2014 Winter Moodle Hack-Doc Road Report

Left Minneapolis International Sunday, Jan 5th at 20 below and a decent wind to arrive at Miami International at 73. Held off posting this information for fear of retribution.

Hackers began integration work on the Liberal Arts Edition of Moodle 2.6, while doc’ers worked on road testing Moodle 2.6.

The PDF Annotator does work, and Oakland University’s Eric Merril reports his faculty like it. The annotator touches the PDF itself, so any annotations added can be viewed outside of Moodle (e.g. in Acrobat Reader or Mac OS X Preview). Note: GhostScript needs to be installed on your web server for this to work. This will be gratefully received by instructors at Luther.

There's also a new editor interface that will be welcomed by most but still has some quirks. Luther College does not expect to upgrade their Moodle version until end-of-2014SS1.

The lunchtime presentations were on these topics:

  • “CLAMP Updates” — Ken Newquist, Lafayette College
  • “Metacourse Filter” — Charles Fulton, Lafayette College
  • “Moodle and Kaltura” — Jason Alley, Lafayette College
  • “Integrating WordPress and Moodle via LTI” – Andrew Ruether and Michael Kappeler, Swarthmore College
  • “The Future of Quickmail in the LAE” – Charles Fulton, Lafayette College

I gave two presentations:

  • “Learning Analytics” involves the work being done here on student failure early warning system utilizing the KATIE gradebook and other inputs. This project is at a relatively early phase but garnered three colleges to offer to join in to assist in developing it. Timeline for (substantial) completion is end-of-2014SP. A presentation at Macalester in early June is anticipated.
  • “Disaggregating the Gradebook” is a radical concept I've been mulling over for about a year. There was very heated discussion in the Moodle forums when I introduced it so I expected some fruit and vegetables coming my way when presenting in Tampa. Perhaps the chiming in of support by the founder of Moodle toward the end of the forum discussion quelled any unrest. I demonstrated a working version (while not bug-free) and there was a vibrant discussion with some really good ideas and support from colleges already using Luther's gradebook.

Future of the Liberal Arts Edition discussion: We want to ask colleges questions like: Why is your school a member of CLAMP? How much time do you allocate to Moodle support? Do you plan on using the Plugin Manager to do upgrades (Moodle 2.5+)? Can you contribute dev time?