Sharing Cart

Revision as of 04:46, 19 June 2009 by Don Hinkelman (talk | contribs) (Setup Respository Connection)

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 1.9. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Sharing Cart.

  • Block: Sharing Cart 1.9 release 1 - 2008.10.15
  • Block: Sharing Cart 1.9 release 2 - 2009.02.19
  • Block: Sharing Cart 1.9 release 3 - 2009.03.16
  • Block: Sharing Cart 1.9 release 4 - 2009.04.14
  • Block: Sharing Cart 1.9 release 5 - 2009.04.24
  • Block: Sharing Cart 1.9 release 6 - 2009.06.22 (inter-site connections and upload/download to Repository)


The Sharing Cart is a block that enables easy sharing of Moodle content (resources, activities) between multiple courses on your site. You can share among teachers or among your own courses. It copies and moves single course items without user data—similar to the “Import” function in Course Administration. Items can be collected and saved on the Sharing Cart indefinitely, serving as a library of frequently used course items available for duplication. It is viewable only by teachers, course creators and administrators. For further information, see General Developer Forum postings.


  1. Moodle version 1.9
  2. Topic, Weekly or Project Course Format: The Sharing Cart now works with three formats. Topics and Weekly format are now supported as well as Project course format.
  3. Javascript: The Sharing Cart needs a browser with JavaScript enabled even if you are not using AJAX. AJAX turned on is recommended but not required.


  1. download latest release from CVS Contrib
  2. unzip the package
  3. using FTP, open your blocks folder in your moodle program folder on your site
  4. place the folder "sharing_cart" into the blocks folder
  5. go to "Notifications" in your site admin area, database tables will be automatically generated
  6. inside any course, "Turn editing on", go to Blocks "Add...", and you should see "sharing cart" in the list of blocks in the menu.
  7. if you are going to share Quiz Questions, you may need to add a new system role called Question Creator (see note below in 'Roles')


  1. Turning On and Off: With editing on, add the Sharing Cart block from the block menu. After adding the Sharing Cart block, you will notice the block stays "on" and follows you whereever you roam courses across a site. Click the "X" icon to turn "off" the Sharing Cart, although the contents of the Sharing Cart will remain there when you turn it on again.
  2. Copying to the Sharing Cart: You will notice a small "Copy to Sharing Cart" icon which appears after each resource or activity in the center column of a Moodle course. Click on that icon to send a copy of that resource/activity into the Sharing Cart. User data will be removed, only the activity itself will be cloned.
  3. Copying from the Sharing Cart: Click "Copy to course" icon in Sharing Cart, then the resource/activity is copied into the first section of current course. And the page transits to module placing mode directly. So, if you want to cancel copying completely, the module copied into the first section needs to be removed manually.
  4. Making folders inside the Sharing Cart: Click the "move" icon on a course content item and an input box will appear. Input the name of the target folder there. To move an item into a folder, click the "Move to folder" icon in the Sharing Cart, then a drop-down list appears, and select the target folder. If you click the “Edit” button, you will replace the drop-down list with an input box.

Setup Repository Connection

(new in release 6)

  1. Make an account on the Moodle for Language Teaching Repository site:
  2. Install the Sharing Cart block on your home site--download from CVS:
  3. Click the "hammer tool" icon on your Sharing Cart to setup a connection to the Repository.
  4. Type this Repository URL: along with the Username and Password of your Repository account.
  5. Put an item from your home site into your Sharing Cart
  6. Click on the Repository icon next to that item
  7. Fill in the metadata information, and click "Register".
  8. You have uploaded your first contribution to the Repository and will receive 200 points registration bonus and 20 points for each item you upload.
  9. To download ("buy") items, you first view an item then click the "Buy" button. Normally it will "cost" you 10 points.
  10. Then go to your home site's Sharing Cart and click the "Download from Repository" button, located at the bottom of the cart.


Generally, the Sharing Cart will duplicate any activity in any course that a teacher has access to. However, quiz questions have another set of permissions independent of site roles. Therefore, we recommend if you wish to share questions, make the following changes:

  1. Add a new role--Question Creator: Make this role in Site Admin >> Users >> Permissions >> Define roles, and assign all teachers to this role (in addition to other roles they already have). This role should be given at least the following rights (set permissions to "Allow") under "Course": Manage Activities, Manage Files,Add new questions, Edit all questions, Edit question categories, Move all questions, Use all questions, View all questions.
  2. Set questions to System Question Category: If you set questions to course or activity level categories, you may not be able to share them.

TIP 1: ...Possibly add another role--Question User: If students are unable to view questions, make this role and assign all students to this role. Set to "Allow" the following permissions: Use all questions, View all questions.

Tip 2: ...Give teachers a System Role: Alternatively, we found that some teachers still cannot move their items freely from course to course. By making them a 'system-role teacher', this solved the problem. However, now their name appears as a teacher in every course. We are working on a long-term solution to this issue.

Known Issues, Changelog & Roadmap

  • Works well with Moodle standard modules (activities and resources) including Hotpot. Tested OK with the Feedback Module. Please test it and tell us if your third party module does not work.
  • Media files are copied (not moved) to each instance of a new duplicate file. This solves many troublesome issues of permissions to access the files. However, for sites with restricted hard disk space, it may fill up space quickly.
  • When AJAX course editing is enabled on your site, dragging the Sharing Cart block to a new location in the blocks area may cause trouble temporarily—all blocks may freeze or all the folders freeze (this is a bug in Moodle core). To unfreeze the folders, reload the page.
  • On 2009.03.16, several minor bugs were resolved [ CONTRIB-1086], [ CONTRIB-1089], [ CONTRIB-1090]). Please update your version from CVS contrib.
  • From summer 2009, a new version of Sharing Cart 1.9 will be able to move content across sites. This is now available for testers. Contact Don Hinkelman
  • For a future version, depending on funding, we plan to implement multiple versions of similar items (version control) with partial bonuses for those who improve works not their own. Also, we hope to build a locking mechanism to prevent the Sharing Cart from copying commercial works or items that the author does not want copied.

Issues to Consider

  • Moodle 1.9 has a sophisticated system of permissions for the Question Bank. Question categories can be limited to certain teachers. The Sharing Cart operates on the assumption that sharing of questions is desirable and little control is needed. We do not know all possible results that may happen if questions are copied and duplicated. If the question was originally limited to a "Course" category, will it share perfectly to other courses and students? Please report to us any problems you find concerning this question. At the moment, we are recommending sharing questions with the "System" level question category.
  • Finally, if your administration wishes to have a high degree of control of questions and activities, the Sharing Cart may be too easy-to-use. In terms of site user policies, we believe sharing permissions should be broadly applied not just to administrators, but to all teachers. Your policy on sharing depends on your institutional culture and values.


This block was programmed by Akio Ohnishi and Tomonori Maruyama at Version2 Educational Web Development and released under GPL. The designers and maintainers of this block are Don Hinkelman and Andy Johnson. Funding is provided by Sapporo Gakuin University and we welcome other contributors. For issues and suggestions, please contact Don on the Sharing Cart forums or directly (hinkel at

See also