Driving Moodle the Lancastrian
Way
Ruslan Kabalin
Philip Tubman
Institutional VLE (challenges)
• Lots of courses!
• Not taught how it is recorded
– 1 course for 2 ‘modules’ (co-teaching)...
Additional challenges
• All courses available during entire time at
Lancaster
• PhD appraisal system
• Postgraduate admiss...
Principles
• Moodle does not make up the rules; the student
information data (LUSI) is king (queen?)
• Moodle will never d...
What is LUSI?
• Homegrown student info system
– Data owned by registry
– System owned by ISS
• Managed in departments
• Op...
Data in LUSI
• Modules
• Staff
• Enrolments
• Assessments
• Time tabling
• Current year, past and future
• PGR appraisals
Let’s look at some pictures
Moodle
• Introduced as Pilot in 2011 to replace buggy
existing VLE
• Live since 2012
• HA infrastructure
• Packaged with m...
Some stats
• Up to 350 simultaneous users at peak time
• 3700+ unique logins per day
• 4938 courses (4528 automatically cr...
LUSI Integration
• Intermediate database and sync scripts
• Enrolment plugin that syncs Moodle
• Assignments submission in...
How we sync
• Only API communication with LUSI
• XML::SAX for parsing large data on the fly
• Intermediate DB on PostgreSQ...
Intermediate Database
Moodle comes to play
• Enrolment plugin
– Uses intermediate database
– Uses idnumber filed as identifier
– Syncing various...
Moodle comes to play
Categories syncing
• Builds and maintains category tree for 5 years
– Changes visibility
– Updates category names
– Moves ...
Categories syncing
Course syncing
• Creates courses based on LUSI data
– Rolls over content from previous year if instructed
• Moves courses ...
Course syncing
• Shared courses
– Contains several modules
• Non-shared courses
– Contains one module
– Same module could ...
Course syncing
Cohort syncing
• Creates cohorts based on modules data
• Updates cohorts data
• Remove cohorts
• Maintain student enrolmen...
Cohort syncing
Enrolments
• Course enrolments based on module
enrolments data.
– Enrol users and assign roles
– Update roles
– Set enrolm...
Enrolments
Syncing groups and groupings
• Create and maintain groups
– based on event data (e.g. lecture, seminar)
– based on modules...
Syncing groups and groupings
Assignment sync
• Create and maintain assignments based on
assignments data
– Normal Moodle assignments
– Turnitin assignm...
Assignment sync
Something else to sync?
PG applicant web boards
• Courses for PG offer holders
• User data comes from CRM system
• Uses applicant’s account that w...
PG applicant web boards
PG appraisals
• PGR record of studies
• Appraisal activities (e.g. supervisor meeting,
confirmation panel, appraisals)
• M...
PG appraisals
Thanks!
Contact us:
Ruslan Kabalin, r.kabalin@lancaster.ac.uk, @rkabalin
Philip Tubman, p.tubman@lancaster.ac.uk, @philtub...
Driving Moodle Lancastrian Way: automation using student information
Driving Moodle Lancastrian Way: automation using student information
Driving Moodle Lancastrian Way: automation using student information
Driving Moodle Lancastrian Way: automation using student information
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Driving Moodle Lancastrian Way: automation using student information

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Like all higher education institutions, Lancaster University has a Student Information System (LUSI) used by Student Registry and departmental offices. LUSI contains information about all modules, staff, students, enrolments, credit bearing assessments, and timetabling information on lectures and seminars for each academic year.

We have developed a Moodle enrolment plugin that automates large proportion of administrative work in Moodle by syncing it with a web service provided by LUSI. This integration allows us to automatically control course creation and on-going updates to course categories, courses, enrolments and roles, groups and groupings, cohorts, summative (credit bearing) assignments (both standard assignments and turnitin). Each submission to an assignment will also write back to LUSI so departmental staff can run submission reports in the same system as they manage extensions, lates, intercalations etc.

This integration enables faculty based learning technologists and course administrators to use their time more efficiently by eliminating necessity of doing routine tasks. The bonus features of our integration solution is automated course content roll-over for next academic year and somewhat special courses for postgraduate appraisals and applicants to PG programmes.

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  • We also use moodle for
  • Aka LUSI
  • Benefits using moodle for related systems (Sam Marshal)
  • Driving Moodle Lancastrian Way: automation using student information

    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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