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Hub administration

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Moodle 2.0

Contents

Deciding to run a Hub

Running a hub server is not something you should undertake lightly.

As the hub administrator you are responsible for the content in the hub, and you need to put in place processes to:

  • verify all the course content is clean (of porn or malicious javascript)
  • manage registered sites and their status
  • maintain the quality of the listings through editing

How the hub software works

The hub software is implemented as a separate "local" plugin designed to be added to a standard install of Moodle 2.0 or later. In this way the hub gets to use on all the features in the Moodle core API and benefits from maintenance of the core code.

Once installed the whole site gets a new frontpage with a simple search box (see http://hub.moodle.org/ for example).

Please don't add the hub capabilities to an existing Moodle site with real courses. Although it may work, there are some opportunities for GUI confusion and some unknowns when it comes to security, so please just avoid it. Moodle is free, so it's trivial to install another clean copy to build your hub with.


How to set up a Moodle Hub server

  1. Install Moodle 2.0 or later somewhere on a web server with a nice URL.
  2. Download the latest hub plugin from http://download.moodle.org/download.php/plugins/local/hub.zip
  3. Save the zip into the /local directory of Moodle and unzip, producing /local/hub
  4. Visit the "Notifications" page in Moodle (/admin) to complete the upgrade and install the hub software.
  5. Enable web services for the hub (Site Administration > Advanced features)
  6. Enable the XML-RPC protocol (Site Administration > Plugins > Web services > Manage protocols)
  7. Set up the SMTP (Site Administration > Server > Email)
  8. Set up the recaptcha (Site Administration > Plugins > Authentication > Manage authentication)
  9. Set up your hub (Site Administration > Hub > Settings)

Congratulations! You now have a working hub with no content!

Site registration

Only sites that are registered with the hub are allowed to publish content there.

Sites register on the hub via Site Administration > Registration


Hub registration

You can also register your hub with the Moodle hub Directory, a listing of many hubs from around the world, enabling people from all over the world to find your hub and search the courses within it. You may want to wait until you have some content before you register.

Managing sites

In Administration > Hub > Manage sites, you can:

  • Prioritise a site: during a search, course from prioritised sites appear on top of the list. A prioritised site is always trusted.
  • Trust a site: when a site is trusted, any published course is immediatly available
  • Delete a site: delete a site from the database. A message will be sent to the site administrator.
  • Settings: you can change some information as the name, the description, the language...
  • Make a site visible: only site declared as visible appear on the the site list (currently the site list hasn't been implemented)

Managing courses

In Administration > Hub > Manage course, you can:

  • Delete a course: delete a course from the database.
  • Settings: you can change some information as the name, the description, the language...
  • Make a course visible: decide if the course is displayed on search result

Important things about roles, users and web services

A hub server uses intensively Moodle web service 2.0. For this reason it is important to understand the web services administration, and what happens if you change some roles/users/services.

Roles

The hub server creates on the fly some roles that you should never delete/modify:

  • one role for the hub directory
  • one role for registered sites
  • one role for public sites

Users

The hub server creates on the fly some users that you should never delete/modify:

  • one user for the hub directory
  • one user for public access
  • as many users as registered sites

Services

The hub creates during installation some web services that you should never delete/modify:

  • one service for Hub directory
  • one service for Registered sites
  • one service for Public sites

It also creates tokens on the fly. These tokens are not displayed on the token management list, so you cannot accidentally delete them.