User talk:Chris collman

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A Quote you may like

The growth of any craft depends on shared practice and honest dialogue among the people who do it. We grow by private trial and error, to be sure -- but our willingness to try, and fail, as individuals is severely limited when we are not supported by a community that encourages such risks" - The Courage to Teach; Palmer, 1998, p. 144

Comment from Derek

Just saw your name pop up a bit today as I engage with Moodle 2.0 file handling.

We have a new Moodle 2 site for a trial, mainly in NZ schools. Moodle 2 Matters If you need a space to play at any stage you are welcome. Derek Chirnside 02:54, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the offer Derek. Saw the FAQs and decided that was a good idea so created a page and moved them. Your contribution got me thinking maybe could use a template:files in a bit. However, I am still getting my head around the new file system. Helen always seems to tell me 2 things: Thanks for your contribution and remember to keep it simple/plain/don't change that" (she is much more diplomatic than that, bless her). Templates and new pages tend to be where I get the most edits of my edits :) --chris collman 14:24, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

File Upload Size

Hi Chris,

I noticed that you made some changes to the File upload size page.

I have been thrashing a few ideas about this page round with Marc and Colin for a while (en:Talk:File_upload_size) and I think I am getting close to a format that will help users first discover the info they need before they ask the question "How do I increase the file upload size in Moodle?"

Anyway, I have finally found some time to have a look at it again. I have started a re-working of it from my user area on the docs. I am trying to take into account the idea of the matrix of questions Marc discussed. Have a look at it here User:Jon_Witts/file-upload-v2 and leave any comments in the talk page and make any additions you see fit to make too.


Jon Witts 19:55, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Thanks Jon. Great use of a subpage. I jumped right in when I saw you added links, and left comments. I think we should be able to sift this out for the experienced and new user. --chris collman 13:26, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

New Hampshire Moodlers

Way back when, Don S down in Nashua way asked me if I would like to talk about a New Hampshire Moodle user's group. Interesting. That was a small group at that time. Since then the list is really growing.

For example some overall agencies using/promoting/customizing Moodles in NH:

  • Exeter Professional Development Center is developing the Portfolio module and trains K-12 Moodlers and does Moodle hosting for their stakeholders,
  • North Country Educational Services (NCES in Gorham) promotes and trains North Country K-12 schools, and
  • UNH Cooperative Extension is looking at it
  • Other Professional Development Centers (groups of School Administration Units, funded in part by NH's Dept of Education) may also be promoting Moodle.
  • The State Higher Ed (USNH) colleges and universities, along with the state community college system (NHCCS, formerly NHCTCS) all use Bb. Some individual teachers may use Moodle.

So I would guess as of October 2007 there are at least 15 to 25 schools and agencies using Moodle in New Hampshire.

Changes to Usability/Improve_Moodle_User_Experience_Consistency

Hi Chris,

I appreciate you working on the docs, and thanks for adding a common GSOC 09 tag to Usability/Improve_Moodle_User_Experience_Consistency. Is there a page which links all the pages tagged this way?

However, I am not so sure about your newer changes. Are these changes made according to a Moodle docs convention, or based on your own user research? I assume you have changed the other GSOC pages accordingly, too, but just mentioning you are making it more user friendly does not mean much. Mostly your changes are okay (though you haven't really communicated what are the users/usage scenarios you are aiming to make it more useful for so it is hard to tell if it is more "user friendly" [usable?] or not). To have the navigation to other related documents seems important to me to keep at the top of the page, and the "up to usability" link was there to make the hierarchical relationship to the more general Usability page clear (and as such "additional documentation" is not really appropriate).

--Olli Savolainen 12:34, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Having not heard from you, reverted the "up to usability" link back to how it was. --Olli Savolainen 09:59, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Hm, I am not sure why Usability also has the GSoC template - I am not really working on that this summer - is some other GSoCcer?

