As the final day of Hack/Doc Fest at Butler wrapped up the team continued its accessibility work, reviewed the course overview plugin, and discussed our upcoming Moodle 3.1 recommendation.
On Day 2 we created a long “scroll of death” course with numerous accessibility issues baked in. On Day 3 we began building out the improved versions of this course using stock Moodle, the grid course format, and the collapsed topics course format.
Work on the courses will continue beyond Hack/Doc. Next steps include:
- Evaluating the updated courses with various accessibility tools to verify that we truly fixed all the problems.
- Writing a blog post describing the various issues with the badly-designed version and how they were addressed in the fixed ones.
- Publishing the courses to a “Moodle Museum” category in the CLAMP Moodle Exchange.
In addition we discussed having a having a “Moodle Accessibility” online hangout in July and contributing the example courses to Moodle core for use in their demo site.
Related to these efforts we looked at how to create an “accessibility” toggle for the Grid Course Format that lets users switch between the grid-style course and the default topics course. Issue #23 in the Grid format project discussed ways of doing this but it took some experimentation to make it a reality.
Our “Providing an accessible option to Grid Course Format” documentation explains how to do this.
Course Overview on Campus
Matt Wright from Butler University demonstrated their use of the Course Overview on Campus plugin. The plugin replaces the default “my courses” page with a dropdown that lets the user browse through all the course categories on the system. How the courses are listed (e.g. title, short code, teacher) is configurable. The list still includes course-specific action items (e.g. a course assignment needs review) but it is concealed in a collapsed content area by default.
The category selected is preserved between sessions, so if user choses the “Fall 2016” category it will be there waiting for them the next time they log in.
Working on a Moodle 3.1 Recommendation
We will be working on our recommendation for Moodle 3.1 over the next week and hope to have it published on June 29. At this point we don’t see any major blockers, but there are a few things (like annotation in the assignment submission view, whether to turn on the Competencies feature, and improvements to cron) that colleges should consider before upgrading.