User talk:Ross Woods

From MoodleDocs

Projects for new developers

Here's a bunch of things below, some sections of which are systemic and interdependent. Basically, I want Moodle to automate as much as possible of my college admin as a database can. Presently we have to keep all these different data sets and relate them manually: Local campus student and staff data, local campus finances, central office student and staff data, central office finances, central office archives. That doesn't make sense. It could easily be all one program and Moodle is the perfect platform.

The more data entry and update that is done in the field, the less needs to be done in database upkeep. If people depend on the system and it's easy to use, we don't have to motivate them to use it.

Okay, after learning more about Moodle 1.9, I've found that some of the things I first asked for are now there, either built in to Moodle itself or in the website. For example, help is quite context sensitive and easier to use, and there is now a way to have a structure that allows for different campuses/ departments/ regions/ etc. There is now better a better orientation to Moodle tutorial for staff.

So here's my updated wish-list:

- have a simple install wizard, with tick-box selection of features (aka modules) to be installed.

- intuitive menus and wizards (Doing better, but could perhaps still improve. If someone looks at a screen and doesn’t know what to do, we’ve probably still got it wrong.)

- orientation to Moodle tutorial for system administrators, with less techno-babble.

- move selected add-on modules to the core and make them optional installs. This has started to happen, but some core items are still only available in modules.

- have a way for students to input their own data by on-line application

- have the full automated database of student information for administrators (admissions, personal particulars, enrollments, enrollment statistics, academic records, payments),

- have a way for students to update their own data on-line, while keeping records of past details

- have a way online for new staff to do staff induction and input their own data

- have a way for staff to update their own data on-line, while keeping a record of past data.

- graduate students/print diplomas and transcripts,

- archive academic records,

- take credit card payments (only one option available as a module and then its quite standalone, not integrated)

- have an automated bookkeeping system to integrate online credit card payments, offline payments students data (e.g. billing, receipting, accounting, functions) and then export reports for institutional reporting, bank reconciliations, etc. Some of it could be adapted from Gnucash. That's a full accounting program and the GNU source code is easy to get.

- manage staff, which are really just a special class of students from a database management point of view.

- have a simple structure (and way of organizing) to differentiate between permitted areas: public website, library bookshelves, staff area, separate class area, separate campus admins, etc.

As far as I can tell, Moodle can't integrate these things so far through plugins, but it is all so closely interrelated and overlapping that the core needs to offer them.

Ross, thanks for all your ideas for projects for new developers. Please see New feature ideas for information on how to turn them into reality. --Helen Foster 05:05, 3 March 2009 (CST)