Seattle Academy

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Seattle Academy

Seattle Academy is an independent secondary school of approximately 580 students. The upper school has had a laptop program for all students since 1997 and has used Moodle since 2005. The school used and modified version 1.6 until Moodle 1.9 was in Beta, and then made bug fixes and usability recommendations prior to 1.9 going final. Here we document additional customizations to Moodle 1.9 that are not yet part of the core Moodle code.

These patches and custom blocks are by Gary Anderson, except where noted. The day-to-day operation of the Moodle server is now handled be the technology department of the school allowing Gary to focus more time both on teaching with Moodle and on sharing his code and expertise with others.

TO DO: ADD GRAPHICS AND FORMAT BETTER

Custom Blocks

  • Assignments to grade block: A block that reports to teachers those assignments that need grading, including those where the due-date has past, where the student has made a submission not yet graded, or where students have made a revision. It works with the school's custom due-date code.
  • Problem assignments block Reports to a student assignments in their classes that have "problems", such as a due-date that has past without a submission, the case where a teacher makes a comment but no grade, the case where a teacher has given a grade of zero, etc.
  • Advisee problem assignments block For a list of an adviser's students, reports the number of "Problem assignments" with a list of issues.
  • Major assignments block Teachers can categorize an assignment as "major". This block lists out by date and graduation year with the student count of the number of students affected all such assignments that are marked as major (like big tests, projects, etc.) This allows teachers to avoid conflicts.
  • View Submissions block This block allows you to select an assignment and it prints a report of all the student's submissions on one page. This allows a teacher to assign a reflection on a day's work and quickly assess student problems, issues they want to talk about, who has done the work, etc.
  • Customized Attendance block A custom version of Dmitry Pupinin's attendance block which ties in with our school's attendance database so a teacher, when taking attendance on Moodle, will know if the student is listed as having an excused absence, early dismissal, etc.
  • MoodleHacks Patcher block This block inserts and removes custom patches that Gary has written. This allows features to be added and removed much more easily than custom CVS or SVN patches. It also makes the patches more compatible with CVS updates to core by reducing conflicts: patches are typically single-line insertions.


Custom Patches

  • Alternate due dates patch Allows different due dates to be set, based on the group that the student is in. This allows the same course to be taught to multiple sections with the correct due date for each student.
  • Autograding patch Assignments are marked as full credit if submitted on time, and get prorated credit during a grade interval, and a zero after that interval has past. The grade is subject to instructor review, and is marked as such. But it allows for much easier grading for those types of assignments that get full credit if submitted on time.
  • Course page assignment status for students patch Marks the status of assignment on the course page with words like "Past due", "Zero", "See Comment", "Graded", etc. Assignments marked in red are "Problem assignments" that the student should deal with.
  • Decimal grading patch Allows assignments to be graded with decimal rather than just integer grades. So, an assignment can be given a score of 98.3, etc. Karlene Clapp has modified this to allow such grades to be entered on the assignment submission page and to have an "exempt" checkbox.
  • Gradebook tabs patch Brings back the tabs in the 1.9 gradebook so that teachers can quickly go between the grader report, preferences, categories and items, grade report, etc. This was posted as a patch to the tracker but not implemented.
  • Course page assignment status for teachers patch Marks the status of assignments on the course page including the number to be graded in red. This works with the Alternate due dates patch so it correctly counts only those that are due for a particular group.
  • Gradebook report patch Allows teachers in the grader report to click on a student's name and see just that line (helpful when seeing the gradebook with the student). Students can also see this line in the grader report.
  • Quiz results filter patch Allows teacher to filer out only graded/ungraded attempts in manually graded essay quiz items.
  • Course defaults patch Simplifies the course settings and sets defaults (such as start date, groups, etc.) that work best for the school.
  • Course due dates patch Prints the due dates of assignments on the course page. This works with our Alternate due date patch so it prints the correct due date and time for a given group.
  • Weeks order patch Allows a user to view a course page so that the current week is the first one and previous weeks are shown in descending order (or they can use the menu to show the classic view). Preferences are stored per user based on their last view.
  • Setting grading category patch While this patch was submitted and implemented in core, this patch still allows the part that was not implemented: setting the category on the grading page.
  • Quiz import (Blackboard/Examview) patch Allows Examview (a test generating package) to import into gradebook using the Blackboard format. Previously this worked with only text based questions; this patch allows for the import of questions that include graphics, etc.
  • Gradebook Patch misc patch A serious of miscellaneous patches that make the gradebook easier for 1.9 in the secondary school setting, including better defaults, more hidden items, etc. These are essentially what remains that was not implemented from Gary's suggestions in tracker during the 1.9 beta process. Karlene Clapp, server administrator, has also added a patch to highlight a row, give alternate highlighting, and print student names on the right hand side.
  • Assignment type change patch Allows a teacher to change the type of an assignment after it has been created (like from offline to upload or advanced upload, etc.
  • Over maximum grade patch Allows grades to be entered that are over 100%
  • IMAP bypass Allows the MD5 hash of the password to be used for comparison in logging in, meaning that the Moodle server is not dependent on the mail server being up to operate. It also speeds up loggins.
  • Major assignment selector patch Allows teachers to mark an assignment as "major" which puts it in bold on the course page and also lists it in the "Major assignments" block.
  • Gradebook extra credit Allows an assignment or other grading item to be marked as extra credit so that the gradebook does not include it in the total points possible.
  • Grade setting patch Puts a button on the assignment grading page for setting all remaining grades to Max, or to Min grade. This greatly speeds grading in cases where most assignments receive the same mark (if submitted), or when zero needs to be given to a batch of unsubmitted assignments, etc.
  • Choice election mode patch Allows setting the choice module for a particular choice instance so that a course teacher will not see individual students choices. This is especially nice for providing anonymity during online elections.
  • Assignment default patch Changes defaults and simplifies interface for teachers creating assignments so that common settings are given by default and little used features are hidden or treated as "advanced".