LDAP User Account Filtering in Moodle

Setting up LDAP in Moodle? Once you have configured the LDAP authentication plugin and it is working (you can log in), don’t forget to also enable LDAP User Sync to keep your account status in sync. When first setting LDAP up, you may not realize it but you may be getting more accounts than you expected. The trick is to limit user accounts to just persons of class users. You can limit synchronization to just user objects in Active Directory (AD) by completing the following steps: 1. Go to Site Administration > Plugins > Authentication > LDAP Server.2. Scroll down to the User Lookup Settings section.3. … Continue reading

Should you create a new role in Moodle?

You have been thinking about creating a new role in Moodle. Think it might solve your challenge? Here are a few things to consider before creating one or more new roles. Before we begin, lets cover what a role is not to eliminate misconceptions: It is not a group. You don’t belong to the group of teachers. You are a teacher in a course.It is not a cohort. You are not elevated to the status of teacher on the site. You can be assigned the role of teacher in a course. If a group of cohort is what you are … Continue reading

Developer Tools for Moodle

Getting started in Moodle Development? Here is a list of useful tools for Windows that may be of interest to Moodle Developers. Moodle Coding Style Guidelines In general, you can configure code editors to understand 90% of the Moodle Coding Style by configuring it to use PSR-12 and PSR-1, in that order. On top of that, Moodle has its own customizations to those standards which you can learn more about here: For PHPIn General To support you in your development, you will want to ensure that the following plugins are installed on your development instance of Moodle: Code checker — … Continue reading

PHP XDEBUG’ing in Brackets

XDEBUG enables you to walk through the execution of PHP source code and debug the code as it is executed in real-time. It is one of the most important tools that a PHP developer’s toolbox and is well worth the time it takes to learn how to use it. The following instructions will guide you to setting up Xdebug in the Backets editor. It is actually pretty straight forward once you know how. It is assumed that you have already installed Brackets text editor and XAMPP (64-bit is faster) web server in C:\XAMPP. For this article, we will be doing … Continue reading

Forcing Links to Open in a New Tab or Window

Have you ever found yourself browsing the web on a smartphone and clicked on something that opened in a new tab? It is almost impossible to tell when this happens. In fact, many people don’t even realize that browsers on SmartPhones can have the equivalent of multiple tabs or windows. Now imagine someone using a screen magnifier. They click on a link somewhere in the middle of the screen. If the link opened in a new tab in the background, they would never notice it and just think something is broken. However, if it opened in the foreground, one might … Continue reading

Creating a Multilingual Moodle Site

I have built many multilingual Moodle sites over the years. Unfortunately you cannot make a course appear or not appear based on the user’s current language. But you can create a multilingual Moodle site and multi-language Moodle course. First you will need to install the Moodle language packs for each of the languages you want to support. Depending on the theme used, this should display a language selection menu in the Moodle navigation. If it doesn’t display a language selection menu, contact the theme’s author to have him or her fix it. When a user switches language, Moodle will display … Continue reading

WCAG 2.0 – Closed Caption, Describe Video and Transcripts

Adding (or burning) captions into raw videos will not satisfy WCAG 2.0 criteria because the text then becomes part of the image which will not be narrated by screen readers or displayed on braille device. Real Closed Caption (CC) / Describe video is actually text overlaying the video for those who are visually impaired. Moodle does not currently offer a way to include subtitles for a video. The standard compliant and best practice approach to inserting video captions requires using the HTML5 <track> element. The various attributes of the is element allow you to specify the type of content, the language … Continue reading

Camtasia alternatives and other media tools for screencasting

Camtasia is one of the best and most complete set of tools out there for capturing a recording of your screen (called screencasting) but comes at a cost of $313.99 per person (as of this writing). While you might be able to afford it for a few licenses, if you want to give access to this tool to your whole staff, the cost can really add up. Here are some recommendations for (mostly) free media related tools — for those on a limited budget: Greenshot — Simple to use, comes with an editor to annotate still screenshot (no video). Kind of like … Continue reading

Multi-language content in Moodle

So, you are have a Moodle website that runs in multiple languages. To date, you’ve been doubling up all you text doing things like “This content is in English. / Ce contenu est en français.” As a result, the site looks a mess no matter in what language you use Moodle. In addition, this results in an accessibility issue because users of screen readers get really confused when the alternate language comes through their speaker… and not even pronounced correctly. What can you do? If you haven’t come across it yet, take a look at the Multi-Language Content (v2) Moodle plugin available … Continue reading

Choosing a Moodle theme

While you may simply choose a theme based on the way it looks, smart people know that themes are more than skin deep. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a Moodle theme: Make sure that the theme is compatible with the version of Moodle you want to implement. If it is not, contact the developer/vendor to find out if that was an oversight, or if they are imminently planning on releasing an update in the near future. Choose a layout that you like. Changing the layout usually means changing the theme source code which makes it hard … Continue reading