Would you like me to edit the template so that it would be a link to the GSoC'09 page itself - this way it would be easier to browse around the different GSOC sites with the help of the template? Thanks.--Olli Savolainen 15:07, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Hi Olli, been flat out with other stuff and have not checked "my watchlist" in a few days. It was my understanding that someday some of the GSoC projects would become part of Moodle, thus my interest. I respect your changes.
I thought you were working on this as a project for '09,and/or GSOC/2009#Improve_Moodle_user_experience_consistency my apologies. I usually stay away from the Development stuff but am peeking in on the GSoC 09 forum this year to watch process.
Usual MoodleDoc format is to put brief intro, then first heading, so TOC automatically inserts itself before the first heading and after the intro. Usual MoodleDocs convention is to put "See also" at bottom of page with links to outside sources, or internal page links that may also be useful but not clearly linked in the body of the page. I personally like to see functionality come before setup instructions in mature MoodleDoc pages used by teachers, but in the development space, I think anything goes. I can see where those links serve as history or precedent which is useful for developers. And not something teachers really care about, so different needs for different users :)
The reason for the Template is to alert people that this is '09 project. There is a Category:GSOC a sub category of Category:Project that seems to list student projects/. I thought about creating a template with links but most users do not flit between the projects. I was wondering if a sub category 09 might be better but decided that also too elaborate for the number of users who really were involved. I was going to go back and tag all the GSoC '09 projects with a category but ran out of time and put it on the potential roundtuit list.
Appreciate your comments, sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Thanks for all your contributions to Moodle, as well. Best --chris collman 18:49, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Hi Chris,
I realize now that I was overtly harsh about your changes. Sorry about that. My project indeed is a GSoC project, and it makes sense to have the GSoC template on it. But Usability is not directly related to this usability project, except by its subject area.
I find it fascinating that you know so much about Moodle Docs conventions. The reason for this is that my project is, in essence, a project to create easy-as-possible content to the Docs: UI guidelines. So I would really like to learn from you.
Oops, gotta go, will respond to the rest later. --Olli Savolainen 08:42, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
I have been mentored by Helen :) Trial and error, watching our community edit and discuss pages, and paying attention to repeating issues raised in a couple of forums also has influenced my knowledge of what seems to work. We all live in ruts that we can not see out of without help, some of us know it and some of us don't :) Cultural Anthropology with 5 years of what might be called field experience taught me that before my brain became frozen at 25. Best --chris collman 10:03, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Great :). As I am creating content on docs, too, do you think it might be possible to document, just briefly, the conventions we already use, and the relationship to other recommendations for using wikis, such as Wikipedia's? Or would you like to participate in the discussion, once we get that far, on the design of the future guidelines - which, although they are mostly for developers at this point - must critically be very easy to read, since usability is typically strange land for many developers. --Olli Savolainen 11:22, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
If you have time, please have a look at Progressive_Disclosure and comment. Thanks :) --Olli Savolainen 11:41, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Beginning Administration FAQ

I liked your comments about the question: Why am I just not getting how Permissions and Roles work?

This section really jumps around in my logic and needs more links. The intro is good because it addresses a problem I had/have :) But after that I would delete the rest. At a certain point the words revert to a description of a process, where authentication is mixed in with front page roles and terms of teacher, course creator and such and what happens when a user comes back from a course..... I think more links will help and maybe ask another question (or more) to focus upon why the mental block about permissions, contexts, capabilities, and roles. --chris collman 12:37, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes, you are probably right Chris, but my initial concern was to get the question up. Just go for it, I am not in the position I can spend a lot of time doing this until the end of September now. Cheers..

Your comment : (→How do I restore an older graphics course that is way over he file upload limit?: why someone would do this) It was worded the way it was for two reasons, first I rushed it and did not really think too hard about it, sorry, but then later when I realized it, and had time to fix it, you had already done so, thank you, saves me from looking like a complete blockhead..:) Colin Fraser 09:04, 12 December 2009 (UTC)Colin Fraser

Hey Colin, that is why MoodleDocs is collaborative, we help the process along as we are able and so inclined. I saw that because I am recreating a 1.5.3 site on a new 1.9.7 server. I decided I better review the Beginning Admin FAQs for any hints about backups and users. I had just finishing reinventing the wheel using WinSCP, when I saw your FAQ which was one of the issues I had to deal with. I will confess that I tend not to look at those pages to edit, but obviously find them useful as I am sure others do as well. Thanks for your continued contributions to Moodle, especially on behalf of the new users! --chris collman 11:59, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for catching my typo did rather change the meaning ;-)--Tim Hunt 14:51, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Keep doing the heavy lifting, sometimes I will find a grain of sand to put in the right place. --chris collman 11:39, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

GIFT examples?

Chris, have you carefully tested the GIFT examples in Moodle. I am very inclined to say "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" with these.--Tim Hunt 13:40, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Thank you Tim. I will check all of them this morning. I like humor but the subject of Grant's Tomb could be culturally inappropriate and the difference between being entombed above ground and buried will not be obvious many speakers of English. Of course any changes had better work :) --chris collman 09:38, 11 June 2010 (UTC)