Ask Mr. Moodle: Is the Attendance module default in Moodle 2.0?

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Do you know if Moodle 2.0 will have a built in attendance block? If not, I wonder why this is not standard on Moodle.

Interesting question; the module being asked about, is of course the Attendance Module and Block [http://docs.moodle.org/en/Attendance_module].  From my experience testing Moodle 2.0 and a quick review of the release notes at Moodle.org, I can attest that the Attendance Module is not default to Moodle 2.0 (but there are activities, such as the offline assignment which could be used as proxy to facilitate an attendance grade).  We recently explored the Attendance Module, and I can say that it’s very useful for blended/face to face classroom settings (but, in general, it’s value falls off if the course is virtual, asynchronous and/or self-paced).

image*

I’ll go out on a limb here and say that it’s not included because a) it’s not a required core feature (teachers/users can get a lot out of Moodle despite the Attendance Block unavailability) and b) since it’s a 3rd party contributed module, it’s better that it remains outside the Core Moodle code (this way Moodle HQ programmers can focus on a little less code but add-ons such as the Attendance Module can easily be added by Moodle administrators).

The Attendance Module is currently only for Moodle versions 1.8+ and 1.9+; hopefully a version for 2.0 will be released shortly after Moodle 2.

What do you think, should the Attendance Module be included in the Moodle Core?  Are their benefits of using the Offline Assignment to facilitate an attendance grade?  What other Attendance taking programs are available that might mesh well with Moodle?

*image from http://cheatham.k12tn.net/News.html

7 COMMENTS

  1. haha, well, I never claimed to be “Mr. Moodle”, it’s just a nice way of mixing posts up on the site. I do suppose it’s pretentious of me to use that title. Perhaps “Ask a Moodler” would be better…? Or Joe Moodle, or Moodle Jr., etc….

    Or, if you’d like, I’ll cede the title permanently [if you use Mr. Moodle and answer some of these questions(;…]

  2. I installed the Attendance Module last year in our 1.9 installation, and it is one of the most popular 3rd party modules we have. Our installation at the University of Illinois contains almost every kind of course imaginable: technology enhanced, blended, self-paced, and completely online. Several of our professors have found it very useful, and I for one would love to see it in the Moodle core since using the assignment for this is much more cumbersome and a lot less elegant.

    Just my 2 cents from a Moodle Administrator with almost 15,000 users.

  3. This particular block from my point of view should be included in the core, for one because the attendance of a student can be saved and means that tutors/trainers that work away from the office do not need to go in to drop bits of paper off as it can be downloaded in a report from the site. The fact that this block is not available for 2.2.2 means that a major part of my requirement for a VLE is missing.

    I realise that blocks and in fact Moodle is not a product that we have to pay for and so I would not complain about it but these open source projects have so much to offer if they could speed releases up a bit.

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