As part of the TEL team's continuing commitment to develop technology enhanced learning to support excellence in learning and teaching, myself and John Illsley (Educational Software Developer) are currently working on a Moodle plugin that we hope will enhance the current process for creating courses and enrolling staff and students on Moodle. We will be working closely with Computing Services (in particular the SAMIS team), and will be seeking input from a range of stakeholders across the institution (both academic and professional services).
Currently, we consume SQL queries to connect to SAMIS to fetch data. However, this is increasingly inefficient (leading to slow data transfers between the two systems), and does not fit the desired approach in Computing Services. Instead, we wish to utilise RESTful Web Services (More about REST and its advantages here: https://bbvaopen4u.com/en/actualidad/rest-api-what-it-and-what-are-its-advantages-project-development).
What does this mean for staff and students?
- Staff - improved efficiency and timeliness of enrolments of students and staff onto their Moodle courses
- Students - quicker (and potentially close to real time) access to their courses (e.g. not waiting for an overnight sync)
- Administrators - rich logging of data available to administrators to debug and resolve issues.
- Additional Data and Services - we are investigating how we might make better use of other data and services at the institution to enrich the experience on Moodle
- SwaggerHub for API definition
- LAMP stack technology with UnitTesting
- Tribal SITS Stu-talk plugin for web services
- Optional AMQP server
We are in our second timebox phase as part of our Agile Methodology approach and we aim to deliver the first working iteration of the plugin for Semester 1 2019-20.
Hittesh Ahuja (TEL Educational Software Development Manager)