Development

Note: I no longer maintain this system as I moved schools mid-2011. This post was written on January 4th 2011.

I have spent the past 3 years heavily modifying our installation of Moodle. This is a showcase of the new capabilities I have added to our site. Our site is still using 1.9 as the changes are not compatible with Moodle 2. 

The main modifications consist of 3 parts:

  • Design
  • Reward System
  • Electronic Attendance

 

Design

I adapted the ‘Round Corners’ CSS theme to match it with the St Andrews colour scheme. I also added a HTML table to the homepage to make it easy for students (and teachers) to find their way around the site.

Customised theme and Moodle homepage

Customised theme and Moodle homepage

 

Whole School Reward System

Students at my school can receive ‘credits’ for their academic achievements, or ‘House Points” for their achievement outside of the classroom. However, there is a quirk – a credit is automatically counted as a house point, but the opposite is not true. I used the following 3rd party plugins as a basis for my customisation work:

Teachers are now able to quickly award credits/house points, certificates of achievement are produced automatically, and graphical representation of credits is available to teachers. One of the students’ favourites is the automatically updated ‘House Points’ tally on the homepage – a great motivator!

Here is a bunch of screenshots showcasing the capabilities of the system I created. Let me know if you’d be interested in knowing more, or if you’d like something similar for your Moodle installation.

 

Teacher selects a student List narrows down as more letters are entered Teacher enters a reason for adding the point(s)
Teacher selects a studentList narrows down as more letters are enteredTeacher enters a reason for adding the point(s)
   
 A graphical report for all of the creditsTop tens, for rewards during assemblies, etc.  A report per class/tutor group
A graphical report for all of the creditsTop tens, for rewards during assemblies, etc.A report per class/tutor group
   
 An individual reportThis is what students see  A student's own 'credits' page
An individual reportThis is what students seeA student’s own ‘credits’ page
   

 

Electronic attendance 

The attendance is taken twice a day at my current school, during morning & afternoon registration periods. Teachers have a lot to do during those short periods and attendance taking must be prompt and not confusing.

Attendance is serious business; Senior Management needs to see at a glance whether there is any truancy, what the overall attendance looks like, etc. The office staff have the obligation to keep attendance records indefinitely, and have always up-to date attendance lists in case fire (or other disaster) strikes, and finally tutors need accurate numbers for any communication with parents.

I used the ‘Attendance‘ module as a starting point for my work.

Again, here are some screenshots showing you the main functions of my developments. 

 Teacher is automatically directed to the correct session/groupThe 'Attendance' page Navigation 
Teacher is automatically directed to the correct session/groupThe ‘Attendance’ pageNavigation
   
 Teacher is presented with unauthorized absence Statistics pageIndividual student report - Overview 
Teacher is presented with unauthorized absenceStatistics pageIndividual student report – Overview
   
 Individual student report - DetailAll teachers receive an automatic email showing absentees  Senior management receive an automatic email in case attendance is not taken
Individual student report – DetailAll teachers receive an automatic email showing absenteesSenior management receive an automatic email in case attendance is not taken
   
 Teachers and SMT can view detailed reports for each tutor group SMT can filter results in reportsList of absentees - automatically updated 
Teachers and SMT can view detailed reports for each tutor groupSMT can filter results in reportsList of absentees – automatically updated
   

16 comments

  1. I love the look of your “Whole School Reward System”. We have just setup a house system at our school, and this would be a great way to record house points. Have you added your mods to moodle.org? if so what are they called?

    Thanks lucy

    1. Hi Lucy, thanks for your comment it is much appreciated.

      I have not made my modifications available on moodle.org yet as my code involves tinkering with the actual Moodle database and it is not very good practice. When I have time, I will package it all up and make it available for Moodle 2.0 with some extra changes. However, it might take a while as I am really busy at work at the moment (mocks, reports, etc., etc.). I shall make sure to email you when it is available 🙂

      Thanks,
      Fred

  2. Hi Frederic,

    Thanks for the speedy reply, We are currently on 1.9.7 with a postgres database :-/ i don’t mind tinkering if you could send me any thing you have???

    Thanks

    Lucy

  3. Fred,
    This looks very powerful. We are just developing a Moodle integration with our SIMS and WordPress school site. Would love to come over for a school visit to see how this has been mastered(!) but as the school budget stands, I will simply have to ask you if you have any tips for a bunch of Moodle beginners, wanting to set up house points and attendance systems?!
    Kind regards
    Andrew

    1. Hi Andrew,

      your setup sounds very interesting and similar to something I’ll have to put together next academic year so I might need help from you 😉

      In terms of credits, what Moodle version are you using? I’m revamping the system to improve it and make it Moodle 2.0 compatible, but it won’t be ready before June I think as I’m really busy at work at the moment. If you are using 1.9, I might be able to modify what I already have and post it here but again, it will take a while…
      Cheers,
      Fred

  4. Seriously Fred,

    I really, really want a copy of your credits system!

    They look ideal – anything we can do to help speed the packaging process for 2.0?

    🙂

    1. Hi Dan,

      thanks a lot for your comment. I am completely revamping the system at the moment and have run into some issues. I don’t have much time at the minute as I need to do reports, IB Internal Assessments, get students ready for their IGCSE’s etc. I should be able to get working on it seriously as from the end of April and have a beta ready before the end of the school year (end of June). I will post my progress here 🙂
      Cheers,
      Fred

  5. Loving the credit system. I am sticking with 1.9+ for now. I would love to get my hands on your system whenever it becomes available. No hurry just wanted to compliment you on a great addition to your Moodle.

  6. Hi Federic

    I am really interested in this concept. I am trying to convince my school to go down the Moodle path. Have you seen http://gamify.com/ they have a platform which uses javascript to provide gaming style of rewards for work done. I was wondering if this would be able to work with Moodle?

    Any ideas? Thanks Wes

    1. Hi Wes,

      First off, sorry for taking so long to reply but I was on holiday 🙂 Thanks for your comment and the link. I did not know about Gamify and it looks rather cool. I have tried to register with them to see whether I could use the API to get it to work with our Moodle but I’ll have to wait as it is currently in beta mode. I really like the idea though, so I’ll keep an eye out.
      Cheers,
      Fred

  7. I use the current Moodle 1.9 Stamp Collection activity to motivate students. I would love to implement your version on my site! The main reason is because your version allows different stamps (images) to be given. That’s what I really need to give, say, a gold stamp for excellent work, a silver stamp for good work and a bronze stamp for work submitted but would be improved further. That kind of continuum is missing in the existing Stamp Collection. I would give my right arm and leg to know PHP coding in order to do this……figuratively speaking. ;o)
    P.S., love your Moodle site and your enhancements!

  8. I have just been given the task of revamping the rewards system at my school. We are also roling out the use of Moodle at the same time. Are you any further on with the development package as it looks outstanding!!! Thanks Dan

  9. A random question if I may?

    How can I set Moodle 3.1 so that a learner goes straight to the last activity they were in or has the option to resume their last activity? I cannot find any answer in the events manager, but it would seem this should be a standard LMS function.

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