Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Neil Squire Society Moodlemoot 2013: Less is More; Stripping down Moodle


Published on

This slidedeck was used to support Ryan Thomas, Chad Leaman, and Milad Hajihassen's presentation at the 2013 MoodleMoot. They work at the Neil Squire Society, which uses technology to empower people with physical disablities. They made numberous changes to Moodle to increase usability and accessibility across a variety of disability and literacy groups. What resulted was a very lean, simple, and accessible Moodle site.

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Neil Squire Society Moodlemoot 2013: Less is More; Stripping down Moodle

  1. 1. Canada Moodlemoot 2013 ConferenceLess is More: Stripping Moodle Down 1
  2. 2. What’s this going to be about? 2
  3. 3. If you haven’t read the description…We’re going to discuss:• Plugins• Theme• Core Hacks Our customizations solve problems with:• Accessibility/Usability• Navigation/Complexity• Community• Tracking 3
  4. 4. First a little background 4
  5. 5. Who are we? 5
  6. 6. Who do we work for?The Neil Squire Society has for over 25 yearsempowered people with physical disabilities throughknowledge, technology, and passion. 6
  7. 7. The Neil Squire SocietyIn 2013, we’re reaching a lot of people through e-Learning. 7
  8. 8. Now that you know who we help 8
  9. 9. Usability: How easy is it for your users to do what you want them to be doing?Accessibility: Does your content take your user’s abilities for granted? 9
  10. 10. UsabilityWe want our Moodle students to:• Log In• Follow links to Blackboard Collaborate• Visit their courses• Do course activities• Know what they have completed• Message each other and their teachers 10
  11. 11. UsabilityWe want our Moodle teachers to:• Log In• Follow links to Blackboard Collaborate• Visit their courses• Know what their students have completed• Help their students with their accounts• Message each other and their students 11
  12. 12. AccessibilityWe do not take user abilities for granted. The same content is there for:• The blind to hear• The deaf to read• The mouse-less to command• The low-literacy to listen to• The inexperienced to find 12
  13. 13. That’s the background…Let’s talk about our problems(and solutions) 13
  14. 14. Accessibility & usability(problems) 14
  15. 15. Our users are diverse*Assistive technology (hardware and software)Literacy (digital and literal)Culture*Teachers and Students 15
  16. 16. Moodle can be a painThere is a lot going on!There’s a lot of stuff to click… I don’t have a mouse.There’s a lot to read!There’s too much scrolling.It can be overwhelming! 16
  17. 17. Don’t worryThere are lots of little problems here. If you have them too, our code can help. 17
  18. 18. Accessibility & usability(solutions) 18
  19. 19. The file picker… OuchAfter trying to kludge a block to replace it, I gave up and hacked core. • Turned off most of the repository plugins• Forced the <noscript> version unless a profile field is checked.• For the <noscript version>, added a bunch of redirects that auto-select the upload repositoryThere is a lot less fuss with this one. 19
  20. 20. Before 20
  21. 21. After 21
  22. 22. Comments > ForumsScreen reader users struggle with Moodle forums.Our users have a 0% subscription rate.We dumped forums:• Forked “Page” module into “Comment Page”.• “readable comment” block in “center of page”• “unread comments” report 22
  23. 23. Our comment page 23
  24. 24. We use a lot of questionnairesForked the questionnaire module to comment some things out and restructure things for keyboard users.Replaced a lot of quizzes with questionnaires.Created a block to “mark questionnaire as read”.Integrated “unread” (public) questionnaires into our marking block. 24
  25. 25. NanogongWe love multi-modal learning (visual + aural).Nanogong is wonderful, but keyboard users can’t use it and its tabular layout is confusing.We broke it out of tables and added html buttons.We renamed it “Say It!” 25
  26. 26. Say It! 26
  27. 27. YoutubeEmbedded Youtube videos are not focusable. We wrap them.We type: [[swf|yt|Wellness For Work|CHg-E0BWGBw|wide]]We get: 27
  28. 28. Text to speech block 2.0Huge shout out to Patrick Thibaudeau and OOHOO.They ported my 1.9 TTS block to 2.0.They added a lexicon for correcting pronunciation.I added an off/on option. 28
  29. 29. TinyMCEWe forked TinyMCE to add in an autosave. 29
  30. 30. Block: templateFork of the HTML block.Attempts to inject its content into the text editor.Will respect HTML/noHTML formats.Assignments and forums discussion topics.Answer templates help students and teachers. 30
