Review: Moodle 2.0 Jump to Menu Block

Block Jump To Menu

Block Jump To Menu

This is the sixth review in my series of Moodle 2.0 plugin reviews and the plugin for today is the Jump To Menu block.

Background

We were all used to having the Jump To Menu in Moodle 1.9, and probably never noticed it there half of the time, and for some it was the main way they used the interface. Well in Moodle 2.0 it left us, and for some who depended on it they wanted it back. As is the beauty of open source, one of the people who wanted it back developed it. This block is maintained by Tim Williams.

What does it do?

The block is a mechanism to add the ‘jump to’ menu functionality within Moodle 2.0, similar to that used by Moodle 1.x.  The block uses javascript to position the menu below the login/out link and if the javascript is not enabled, it provides the functionality within the block which is otherwise hidden.

Is it simple to install?

The block is like any other block. The file is hosted on Tims site so you can download the zip file from there. The zip holds one folder which contains the files for the block. Once you unzip, you need to upload the jumpto_menu folder into your Moodle 2.0 blocks folder. When upgrading through the notifications page, it installed successfully. There was 2 new global settings for the block which allow you to select whether you place it in the old Moodle 1.x position and whether you disable borders/background on the block.

Block Jump To Menu Settings

Block Jump To Menu Settings

Is there documentation for it?

The plugin website has the instructions for how to use the module, as does the zip file. It describes the usage and the optional way of hard coding the menu into your theme. I didn’t try this code change as I don’t like doing code changes which need to be tracked later.

Is it easy for the teacher/admin to use?

Once this is installed by the admin, the only thing the teacher needs to do is to add the block to a course. The admin can force this onto all page contexts, which is probably a better idea if you want this feature to be consistent around the course. However if you want it globally applied you will need to consider enabling in the theme.

Is it easy for the learner/student to use?

Yes. From the student point of view it is just there. It allows easy access to any of the resources on the page in a course, and provides a previous/next  to navigate between them when in a resource or activity. Its an easy win for the student.

Does it do what it promises?

The block does provide the functionality that it sets out to, re-introducing a feature into Moodle 2.0 that was in the older Moodle 1.9 and before. It is a handy way to navigate through a course. I won’t get into the debate about whether it should or should not have been taken out in the first place, but in the true spirit of open source now those who want to keep that functionality have the choice to do so.

Stars: 3 out of 5 stars for this block.

 

**Standard Reminder**

These reviews check out the plugin for usability not for security. If you are considering installing any module on your site you should also check that is secure and does not impact the server performance.

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