Born today – Moodle Docs 2.0
Early this year, Martin (Dougiamas) gave me a ‘brief’ for a new version of Moodle Docs, a ‘Moodlepedia’ created by and for members of Moodle community. Main two points of the brief:
- create a clear, navigable structure for a ‘Moodle manual’ of a kind,
- draft an overview of: what is there, what needs updating to reflect Moodle 2.0, what is obsolete and/or pointing to older versions, what is missing and what could be re-used as part of Moodle Docs 2.0.
Two important things to note:
Moodle 2.0 Docs is a clone of previous Moodle Docs.
We’d be totally crazy to re-write much of the excellent content, contributed voluntarily over thousands of hours by hundreds of people over the years and linked to from a myriad of pages. So we cloned the whole thing! But there is problem just leaving it at that…
You see, every page in Moodle links to a corresponding page in Docs – a wiki about the item used (eg. Forum activity).
Because the old Moodle Docs were independent of the version of Moodle they describe (1.4 – 2.0), many Docs pages ended up with mixed, outdated information.
For example, a person using the Forum activity in Moodle 2.0 clicked ‘Moodle Docs for this page’ and got information about Forum in Moodle 1.9 or even earlier versions. Not good is it?
The aim of Moodle 2.0 Docs is to update/create everything to refer ONLY to Moodle 2.0.
When a new major version of Moodle is released, Docs 2.x will be cloned to a new version and updated (eg. Moodle 2.2 will link with Docs 2.2). Because of the existing structure and up-to-date content, the updates between the versions of Docs will be (increasingly) minimal.
At any point, you will still be able to update Docs for a particular version of Moodle (eg. 1.9, 2.0, 2.1 etc).
Much of the content in Moodle Docs 2.0 still needs to be edited or created to refer ONLY to Moodle 2.0.
It’s a wiki! There are dozens of pages that need the content to be updated to ‘sing’ with Moodle 2.0 (and not previous versions). There are many stubs, with minimal content or empty, that need to be created, expanded.
I have scoured Moodle Docs for months. To make people’s editing job easier, and to have an overview of what’s there and missing Martin had asked me for, I have created brief editing notes for hundreds of pages and (new) sections.
The notes provide a quick status of a page (quality, last update) and suggestions on what could be updated, deleted and linked to from it. While of course not bound by them, the notes will hopefully help the editors in writing the content and help us keep Docs 2.0 eas(ier) to navigate and maintain. Example below, access them all here:
So … in brief:
- Moodle Docs 2.o was cloned from the old Moodle Docs to preserve content and links. It is however a separate wiki.
- There are no more separate Admin and Teacher pages. They have been merged into ‘User Docs’. Developer Docs will be a separate wiki.
- Moodle Docs 2.0 are (visually) organised on the Main page and accompanying Table of contents, like a manual. These are not the only pages in Docs, of course, but they are key pages that provide easier browsing, searching and editing of Docs 2.0.
- Templates (boxes on the right hand side of articles) form the structure you see on the Main Page and Table of Contents.
- Many templates (process not 100% completed) have been created, changed and/or standardised. For example, all activities have the following template:
[Activity] settings – Everything related to BEFORE the activity is open to participants. First steps of creation and equivalent of clicking ‘edit settings’ (including permissions).
Building [Activity] – ( Database, Lesson, Quiz, Feedback only). Everything related to building the activity AFTER the initial setup and BEFORE it is opened to participants.
Using [Activity] – Everything AFTER the activity is open to participants. Things like (if available) viewing, posting, grading, results, analysis, reports, good practices, creative uses, examples, pedagogical implications etc.
[Activity] FAQ – self-explanatory…
- Existing pages have been preserved as much as possible to maintain links and keep the history of contributions. Some have been moved and redirected appropriately.
- Docs 2.0 are/will be Moodle 2.0 specific. Each major version will have its own Docs (eg. Moodle 2.1 will have Docs 2.1), cloned from previous and updated for the current version. Moodle version will automatically point to its appropriate Docs version.
There is still a lot of formatting, testing and updating work to be done but I do look forward to watching Docs 2.0 being shaped and improved, collaboratively as every wiki really should.
Look forward to seeing (y)our edits soon!
PS Special thanks to Helen Foster and her constructive questioning of my work along the way. I have learned a lot about Moodle and Docs over the past few months (perhaps why this beast has taken such a long time to bear 😉 ).