Review: Standard Slideshow for Moodle 2.0

Today’s review Module is the Resource Type: Standard Slideshow. It provides a way to create a slide show presentation within Moodle.

Background
This is a new resource for Moodle, created recently following the s5 concept of Simple Standards-based Slideshow System. It is only available for Moodle 2.0. It is maintained by Mark Johnson.

What does it do?

This is a simple tool for creating and editing a slide deck within Moodle. Normally people who want to create presentation like slides in Moodle will create a PowerPoint and convert to either flash, scorm, or perhaps use Lesson or even Book for it, however although they are okay, having a simple slide resource is a good thing. It uses standards so that it works on all browsers with javascript.

It currently handles

  • Create new slide shows
  • Edit Existing slides
  • Create new slides
  • Delete Slides
  • Preview slide while editing

And the road map (although not updated since December 2010) mentions

  • Live preview of slides while editing
  • Import slides from existing s5 files
  • Import slides from OpenDocument Presentation format or OfficeOpenXML format
  • Edit handout for slides
  • Export slides (single HTML File)
  • Export presentation (Zip File with all required s5 code)

 

Is it simple to install?

The source is managed in GITHUB however the zip is also download-able from moodle.org here.  The source code is available for browsing through the GitHub web interface. The zip when downloaded holds one folder which contains the files for the block.

You need to upload the standardslideshow folder to your mod folder in your Moodle site.

When upgrading through the notifications page, I got no errors and it just installed. There was no new global settings.

Is there documentation for it?

The Plugin Entry for Book has instructions to install, but it links to the GitHub wiki pages which provides a good visual step by step for installation and configuration.  There is no Moodle Docs for this that I could find.

The README file is empty.

There is no link to a forum post discussing the plugin although I did find the original announcement here.

Is it easy for the teacher/admin to use?

Setting up this resource is very straight forward. When creating the inital resource, there are just 4 options Name, Width, Height and Theme as below.

Once it is created, you got back into the resource and you can now edit the slides. The first thing I noticed was I lost the top part of my theme which was a little odd, but the actual editing and creating of slides was very simple and reminded me a bit of the ease of use tje of Book Module.

esource_standards_slideshow_view

 

Edit Screen

Edit Screen

Once you create a few slides, it just works nice and simply.

The benefits of using this are quite clear, you can make your slideshow all online and edit it easily, just like with using Book for resource pages instead of pdfs. There is also a fullscreen mode available too, so you could if you wished present using your slidedeck from Moodle.

Is it easy for the learner/student to use?

The student just uses it the same way as any resource type. They can access it and read the content, move through the slides easily. It is quite simple to use from a student point of view.

One thing I found by accident was that if you mouse over the bottom blue bar on right hand side, some options come up.

 

Extra options

These allow the user to move forward and backwards through the deck and also to hide the theme if they want. Its very cool, just couldn’t find it mentioned anywhere. So perhaps it is part of the S5 concept.

Does it do what it promises?

Yes it does. The standards slide show is a simple and clean tool for creating slide shows for Moodle. It worked fine as teacher or student on Chrome, Firefox and Safari on my Iphone(which was cool).

My only concerns are lack of activity on the project, lack of Moodle Docs pages and no Moodle help icons to provide extra clarification for the usage. It would be good to see the user guide content end up in Docs.

That said, I know I will keep it installed. For the first version of this plugin, I think its great and certainly one to watch to see as it hopefully grows in features and support.

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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