- Moodle Add-ons - types and reasons why these are created.
- Installing a Desktop Moodle to Test Add-ons
- Evaluation of Add-ons
- Resources and activities
- Course tracking
- Course Administration
- Site Administration
- Course Formats
- Virtual Conferencing
In this blog entry, I'll share some of my favorite take-aways from Gavin and Michael's book, which they were kind enough to provide in non-DRM iPad ebook format. If you're wondering what my recommendation is, well, let me get to the point--buy this book if you're wondering how to enhance your Moodle.
My Favorite Take-Away
My favorite take-away of the book was the CSV Enrolment add-on, which answers a question a colleague asked me just last week. It "allows teachers to enrol users into a course by allowing a teacher to upload an csv file with only email addresses." Unbelievable how helpful this book has been.
- Discussion of Moodle Plugins Directory and the 17 high level types at http://moodle.org/plugins
- Moodle Twitter account for plugins - @moodleplugins
- Great discussion of how to use XAMPP to setup a desktop Moodle installation to test Add-ons.
- I love the quick overview of the structure of the Moodle installation, which includes the Moodle code, the Moodle data directory and the database used by Moodle.
- I wish there had been more in-depth discussion of Github.
- A detailed discussion of add-ons and what goes into developing them. This was more than I wanted to know but it is for that reason that this chapter is a must-read for add-on developers.
- Some of the featured add-ons--and the authors detail how to install each of these, discuss pros and cons of each--include the following:
- Book - The now classic and standard Book add-on is a top favorite.
- Skydrive Repository - Add MS Skydrive as a repository that can be accessed by Moodle.
- Record Audio Repository - allows one to record audio and "add it almost anywhere in a Moodle course."
- PoodLL - Language Learning add-on that add audio/video recording, whiteboard, drawing, and more.
- Urkund - anti-plagiarism add-on.
- Assignment PDF - annotate assignment submissions without leaving the browser.
- Course Menu Block
- Course Contents Block
- Jump to Navigation
- User Information Block - stats and info on users
- Checklist - displays progress related to activities and grade export
- Progress Bar
- Certificate (one of my favorite add-ons) - create certificates.
- Simple Clock Block
- User Contact Block - enables student to email a teacher via a contact form without revealing teacher's email.
- Unanswered Discussions - enables students to see their own unanswered discussions.
- Group Choice - enables students to join a group in a course.
- Group Self-Selection - enables students to join a group without teacher intervention.
- AJAX Marking Block - used to mark submissions across a number of courses.
- CSV Enrollment - makes it possible for teachers to enroll students via CSV. Wow, this is a great one, especially for a colleague of mine who is facing this issue with a teacher who needs to do this.
- Unique Login - prevents students from having multiple login instances--via different browsers--to a Moodle so as to prevent cheating.
- and, many more!
- One of the interesting inclusions was that of Course Formats add-on. I wasn't familiar with the Flexpage format. Per the book, it "allows teachers to create a flexible set of pages and sub-pages, where blocks and activities can be placed in any location on the page, instead of being restricted to the right, left, or centre columns." Cool!
- Virtual Classroom add-ons - this is a comprehensive list of solutions and was fun to read since I had no clue about some of these existing!
The Moodle Add-ons book was an incredibly easy read, well-organized and structured to facilitate a straightforward walk through a wide variety of ways to enhance Moodle. Not only did I see great add-ons that I've always used (in bold above), but also a few that I had not seen (in yellow highlight) and were explained well. I have to admit that Chapter 2 had me opening a tab to do a fresh install of Moodle (until I remembered I was on Linux).
There is a lot for everyone--Moodle course facilitators, site admins, developers--to enjoy in this well put-together collection of the best Moodle add-ons available.
Although you could find some of this information by perusing the Moodle Add-ons web site, this book will make appreciating the power of each add-on--and how to take advantage of it--a lot easier. It is well worth the price tag of approximately $35.00.
Check out Miguel's Workshop Materials online at http://mglearns.wikispaces.com
Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure