Category: Hack/Doc Fest at Hampshire

Deadlines approaching for Moodle Hack/Doc Fest, Summer 2017

This summer’s Moodle Hack/Doc Fest at Hampshire College is coming up fast. The event will be held Wednesday, June 21 through Friday, June 23, 2017 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. A pre-Hack/Doc documentation and coding sprint will be held Tuesday, June 20, 2017. The registration deadline is Thursday, June 1, 2017.

For this first time, CLAMP is making travel grants available for attendees. CLAMP will reimburse an applicant’s institution for travel costs of up to $500. CLAMP will make three grants available for each Hack/Doc event. Any employee of a liberal arts institution with significant responsibility for supporting or maintaining Moodle is eligible to apply. Preference will be given to first-time participants in a CLAMP Hack/Doc, applicants from schools which have never participated in a Hack/Doc before, and to applicants affiliated with institutional CLAMP members. Please see the CLAMP website for more information. The deadline to apply for a travel grant is May 10, 2017.

CLAMP has arranged lodging at the University Lodge and Holiday Inn Express. The deadline for lodging is Saturday, May 20, 2017.

Please see for complete information about the event or register using the online form. If you have questions about the event, please contact Sarah Ryder ( or Charles Fulton (

Moodle Hack/Doc Fest, 6/29/11: Day 2

Day 2 of Moodle Hack/Doc saw two ad hoc presentations, one on Luther College’s Moodle/Google integration and another on Williams College’s Signup Sheet and Roster block tools. There was also work to streamline the functioning of groupings and groups, documentation comparing features in Moodle 1.9 and 2.1, and analysis of Moodle’s new 1.9 import tool.

Morsle: Morsle is Luther’s College’s tool for integrating Moodle and Google Apps for Education. Bob Puffer of Luther showed how iIt automatically includes Google calendars, allows faculty to email students from Google via Moodle, creates read only and read/write folders for sharing documents, and can create a class web site (which can be used as a wiki thanks to a template).

Signup and Roster: Chris Warren, of Williams College, demonstrated his Signup Sheet block, which is a possible replacement for the Scheduler module. It allows faculty and students to create signup sheets for events, such as office hours, advising sessions, class events, etc. The sheets are not tied to a specific class — instead the organizer can choose make the sheet available by course, by faculty, by specific users or by category. The sheet is also available for students, allowing them to create their own ad hoc events. Multiple splots can be created at recurring times, and the administriator will receive a notification when someone signs up.

He also demonstrated the Roster block, which provides a number of different views for viewing a class roster. This includes a photo gallery option with a learning more that disables the students names when viewing their photos.


On the coding side of things the Carleton College contingent continued working on their Language Lesson tool, which allows faculty to create lessons in which students record and submit audio. This time around they had support from doc’er and coders testing the app and helping to debug problems.

Course Imports from 1.9 to 2.0: Caroline Moore (Smith College) discovered that the Moodle 1.9->2.x course importer will not bring in orphaned files. Because Moodle 2.x associates every file with a resource (and Moodle 1.9 does not) any 1.9 files not associated with a resource will not be imported. This would include files that faculty had uploaded, but not shared with the class.

In addition, we discovered that imported courses:

* Don’t restore users.
* You can’t add any users until you set the course to manual enrollments (by default, there is no enrollment type)
* The Simple File Upload tool had created a simple_file resource type that Moodle 2.0 doesn’t recognize, so Simple Files don’t import into Moodle 2.1. This will be fixed by CLAMP to convert simple files to regular file resources.

Groupings: A tweak to allow groups to automatically create a grouping was created on Day 1. This is most useful when using groupings to restrict access to a particular resource in a course. However while this was a minor tweak, on Day 2 it inspired a huge debate in Moodle Tracker about the proper use of groupings, and the experimental nature of restricting accesses to resources. There was also discussion about whether its appropriate to restrict access to certain resources to a subset of a classes roster.

