GDPR – How Moodle can help

If you have users on your site who users who are residents of Europe, then there are new GDPR requirements that are legally binding on your organisation. They relate to enforcing more rigorous processes for your users data privacy and your policies. These processes can be seen as improving our practices, and giving people more control over their personal data.

Two plugins are being added to Moodle to allow administrators to add a site policy that must be agreed to, and to allow users to see their personal data, and request it be removed if required (requests can be accepted or denied). This is an overview of how you can use Moodle to assist with complying with GDPR laws.

Data Privacy

This plugin will allow users to request to have their personal data removed and/or request a copy of their personal data.

Privacy Officer

You can create a role for a Privacy Officer (PO) in your site. Moodle originally referred to this role as a Data Protection Officer (DPO). PO is probably more appropriate.

A Privacy Officer can respond to data requests and see requests made, and requests denied, approved or awaiting approval and manage a Data Registry. If there is no-one with this role, the Administrator can respond to data requests and manage the Data Registry. There are permissions required for the Privacy Officer role.

Data requests

If a user requests a copy of their personal data, the PO can accept the request, and personal data that is held by Moodle can be downloaded in .json format.

If a user requests that their personal data is deleted, the request can be accepted or denied. NOTE: approving a request to remove personal data will delete the user, and the user can no longer use the site.

Policies­

This plugin will handle agreements for users of your site and privacy procedures – you need a web page with a clear and easy to read policy with information about users’ rights, how and why personal data is held, etc. An example Moodle Policy page is at https://moodlecloud.com/app/privacy .

Age of consent

On sites with self-registration allowed, you can ask users to verify their age before displaying the sign-up page. This helps protect your site from minors signing up without parental/guardian consent. An email address is provided to minors for further assistance.

Further Notes:

  1. Once user has passed the age check, they will see a link to the Policy Agreement, and have to acknowledge that they ‘understand and agree’ before logging in as usual.
  2. Existing users – once you set up the Policies page, when they next log in, existing users will see the new Policy page, and have to agree before logging in.
  3. You can set the age of consent for different countries. Default is 16. For sites used in other countries, the country codes to use can be found at Wikipedia.
  4. Once you have set the URL to a site policy, you can see it at <your site name>/user/policy.php ­

So how can I set this up in Moodle?

If you have the plugins in your site, in the Administration area, under Users – the TVC administrator will see a new area called Privacy and policies.

For further information, see Moodle documentation.

H5P Moodle Plugin – Tips for getting started

The H5P Moodle plugin is here! It is still quite a new plugin, but has excellent functionality!

See the H5P website for information about the amazing interactive options.

When you first download the plugin, you will need to install the content types that you want to use. Here are some tips that may help you get going.

Get familiar with the options

02There are heaps of content types available to use! Some of the most popular are:

  • Interactive video
  • Course presentation
  • Accordion
  • Chart
  • Find multiple hotspots
  • Drag and drop
  • Memory game
  • Timeline

You would be wise to check these out at the H5P web site before downloading them into your Moodle site. There are heaps of them and the list is growing…

How large is your site?

Do you have a small number of people creating content on your site – or maybe it’s just you?

If so, then you can have fun and download content types as you need them!

If you have a larger site, then you may want to restrict the number of activity types. The main reason for this is that it could be overwhelming for your course creators if there are too many options to start with.

You may decide to install all of them, it’s your call.

Note: Once a content type is uploaded there is currently no option to remove it.

The delete option has not been implemented in the Moodle H5P plugin as yet. If required, you can hide content types from your teachers (see instructions below).

Downloading content types

Many content type activities are available for you to install. To access these:

  1. Go to a course and turn on editing
  2. Add an H5P activity
  3. Click on the Editor options dropdown
  4. Click on All
  5. Click on Get to download the content type you require
  6. Go to [your site name]/mod/hvp/library_list.php
  7. Notice that the option is in the list

Don’t forget – once the content type is uploaded, there is currently no option to remove it.

03

Hiding installed content types

Do you want to prevent other content types from being downloaded?

  1. Go to [your Moodle URL]/admin/settings.php?section=modsettinghvp
    • Download button = never show
    • Use H5P Hub = untick
  2. Once these settings are in place, even you will not be able to install content types using the method described above. You will need to download the plugin from the H5P site and upload it to your Moodle site from [your Moodle URL]/mod/hvp/library_list.php. Of course you could temporarily reverse steps 1 and 2 above instead.

04

Prevent editing teachers from using particular content types

Have you downloaded a content type that you don’t want your teachers to see?
05If you want to restrict your editing teachers from using particular content types that are downloaded on your site:

  1. Go to [your Moodle URL]/mod/hvp/library_list.php and tick the Restricted box for the activities that you do not want used
  2. Go to the permissions for an Editing Teacher
  3. Search for H5P
  4. Use restricted libraries = Not set

Note: the teacher can see other content types but cannot download them. This may be frustrating or confusing for the teacher.

Limitations

Please note – there are concerns with using H5P:

  1. It is currently possible for people with programming skills to cheat in H5P interactions and obtain the full score without knowing the correct answers. H5P activities should not be used for exams or similar. I recommend you use the Moodle quiz instead.
  2. A content type that you install could inadvertently have content that may harm your site. As Administrator, you should know that the security of your Moodle site may rely on the ability of a third party to audit and sanitise HTML5/JavaScript code that may be uncontrollably installed with H5P. Admins are strongly advised to get familiar with the permission/restriction system of the plugin and pay attention to the plugin configuration.

