The first year of the MoodleNet project focused on the Conceive, Plan, and Develop parts of the Product Lifecycle. An overview of what we achieved can be found in this 2018 retrospective post on the MoodleNet blog.
The first half of 2019 was focused on the Test and Iterate parts of the Product Lifecycle. We launched the first version of MoodleNet to a group of beta testers (~100 English-speaking, ~100 Spanish-speaking). The value proposition we were testing was, “Do educators want to join communities to curate collections of resources?”. By listening to users and evolving the user interface based on their input, we received useful feedback. The value proposition was validated, the tagline of Share. Curate. Discuss was chosen, and we understood the top 10 priorities from testers:
- Search for specific keywords and topics of interest.
- Easily find out when something has changed within a community they’ve joined, or a collection they’re following.
- Sort lists of communities and collections by more than ‘most recent’ (e.g. by number of collections or discussion threads)
- Tag communities, collections, and profiles, to make it easier to find related content.
- Upload resources to MoodleNet instead of just adding via URL.
- Indicate ‘resource type’ (e.g. ‘course’, ‘presentation’ or ‘plugin’)
- Send resources they discover on MoodleNet to their Moodle Core instance
- Add copyright information to resources and collections
- Easily rediscover useful resources they’ve discovered in collections they’re not following
- Access MoodleNet on their mobile devices
After the testing period, we said goodbye to our previous backend developer, and welcomed two new members to our team. We ran a workshop at the UK & Ireland MoodleMoot where we received some extremely useful feedback, and attended the Creative Commons Summit where we found links between our work and that of allies in the Open Education movement.
The third quarter of 2019 has been focused on the Iteration part of the Product Lifecycle. There was some meta-level things to deal with in the form of planning to sunset the existing moodle.net, work with the marketing team on a new MoodleNet page for moodle.com, and finalising the first version of MoodleNet's Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) for a community consultation.
More practically, the draft User Agreement and Covenant for Instance Administrators helped us draw a line in the sand based on some issues that the wider 'Fediverse' was having. In addition, we decided that MoodleNet would be focused on free cultural works which differentiates it from other options.
We shared a clickable prototype of a new user interface with the community for their feedback, and created a lightweight spec based on it. A read-only version of the basic features in the new UI is now live on our staging server. Our small, part-time team has been punching above its weight to get a long list of features ready for a beta release in November. Before that, we will be running a [https://blog.moodle.net/2019/federation-testing-programme/ federation testing programme, which we announced during this quarter, receiving a good number of sign-ups.
Working with Eummena, a new Moodle Partner, we have developed a Moodle LMS plugin which allows users to search MoodleNet and import resources to courses. After review and and any further work, we envisage this will be made available first via the Moodle plugins directory, and then integrated as core Moodle LMS functionality in a future release.
Our plan for the final quarter of 2019 is to focus on the Launch part of the Product Lifecycle. At the Global Moot in Barcelona at the end of November we will announce the beta version of MoodleNet, ready for early adopters to start using.
Must-have functionality still to deliver from our prioritisation grid includes the following, which are all works-in-progress:
- Federation with other instances
- Connect to HQ ‘mothership’
- Search across federated instances
- MVP admin dashboard
- Sign-up page (username/password)
- Open to browse without signing in
- Image upload
- Every @community is hyperlinked
- Category tags
- Every +mention is hyperlinked
- Like resources
- Add hashtags to added resources
- Liked resources
- Every @username is hyperlinked
Moodle Core integration:
- Finalise plugin to pull resources from MoodleNet
- Basic security audit
Based on our prioritisation grid (August 2019) we are planning the following post-beta functionality and features.
- Analytics for instance administrators
- Social sign-in
- Related communities/collections
- Sort/filter listed resources
- Auto-complete hashtags
- Add other users to a contact list
- Invite other people to create a MoodleNet profile
- Add interests (based on hashtags)
- Sort/filter ‘My MoodleNet’ page
- In-depth security audit
- Unsplash integration
- Private communities/collections
- Copy/fork a collection into another community
- Events functionality
- Emoji ID
- Query 3rd-party repositories
- Request a resource
- Open Badges on profiles