*DRAFT* MoodleNet User Agreement and Covenant for Instance Administrators

Happy Birthday Moodle! 🎉🎉🎉

As promised in our post about the upcoming federation testing programme, we are now ready to share draft versions of two relevant documents.

While anyone is free to use MoodleNet for any purpose (Freedom 0 of the ‘Four Freedoms‘), in order to connect to the HQ ‘mothership’ for reasons of search and discovery, instance administrators must:

  • Either use the MoodleNet User Agreement as-is, or only add reasonable terms that do not negate any element of the existing agreement.
  • Agree to be bound by the terms of the MoodleNet Covenant for Instance Administrators.

The first is a MoodleNet User Agreement, which includes six sections:

  1. Terms
  2. Code of Conduct
  3. Contribution, Use, Modification and Distribution Licenses
  4. Disclaimers
  5. Modifications
  6. Instance Rules

The second is a MoodleNet Covenant for Instance Administrators, which also has six points. Those admins running a MoodleNet instance who want to connect to the ‘mothership’ (for search and discoverability) must agree to:

  1. Foster an open and welcoming environment.
  2. Actively moderate their instance
  3. Perform daily backups
  4. Give emergency access to the server infrastructure to at least two people
  5. Give users at least 3 months of advance warning in case of shutting down
  6. Make available the source code of any customisations to your instance, regardless how small

To be as clear and direct as possible, the MoodleNet team is committed to fostering an open and welcoming environment, meaning that racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, harassment, defamation, doxxing, sexual depictions of children, and conduct promoting alt-right and fascist ideologies will not be tolerated.

We welcome the community’s feedback on these drafts, either as comments directly on the documents, in comments below this post, or on the MoodleNet forum. If you have particular concerns or comments that you like to make more privately, please email: moodlenet-moderators@moodle.com

Planning for the MoodleNet public beta

In the spirit of working openly, we’d like to share a MoSCoW prioritisation grid for the public beta release of MoodleNet in November 2019. While any project is subject to changing priorities as it progresses, this is where we are in early August.

For those that prefer a more accessible text-based version, please see below.


MUST

Instances:

  • Federation with other instances
  • Connect to HQ ‘mothership’
  • Search across federated instances
  • Discover page
  • My MoodleNet
  • Profiles
  • Flags/reporting
  • Moderation tools
  • Sign-up page (username/password)
  • Open to browse without signing in

Communities:

  • Image upload
  • Join/create/edit/leave a community
  • Every @community is hyperlinked

Collections:

  • Category tags
  • Create/edit a collection
  • Every +mention is hyperlinked

Resources:

  • Like resources
  • Add resource via URL
  • Add hashtags to added resources

Profiles:

  • Bio & links
  • Avatar
  • Header image
  • User timeline
  • Joined communities
  • Followed collections
  • Liked resources

Users:

  • Every @username is hyperlinked
  • Unique usernames

Moodle Core integration:

  • Plugin to pull resources from MoodleNet

Misc.

  • Basic security audit

SHOULD

Instances:

  • Help pages
  • Interoperability with other ActivityPub apps
  • Blocklists

Communities:

  • Share link to community 

Collections:

  • Hashtags 
  • Pinned resources
  • Share link to collection

Resources:

  • Upload resources
  • Add licence to uploaded resources

Profiles:

  • Follow other users

Users:

  • Notifications if mentioned within a community
  • Receive weekly emails about recent activity

COULD

Instances:

  • Analytics
  • Sign-up page (social accounts)

Communities:

  • Related communities

Collections:

  • Related collections
  • Sort/filter listed resources

Resources:

  • Auto-complete hashtags

Profiles:

  • Add other users to a contact list
  • Invite other people to create a MoodleNet profile
  • Add interests (based on hashtags)

Users:

  • Sort/filter ‘My MoodleNet’

Misc.

  • In-depth security audit

WON’T

  • Private communities / collections
  • Request a resource
  • Copy/fork a collection into another community
  • Events functionality
  • Emoji ID
  • Open Badges on profiles
  • Query 3rd-party repositories

MoodleNet overview slide deck (July 2019)

Update: we recorded a 13-min screencast version of the slide deck below!


We regularly update the slide deck used to give an overview of MoodleNet. It not only helps us continue to (hopefully!) get better at explaining what MoodleNet is, but is a useful resource for community members who may want to introduce it to others.

Access the slides directly here: http://bit.ly/2OkahJN

What we’ve changed this time around:

  • Removed ‘non-technical’ from the title
  • Replaced references to ‘decentralisation’ with ‘federation’
  • Updated the slide referencing Mastodon with a similar MoodleNet-focused one (see below!)
  • Added slides showing the UI 2.0 clickable prototype
  • Replaced the slide referencing Aha! with one showing Moodle Tracker
It doesn't matter which MoodleNet instance you are a member of - you can join communities, and follow other people and collections fro any other instance!
New MoodleNet federation overview slide

Comments? Questions? Add them below!

An update on sunsetting the existing moodle.net to make way for MoodleNet

As part of the preparations for a new MoodleNet plugin coming in Moodle 3.8, the current sharing site, moodle.net will be closed and its content archived. This means that from August 2019, it will no longer be possible to share courses on moodle.net.

To see what this means for teachers, and to find out what you need to do as an administrator, please see our guide: Sunsetting moodle.net.

If you have any questions about the current moodle.net site being closed, please post in the Moodle community sites forum.

MoodleNet and Free Cultural Works

MoodleNet is a new open social media platform for educators, focused on professional development and open content.

