. AFAIK answers will be submitted, but grade automatically nulled. Teacher could prolong their lesson any time from the course page if needed however. And if teacher end lesson with students still doing quiz, he probaly mean it.

    So, now, apart from using mdl_config_plugins table, are there any other problems really blocking the release? (i.e. ones, that you require to solve before you'll made plugin available?)

    Proposed description of the set:
    Student Access Control Kit (SACK) project is a set of co-operaing plugins, developed at Volgograd State Technical University, dedicated to easy management on what exactly you students can or can not do on you Moodle site under current circumstances. It mainly useful when you use Moodle for summative works, leading to real grades. Do not want to tune date, time and IP range of current classroom in the quiz before each lesson? Do not want you students to use Moodle messaging during exam quiz, but allow it otherwise? These plugins will help you automate these tasks!
    Currently available and developed plugins:
    * block Supervised (released) - track supervised sessions (i.e. intervals of time, where some teacher in some class supervise students doing their work on the site);
    * quiz access rule Supervised Check (released) - allows you to restrict some quizzes only to supervised sessions;
    * block Auto Role Assignment (in development) - allows you to change student's roles on some events (like attempting a quiz, or taking part in the supervised session).
    There may be more plugins available later.
  • Picture of Oleg Sychev
    Sun, Mar 30, 2014, 7:34 PM
    I wrote a question about links - maybe we can hear some third opinion on them. "Thanks for your patience with the review and approval process." - as if I have any choice in the matter ;)
  • Anthony Borrow
    Mon, Mar 31, 2014, 9:29 AM
    Oleg - Thanks for raising the source control url question in the forums. I mentioned the logs only because I noticed code and simply wanted to alert you to it for the future. You are correct, no immediate action required. Screenshots are encouraged but will not block approval. I have created the set and tagged both plugins as being part of that set. Peace - Anthony
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