An open letter to Moodle

Dear Moodle,

I have really enjoyed working with you all these years.  I appreciate that you allow me to post course content, assignments, news feeds, etc, all in one place; that you take care of populating my course calendar with due dates, collecting student assignments and the feedback from the grader on those assignments; and that you automagically compute my grades for me (although, I hate to admit, I do double-check in Excel just to be sure you’re correct).  Sure, we have some misunderstandings from time to time, and there are things I wish you could do better, but what relationship is without its problems, right?

However, there is one thing that I wish more than life itself that you would learn to do.  One thing that would save me countless hours of repetitive work, wailing and gnashing of teeth, and all that jazz.  Just one simple thing:

Templates.

You see, dear Moodle, I have decided to give daily reading assignments in my class.  Really, the only thing that differs on these assignments is the reading assignment date and the actual readings.  The format on all of these is exactly the same. So I’d love to be able to create one reading assignment, and then “clone” it 27 times (one for each class meeting).  Or, even, create a new assignment and then be able to select the desired template (that I’ve created within Moodle, ideally) for that assignment.  Heck, this would also work well for the more classic assignments I’ll be giving, since each of those assignments have the exact same headers and some of the same content.

But alas, this is not to be.  I am forced to go in and create an entirely new assignment and re-create all of the content and layout from scratch.  Or—and I hate to admit that I’ve been sneaking around, cheating on you, dear Moodle, but I have—create a template outside of you and copy/paste this template into each assignment.

So please, dear Moodle.  I know that if you love some….er, something, you should not demand that it change just to suit you, but I feel this is all for the best.  I just want you to be the best course management system that you can possibly be.  In light of this, is my simple request really too much to ask?

Love and syllabi,

Amy

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3 thoughts on “An open letter to Moodle

  1. Ah, the curse of open source, community developed software. So good for so free,yet development timelines and seemingly simple feature requests grow long in the tooth before they are resolved.

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  2. @mary, that looks promising! Will have to let my IT people know about that (and see if they’ll test/install it). Thanks for the heads up! I do wonder, though, why something like this is not automatically built in to Moodle….

    @kevin, very true, although I have to say Moodle does do a lot of things right—it’s easy to forget that it’s OSS. I think my frustration stems from things it doesn’t include that seem like no-brainers to me….but then I wonder if my view is skewed because I am a power user. (I suspect that’s not true with this particular lack-of-feature, though!)

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