Usability issues - Metacourses

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List of the various resource and activities and comparison how groups are either relevant or not for each of them

As it is defined in Moodle docs, the group mode can be defined at two levels:

  • Course level - the group mode defined at the course level is the default mode for all activities defined within that course. This is determined in the course settings.
  • Activity level - each activity that supports groups can also have its own group mode defined. If the course setting "Force group mode" is set to "Yes" then the option to define the group mode for individual activities is not available i.e. there is no Groups icon next to activities on the course page.

Moreover there are three group modes:

  • No groups: there are no sub groups, everyone is part of one big community.
  • Separate groups: each group can only see their own group, others are invisible.
  • Visible groups: each group works in their own group, but can also see other groups. (The other groups' work is read-only)
Comparison of group modes, visibility and category of the different module activities
ID Activity Group Modes Visibility Category Relevance
1 Quiz Yes Yes Yes
2 Forum Yes Yes Yes
3 Glossary No Yes No It is not relevant that the glossary does not have a group mode because a glossary can be seen usually by everybody. However, it is a functionality that perhaps could be added because when the number of words increases a lot, it could be helpful the separate or visibility functionality. It also would be useful to add the category option.
4 Chat Yes Yes No The category option is not really relevant because chats are not usually gradable.
5 Choice Yes Yes No The category option would be useful because of grading the choice.
6 Assignments Yes Yes Yes
7 Database Yes Yes No The category option could be useful for grading.
8 Lesson No Yes No Both grouping and category would be useful when the information of the lesson grows and when grading respectively.
9 Survey Yes Yes No Category would be useful for advanced grading although it is not critical.
10 Wiki Yes Yes No Category would be useful for advanced grading although it is not critical.
11 Journal Yes Yes No Category would be useful for advanced grading although it is not critical.
12 Hotpotatoe Yes Yes Yes
13 Exercise Yes Yes No Category would be useful for advanced grading.
14 Workshop Yes Yes No (no ID neither) Category would be useful for advanced grading. ID would preserve Moodle's consistency.

Separate, visible, and no groups concepts

Are there activities that do not use groups?

Yes, as it can be seen in the above table, both glossary and lesson doesn't have the group functionality in "update glossary / lesson".

Do we use the concept consistently across the various activities?

There is not consistency because:

1. In the the course pages seems that groups modes are implemented in all activities but if you go to the update glossary / lesson, you cannot select group functionality while in the updates of the other activities you can.

Metacourses.JPG

2. Category grading should be implemented in all activities.

3. The workshop particularly has no ID nor formatting grouping the different settings (settings are grouped in "general", "grade settings", etc.) Workshop2.JPG

Guidelines to be consistent when preparing to make use of groups

  • Consider the lack of consistence mentioned before.
  • The group and category functionality could be added to resources (labels, text and web pages, file or website, directory, and IMS)