Gavin Henrick has a useful blog that publishes information about the ongoing development of Moodle 2. I was particularly interested in how Moodle will handle sharing files with consumer web apps like Google Docs and Flickr. Lucky for me, Gavin has a couple of screencasts covering the topic. Here’s some info about importing docs from external repositories:
It’s a pretty intuitive UI that borrows heavily from desktop file picking interfaces. Moodle 2 integrates with an impressive list of external repositories:
- Google Docs
- Remote Moodle installations
- Amazon S3
- WebDAV repositories
- Wikimedia servers
- File systems
The repository API supports plugins for other repositories, so this list should grow over time.
Moodle 2 also supports export to repositories in either HTML or LEAP2A format:
This is also nicely done, but it doesn’t go far enough, in my view. A fundamental flaw in LMS design is that the course, rather than the student, owns course documents. While it’s great that Moodle makes it easy to export course contributions to places where students can hold onto them after the course gets archived, this mechanism relies on students making specific efforts to save their work. I would prefer to see a system in which the canonical copies of student-created course documents (or faculty-created course documents, for that matter) live in the users’ private file storage space and the course instance is granted permission to access them. By default, students hold onto all of their contributions after the course is archived.
At any rate, if this is representative of the kind of improvement that is going into Moodle 2, it is likely to be an impressive release.