MoodleNews Plugin Roundup, ‘Is My Moodle Made Of Clay?’ Edition

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MoodleNews Plugin Roundup, ‘Is My Moodle Made Of Clay’ Edition
“claymation” by Mike Seyfang is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Intuitive systems should not only let us do anything we want, but do them the way we want to. While pre-planned Moodle sites are rewarding, there should be no issue when owners want to correct course. These recently updated plugins can be installed at any time to modify many aspects of the experience at a moment’s notice.

Activities: appear.in

mod_appearin

Do you need a quick, spur-of-the-moment live-sharing screen? This virtual room creator plugin quickly sets up a room and bestows it with a unique URL as an ID. Further customization is available after signing up at appear.in (free tier available).

 

Admin tools: Event Trigger

tool_trigger

Do you realize that you are accessing repeated sections in your Moodle site when all you need is a basic heads-up? This plugin sends you an email, or creates a request to an external service in case an event occurs. It takes advantage of Moodle’s Event Monitoring.

Previously in MoodleNews: Namaste, Mr. Moodle: How Can I Track And Get Reports Of Student Logins?

 

Admin tools: Web Analytics

tool_webanalytics

Add popular analytics tools to track traffic and behavior in your Moodle site, as you would with a general-purpose site. It supports Matomo (Piwik) and Google Analytics (including Tag Manager).

 

 

Availability conditions: Restriction by days offset from start

availability_days

Have you ever intended for students to not have access to certain course content for a few days? Not a problem with this plugin, which delays starting days based on a given time or individual enrollment.

 

Blocks: My last course

block_lastcourse

Do your users keep complaining they have too many courses to keep track of? Give them a little reminder with this block, which fits nicely on a home page or the helpful side bar available in many modern Moodle themes.

 

Blocks: Slider

block_slider

Have dozens of photos without a reasonable way to display them? This plugin offers what is perhaps the easiest gallery plugin available. Add it across pages, as a side block, or on the home page. Celebrate course highlights as soon as they happen!

 

Blocks: Webcam Snapshot

block_mfavatar

Do your students complain your video sessions are packed with too much knowledge? Set up this plugin, and they will be able to grab snapshots of video streaming sessions for a later use.

 

Course formats: Collapsible Topics format and Grid Format

format_collapsibletopics

format_grid

Admittedly, it is not exactly kosher to overturn a course format in the middle of the run, but it is still possible, and it could be very well justifiable. If you realize there’s no need for students to master a whole syllabus if they enjoy focusing on one topic, let them!

 

Enrolment: Extended guest access

enrol_extendedguest

Do you suddenly need that guest in your Moodle cours to stick around longer and be able to do more? Perhaps you have a few activities that work as a catalogue for your learning experience, and want to show them without the potentially cumbersome registration process? This is the plugin for you.

 

General plugins (Local): Courses to Calendar

local_coursetocal

Bind Moodle courses to dates by taking advantage of the new Moodle Calendar. A great and simple way to make courses feel relevant, actionable, and engaging, without the need of foresight!

 

 

Media players: JW Player

media_jwplayer

As versatile as Moodle’s default media player is, the JW Player is the default across hundreds of sites today for a reason. Perhaps the main one is its backwards compatibility with old and obscure video formats, including Flash.

 

Question formats: Cross XML format

qformat_crossxml

Did you decide your multiple-choice question works better in a drag-and-drop format, or would you like to see if a fill-in-the-blank format gets better scores than a multiple choice? Do you want to change partial scoring for all-or-nothing? Let this plugin take care of the updates.

 

Reports: Questionnaire statistics

report_questionnairestats

Is something funny about the way your students are completing questionnaires? Probe a little deeper with Questionnaire statistics. It paints a more accurate picture of usage and trends in a scalable way. (It’s original use case scenario was 1,700 questionnaire users.)

 

Repositories: RES (BBC’s Research and Education Space)

repository_res

The RES project was an ambitious effort to store and curate digital content for all levels of education. While the project is no longer active, the repository maintains an open platform, which, thanks to this plugin, can swiftly add high-quality content to Moodle at a moment’s notice.

Find out more about RES at bbcarchdev.github.io/res.

 

TinyMCE: Cloze Editor

tinymce_clozeeditor

Did you have a stroke of genius and imagine a way to add a CLOZE-type question instead of a dedicated page? Look no further. This plugin adds a button on the tool bar of Moodle’s TinyMCE text editor for short and sweet interaction. A similar solution for the other default Moodle text editor, Atto, is also available.

 

TinyMCE: Skim Import

tinymce_skim

Did you annotate PDF files in Moodle using Skim, and now students want a quick way to take annotations with them? Skim import makes this possible. Highlighting and other formatting displays “nicely” and can be exported as RTF, for example.

 

Web service protocols: RESTful protocol

webservice_restful

Do you want to channel resources from Moodle whenever you want, without needing to know the URL of said resource? RESTful protocol allows for “discrete URLs” for “webservice functions” which in general are more flexible and require fewer explicit parameters. In particular, it can make a request to Moodle and get a response without knowing the format or other characteristics of the response, whether it is structured text or a media file.■


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