To facilitate the ‘open content’ part of MoodleNet’s mission, we propose that users sharing content via upload may choose from three open licenses, all provided by Creative Commons:

These are Free Culture licenses, defined in the following way: 

  1. the freedom to use the work and enjoy the benefits of using it
  2. the freedom to study the work and to apply knowledge acquired from it
  3. the freedom to make and redistribute copies, in whole or in part, of the information or expression
  4. the freedom to make changes and improvements, and to distribute derivative works

There is more detail about this on the Creative Commons website, which goes into much more detail about Free Cultural Works.

By taking this approach to uploading content to MoodleNet we would be following the lead of Wikimedia Commons, who have a comprehensive page on what is and what is not allowed on their platform. We believe that we can take a simpler approach with MoodleNet, with the added advantage that Creative Commons licences are already translated into most major languages.

Here is a (low-fidelity) wireframe example workflow for a user uploading a resource to MoodleNet:

User chooses the option to upload a resource to a collection
User chooses the option to upload a resource to a collection
User enters title, description, and hashtags
User enters title, description, and hashtags
User can change license from collection default
User can change license from collection default

What do you think of this approach? Is this what you were expecting? What else would you like to see (if anything)?

MoodleNet non-technical overview (June 2019)

We’ve updated the iterative slide deck that we use to give a non-technical overview of MoodleNet. It should be embedded above. Alternatively, you can access it via our wiki or directly at http://bit.ly/2I5Eebg

Community members have told us that they find this approach useful for a number of reasons, including seeing how the project is progressing, and being able to explain MoodleNet to others. You are, of course, very welcome to use the slides for this purpose. Please let us know if you do so!

We’d like to call your attention to the two slides below in particular. Are they useful? Do they help explain MoodleNet concisely? How would you change them?

Thanks in advance for your feedback, which you can leave in the comments section below!

Community consultation on MoodleNet’s Data Protection Impact Assessment

GDPR image

Over the last few months, the MoodleNet team has been working with Moodle’s Privacy Officer and Data Protection counsel on a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA).

We are pleased to now be able to share the first version of this living document for community feedback: https://docs.moodle.org/dev/MoodleNet/DPIA

This is meant to be a user-focused document that explains in clear language what data we are collecting and how it will be processed. You may find it particularly interesting if you are interested in how we are planning for MoodleNet to work technically!

If you have comments or questions on this version of the DPIA, you may add them underneath this blog post. Alternatively, please follow the suggestions in the ‘Consultation process’ section towards the bottom of the document.

Sunsetting moodle.net

Now that we’ve proved the value proposition of the new MoodleNet service, we’re planning to ‘sunset’ (i.e. gracefully retire) the existing moodle.net service. The date we have in mind is in time for the inaugural Global MoodleMoot in November 2019.

This will take time and effort, as there are many services and subdomains related to moodle.net. You can track the progress of this project in its own right at the following Moodle Tracker epic: MDLSITE-5854. We welcome community input and suggestions, so please do comment on issues linked from that epic!

Welcome Karen and James, new MoodleNet backend developers!

The MoodleNet team is delighted to welcome Karen Kleinbauerů and James Laver who will both be working on backend development. Karen’s based in the Czech Republic, and James lives in The Netherlands. They’ll both be working 2.5 days on MoodleNet!

We would love to hear a bit about your work history?

Karen: I have previously contributed to Pleroma, an ActivityPub server that MoodleNet is loosely based on. In fact it was my presence on the Fediverse that has got me interested in programming and my love for the project that has made me contribute to it. Doing so has given me knowledge in ActivityPub, Elixir/Phoenix and the general struggles of hosting an AP server, both from a technical perspective and a community management perspective (Both are equally important!).

I’m also studying Japanese at a Prague university. I consider myself relatively proficient at the language and I’ve done volunteer translation work in the past.

James: I’ve consulted with a variety of companies, big and small to build (sometimes) cool and (often) interesting things. I’ve done a lot of things – everything from a CMS for a small artisan burger chain to a distributed backend control plane for an investment bank. As much as working on interesting projects, I like to work with interesting people, so I have a lot of stories from the code mines 😉

What do you love about what you do?

Karen: First of all, I simply enjoy programming. The combination of problem solving and creating things just scratches an itch that nothing else really does. Additionally, I’m excited to contribute to the ActivityPub network because I’m a passionate member of it and want to expose more people to it. Decentralised networks harbour unique communities that wouldn’t be able to exist in big, corporation ran silos.

James: I love solving interesting problems. In “the mythical man month”, there’s some lovely phrasing about “building castles of pure thought”. A lake of problems, limited only by my imagination. Cool!

What are your interests outside of work?

Karen: I’m your (maybe not so) typical nerd who enjoys video games, coffee, manga, music and such. I collect retro video games and consoles and also enjoy speedrunning my favorite titles.

I also have a deep appreciation for nature and enjoy taking strolls through forests, valleys and mountains. Tied to that is my interest with spirituality and animist religions, particularly Shinto.

James: I’m a keen cyclist, enthusiastic cook, eager video gamer and drinker of copious quantities of coffee. I listen to music, watch box sets of old TV and lose an afternoon at a time to wikipedia after I’ve made plans to go out.

Where is your favourite place in the world, and why?

Karen: This is a bit of a cheat answer as it’s a place which i haven’t visited yet, but I would love to visit the island of Tashirojima in Japan. It’s notable for its significant feline population, which outnumbers the human population 6 to 1. And I don’t know about you, but being smothered with cats sounds pretty wonderful to me!

James: My bed. I was once told that when you’re not in bed, you’re in
your shoes, so you should buy a comfy bed and comfy shoes.