Details

    • Type: Sub-task Sub-task
    • Status: Closed
    • Priority: Minor Minor
    • Resolution: Fixed
    • Component/s: moodle.org
    • Labels:
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    • Rank:
      43471

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        Hide
        Martin Dougiamas added a comment -

        We need one major forum called "Future major features" or "Upcoming major projects" where people can collaborate on specifications for major new features. One discussion per feature, mostly.

        Show
        Martin Dougiamas added a comment - We need one major forum called "Future major features" or "Upcoming major projects" where people can collaborate on specifications for major new features. One discussion per feature, mostly.
        Hide
        Helen Foster added a comment -

        I have reviewed usage of the forums we currently have in Using Moodle, looking at numbers of views, posts, misposts etc. See https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AmamVlPpCnn4dGtUY0ZTTkRYb2QxSS1EMnJPY3ZqbWc#gid=1

        We currently have a very long list of forums which is intimidating for newcomers, plus it’s not always easy to determine the most appropriate forum to post in.

        The number of forums has grown rather organically over time, with some forums such as themes and quiz module being used a lot, and supporting mini communities of active users and developers.

        Rather than attempting to fit all forums into a forum per plugin type structure, my recommendation is to continue to enable this organic growth, and regularly review forum requirements, pruning any forums which are no longer needed (which have little or no recent activity) and creating new forums for plugins (both core and contrib) or new developments as requested.

        This will result in an odd-looking list of forums, for example not having a forum for each core activity since the survey forum is hardly used, but at least the list will be a fair bit shorter!

        I also recommend that we use the one section per page course layout and that section 0 (always visible) contains a message such as:

        "Before posting a new discussion topic, be sure to search to see if one has been started already and read our code of conduct to find out how to maximize your chance of getting help. If you're not sure where to post, please use the General help forum."

        I also recommend that as many trusted users as possible are given moderator rights in all forums in order to speedily move misposts to the correct forum and edit discussion titles as necessary. It's not feasible to set up a forum for each plugin (or even plugin type), however what can work is discussion threads appropriately titled so that they're easily found.

        Thus, my suggested plan for reorganising the forums is https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AmamVlPpCnn4dGtUY0ZTTkRYb2QxSS1EMnJPY3ZqbWc#gid=2 Comments welcome!

        Show
        Helen Foster added a comment - I have reviewed usage of the forums we currently have in Using Moodle, looking at numbers of views, posts, misposts etc. See https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AmamVlPpCnn4dGtUY0ZTTkRYb2QxSS1EMnJPY3ZqbWc#gid=1 We currently have a very long list of forums which is intimidating for newcomers, plus it’s not always easy to determine the most appropriate forum to post in. The number of forums has grown rather organically over time, with some forums such as themes and quiz module being used a lot, and supporting mini communities of active users and developers. Rather than attempting to fit all forums into a forum per plugin type structure, my recommendation is to continue to enable this organic growth, and regularly review forum requirements, pruning any forums which are no longer needed (which have little or no recent activity) and creating new forums for plugins (both core and contrib) or new developments as requested. This will result in an odd-looking list of forums, for example not having a forum for each core activity since the survey forum is hardly used, but at least the list will be a fair bit shorter! I also recommend that we use the one section per page course layout and that section 0 (always visible) contains a message such as: "Before posting a new discussion topic, be sure to search to see if one has been started already and read our code of conduct to find out how to maximize your chance of getting help. If you're not sure where to post, please use the General help forum." I also recommend that as many trusted users as possible are given moderator rights in all forums in order to speedily move misposts to the correct forum and edit discussion titles as necessary. It's not feasible to set up a forum for each plugin (or even plugin type), however what can work is discussion threads appropriately titled so that they're easily found. Thus, my suggested plan for reorganising the forums is https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AmamVlPpCnn4dGtUY0ZTTkRYb2QxSS1EMnJPY3ZqbWc#gid=2 Comments welcome!
        Hide
        Ralf Hilgenstock added a comment -

        Hello Helen,

        thanks for the great overview.

        Security and privacy are not general problems for me. But this are different topics. Security issues from developers are discussed in General Dev forum or in tracker. We should have a privacy forum just to show we are aware of privacy and data protection issues. What about a renaming to 'privacy and data protection'?

        Usability should be a seperate forum even if this topic gets more awareness in development.

