So where is Moodle going, listening to Martin Dougiamas at the Ireland and UK Moodlemoot, we see how he (and Moodle HQ) want to take Moodle over the next few years.
Martin was pretty honest about how the use of plugins in Moodle are not as user-friendly or simple as it should be. I have always thought that Moodle needs to come with core modules and blocks as it does now, however administrators have the option to add blocks and modules via a web browser rather than installing files on to the server. If Moodle plugins were more akin to how WordPress (as in WordPress.org not the .com service) it would make it much easier to work with plugins.
On WordPress you search for plugins from a plugins repository, and then install the files. Once installed, you can then “activate” the plugin and it will then work across your WordPress blog. Such plugins allow you to add media players in your blog, make it easier to add third party services into blog entries, also how users can interact with your blog.
I think it would make as huge improvement to how many people view Moodle if the plugin process worked like WordPress. You as an administrator could choose which plugins would work across a whole site, it would make it much easier to add third party services. For example rather than using the Slideshare embed code, think how much easier it would be if all a user needed to do was paste in the Slideshare URL and Moodle took care of embedding the presentation. Moodle 2 does this already with YouTube videos, so it’s not “impossible”.
I also think it would be nice if plugins could be installed, not just globally, but could be installed and then made available to courses on a course by course basis. Add this plugin if you want it, otherwise leave it well alone. Would it be beyond current thinking to allow course creators to install plugins?
At the moment adding plugins to Moodle is not a simple task and can cause issues, especially if an older plugin is installed on a newer Moodle installation (and vice versa). I do hope that one day we can see a simple web based plugin installation with flexible permissions.
Is this possible?