Exactly 60,000 votes did the job. Swiss Moodlers and MUA members Thomas Korner and Luca Bösch comfortably earned the community’s majority vote for their project, “Course overview block in dashboard improvements,” which sets out to fix several issues in the existing student dashboard.
The current Course Overview Block available in Moodle is in fact the result of a previous winning MUA project. Looking to add functionality they saw missing, Bösch and Korner developed this project, which gives the dashboard extra flexibility and user customization power. It might also deal with some of the grievances (or general apathy, to be exact) on the part of a user sample recently surveyed by Moodle HQ’s own UX team.
Other users have also expressed their frustration about the functionality, which can collide with scalability issues and, in at least one case, it has been argued as a reason not to upgrade from Moodle 3.2. When teachers need to manage a large number of courses (say, more than 50), the dashboard has been reported as unresponsive or slow. This might be due mostly to the time it takes for Moodle to compute the next best action for each course. Furthermore, many use cases do not seem to fit within the current “past, present, future” course classification the dashboard offers, to which a simple section renaming feature would do.
Among the key features the project is expected to bring to Moodle are:
- Pagination of the dashboard to work without lag when users move between course tile pages.
- Ability to hide and show course tiles at will.
- Ability to drag and rearrange course tiles and preserve personal arrangements.
Part of the success of “Course overview block in dashboard improvements” in being chosen goes to the support of Korner’s alma mater, ETH Zurich. It goes to show the value for organizations to be members of the Moodle Users Association.
The beginning of the next MUA Project Development Cycle, 2018 July-December, is expected to be announced shortly. Find individual and institutional membership options here.
The “Course overview block in dashboard improvements” project is estimated to cost $50 thousand AUD (close to $37,000 US dollars). Check out the full requirements in the Moodle Tracker. ■