CLAMP Recognition Awards Announcement for 2013-14

The CLAMP Steering Committee is proud to announce the 2013-2014 winners of the CLAMP Recognition Awards. These awards are given annually to honor outstanding work by members of the CLAMP community.

Jason Bennett has participated in CLAMP since around the time of its inception. He has maintained frequent presence at Hack/Doc events, participated in CLAMP steering committee meetings, and actively provides support, insight, and community discussion on the CLAMP Moodle Exchange forums. His attention to detail, eagerness to take on tasks, and communication skills have made an impact on CLAMP’s documentation and testing efforts. Jason is an instructional technologist at Kenyon College in Gambier, OH.

Kevin Wiliarty has participated in CLAMP for several years. He has become an active member of the development community and committee, maintained frequent presence at Hack/Doc events, and maintained an active presence on the CLAMP Moodle Exchange forums. In addition, he has contributed many patches back to core. Kevin helped organize and hosted the first-ever CLAMP Development Workshop at Smith College and provided expert assistance there. When the Filtered Course List block needed a new maintainer Kevin took ownership and immediately improved the block’s functionality, addressing deferred maintenance and implementing new features. Kevin is an applications administrator at Smith College in Northampton, MA, prior to which he was an active CLAMP member at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.

About the Awards

The CLAMP Recognition Awards are awarded annually to one programmer (e.g.; hacker) and one instructional technologist (e.g.; doc’er) to acknowledge outstanding achievement as members of the organization. These achievements include work on Moodle development, Moodle documentation, CLAMP organization and/or recruitment to CLAMP.

In 2013-14, the value of this award is $500. Learn more about the awards at CLAMP-IT.org.

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CLAMP’s Moodle 2.6 and Moodle 2.7 recommendations

CLAMP is pleased to endorse Moodle 2.6.x and Moodle 2.7.x for use during the 2014-15 academic year.

Moodle 2.6′s new features were reviewed and documented as part of Moodle Hack/Doc Fest, Winter 2014 at Eckerd College. View CLAMP’s documentation.

Moodle 2.7′s new features were reviewed and documented as part of Moodle Hack/Doc Fest, Summer 2014 at Macalester College. That documentation is being edited, and will be released later this summer.

These endorsements come with a few caveats:

1. New WYSIWYG Editor: Moodle 2.7.x introduces Atto as its default What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get editor, replacing TinyMCE. By default the editor has a far more streamlined set of options than TinyMCE. It is possible to have Moodle continue to use TinyMCE, but that use is deprecated. It’s also possible to enable additional features for Atto beyond the default functionality; see the Text Editor documentation (http://docs.moodle.org/27/en/Text_editor) for details. We recommend testing this editor on your local development installation before deploying to production.

2. Problems with right-to-left text rendering: Related to the text editor, Atto has no mechanism for creating a span of right to left running text in a left to right running paragraph or vice versa. Users would need this if they were quoting another language inline or referencing the title of a book published in another language. This issue is unresolved — see MDL-45953 for more information (https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-45953). This is a potential blocker for colleges that make heavy use of right-to-left languages.

3. PDF Annotation: Moodle 2.6.x and 2.7.x support PDF Annotation. In our experience this worked well enough in desktop web browsers, but did not work well on tablets. This is not a blocker, but tablet-using faculty should be aware of the problem.

Liberal Arts Editions

CLAMP has released Liberal Arts Editions of Moodle 2.6.4 and Moodle 2.7.1. Learn more about the releases.

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New Moodle LAE Releases for 2.4.11, 2.5.7, 2.6.4, 2.7.1

There are four new CLAMP releases. This is the initial release on the 2.7 branch. The 2.7, 2.6 and 2.5 releases include an updated version of the Edit Dates report; the 2.7 and 2.6 releases includes an updated Filtered Course List block. Please see this blog post for details. The 2.4 release is a maintenance release only and is the final release on the 2.4 branch. Please note that the 2.6 and 2.7 releases also include an important change to Quickmail described in a related blog post. We highly encourage you to read that post before installing the 2.6 or 2.7 release. We anticipate removing “old” Quickmail in 2.8.

You can download the updates from their project pages:

The next stable releases on the 2.5, 2.6 and 2.7 branches are slated for September 15. I would like to thank Willy Lee (Carleton College) and Kevin Wiliarty (Smith College) for packaging and testing this set of releases.

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Update to Filtered Course List

Version 2.4 of “Filtered course list” (for Moodle 2.6 or higher) introduces a number of fixes and enhancements. In the final phase of the upgrade you will be shown the “new settings,” but it is important to look at the new and the old settings together, so be sure to look at the block configuration once the upgrade is complete.

Note, too, that the default display name of the block has changed from “Current courses list” to “Filtered course list.” If you want to use the old title (or anything else), you can edit the title by turning editing on and clicking on the block’s gear icon.

The changelog includes:

  • Fixes style issues for the Clean family of themes
  • Introduces better handling for sites with one category but many courses
  • Allows admin to edit the display title
  • Allows category based display, including subcategory logic
  • Allows admin to see ‘own courses’ instead of all courses
  • Allows optional ‘other courses’ catch-all category
  • Allows admins to define up to ten custom rubrics to match shortcodes against
  • Allows admins to hide the block from guests
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CANCELLED: Presentations at Moodle Hack/Doc Fest at Macalester College

We will have a number of lunchtime presentations at Moodle Hack/Doc Fest at Macalester College, including topics such as “Development Workshop Roundup”, “Poodll Plugin”, and “Review of Gradebook 2.8 Workshop”.

UPDATE: Because of scheduling difficulties, we’re canceling the lunchtime presentations. We will attempt to reschedule the presentations — particularly Gradebook — as online presentations later this summer. 

All times are Central Daylight Time (CDT). The presentations will be available with a 7-second delay via YouTube and live via a Google+ Hangout.

More presentations will be added, so please keep an eye on this page for updates. Continue reading

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