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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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Moodle 2.7, 2.8

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.

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Contributors

Picture of Tony Butler
Tony Butler (Lead maintainer)
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  • Picture of David Mudrák
    Wed, Jul 2, 2014, 7:30 PM
    Hi Tony. Thanks for sharing this plugin with the community. Let me suggest it is highlighted in the description field of the plugin record here (and in your README file as well probably) that the plugin depends on a subscription based service with a link, just to avoid accidental confusion.

    The code itself is very clean and follows the guidelines. It meets quite high quality standards and your experiences with Moodle development are evident. I'm happy to say you're cleared to land - welcome to the Plugins directory! Good luck with maintaining this.
  • Picture of David Mudrák
    Wed, Jul 2, 2014, 7:32 PM
    Please note that the AMOS parser does not support the string concatenation operator in the strings file. As such, your plugin's strings could not be registered yet. Once a new version is uploaded, the strings should get registered with AMOS automatically.
  • Picture of Tom Readings
    Wed, Jun 17, 2015, 6:51 PM
    Hello Tony, I have not studied your plugin in depth, but at the time I wrote the Falmouth contribution the Sussex implementation I updated was reliant on a degree of web scraping (via the hidden talis 'toc') to get reading list sections etc. Could I ask if this is still the case?

    I would really like to use the functionality offered by this module, but I know that Talis are pushing their LTI (iframe) based approach, and am concerned that changes to their reading list pages might break this method in the future. I did ask if they could provide a simple reading list API, which would allow us to make this more robust, but they declined.
  • 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
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