Thursday, February 14, 2013

Rev up Moodle 2.3 and 2.4.1 usability with Davo Smith's "Drag and Drop Image into labels" improvement

On of the major weaknesses of Moodle over the past few years is usability and ease of use. Compared to what? Well, compared to Facebook or Google Plus. A major archilles heel of Moodle is the sheer number of mouse clicks you need to add an image to your course page. 14 steps to add an image? That's enough to put any harrassed teacher off Moodle initiation. But Moodle's really getting better, ever since Moodle 2.3 came out.
                    Today's post will introduce you to yet another improvement to core Moodle 2.x code that will make your life, as a course teacher, easier. If you liked Davo Smith's or Moodle 2.3's built-in drag and drop file upload, you will love his new, yet-to-be core Drag and Drop Image (DaDI) improvement update. It works on Moodle 2.3 and 2.4.1. I've installed the 5-file-patch on my Moodle 2.4.1 production site. And I'm loving it. It makes my Moodle course administration experience all-the-more enjoyable.

DaDi in action on my brand new Moodle 2.4.1 production site.

Figure 1. Dragging an image file to my coursepage,
Seconds after releasing the mouse button.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Chinese New Year Of The Snake 2013

A happy Chinese New Year greeting to all my readers.

Bahasa Malaysia: Selamat Tahun Baru Cina

The Malaysian Chinese Christian celebrates Chinese New Year, Christmas, Easter, and enjoys all major holidays in Malaysia, and eats every Malaysian delicacy. Praise God for Malaysia.

Best wishes
Frankie Kam and family

Friday, February 8, 2013

Making Moodle more SOCIAL and FUN.

Making Moodle More Social and Fun

I presented this at University Malaya on Thursday 7th February 2012. Hope you enjoy the tips.

Thanks for viewing. Any comments?

Frankie Kam

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Liven up the Participants List (People Block) in Moodle 2.4 by changing the City field into Hobby

How would you like to have a Hobby field show up in the Participants List in Moodle 2? Well it can be done! Charles Kelly of had shown how it could be done in Moodle 1.9  here. The purpose of my blog post today, is to show you how to do it for your Moodle 2.x (tested on 2.4) site. I had previously blogged about doing the hack for Moodle 1.9 post here. The good news is that it's easier to do this for Moodle 2.x.
What’s the benefit of doing this? In my humble opinion, knowing that you come from Wellington or Kuantan is not as interesting as knowing that you have a liking for Psy, Bradfort City Football Club or rearing Beagle pups. How can we do this? In Moodle 2.x, you just need to do one mandatory step.
  • Firstly, change the City field’s display name to “Hobby / Interest / Free Time”.
  • Secondly (this step is optional), modify the length of City field from an already generous 120 characters to N characters.
Figure 1. What the Participants List looks like. Note that some users had earlier typed their City data since I only recently implemented the hack.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The best way to create Moodle quiz questions for Microsoft users. Period.

What do you use to create Moodle quiz questions? Moodle's built in quiz engine? If you're an expert user, you may be using Notepad (I kid you not!) and the GIFT format of quiz questions. Like so.

// true/false
::Q1:: 1+1=2 {T}

// multiple choice with specified feedback for right and wrong answers
::Q2:: What's between orange and green in the spectrum? 
{ =yellow # right; good! ~red # wrong, it's yellow ~blue # wrong, it's yellow }

// fill-in-the-blank
::Q3:: Two plus {=two =2} equals four.

// matching
::Q4:: Which animal eats which food? { =cat -> cat food =dog -> dog food }

In my humble opinion, the advantage of the GIFT format is that it allows the casual to expert user to quickly create quiz questions which are then imported into Moodle's quiz engine. It shouldn't take a teacher too long to get used to the text-based method and notation.

I have used the GIFT format in the past to create quiz questions. So, I am not knocking it when I say that the disadvantage, in my humble opinion, is novice users (teachers new to Moodle) may find it too cryptic and will want something closer to home. Another drawback is, how do you insert graphics and image files into a GIFT format file?

Creating quiz questions with Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010


I want to now share with you what, in my humble and honest opinion, is the best way for Moodle newbies and novice users, who use Microsoft Word 2007 or 2010, to create Moodle quiz questions. Here it is,  Daniel Scheidegger's Word Template version 20, which Lael Grant modified into version 21. Others from the Moodle community have also contributed code to it. This forum explains a bit.

My first smartphone - a Chinese Samsung S3-clone named Haipai.

bought this baby on January 23rd 2013 from Tommstar & U Sdn Bhd. The shop is located at Econsave in Angkasa Nuri Melaka. Lot 45, Jalan Angkasa Nuri, Taman Angkasa Nuri, 75350 Batu Berendam, Melaka. Person in charge is Kevin. 06-334 3688.

China branded Haipai I9377 Model

Specifications. 4.7" FWVGA screen, Dual-core 1Ghz, 8.0MP camera auto focus, dual cameras, 220 mAh battery, dual-SIM, smartphone, running on Android Jellybean version 4.1.1. The salesperson, Kevin, threw in a 8Gb SD-Card free of charge, plus a screenguard layer and a PVC cover. See here for more information.

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