Workshop 2.0 specification

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Moodle 2.0


This page tracks and summarizes the progress of my attempt to try and rewrite the Workshop module for Moodle 2.0 (yes, yet another attempt).

PROJECT STATE: Planning

Introduction

Workshop module is an advanced Moodle activity designed for peer-assessments within a structured review/feedback/grading framework. It is generally agreed the Workshop module has a huge pedagogical potential and there is quite a big demand of the community (including some Moodle Partners) to have such module. It was originally written by Ray Kingdon, and was the very first third-party module written for Moodle. For a long time it's been largely un-maintained except for emergency fixes by various developers to keep it operational. During last years, several attempts were done by various volunteers to rewrite the module or to replace it with an alternative. At the moment it is removed from the HEAD branch and lies in the CONTRIB area. This document specifies the proposed way of revitalizing the Workshop module so it becomes the standard core module again in Moodle 2.0.

Basic concepts

There are two key features making the Workshop module unique among other Moodle activies

UML: Basic teacher's and student's use cases

Current implementation problems

  • Very old and unmaintained code - the vast majority of the code is the same as it was in Moodle 1.1. mforms are not used (accessibility). Missing modularity. No unit testing.
  • Does not talk with the Gradebook - there are some patches around in forums fixing partial problems.
  • User interface and usability
  • Grades calculation is kind of dark magic - see this discussion. It is not easy to understand the way how Workshop calculates the grading grade even if you read the code that actually does the calculation. More than that, the whole algorithm depends on a set of strange constants without any explanation or reasoning of the value. The grade calculation must be clear and easy to understand to both teacher and student. Teachers must be always able to explain why students got their final grades. Therefore the plan is to get rid of the fog above the grades calculation, even if it breaks backward compatibility.
  • Lack of custom scales support - see this discussion
  • Phases overlapping, balancing, overall allocation issues - see this discussion

Project analysis

See the project analysis mindmap

Project schedule

Milestone 1

  • Date: 15/05/2009
  • Goal: The functional specification is in docs wiki and is reviewed and agreed by the community and Moodle HQ. The implementation plan is transferred into sub-tasks in the tracker.

Milestone 2

  • Date: 15/07/2009
  • Goal: All features implemented. The community is asked for the testing.

Milestone 3

  • Date: 15/08/2009
  • Goal: Major bugs fixed, upgrading from pre-2.0 versions works. The community is asked for the QA testing.

Milestone 4

  • Date: 15/09/2009
  • Goal: The module is moved from contrib back to the core.

User interaface mockups

Implementation plan

The structure of the code

Files, libraries, interfaces, classes, unit tests

DB tables

Capabilities

File API integration

How Workshop will use the new File API.

Repository/portfolio API integration

If and how will be implemented.

Grading strategies

We are currently working on this part of specification, see - the Google doc

Pluggable submodules in mod/workshop/grading/xxxx/. Implement grading_strategy interface. Basically provide grading form and way of grade calculation. During the current phase, four strategies will be implemented (the names are to discuss)

See MDL-18912 for UI mockups of grading forms.

No grading

Just comment(s)

Accumulative

Number of errors

Currently called Error banded

Criterial rubrics

Merges the current Rubrics and Criterion strategy into a single one (basically, current Criterion is an one-dimensional Rubrics)

Out of scope

What are not goals of this project (may be discussed later for 2.1 etc.)

  • No new/other grading strategies are to implement in the current phase
  • No new Workshop features will be implemented (if possible)
  • No group grading support

To be discussed/decided

Other links and resources

Diagram used

Credits

Many thanks to Stephan Rinke for his valuable comments and ideas.