Tag: Docs Blog

Day 2 at Moodle Hack/Doc Fest, Winter 2012

Moodle Hack/Doc Fest at Tulane continued on Thursday, January 13, 2012. Here’s what we did:

OM Local

  • For the last few years we’ve been using the “OM” tool to quickly create new instances of Moodle based on code from our Git repository and pre-made database profiles. Daniel Landau (Reed College) has created a local version of this tool that can be run on Unix-based operating systems (Mac OS X, Linux)

Moodle 2.2 Documentation

  • CLAMP’s Moodle 2 documentation has been updated to reflect Moodle 2.2. View the documentation.
  • New documentation is being written for:
    • Time release of resources
    • Advanced Grading/Rubrics
  • New administration documentation is being written for the following repository types:
    • Flickr
    • Dropbox
    • Google Docs
    • Youtube


  • We evaluated rubrics, which seem to be working pretty well. There are some gotchas in terms of how grades are weighted, which will be covered in the documentation.


  • LSU quickmail works pretty darn well. Allows multiple attachments. Nice browse interface.
  • There is a bug involving the capabilities “can_send_mail” and “can_students_use_quickmail?” Depending on how these settings are configured, they may not work at all. Caroline Moore (Smith College) and Damon Blanchette (Smith College) is debugging this.


  • When exporting and restoring coures, Moodle 2 does a better job of relative linking so that the file links don’t break.
  • Private files: Is there a way to back up and restore private files? (a la course backups?) There doesn’t appear to be one. This could be an issue for colleges that run semester-based or academic year-based instances of Moodle, and want faculty to have access to their previous private files.
  • We questioned if private files should even be turned on, but weren’t sure what the implications of leaving it off would be. If nothing else, the mobile app expects mobile files to be on in order to upload images, audio, etc. to Moodle.


  • A major issue with Moodle enrollments under 2.0 was that student data — particularly grades — was lost when a student was unenrolled from a course and then re-enrolled (a not uncommon scenario).
  • Under Moodle 2.2, grades come back with the student, but only if you check a hidden advanced option to restore grades for that particularly student when re-enrolling them in the course.
  • We think there should be a system-level checkbox for administrators so that they can default this option to “yes”. This would allow Moodle 2.2 to operate as Moodle 1.9.x did.


  • IPAL Web-based Clickers by William Junkin, Eckerd College
    • William did a live presentation of his IPAL web-based clicker for Moodle 2.1.
    • Students can respond with any web-enabled device. During the presentation most used smartphones.
    • Responses arrive (and are displayed) in real time.
    • You can copy IPAL questions in from Questionnaire.
    • IPAL does not do grading, but there are folks who are working on that.
    • The interface currently only allows you to see current student responses; there isn’t an export tool for responses. The responses are stored in the database, so they could be retrieved for use in a report.
    • A version for 2.2 will be released; there is no 1.9 version.

New committees are looking for volunteers!

The Collaborative Liberal Arts Moodle Project (CLAMP) is launching several new committees and is looking for volunteers to serve on them. The goals of these committees are to support CLAMP’s efforts outside of our Hack/Doc Fests, help prepare our members for the jump to Moodle 2.0, and provide more opportunities to schools to participate in meaningful ways.

The four committees are:

  • Development: work on bug fixes, develop existing and new functionality, and support the release of Moodle: Liberal Arts Edition.
  • Documentation: Create and update generic Moodle documentation – including written, audio, and video –  that can easily be adapted to individual colleges.
  • Event Planning: Plan brown bag lunches, special talks, and the biannual Hack/Doc Fests.
  • Next Generation: research and prepare for the next major version of Moodle; today that’s Moodle 2.0, which has major changes to blocks, modules, themes, and core code.

Here’s the schedule of upcoming committee meetings:

  • Event Planning – Monday, Dec. 6, 2010 @ 2 p.m. EST
  • Documentation – Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010 @ 2 p.m. EST
  • Next Generation – Thursday, Dec 9, 2010 @ 2 p.m. EST
  • Development – Friday, Dec. 10, 2010 @ 2 p.m. EST

Anyone at a CLAMP school can serve on any committee; no nomination is required.

Brown Bag: Documentation Overview, 11/23

UPDATE: Because of a scheduling conflict, this brown bag has been moved from 11/17 to Monday, Nov. 23 at 12 p.m. ET. When registering, you can still use the 11/17 option in the signup form.

Documentation: everyone needs it, but writing it can be a challenge. CLAMP’s made that easier by creating documentation for Moodle grade book, roles and groups that schools can  take and modify for their individual campuses. The “Documentation Overview” virtual brown bag being held Monday, Nov. 23 at 12 p.m. ET. will discuss what’s available, as well as CLAMP’s process for updating and creating new documentation.

This brown bag will be led by Courtney Bentley, Instructional Technology Program Coordinator at Lafayette College, and will be held in NITLE’s Elluminate conference room. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Register for the brown bag now.