        I'm really worried about the numbers at teaching forums. This is a topic we should discuss more. How can we activate the discussion of the pedagogical aspects? What about moving this topic more to the top of the list?
        Ralf

        Show
        Ralf Hilgenstock added a comment - Hello Helen, thanks for the great overview. Security and privacy are not general problems for me. But this are different topics. Security issues from developers are discussed in General Dev forum or in tracker. We should have a privacy forum just to show we are aware of privacy and data protection issues. What about a renaming to 'privacy and data protection'? Usability should be a seperate forum even if this topic gets more awareness in development. I'm really worried about the numbers at teaching forums. This is a topic we should discuss more. How can we activate the discussion of the pedagogical aspects? What about moving this topic more to the top of the list? Ralf
        Hide
        Mary Cooch added a comment -

        I think Ralf's idea of moving the Teaching/Pedagogical forum nearer the top of the list is an excellent suggestion. We should be discussing pedagogy, more so if at least making it more visible helps by having it near the top, say, under General Help, it might be an idea worth considering.

        Show
        Mary Cooch added a comment - I think Ralf's idea of moving the Teaching/Pedagogical forum nearer the top of the list is an excellent suggestion. We should be discussing pedagogy, more so if at least making it more visible helps by having it near the top, say, under General Help, it might be an idea worth considering.
        Hide
        Helen Foster added a comment -

        Ralf and Mary, many thanks for your comments.

        As suggested, I have moved the Teaching tips forum to the Getting started section. It would be good to encourage more teacher discussions, though I wonder whether these days people prefer to discuss pedagogical aspects elsewhere on the Internet, such as in communities of practice on a hub?

        The usability forum is similar to the accessibility forum in that it has a very mixed collection of posts with many left unanswered. I think we should be getting rid of any forum in which there is confusion about what exactly should be posted there and where there is hardly anyone replying to posts.

        Regarding the Moodle community sites forum, I thought this could be the place for comments, feedback, suggestions etc about any of the community sites, including the school demo.

        Regarding where to post unofficial hacks, aren't these usually posted as answers to questions? Perhaps they should be added to Moodle Docs, rather than creating a forum for them.

        Just noting a few comments which came up in a recent moodle.org HQ meeting:

        Several people thought that the security and privacy forum should stay, and Dan offered to moderate it.

        Martin recommended that I write up a forums policy explaining the logic behind the list of forums, how we decide whether to create a new forum etc.

        Martin also came up with the following suggestion for consideration:

        a new course format with two tabs at the top, so you can switch between them... one tab says "forums", and one tab says "recent activity" and the recent activity tab could be like http://moodle.org/course/recent.php?id=5 or improved.

        Show
        Helen Foster added a comment - Ralf and Mary, many thanks for your comments. As suggested, I have moved the Teaching tips forum to the Getting started section. It would be good to encourage more teacher discussions, though I wonder whether these days people prefer to discuss pedagogical aspects elsewhere on the Internet, such as in communities of practice on a hub? The usability forum is similar to the accessibility forum in that it has a very mixed collection of posts with many left unanswered. I think we should be getting rid of any forum in which there is confusion about what exactly should be posted there and where there is hardly anyone replying to posts. Regarding the Moodle community sites forum, I thought this could be the place for comments, feedback, suggestions etc about any of the community sites, including the school demo. Regarding where to post unofficial hacks, aren't these usually posted as answers to questions? Perhaps they should be added to Moodle Docs, rather than creating a forum for them. Just noting a few comments which came up in a recent moodle.org HQ meeting: Several people thought that the security and privacy forum should stay, and Dan offered to moderate it. Martin recommended that I write up a forums policy explaining the logic behind the list of forums, how we decide whether to create a new forum etc. Martin also came up with the following suggestion for consideration: a new course format with two tabs at the top, so you can switch between them... one tab says "forums", and one tab says "recent activity" and the recent activity tab could be like http://moodle.org/course/recent.php?id=5 or improved.
        Hide
        Mary Cooch added a comment -

        (1) Thanks for moving the Teaching tips forum to the Getting started section. I actually agree with you that other areas of the internet are probably more popular for discussing pedagogical aspects but I still think it's worth encouraging such discussion here - we can see how it goes
        (2)Community sites forum - it would be really nice if this can be promoted to get more feedback and suggestions. Whenever I see you present about the sites, you can tell there are people who are encountering them for the first time -and yet all the community sites are such a valuable element of Moodle.
        (3)There was a discussion on another forum about where to post unofficial hacks. I agree it's best people suggest them in forum posts as they have done, and then add a link to the forum post in appropriate pages in the docs.
        (4) I suppose maintaining Security and Privacy forum shows the world we think it is important (like moving the Teaching tips forum up) So that's a Good Thing !
        (5) A forum policy will most certainly pre-empt any future contentious comments from users who don't agree with the forum set up.
        (6) While I like the idea of the two tab format and can see myself switching from one to the other very frequently, we need to get the recent activity displaying more usefully or consistently. (There have been discussions about it in the forums today)

