Totara LMS supports the work of Frankie Kam as he explores the many possibilities of Moodle for fun and to improve his college’s course site.
I. What RSS is
Do you use a Real Simple Syndication (RSS) block on your Moodle site?
The standard Moodle RSS block for Moodle 1.9 and Moodle 2.x was written by Daryl Hawes, with CSS code by Martin Dougiamas.
It does a pretty good job in generating dynamic course content, such as news headline links, professor web links, blog postings, and much more.
At least one Moodler has modified the standard RSS block as did Mr. Badrul Mohammad’s work of displaying a link’s description in tooltips.
Yet another good RSS block, for Moodle 1.9 however, is the Newsfeed block by Sam Marshall.
II. New Kid On The Block
As of 2nd April 2012, there is a new RSS block, for Moodle 2.x, named the “RSS Plus Block for Moodle 2.2 – Alpha Release”.
In the screenshot above, the standard stock “RSS Client” block (that comes with the standard Moodle 2.2 installation) is shown on the left, AND on the right, the RSS Plus block. You can experience it yourself by logging to http://moodurian.com/m2/course/view.php?id=2 as
Its creator is Shaun Daubney, a Communications and eLearning Development Officer, of Further Education College. Special features of RSS Plus are:
- it allows images to be displayed together with the RSS text description, but only for British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) RSS Feeds, as far as I know. I’ve tried it with CNN’s technology RSS feed however the resultant RSS feed shows only text with no images appearing.
- displays feed subject and description in a more organised manner
- Display images from all feeds (where applicable)
- Display other content such as video (where applicable)
- Display feed favicon or channel image over main image
Personally, I’m excited about the RSS Plus block because it enhances my course pages. Images from the BBC UK RSS feed are a nice touch, and it helps to keep my Moodle content fresh.
Until my next post, keep Moodling!