Driving moodle the Lancastrian way - Ruslan Kabalin, Philip Tubman

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Driving Moodle the Lancastrian way: automation using student information
Ruslan Kabalin, Philip Tubman

Presented at Moodlemoot Edinburgh 2014
www.moodlemoot.ie

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Driving moodle the Lancastrian way - Ruslan Kabalin, Philip Tubman

  1. 1. Driving Moodle the Lancastrian Way Ruslan Kabalin Philip Tubman
  2. 2. Institutional VLE (challenges) • Lots of courses! • Not taught how it is recorded – 1 course for 2 ‘modules’ (co-teaching) – 1 course taught multiple times in a year (‘cohorts’) • Use of Moodle for – Departmental pages – Career pages – Study advice pages – Library skills pages – Fire Safety pages – etc. • Changing enrolments • e-submission/ e-marking
  3. 3. Additional challenges • All courses available during entire time at Lancaster • PhD appraisal system • Postgraduate admissions portal
  4. 4. Principles • Moodle does not make up the rules; the student information data (LUSI) is king (queen?) • Moodle will never display official grades to students (related to above – the student portal/ interactive transcript does this) • Departments can control their ‘VLE destiny’ (how many, when do students get access, whether to copy content forward…) • E-submissions will be recorded and time-stamped in student information system • Naming convention is enforced
  5. 5. What is LUSI? • Homegrown student info system – Data owned by registry – System owned by ISS • Managed in departments • Operated using LUSI Desktop (Windows VB client)
  6. 6. Data in LUSI • Modules • Staff • Enrolments • Assessments • Time tabling • Current year, past and future • PGR appraisals
  7. 7. Let’s look at some pictures
  8. 8. Moodle • Introduced as Pilot in 2011 to replace buggy existing VLE • Live since 2012 • HA infrastructure • Packaged with more than 20 plugins • Mahara integration • Contributions to core
  9. 9. Some stats • Up to 350 simultaneous users at peak time • 3700+ unique logins per day • 4938 courses (4528 automatically created) • 36K active users
  10. 10. LUSI Integration • Intermediate database and sync scripts • Enrolment plugin that syncs Moodle • Assignments submission information synced back to registry
  11. 11. How we sync • Only API communication with LUSI • XML::SAX for parsing large data on the fly • Intermediate DB on PostgreSQL DB API LUSI Webservice Sync Script Moodle /enrol/lusi /local/luassignsync
  12. 12. Intermediate Database
  13. 13. Moodle comes to play • Enrolment plugin – Uses intermediate database – Uses idnumber filed as identifier – Syncing various things • Categories • Courses • Cohorts • Enrolments • Groups and groupings • Assessments (assignments)
  14. 14. Moodle comes to play
  15. 15. Categories syncing • Builds and maintains category tree for 5 years – Changes visibility – Updates category names – Moves category items – Deletes category items 5-year sync window 13/1412/13 14/15 15/1610/11 11/12 16/17
  16. 16. Categories syncing
  17. 17. Course syncing • Creates courses based on LUSI data – Rolls over content from previous year if instructed • Moves courses between categories • Updates courses data (full name, short name)
  18. 18. Course syncing • Shared courses – Contains several modules • Non-shared courses – Contains one module – Same module could also be a member of a shared course • Students are enrolled to modules in LUSI, but transferred to course enrolments in Moodle
  19. 19. Course syncing
  20. 20. Cohort syncing • Creates cohorts based on modules data • Updates cohorts data • Remove cohorts • Maintain student enrolments to cohorts (based on module enrolments data)
  21. 21. Cohort syncing
  22. 22. Enrolments • Course enrolments based on module enrolments data. – Enrol users and assign roles – Update roles – Set enrolment validity dates – Expire users who no longer enrolled
  23. 23. Enrolments
  24. 24. Syncing groups and groupings • Create and maintain groups – based on event data (e.g. lecture, seminar) – based on modules data aka cohort groups • Create an maintain groupings – Event groupings – Cohort groupings – Alternate groupings • Group and groupings membership updates
  25. 25. Syncing groups and groupings
  26. 26. Assignment sync • Create and maintain assignments based on assignments data – Normal Moodle assignments – Turnitin assignments • Limit assignment access to particular grouping. • Sync submission event with LUSI
  27. 27. Assignment sync
  28. 28. Something else to sync?
  29. 29. PG applicant web boards • Courses for PG offer holders • User data comes from CRM system • Uses applicant’s account that will be linked to real username at the start of academic year • Courses represent faculties • Created in LUSI similar to shared courses
  30. 30. PG applicant web boards
  31. 31. PG appraisals • PGR record of studies • Appraisal activities (e.g. supervisor meeting, confirmation panel, appraisals) • Moodle courses represent faculties • Course sections access restricted via grouping • Grouping is determined by LUSI data – Students – Appraisers – Panel members
  32. 32. PG appraisals
  33. 33. Thanks! Contact us: Ruslan Kabalin, r.kabalin@lancaster.ac.uk, @rkabalin Philip Tubman, p.tubman@lancaster.ac.uk, @philtubman

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