Plugin Review Criteria

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.7. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle may be available here: Plugin Review Criteria.

Some Criteria to consider when looking at 3rd party plugins

There are many great 3rd party plugins available for Moodle. However, it is important to assess the suitability and reliability of the plugin before adopting it.

This list is not exhaustive as there may be more or less questions depending on the individual installation and organisation.

This list was published originally by Gavin Henrick (Learning Technology Services), see Some criteria to review when considering a plugin

Some initial questions

  • What is the purpose of the plugin?
  • Is there nothing in the installation which can deliver this feature already?
  • Is this the best solution for this requirement?
  • What versions does it work with
  • How many times has it been downloaded for your version

Is it easy to install?

  • Is the source managed on svn/github
  • Is it available in the Moodle.org plugins database
  • Is the zip available to download into the correct folder name or does it need exploring to change
  • Is it just a drop in and use notifications or is it more complex / require patches manual intervention / additional server software requirements (if so is this clearly indicated in the version.php - see Version docs)

Is the documentation good?

  • Has it got a Moodle Docs page
  • Has it got good readme.txt
  • Has it got good help files & instructions
  • Has it got screenshots

Is it easy for teacher to use?

  • For the most common use case is it logical in usage?
  • Are the instructions for use correct and usable?

Is it easy for student to use?

  • For the most common use case is it logical in usage?
  • Are the instructions for use correct and usable?

Does it do what it says?

  • Are the instructions for use correct and usable?
  • Does it provide the functionality as described in a good sensible way, is it a "full feature" or an interim solution.

Features

  • Does it have a roadmap of potential improvements /changes?
  • Will it work on Mobile theme and on Web?

Feedback

  • Are there any comments from users on the plugin site?
  • Are there any reviews of the module?
  • Are there any discussions on it in the forums?

Author Background (experience/reliability check)

  • Are they active in Moodle community for a good period of time?
  • Do they respond well to queries on bugs etc.?
  • Do they work for an established Moodle development team (Moodle partner, the OU, or HQ for example)?

Technical

  • Does it work properly with the different database types?
  • Is the mod being updated regularly with new Moodle versions?
  • Does the module follow good Moodle coding standards? (Use the Code Checker plugin)
  • Does it properly use language files or has it got hardcoded text?
  • Does it properly follow accessibility guidelines?
  • Does it properly follow css and theming approaches?
  • Does it conflict with anything else naming wise?
  • Does it depend on another non-standard plugin (if so is this clearly indicated in the version.php - see Version docs)
  • Does author regularly bug fix?
  • Does it impact performance of Moodle in normal or high traffic usage?
  • Does it have any security risks (is the user data protected/sanitised)
  • What resources will it require to be used?
  • Does backup/restore work?
  • Has it got unit tests?

See Also