CLAMP schools brainstormed some user cases for this: wanting to make additional resources available for students who need it, restricting access to resources when Moodle is used for collaboration, rather than strictly education. You can contribute your own examples, and comment on the usefulness of this feature, in tracker:


Moodle 2.1 Documentation: On the documentation side of Hack/Doc, our first set of Moodle 2.1 documentation is now available via a publicly readable Google Docs folder. It’s linked to from the CLAMP Documentation page ( and is accessible at this web address:

File management: The doc’ers also began work on a document that compares file management in Moodle 1.9. vs. Moodle 2.0. Some of the terms and functionality have changed — for example the “files and web pages” resource has been divided into two separate resource types. In addition, the File Upload interface is very different, as is the logic behind the files. Files are no longer owned by a course — they are either owned by a user (private files) or a resource (resource files, such as a PDF or a link).

There is no easy way to upload one file have it be linked to from multiple courses (e.g. a CV that is uploaded to a single location, linked to from multiple courses, and then when you update the CV, all the locations are updated). While Moodle 2.x’s file system is much more efficient (as it does keep track of duplicate files, and only maintains one true copy, when copying files from course to course) most of the efficient gains are on the backend.

Liberal Arts Edition Documentation: Documentation was created for the LAE Grader Reports and for the Liberal Arts Edition “plain English” description.

Moodle Hack/Doc Fest, 6/28/11: Day 1

Moodle Hack/Doc Fest officially got underway on Tuesday, June 28th, 2011 It. was a packed day filled with Moodle 2.0 wrangling, documentation work, and demonstrations of Git, Language Lesson, and Amhert College’s flash audio solution.


Git for Version Control Moodle Core switched from CVS to Git for version control with Moodle 2.x. As such there’s a lot of interest among the developers about Git. Charles Fulton of Kalamazoo College provided us with an overview of the tool, which led to a further discussion of differences between Git and SVN as well as strategies for setting up repositories. The presentation is available online via Prezi.

Audio Recording Tools: Carleton College and Amherst College presented on their respective audio/video tools for Moodle. Carly Born presented on Carleton’s solution, called Language Lesson, lets faculty create assignments which allow students to record audio and video files via a plugin, and then submit those files to Moodle. The files can then be played back via Moodle, and commented on by the faculty member. They are in the process of adding the source code for the project to a branch in CLAMP’s SVN repository.

Howard Hanna (Amherst College) presented on their tool as well, which relies Flash to record audio and video as part of a forum response, and saves the file to a Flash Media Server.

Groupings: The devs created a new option for Moodle groups that automatically creates a grouping when you create a single group. This streamlines the group creation process for those who only need to create a single group. The code’s been developed for Moodle 2.0; they’re backporting it to Moodle 1.9. Learn more in tracker:

Upgrading modules and blocks to Moodle 2.0: We now have a document that outlines the process in Google Docs; Sarah Ryder will be presenting on the process at 11:30 p.m., Thursday.

Randomizer We’ve long wanted a tool that could take a course’s data and randomize it so we could share it with others for debugging. This capability is now built into the Moodle 2.1 export tool, and the devs confirmed it is working as expected.

Lesson The devs are working on an enhancement for Lesson (for Moodle 1.9 and 2.0) that prevents it from randomly shuffling the question list.

Signups Williams College will be presenting on their Sign-up tool (a potential replacement for Scheduler) and their People block (which includes a picture gallery view for course participants) at 1 p.m., Wednedsay afternoon.


On the documentation side of the event, much of the time was spent digging further into Moodle 2.0 and organizing existing documentation. They’ve begun creating feature and gripe lists to keep track of things they like and dislike in Moodle 2.0. Any bugs discovered are going into the Redmine tracker.

A contingent is working through the CLAMP Triage Google Doc verifying bugs in Moodle 1.9 and 2.0 for the Devs to tack. They also began discussions of how to publish documentation from Moodle.

The doc’ers have spent considerable time attempting to understand the File Management system in Moodle 2.0. They are creating a suggested workflow for faculty to add a resources to a course, and will be trying out the Link Repository type. Bren Campbell (Brandeis) will be presenting on file management at 1 p.m., Thursday.

New Issues for Rabble-rousing

We continue to add issues to the rabble-rousing queue. Check it out and vote for the issues that affect you: