Work on the task list continued during Day 2 of the Winter 2021 Moodle Hack/Doc Fest as our attendees juggled Moodle and the meetings from which Hack/Doc no longer provides any escape.
From the task list
Core has continued its improvements to the participants page. You can now filter participants using various criteria such as enrollment method, role, status, keyword, and group membership (if the course has groups). You can also chain filters together using OR or AND, but not a mixture. One weird aspect is that once you select a filter field (eg, Role, Enrollment Method), you can’t change that directly from the dropdown — you have to delete the filter row and recreate.
The activity chooser is configurable now. It supports a tabbed interface with five groupings: Starred, All, Activities, Resources, and Recommended. Starred is per-user, similar to starred courses. Recommended is defined by the site administrator, allowing you to promote certain activities and resources over others.
Go to top
There is now a “go to the top of the page” button. This can help with the “scroll of doom” problem on very long courses. We tested it on desktop, mobile, and tablet environments:
- On the desktop and iPad, the Go to top button only appears when you’ve scrolled a lengthy enough distance AND only when you’ve reached the bottom.
- On mobile, the Go to top button only appears when you’ve scrolled a lengthy enough distance AND only when you’ve reached the bottom. The button sometimes doesn’t display when you’ve hit the bottom. For instance, when Safari hides its bottom navigation toolbar to give a full-screen view, the button didn’t always display.
Scrolling timer for your quiz
Moodle 3.10 adds a scrolling timer for quizzes. The timer displays as a timer inside of a red box within the quiz. It doesn’t disappear until the quiz is submitted. It stays at the top of the screen even as you scroll through a page of questions. With 16 seconds remaining, the timer begins displaying a red background and gets darker each second. With 6 seconds remaining, the text changes to white and the background gets even deeper red. We did think the default styling could be improved.
Previous activity with completion
As of Moodle 3.9, it is possible to base restricted access on the completion of the “previous activity with completion“. Rather than specifying an activity by name, you can now effectively specify “the one before this one.” When editing is on, the teacher can see whether the dependency is absolute (a specific activity) or relative (the previous activity). If there is no previous activity, Moodle will tell us that we are missing a referent. This is calculated without regard for activity visibility. There are various reasons why an individual student might not see an activity: the activity could be hidden or it could be accessible only to students in a certain group. The option to base dependency on a previous activity with completion does not appear until the course has at least one activity with completion.
Better task management
Moodle 3.10 adds a “Tasks running now” link in the Site Administration > Server > Tasks page. This is useful for checking long running tasks or potentially correlate system slowness with background task processing. There is an AJAX refresh button on this screen. There is also now in Site Administration > Server Tasks > Task Processing the option to disable cron from the interface. This would be useful when doing maintenance tasks.
Moodle 3.9 added the ability to “copy” or duplicate courses from the web interface. This uses the ad-hoc task and backup functionality and therefore requires that corn is enabled and that you not alter the course once you trigger the copy. By default, this feature is restricted to managers and administrators. It does not enforce naming conventions, unlike Course merge helper and similar plugins. Our impression is that copying a course is faster than importing a course. We think a good use case would for copying template courses in non-for-credit scenarios, such as committees or student groups. It does bring over grade book weighting, and you can choose whether to copy user data. For those schools that use the templated course creation plugin, these two features do not conflict, because this feature does not trigger the course creation event.