Getting feedback on resource uploading in MoodleNet

Upload

Over the past week, we’ve taken the opportunity to talk with 10 community members about uploading resources into MoodleNet. These range from an expert in metadata standards to an educator who is less technical — with the majority being somewhere on the spectrum somewhere inbetween.

What we have been attempting to establish is the simplest and most straightforward way for users to add resources to MoodleNet, while capturing an appropriate level of metadata. We don’t want users to feel that adding appropriately-licensed resources to MoodleNet (and making them easily-discoverable) is a laborious process.

Context

As we explained in a previous post, we plan to restrict users uploading resources to three ‘Free Culture’ licenses:

If a user adds a resource via a link, then they don’t need to indicate within MoodleNet which license that resource is made available under. That’s because after the user clicks through, the external site should provide this information along with the resource. It also saves us from having to display a long and unwieldy list of licenses.

MoodleNet - add resource

Another thing by way of context is that, as we outlined in our post about MoodleNet metadata, resources will ‘inherit’ tags from their collection. At the moment, we’re thinking of implementing this in such a way that the interface automatically starts to complete tags for the resource — language(s), grade level(s), and subject area(s). That’s not actually shown on the screen below, but you can imagine ‘English’, ‘Postgraduate’ and ‘Education Science’ before ‘IDmodel’.

Tagging resources in collections

What we discovered

Here were the top 10 things that were on the mind of those we spoke with about resource uploading in MoodleNet:

  1. Drag-and-drop – extremely important for ease-of-use, rather than having to navigate a computer’s file system.
  2. Resource type – this is perhaps not strictly necessary as a field, but it was certainly felt that MIME types (e.g. PDF) aren’t particularly useful. Instead, we could simply differentiate, as Moodle LMS does, between an ‘activity’ and a ‘resource’. Alternatively, we could consider a free text approach (with autocomplete) using the generic name of ‘assets’.
  3. Metadata fields – some interviewees weren’t sure whether they were just used to certain fields or whether they were genuinely useful. One example of this was an indication of the time it would take to complete a learning activity.
  4. Accepted filetypes – should zip files of resources be allowed?
  5. Previews – a preview feature would be useful within MoodleNet to have a quick peek at potentially-relevant resources.
  6. Accessibility – perhaps we could add a field which referenced the IMS AccessForAll metadata standard? Or make it available as an option?
  7. Illegal resources – as Open Source software, MoodleNet could be used to facilitate the sharing and discussion of extremely problematic content. We should implement some safeguards around that, for example with a NSFW filter applied to search results by default, as well of course as the revocation of a MoodleNet ‘mothership’ API key.
  8. Maximum filesize – this should be configurable by administrators, with perhaps users having an overall amount of storage space.
  9. Tagging – private tagging of uploaded resources would allow users to tag resources in ways they may not want others to see.
  10. Version control – there are some post-launch options here around git, dat, and IPFS.

One interviewee commented that, with other systems: “I always feel like I’m using against what it was meant for”. This is why we’re putting so much thought into what some would consider small details. Another interviewee told us of a system they were forced to use for a resource-sharing project that was so unwieldy that colleagues stopped using it entirely.

Final remarks

During our conversations, interviewees touched on a number of things that were slightly tangential to resource uploading, but were nevertheless interesting:

  • Perhaps you should only be able to see resources that are Moodle activities if they are compatible with your Moodle LMS version?
  • Some people are much more likely to share resources in smaller groups — even if those resources are also publicly available.
  • Tags and license information from resources and collections could/should feed through to Moodle LMS via the MoodleNet plugin.

Many thanks to those who shared their insights with us, they have proved to be very helpful!

Introducing MoodleNet ‘office hours’

Update: this will now be an hour later at 14:00 UTC.

OPEN

A few months ago, due to advice we received around GDPR legislation in the EU, we postponed future community calls. Now that summer holidays are over in the northern hemisphere, we have some good news!

After further consideration and discussion, we’ve decided to institute ‘office hours’ for the MoodleNet project. These will be times in which the core team (currently Doug Belshaw and Mayel de Borniol) will be available to take your suggestions and answer your questions and concerns.

Our first office hours:

Note that we’re using Zoom to connect, which you’ll need to download and configure beforehand. There’s no set agenda and we won’t be recording the office hours.

