Dear Santa: Moodle wish list 2012
December 3, 2012 Leave a comment
Yup it’s that time of year again, the Christmas trees are appearing and you can’t escape those songs on the radio so I thought it’s a good time to jot down my personal Moodle 2.x wish list 🙂
None of these features exist yet (as far as I know) but I think would make an impact on usability in a positive way…
#1 Moodle Course repository
One of the great things with using an online learning platform is that tutors can share resources between courses to save duplicating content and improving the quality of what’s already there (making static resources interactive and so on). Problem is sharing these resources is still somewhat clunky. OK Moodle has support for some open-source external repository systems but why worry about managing yet another platform when most of what you want is already in Moodle?
At the moment I create a shared resources area for a particular team where multiple staff have editing rights on the course. Logic being to use one course as a shared area where resources can be dropped in and used in courses as and when required. In terms of increasing the amount of available resources it works really well but the process isn’t quite as slick as I’d like it to be.
To do the copying the standard import feature is… OK and Sharing Cart very good but what I’d really like is the ability to set a course as a repository and use Moodle’s metadata as a search option. For example you could search by the resource title, description or search for types of resource only e.g. quizzes.
Moodle could use the preview window to show the resource (e.g. if it’s an image or YouTube video, or perhaps stats showing how many questions available in a quiz etc.)
From there all you’d need is a single click to drop the file into the course from the repository picker… simples!
#2 Topics only view
One of the most common complaints from tutors is the “joy” of trying to rearrange weeks in their courses that have lots of resources in. Lovely as AJAX drag and drop may be, it’s a pig to move weeks around when they’re the length of the browser window!
I’ve developed a strange way of resolving this which involves left-click dragging and moving the scroll wheel at the same time but it feels weird enough for me doing it let alone getting anyone else to try.
What would fix this? A quick toggle option in the course menu that would change the view to the “collapsed topics” format. You could then easily drag and drop the topics around to move them up \ down the hierarchy as required then go back to the standard view with a single click.
#3 Microsoft SkyDrive (Pro) repository
I’ve been banging on about this for so long it feels like it was in another decade (ah yes it was!) but we could really do with another Microsoft open-source release to give us a long-awaited repository for SkyDrive.
I’m a big fan of the recent makeover the service received and the APIs that can now be used with it. Now all that’s required is a straight copy of the Google Docs functionality that ships out the box with Moodle 2.x to give an equivalent user experience…
As much as I’d love the SharePoint Pro in 365 to have a repository built as well I wonder what the ratio of use would actually be… many students now prefer to use their personal accounts so the consumer SkyDrive might be a better candidate if I had to make a choice?
Would you find any of the above features useful? Even better, what would you like to see from Moodle in 2013? We got drag and drop and some nice UI improvements recently so fingers crossed Santa’s sleigh can deliver some more goodies in the upcoming year 🙂