Hackfest UK 2014/LTI

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LTI Usability improvements

This session is about exploring how to improve the use of external (LTI) tools in Moodle.

Participants

  • Michael Aherne, University of Strathclyde
  • Michael Hughes, University of Strathclyde
  • John Tutchings, Coventry University
  • Stephen Vickers, IMS Global

Rationale

  • Usability: enable instructors to more easily find external tools, particularly for high-profile / heavily-used tools (such as Turnitin)
  • Usability: enable instructors to customise list of tools in activity chooser

Requirements

  1. Tools can be defined by admins and appear as activities in the activity chooser
    1. It would be a good start to have these appear as subtypes of "External tool"
    2. Ideally, it should be possible to allows tools to appear as top-level activities.
  2. Ability to add these specific LTI tools to a course should be controllable by admins (currently anyone with LTI addinstance capability can add any tool)
  3. Tools should be able to be set up as activity or resource

Suggestions

  1. Ability to mark admin-set tools as "to be shown in activity chooser" (and show them)
  2. Ability for plugins to dynamically define capabilities so that these LTI tools can be given their own "addinstance" capability
  3. Ability for users to define which activities are available in a course (not just LTI tools - this would be a new general Moodle feature)

Questions

  1. Module sub-types are marked in the code as "legacy" and there is a strong suggestion that they aren't used. Why? ("// NOTE: this is legacy stuff, module subtypes are very strongly discouraged!!" in /course/lib.php)
  2. Dynamic properties (i.e. created / controlled by module code, not pre-defined in access.php) - is this a reasonable proposal?

Code

A proof-of-concept patch to dynamically show LTI tools in the activity chooser (as sub-types of "External Tool" - second best to being shown at top level) was developed during the hackfest: [1]

Interesting Tracker issues

  1. Enable teachers to add (read config.xml uri) tools from the edu-apps.org LTI catalog MDL-40899