Project Course Format

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Project Course Format release 1 - 2008.06.01


Readme File Version - 2008.06.19

Purpose___________________ This is an optional course format for handling projects and other learning units with a variety of activities. A course format changes the layout and operations of the main center column of a Moodle course. Inside a course, you can select the format of a course by clicking on Admin >> Course Settings. Typically, Topics format or Weekly format is used. This format is like Topics format, except that each section of a course can be "packaged" separately. It has a separate directory and it can be backed up separately with all resources and activities together. The import function allows a teacher to share and move the section (project) anywhere on the site. Fast resource creation and bulk media file upload are also possible. This format is ideal for creating an in-house repository of learning packages and promoting teacher-to-teacher sharing of materials.

Features___________________ - section directory - section backup - section import across site with auto-regeneration of media file links - quick resource creator - bulk media file uploader

Status_____________________ This course format has been used since early April 2008 in a full 1.9 production environment. However, we urge you use this on a development server until you can verify it works well with you your data. We believe it supports all standard modules plus some third party modules (Feedback, Project, Splitscreen). Let us know which modules work or do not work in your environment.

Installation________________ (admin status needed and experience installing 3rd party modules recommended) 1. Unzip this package 2. Place the "project" folder into the course/format/ folder of your Moodle 1.9 program files 3. Go into a course where you have teacher or admin status. Click on "Course settings". 5. Change the course format to "project". 6. Turn "editing on" and you will see new icons appear.

Bugs____ Please report to Don Hinkelman, hinkel at

Known Issues____________ 1. Converting from a topic-format course will require some manual correction of links 2. After you import a new section into your course, you will be prompted to change the name of the directory. It is best to have a unique directory name for each section (across a course), however, this is not always enforced strictly. 3. Backup and import icons confusing to teachers. We are searching for new icons. 4. Easy to upload large numbers of files, no easy way to delete them. Be careful! 5. When moving a resource or activity within a course (using the up/down arrow icon), the associated media files or resource file does not move into the new section directory 6. This approach to backup/import may duplicate media files many times within a site. This is not a problem for a site with its own server and sufficient hard disk capacity. However, for limited capacity sites (such as on a shared hosting server), this course format could cause you to reach your limit sooner than expected. Use carefully.

Acknowledgements________________ Design team: Don Hinkelman and Andy Johnson Programming: Akio Ohnishi, version2 software Funding: Sapporo Gakuin University, Japan

Help Files____________________________ 1. English Help file "format/project/resourceupload.html": Quick Resource Upload This is a quick way to upload a resource file into a section of a course. It will automatically name the resource with the same name as the original file. It can also be used to bulk upload an unlimited number of resources. This can save numerous steps and encourage teachers to take the time to publish their documents, handouts, and lesson files. However, be careful when selecting what to upload, because bulk upload is so easy, but there is no bulk delete or undo function. Each new resource must be deleted one-by-one. Any resource created by this method can be edited in the normal way.

2. English Help file "format/project/cousefileupload.html" Quick Course File Upload This is a quick way to upload a batch of media files (audio, video, image, etc.) for any activity in your section/project. For example, if you want to create a quiz with many images and sound files, use this to locate, select, and upload those files. Click on the link, "Quick Course File Upload", and then select the files anywhere on your hard disk. Click "Select" and these files will be instantly uploaded into the Course Files area of your course administration. When you do a backup or import into another course, these files will be included. After moving, a new path to these files will be built in each activity that has links to these files.

3. English Help file "format/project/sectionbackuprestore.html" Section Backup and Import The first icon in this pair of icons (on the left) is for section backup. It will backup all the activities, resources and associated course files into one package. It does not backup any user data or user files. This is useful if you want to send or exchange a zip file to another site or another teacher on a different site. The second icon (on the right) is more important. It is an import icon. First, you have to know the location of a good section/project you want to import into your course. After you have got the location in another course, you normally will go to an empty section in your destination course and click on this. When you click on this, you will have to select the original course, and then you will select one of the sections of that course.

4. Help file "format/project/directoryname.html" Section Directory Name In the Project Course Format, each section has its own folder. The folder is kept in Admin >> FIles of each course (not the Site Files). This folder holds the media files and resources that belong to the section (project/topic/theme). Initially, each section folder is named "section01"," section02"," section03" and so on. However, for moving and importing across the site, it is important that each folder have a unique name. You will be prompted to make a unique name.