        Show
        Mary Cooch added a comment - (1) Thanks for moving the Teaching tips forum to the Getting started section. I actually agree with you that other areas of the internet are probably more popular for discussing pedagogical aspects but I still think it's worth encouraging such discussion here - we can see how it goes (2)Community sites forum - it would be really nice if this can be promoted to get more feedback and suggestions. Whenever I see you present about the sites, you can tell there are people who are encountering them for the first time -and yet all the community sites are such a valuable element of Moodle. (3)There was a discussion on another forum about where to post unofficial hacks. I agree it's best people suggest them in forum posts as they have done, and then add a link to the forum post in appropriate pages in the docs. (4) I suppose maintaining Security and Privacy forum shows the world we think it is important (like moving the Teaching tips forum up) So that's a Good Thing ! (5) A forum policy will most certainly pre-empt any future contentious comments from users who don't agree with the forum set up. (6) While I like the idea of the two tab format and can see myself switching from one to the other very frequently, we need to get the recent activity displaying more usefully or consistently. (There have been discussions about it in the forums today)
        Hide
        Anthony Borrow added a comment -

        Looking at Helen's proposal, if we are going to have core plugins and contrib plugins listed together I think there does need to be some type of way of differentiating them to avoid confusion among users. It looks like Helen was adding (contrib) but I had the impression (perhaps mistaken) that we were moving more toward discussing them as plugins. In any case, I like designating the type of plugin (activity module, filter, theme, etc.) and would encourage grouping them together by plugin type (perhaps even having a course section for each). I've encouraged folks sharing a new plugin with the community to post in contributed plugins. I wonder how we might automate that based on recently approved plugins being highlighted in a block similar to recently released under the main plugins page but really more like new arrivals to the plugin community as opposed to recently released versions. Peace - Anthony

        Show
        Anthony Borrow added a comment - Looking at Helen's proposal, if we are going to have core plugins and contrib plugins listed together I think there does need to be some type of way of differentiating them to avoid confusion among users. It looks like Helen was adding (contrib) but I had the impression (perhaps mistaken) that we were moving more toward discussing them as plugins. In any case, I like designating the type of plugin (activity module, filter, theme, etc.) and would encourage grouping them together by plugin type (perhaps even having a course section for each). I've encouraged folks sharing a new plugin with the community to post in contributed plugins. I wonder how we might automate that based on recently approved plugins being highlighted in a block similar to recently released under the main plugins page but really more like new arrivals to the plugin community as opposed to recently released versions. Peace - Anthony
        Hide
        Aparup Banerjee added a comment -

        Is there a place where the annual R&D conference can be read about ?

        Regarding plugins, yea agree with Anthony there, we should have the structure of content in moodle.org/plugins and the forums somewhat looking alike for familiarity ease.

        Show
        Aparup Banerjee added a comment - Is there a place where the annual R&D conference can be read about ? Regarding plugins, yea agree with Anthony there, we should have the structure of content in moodle.org/plugins and the forums somewhat looking alike for familiarity ease.
        Hide
        Helen Foster added a comment -

        Thanks everyone for your comments.

        Mary, I created MDL-36872 for the full report of recent activity not displaying correctly.

        Anthony, as you point out, we need a way of clearly differentiating between core and contrib plugins. David Mudrak came up with the idea of calling contrib plugins 'Add-ons', as this term seems increasing used in other software projects e.g. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/. Whilst we were in the HQ office in Perth, David shared his idea with others, and people were generally in agreement that 'Add-ons' seemed a good name. What do you think?

        If we're all in agreement about using 'Add-ons' then we will need to change the name everywhere, including renaming the plugins directory and the contributed plugins forum, and also publicize the name-change. We also need to agree on a name for the code in a Moodle package - 'core' perhaps?

        Regarding having a forum (or course section) per plugin type, were you thinking of 'plugin types' as the categories listed in https://moodle.org/plugins/ - Activities, Blocks, Filters, Users etc or as listed in http://docs.moodle.org/dev/Plugins ?

        The problem is of course that they vary greatly in size, and certain plugins are associated so closely with other plugins (such as question behaviours and workshop allocation methods) that it seems odd to put them in a different forum or course section.

        Apu, regarding 'a place where the annual R&D conference can be read about', I think the best place is http://research.moodle.net/ itself (once the site is updated!) with various pointers to the site from moodle.org.