Possible issues you may come up against

Issue Possible solution
You can’t restrict the activities? Check your permissions. mod/hvp:restrictlibraries should = Allow

06

You can’t download all the activities? Check your permissions. mod/hvp:updatelibraries should = Allow

07

You can’t download the Questionnaire? If you go to [your Moodle URL]/admin/settings.php?section=modsettinghvp, you can see that this requires a Learning Record Store to function properly.

Tracking student progress through a course

bernadette-parry-headshot Bernadette Parry is the Client Support Coordinator at eWorks. Her role involves juggling all sorts of client-focused tasks including start-up TVC training, advanced Moodle training and support services. A self-confessed Moodle ‘geek’, Bernadette loves to discover new ways to navigate and make the most of Moodle and online facilitation. Today Bernadette offers a short comparison of two fantastic tools to track student progress.

Detailing student progress in your online courses is not only a great tool to assist with your student’s time management by allowing them to prepare for upcoming tasks, but it is also a valuable resource for teachers to track their students progress and identify student who may no longer be engaged in the course.

There are two excellent options for showing student progress in Moodle:

  • Course Completion Status block
  • Completion Progress block (which is replacing the Progress Bar block)

The Course Completion Status block is particularly useful for teachers to track completion of activities and you can download the data into a spreadsheet.

Features of the Course Completion Status block include:

  • Select the activities you want to track
  • Moodle automatically ticks off the activities as the student completes them
  • Teacher overview has a view of student progress – and if any students are falling behind
  • Easily see students who have completed – a Course complete column gets ticked when the student has completed all of these activities
  • Students can see what they need to complete, when it is due, and what has been completed
  • Filter names displayed, e.g. students with first name starting with B and surname starting with G
  • Downloadable as a spreadsheet

img_tracking_01

Note: For the Course Completion Status block to work, you first need to go to Administration> Course administration> Course completion and select the activities to be included.

The Completion Progress block is a fantastic, time-management, visual block – particularly helpful for your students.

The Completion Progress block features include:

  1. More visual and a great option for your students to see what they need to complete
  2. Students can use it as a time-management tool
  3. The teacher overview has a view of student progress – easily see if any students are falling behind
  4. Automatically adds all activities that have completion settings – you can easily remove any that you don’t want
  5. As a teacher, there is an option to select particular student/students and send them a message if required. This is a great option if you notice that there are some overdue assignments, etc.
  6. Select one particular student to see their progress
  7. No option to download the Completion Progress block information.

img_tracking_02

Both are excellent options for students and teachers to see progress through a course, but there are some points of difference:

  • Course completion status block:
    • More options available for showing completion – course grade, etc
    • Can download results in a spreadsheet
  • Completion progress bar:
    • Visually appealing
    • Easier to set up (just create it and it auto fills with activities!)
    • Teachers can easily send messages to students

Improve your Moodle page load times

bernadette-parry-headshotBernadette Parry is the Client Support Coordinator at eWorks. Her role involves juggling all sorts of client-focused tasks including start-up TVC training, advanced Moodle training and support services. A self-confessed Moodle ‘geek’, Bernadette loves to discover new ways to navigate and make the most of Moodle. Today Bernadette offers advice about a common frustration – Moodle pages that seem to take forever to load.

Are slow page load times driving you nuts?

When you click on a link in Moodle, are some of the pages taking longer than they should to finish loading? Frustrating, isn’t it? And you’re not alone. The speed at which pages load is called the Page Load Time (PLT) and is measured in seconds. There are various extensions you can use to measure this, such as the ‘Page load time’ extension in Chrome. I expect my Moodle pages to load in less than two seconds, and not more than three seconds, and I think this is a reasonable expectation. So how do your PLTs compare, and do you know what to do about it if they are not ‘up to speed’?

What can I do about my pages loading so slowly?

The most common cause of slow page load times is having large images or video on the page.

Images

With images, you could improve your PLT by:

  1. Using image editing software to reduce (compress) the size of the image.
    Many products such as Photoshop enable you to choose the quality of the image. The lower the quality, the smaller the size. 96dpi is a good option.
  2. Resizing the image
    You can reduce the size of the image by specifying a smaller percentage for the image size. This can easily be done using products such as Paint.
  3. Using a screen capturing product such as ScreenHunter
    This will make capturing an image in an optimum size simple. If you have an image that is large, an easy way to reduce the size is to add the image to a Word document, make it the size you want, then use a screen capturing tool to capture it.
  4. Using online products such as Image Optimiser to get the best size and quality of your image.
  5. Using a screen capture tool to capture the image
    These can usually create a copy of the image that is 96dpi which is sufficient quality for online use. With a tool such as this you can easily:

    1. load your course page
    2. capture the slow-loading image with a screen capture product
    3. delete the slow-loading image in the course
    4. replace it with the image you just created.

Video

With video it is a good idea to use the Page resource instead of putting the image into a Label. Labels load when you open the page, whereas you need to click on the Page to see the video. This means the video only loads up when the student wants to see it, so the overall page will load a lot more quickly.

Google Analytics

For more suggestions you might like to use Google Analytics to analyse your Page Load Time (PLT) – Note: some of this is quite technical…:

If you have access to Google Analytics for your site:

  1. Log into Google Analytics
  2. Click on Behaviour > Site speed > Speed suggestions
  3. Next to the pages listed, there is a ‘Page Speed Suggestions’ column for each page
  4. Click on the link in that column
  5. A pop-up will offer suggestions.

You will see that there are many pages analysed!! Fortunately you can use the search box if you know what you are looking for.

Still stuck?

Moodle is our thing. So Let us know if you need a hand.