  31. 31. Squire themeAdds:• WAI-ARIA landmarks• A “center” region for blocks• A site navigation (too custom for custom menu)• Course navigation buttonsSubtracts:• Most of the login page• A lot of the footer 31
  32. 32. Navigation (problems) 32
  33. 33. Our users get lost… a lotThe navigation block is complicated.The settings block is just “clutter”.The home page lists EVERY course.Courses have “scroll of death”.The “next” and “previous” links are gone from modules. 33
  34. 34. Navigation (solutions) 34
  35. 35. We got rid of a lotNavigation blockSettings blockBreadcrumbCourse listing on front page 35
  36. 36. We addedA customized frontpageSome frontpage blocksA custom menu that’s more custom than Moodle’sProfile editing back in the user profile pageA settings block that only admins can seeA custom course formatNavigation icons in modules 36
  37. 37. Frontpage before 37
  38. 38. Frontpage after 38
  39. 39. DisclaimerThe “before” page still shows up for administrators.The “after” page shows up for users.I hacked core to force users to “MyMoodle” and hacked it more to make every MyMoodle page the same.  39
  40. 40. Main menuHome (moodle/my)My ProfileA report that shows “friends”A link to noscript version of messages 40
  41. 41. Profile management (core hack ) 41
  42. 42. Edit profileUser - Change password / edit links to profile page 42
  43. 43. Block: course list lite List of enrolled courses Categorized Alphabetized 43
  44. 44. Block: collaborateLinks that are populated from hidden profile field.Classroom and moderator links populated during account setup.More than one link is supported. 44
  45. 45. Badge course formatEach section has two iconsOne for all activities completeOne for some activities incompleteSections are grouped under “units”Units are sortableSections are sortable 45
  46. 46. Badge course format 46
  47. 47. Badge format admin Way easier to implement in 2.3+ 47
  48. 48. Badge course format: single sectionWhen you click on a section: 48
  49. 49. When you’re in an activityNavigation buttons are added after “Main Content”.• Back to the main course view• Back to the section view• Previous activity within section• Next activity within section(This is done in the theme) 49
  50. 50. So…Users can tell what they’ve completed.They can’t spam the “next button” till they get lost.They can use the main menu to go home.They have an easy time finding their courses and virtual classroom. 50
  51. 51. Community (problems) 51
  52. 52. Cohorts are not quite thereWe like cohorts for:• Community.• Cohort-sync enrollment.We wish:• There was a cohort context (like “user” context).• Cohorts could mass “friend”. 52
  53. 53. Community (solutions) 53
  54. 54. We made some cohort pluginsNow we have:• Cohort friendship sync• Friends report• Cohort breakup• Cohort relationships 54
  55. 55. Admin tool: cohort friendship syncCron checks that each “from” cohort member is friends with each “to” cohort member.New cohort members become instant friends.  55
  56. 56. Report: friendsLooks like OutlookHas email addresses and Moodle message links.Encourages profile pictures.Easier for screen reader users to navigate 56
  57. 57. Admin tool: cohort breakupBreaks friendships.This lets teachers move on when they have a new class of students. 57
  58. 58. Admin tool: cohort relationshipsEach member of cohort “from” is assigned a role in the “user” context of each user in cohort “to”.Our classroom IT is given a role that allows account editing for each student. 58
  59. 59. Tracking (problems) 59
  60. 60. NavigationOur staff hate the navigation and settings blocks.We’ve had facilitators on screen readers.We don’t grade anything.Our staff do live demos… they can’t display client information. 60
  61. 61. Tracking (solutions) 61
  62. 62. This was trickyWe made a “Class Facilitation” course.The course contains:• A comments activity• A marking block• Links to tracking reports 62
  63. 63. Marking blockOur marking block:• Doesn’t use AJAX• Shows assignments, questionnaires, say its!, and questionnaires. – Course • Unit (if course is badge format) – Section » Activity• Is semantically set up for screen reader navigation.• Displays in the “center” block region. 63
  64. 64. Report: unread commentsBreaks comments down by course and activity.Provides “mark as read” link for each comment. 64
  65. 65. Report: badges We can see that Bart has only completed one section. 65
  66. 66. Report: participant credentialsShows anyone you are “teaching”.Displays:• Name• Username• Whether their password is still set to default• Last login 66
  67. 67. Report: participant submissionsThe inverse of the marking block.Helps blind teachers reference user activities. 67
  68. 68. Thank you for your timeChad Leaman – chadl@neilsquire.caRyan Thomas – ryant@neilsquire.ca604 - 473 – 68
  69. 69. Questions? Talk shop? 69