Todays review Module is a newly submitted block – Lesson Objectives.
This block was only added on April 2nd, but as it is similar to some others I have already reviewed it got my interest. It is created and maintained by Davo Smith.
What does it do?
The block provides the teacher a way of created trackable objectives to a lesson timetable. Each objective then appears in the block and can be ticked off by the teacher.
Unlike some blocks, the objectives are arbitrary and not linked to any Moodle activity or Moodle resource, they are just linked to that timetable period.
The objectives can also be associated with the Moodle Groups in the course.
Is it simple to install?
Unlike contrib hosted files, this block is hosted on the GitHub so you can download the zip file and/or browse the source code. The zip holds one folder which contains the files for the block however you need to either rename the folder to objectives, or upload that folders contents into a newly created block/objectives folder in your Moodle site. This adds a minor complication for people used to just copying the files up.
When upgrading through the notifications page, it installed successfully and there was no new global settings for this block.
Is there documentation for it?
The Plugin Entry for Block Lesson Objectives has instructions for how to install the block and a section for guidelines for usage, however at this time there is no MoodleDocs page.
There is a detailed README which has the same install/usage details which also clearly identifies which Moodle version the Block zip is for, as it is available for Moodle 1.9 and Moodle 2.0. I have not tested the Moodle 1.9 version.
Is it easy for the teacher/admin to use?
I found it a little confusing at the beginning, probably due to the other blocks I have used which do course or task tracking, however once I got my head around it, it is straight forward.
The teacher creates the timetable entries on a per day basis, and then can edit the objectives details for those time segments. One neat feature is the ability to set objectives per group, or for all groups.
Is it easy for the learner/student to use?
Yes it is very easy to view, the student can just see what the objectives are for the lesson period and whether they have been met or not. This is a neat visual aid to aid motivation of students.
The objectives can also be expanded to a popup for a clearer picture. The images shows the nicer expanded view of the popup.
Does it do what it promises?
Yes, the block does as it says. This is a straight forward block, which a teacher can use to display the learning objectives of a course within a block. I can see there are places for improvement, but overall its a neat addition to the plugins one may use.
Stars: 3 out of 5 stars for this block.
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.