Book Image

Moodle 3.x Developer's Guide

By : Ian Wild, Jaswant Tak
Book Image

Moodle 3.x Developer's Guide

By: Ian Wild, Jaswant Tak

Overview of this book

The new and revamped Moodle is the top choice for developers to create cutting edge e-learning apps that cater to different user’s segments and are visually appealing as well. This book explains how the Moodle 3.x platform provides a framework that allows developers to create a customized e-learning solution. It begins with an exploration of the different types of plugin.. We then continue with an investigation of creating new courses. You will create a custom plugin that pulls in resources from a third-party repository. Then you’ll learn how users can be assigned to courses and granted the necessary permissions. Furthermore, you will develop a custom user home. At the end of the book, we’ll discuss the Web Services API to fully automate Moodle 3.x in real time.
Table of Contents (19 chapters)
Title Page
About the Author
About the Reviewer
Customer Feedback
Managing Users - Letting in the Crowds

Chapter 1. Getting to Grips with the Moodle 3 Architecture

Have you ever experienced the frustration of being held back by technology? Perhaps you or your colleagues have wanted to teach something in a particular way and have found that your Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) doesn't support the feature you really needed. Maybe you are a learning manager, and you need to report on the numbers of learners from a particular postcode who have completed specific courses because this data is critical to ensuring continued funding. How many times have you held conversations about your VLE that began with "Wouldn't it be great if our learning platform could allow a learner/a manager to... ?".

The purpose of this book is to show you, through real-world examples, the details of plugin design and development. However, the key to plugin wisdom is understanding the Moodle architecture and, for that, you will need to understand Moodle itself. This chapter forms a general introduction to the Moodle philosophy, Moodle history, and the Moodle community.

In this chapter, we will also learn what a Moodle plugin is, what can be achieved with plugins, and cover not only how your plugins will actually plug in to Moodle but also what functionality Moodle can provide to your plugin (through dedicated application programming interfaces that your plugin can call upon).

This chapter will also help you set up your development environment ready to start developing. We will show you how to install and configure a local web server, the Eclipse IDE, and the Chrome Xdebug plugin for remote script debugging.

By the end of this chapter, you will be able to do the following:

  • Understand the importance of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), both generally and in the context of Moodle plugin development
  • Be able to configure Moodle on a local development computer (for example, your personal laptop)
  • Be able to configure an integrated development environment, ready to start creating your first Moodle plugin

The final part of this chapter sees us walking through the process of creating our very first Moodle plugin--a language-switching plugin to support a UK/China joint venture. We won't go into the details of how plugins operate at this stage (that will be covered in the rest of the book), but you will get an appreciation of just a few of the decisions that must be made before and during the development process.

Let's begin our journey by exploring the background of the Moodle project a little.