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Activities: Aspire resource list

mod_aspirelist
Maintained by Picture of Tony Butler Tony Butler, Picture of Ruslan Kabalin Ruslan Kabalin
The Aspire resource list module enables a teacher to include a selection of resources from associated Talis Aspire resource lists directly within the content of their course. Please note that this plugin depends on a paid subscription to the Talis Aspire reading lists service (http://campus.talisaspire.com/).
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The Aspire resource list module enables a teacher to include a selection of resources from associated Talis Aspire resource lists directly within the content of their course.

The resource list can be displayed either in a separate, linked page, or embedded in the course page itself (hidden initially, with a link to toggle visibility).

The development of this module was based on previous work by the University of Sussex and Falmouth Exeter Plus (on behalf of Falmouth University).

Please note that this plugin depends on a paid subscription to the Talis Aspire reading lists service.

Screenshots

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Contributors

Picture of Tony Butler
Tony Butler (Lead maintainer)
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  • Picture of Tony Butler
    Wed, Jun 17, 2015, 7:32 PM
    Hi Tom,

    Yes, as you said there is no API available so the plugin uses XPath queries to scrape the data from the reading list pages. I don't think it uses the TOCs because I found that this wasn't entirely reliable, so it just queries the actual lists themselves.

    And yes, it is of some concern that Talis could just change the structure of the list pages completely, but I would find out about it pretty damn quickly (my institution uses this plugin extensively) and hopefully it wouldn't take too long to update the queries to reflect the new structure. If you look at locallib.php you'll see that I've tried to keep the queries for the different list elements separated out into their own functions, so it's possible that the whole thing wouldn't break all at once, and I could quickly amend the bits that needed fixing.

    Cheers,
    Tony
  • Picture of Jon Bolton
    Mon, Sep 21, 2015, 2:28 AM
    Hi - love this plugin, works straight out of the box! One question though - can I include a specific list that is not linked to a module code? It seems to be reliant on course id or shortname. I see the custom db option, but not sure what I would need to include in that to retrieve a specific list.
  • Picture of Tony Butler
    Mon, Sep 21, 2015, 6:06 PM
    Thanks Jon.

    Every list needs to be linked to an Aspire 'Knowledge group' code (which in our case always seems to be a module) in order to be available to the plugin. That module/unit/course/whatever code then needs to be associated with a Moodle course according to the plugin's admin configuration settings. In our case we have an additional table in our Moodle database, populated by our student information system integration, which has three columns: id, taliscode and courseid -- enabling us to map Aspire module codes to Moodle course IDs very simply, with a many-to-many relationship. This is the reason for the 'custom table' option, although I suspect we may be the only institution using it. Most people just have the codes somewhere in their course idnumber or shortname fields. Bear in mind though, that this doesn't limit you to a one-to-one relationship -- nor does it mean that the entire idnumber or shortname needs to be the Aspire code -- because you can define a regular expression to pattern-match the codes, and this supports multiple matches per field. (If you need any help with the regex syntax, please let me know).

    If you simply have a generic list in Aspire that doesn't really belong to any particular course or module, your best bet would be to speak to your library staff or whoever deals with creating Talis codes. In our case for example, although most of the codes are actual module codes, presumably auto-generated by our student information system, our library staff are still able to manually create 'fake' codes to link generic lists into. They would just need to ensure that the codes were different enough to not conflict with any real codes (either existing or likely to be auto-generated in the future) but also similar enough to match your regex patterns, if used.

    Hope this answers your question.

    Cheers,
    Tony
  • Picture of Jon Bolton
    Mon, Sep 21, 2015, 9:43 PM
    Brilliant - thanks Tony! Your comprehensive reply is very much appreciated smile
  • Picture of Ijaz Hussain
    Tue, Aug 9, 2016, 8:43 PM
    Hi Tony
    Can we use this plugin with https Talis Aspire URL. currently our tenancy on https . i am getting error "Sorry, there are no resource lists associated with this course."
    moodle 2.7 and plugin version = 2015012107. Talis Aspire Block working fine of same course
    Thanx
  • Picture of Tony Butler
    Tue, Aug 9, 2016, 9:26 PM
    Hi Ijaz,

    It should work fine with a tenancy that has an HTTPS alias but in the config you still need to enter your Aspire base (HTTP) URL (ask your librarian if you don't know it).

    If you've already done that, please PM me a screen shot of your config page and I'll look into it.

    Cheers,
    Tony
  • Picture of Ijaz Hussain
    Tue, Aug 9, 2016, 10:03 PM
    Hi Tony
    library gave me two URLs , with http and https. i using both of them in Talis Aspire block and working fine there but no luck here
  • Picture of Tony Butler
    Wed, Aug 10, 2016, 12:17 AM
    Issue resolved via email (missing regex delimiters if it helps anyone).
  • Picture of Jon Bolton
    Fri, Aug 12, 2016, 11:49 PM
    Would it be possible to add 'School' as one of the options for the 'Knowledge group' code... he asked, very hopefully smile
    It is a valid node type on the Talis Aspire hierarchy data format if that helps.
  • Picture of Tony Butler
    Fri, Aug 12, 2016, 11:52 PM
    Yes, I can do that. Are there any others missing?
  • Picture of Jon Bolton
    Sat, Aug 13, 2016, 12:14 AM
    You’re amazing smile
    The valid nodes are at http://support.talis.com/hc/en-us/articles/205860631-Hierarchy-data-format - but I doubt they all need to be in.
  • Picture of Tony Butler
    Fri, Aug 19, 2016, 6:31 AM
    I've added them all anyway, just in case. If you're a Git user, you can cherry-pick the commit at https://github.com/tonyjbutler/moodle-mod_aspirelist/commit/5d16783db1e85b35741a42213f8d76461d51337a. Otherwise let me know and I'll create a new release.
  • Picture of Jon Bolton
    Fri, Aug 19, 2016, 12:55 PM
    Got it, thanks. All working perfectly smile
    Thank you so much, *really* appreciated.
  • Picture of Jon Bolton
    Sun, Aug 21, 2016, 4:42 PM
    Tony - this is exactly what I needed, and working really well. I’ve sent you a small token of appreciation by email.
  • Picture of Tony Butler
    Sun, Aug 21, 2016, 5:32 PM
    Thanks Jon! That's very kind. smile
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