        Show
        Helen Foster added a comment - Thanks everyone for your comments. Mary, I created MDL-36872 for the full report of recent activity not displaying correctly. Anthony, as you point out, we need a way of clearly differentiating between core and contrib plugins. David Mudrak came up with the idea of calling contrib plugins 'Add-ons', as this term seems increasing used in other software projects e.g. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/ . Whilst we were in the HQ office in Perth, David shared his idea with others, and people were generally in agreement that 'Add-ons' seemed a good name. What do you think? If we're all in agreement about using 'Add-ons' then we will need to change the name everywhere, including renaming the plugins directory and the contributed plugins forum, and also publicize the name-change. We also need to agree on a name for the code in a Moodle package - 'core' perhaps? Regarding having a forum (or course section) per plugin type, were you thinking of 'plugin types' as the categories listed in https://moodle.org/plugins/ - Activities, Blocks, Filters, Users etc or as listed in http://docs.moodle.org/dev/Plugins ? The problem is of course that they vary greatly in size, and certain plugins are associated so closely with other plugins (such as question behaviours and workshop allocation methods) that it seems odd to put them in a different forum or course section. Apu, regarding 'a place where the annual R&D conference can be read about', I think the best place is http://research.moodle.net/ itself (once the site is updated!) with various pointers to the site from moodle.org.
        Hide
        Helen Foster added a comment -

        Whilst we still need to decide what to do with certain forums, forums which are clearly no longer needed can be closed now. Thus I'm listing such forums in MDLSITE-1940.

        Show
        Helen Foster added a comment - Whilst we still need to decide what to do with certain forums, forums which are clearly no longer needed can be closed now. Thus I'm listing such forums in MDLSITE-1940 .
        Hide
        Visvanath Ratnaweera added a comment -

        Helen,

        Thanks a lot for the spread sheet. Exactly what we needed.

        Just two observations:

        • Putting Installation help, General help, Teaching with Moodle, Hardware and performance and Security and privacy in one section is OK. But calling them "Getting started", isn't that a bit of an underestimation?
        • Where should the migration problems go: to Installation help, General help or to Backup and restore?
        Show
        Visvanath Ratnaweera added a comment - Helen, Thanks a lot for the spread sheet. Exactly what we needed. Just two observations: Putting Installation help, General help, Teaching with Moodle, Hardware and performance and Security and privacy in one section is OK. But calling them "Getting started", isn't that a bit of an underestimation? Where should the migration problems go: to Installation help, General help or to Backup and restore?
        Hide
        Helen Foster added a comment -

        Visvanath, thanks for your observations. You're right about "Getting started" not being a good section title. Anyone any suggestions what we could use instead?

        Regarding migration problems, I think Installation help is probably the best place. What do you think?

        Show
        Helen Foster added a comment - Visvanath, thanks for your observations. You're right about "Getting started" not being a good section title. Anyone any suggestions what we could use instead? Regarding migration problems, I think Installation help is probably the best place. What do you think?
        Hide
        Visvanath Ratnaweera added a comment -

        Hi Helen, the name of a forum will never fully explain what topics should go to that forum and what should not. Each forum need an explanation in free text. That is already happening in your spread sheet which ultimately should be an input to the (instructional) design of 'Using Moodle'. See our old discussion https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=196302#p866700 for further details.

        Show
        Visvanath Ratnaweera added a comment - Hi Helen, the name of a forum will never fully explain what topics should go to that forum and what should not. Each forum need an explanation in free text. That is already happening in your spread sheet which ultimately should be an input to the (instructional) design of 'Using Moodle'. See our old discussion https://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=196302#p866700 for further details.
        Hide
        Helen Foster added a comment -

        Thanks again to everyone for your comments and suggestions, both in this issue and in various forum discussions.

        I finally settled on organising the Using Moodle forums into four sections

        • General
        • Activities and resources
        • Other components
        • Moodle development

        with short descriptions on the forum index page https://moodle.org/mod/forum/index.php?id=5, extra descriptions where necessary on the course page https://moodle.org/course/view.php?id=5 and longer text including a forum search link on the add a new discussion page e.g. https://moodle.org/mod/forum/post.php?forum=15.

        Feedback on the organisation of the course and suggestions for further improvements are always welcome.

        Show
        Helen Foster added a comment - Thanks again to everyone for your comments and suggestions, both in this issue and in various forum discussions. I finally settled on organising the Using Moodle forums into four sections General Activities and resources Other components Moodle development with short descriptions on the forum index page https://moodle.org/mod/forum/index.php?id=5 , extra descriptions where necessary on the course page https://moodle.org/course/view.php?id=5 and longer text including a forum search link on the add a new discussion page e.g. https://moodle.org/mod/forum/post.php?forum=15 . Feedback on the organisation of the course and suggestions for further improvements are always welcome.

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