If this proves successful, we will run monthly office hours and be more accommodating to various timezones. You are, of course, welcome to interact with this project in a number of other ways, including the discussion forum and our Changemap.

*Alternatively, dial in:
US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 876 9923
Meeting ID: 968 146 5087
International numbers available: https://zoom.us/u/laeOX


Image from pxhere used under a Creative Commons license

Recording of June 2018 MoodleNet community call now available!

Dip your toe into the MoodleNet project

Many thanks to those who joined us for this month’s MoodleNet community call!

Doug introduced Mayel de Borniol, the project’s new Technical Architect, we reviewed the prototype overview, and discussed future plans.

This time slot (16:00 UTC) seems to suit the majority of people more than the 08:00 UTC slot, so we’ll be reviewing the times we meet for future calls.

The agenda and notes can be found here. The video and audio recording, along with a backup of the agenda, and visual notes from Bryan Mathers, can be found at archive.org.


Update: further to a discussion with Moodle’s DPO & Legal Advisor, we have removed the agenda and recording of previous community calls. We are now in the process of creating a GDPR-compliant workflow.

MoodleNet project community call (June 2018)

Calendar

This Wednesday, we’re hosting our MoodleNet project community call for May. We’ve got some updates to share from our recent design sprint!

The call will begin with Doug introducing Mayel, our new technical Technical Architect, along with a round of introductions to those on the call. We’ll then dive into the outputs from the MoodleNet design sprint, and discuss the prototype overview we came up with. From there, the discussion will open out to cover next steps, including how best to contribute to this project.

We’re alternating the times of each monthly call, so apologies to those who live in timezones that make it difficult to join this time around. We record each one, and you’re welcome to add your thoughts to the etherpad-based agenda asynchronously.


Image by Dafne Cholet used under a Creative Commons license

Recording of May 2018 MoodleNet community call now available!

May's Moodlenet Meetup

Many thanks to those who joined us for this month’s MoodleNet community call!

A slight mix-up with timezones meant fewer people participated than last time, but you can discover what we discussed here. The video and audio recording, along with a backup of the agenda, and visual notes from Bryan Mathers, can be found at archive.org.


Update: further to a discussion with Moodle’s DPO & Legal Advisor, we have removed the agenda and recording of previous community calls. We are now in the process of creating a GDPR-compliant workflow.

MoodleNet project community call (May 2018)

Calendar

Next Wednesday, we’re hosting our MoodleNet project community call for May. We’ve got some updates to share, and we’d also very much appreciate your input for an upcoming design sprint.

The call will kick off, as usual, with a brief update about the current status of Project MoodleNet, and then we will collaborate on the data and inputs required for the design sprint we’re running later this month.

We’re alternating the times of each monthly call, so apologies to those who live in timezones that make it difficult to join this time around. We record each one, and you’re welcome to add your thoughts to the etherpad-based agenda asynchronously.


Image by Dafne Cholet used under a Creative Commons license

Recording of first Project MoodleNet community call now available!

Project MoodleNet community call (4th April 2018)

Many thanks to the 20+ who joined us for the first Project MoodleNet community call. Despite some technical difficulties towards the end, it proved to be a great, positive discussion!

The (now very colourful and annotated) agenda can be found here. The video and audio recording, along with a backup of the agenda, and visual notes from Bryan Mathers and Adam Procter, can be found at archive.org.


Update: further to a discussion with Moodle’s DPO & Legal Advisor, we have removed the agenda and recording of previous community calls. We are now in the process of creating a GDPR-compliant workflow.

Community call: save the date!

Calendar

Right now, we’re deep in planning mode for Project MoodleNet. This includes putting together documentation (most of which is publicly available here), sorting out resourcing, and talking to people who have valuable insights which will help us with the road ahead.

We’re keen to involve the community in this process as soon as it makes sense to do so, which is why we’re announcing the first Project MoodleNet community call for early April!

The call will kick off with a brief presentation about the current status of Project MoodleNet, and then will take questions and have a discussion about what should be in/out of scope for the project.

Apologies to those who live in timezones that make it difficult to join this time around. We’ll be sure to record this one, and will attempt to accommodate different timezones in future calls.


Image by Dafne Cholet used under a Creative Commons license