Deploying CCLE Front Page Activities Based on Role

Site Administrators can leverage the unique characteristics of the Front Page (MySites) of CCLE to deploy site-wide activities. The advantages to using the front page are: 1. You can control who sees which activity based on user role (targeting the user) and 2. The activity appears on the MySites (Front Page) page upon login.

In this example, we will use the Instructor Student Survey — a questionnaire activity that was deployed to two different populations on CCLE. If you are deploying an activity to only one group then you can alter these steps accordingly.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Only one site-wide activity can be administered at a time. For this reason, it is imperative that you obtain CIG approval.

Part 1: Making your lists to populate the front page roles:

  1. Go to User Bulk Actions in the Admin Panel and use the Filters (Show Advanced) to generate the first list (All Students in this example).
  2. Repeat the steps above to get the second list (Instructor for this example). You can create filters based on term, if desired. For each category add that list to Selected Users and repeat for additional categories and/or term.
  3. For each list you create, make sure one of your filters is Authentication = Shibboleth. This is an important step because Moodle makes you specify this when uploading your users into the Front Page. See screen shot below Part 4: Step 2 (default values).
  4. Once you have your list the way you want it, go to Selected Users (make sure they are selected) and choose Download. A new screen appears, choose csv format.

Part 2: Remove Duplicates
On CCLE, students and instructors share roles, so it very important to remove duplicates (your activity may not work as expected if you don’t).

  1. Merge the Instructor list into the Stduent list (File > Import).
  2. Use the remove duplicates feature in Excel.
  3. Save this file as the Student list.

    Why is Step 2 necessary? This is necessary for the following reasons:

    a. Moodle filters are limited (they are not conditional, but rather subtractive). For example, if you were to make a filter that included Instructors and then filter by Students, the result would be only Instructors that also have Student roles. In this example, the objective is to create a survey list of all students and then eliminate instructors from that list.

    b. Instructors can, and often do, have the role of student on CCLE (due mostly to being students in collaboration sites.) The way CCLE is currently set up, it is much easier to do a global search by student role. (Alternately, you could search student role by category as a way to eliminate instructors who also have student roles (on collaboration sites), but this method would be very time-consuming and it is not recommended. Merging files and then removing duplicates is a much easier way to obtain the same results.)

    c. If your Front Page roles contain duplicates (deploying to more than one group) then your survey may exhibit unintended behavior. (When a user is assigned more than one role, Questionnaire defaults to Student role.)

  4. Now you should have two lists (instructor and student) that do not contain duplicates.

Part 3: Add role and course name to Excel

  1. Specify new labels in Excel called role1 and course1 for each list
  2. For instructors use the Non-editing instructor role (role ID = “4”). Using this role ensures that instructors will NOT have editing rights to the front page. Just put the number in the column in Excel.
  3. For students use the Student role (role ID = “5”). Just put the number in the column in Excel.
  4. For both lists put ccle in the course1 field (this is the shortname of the front page)

Part 4: Upload your users into the Front Page roles Uploading large lists puts a strain on the server. Do this on off-peak hours.

  1. Go to Upload Users on Admin Panel and select each of your files to upload.
  2. After the file uploads click Show Advanced and make sure the settings look like this:
  3. Your front page will now be populated with the new roles. (To check go to Front Page roles in the Admin Panel.)

Part 5: Creating the Activity

  1. In this example, we are making two separate surveys using the questionnaire activity.
  2. Go to front page and Turn Editing On to see front page blocks. Turn on the Main Menu block and add a questionnaire(s).
  3. Hide the Main Menu Block.
  4. Make an html block(s) to hold the link(s) to your activity. In this example, we are making two html blocks.
  5. Label each block(s) accordingly.

Part 6: Set Permissions

  1. Set each of the questionnaire’s permissions so that the different roles (groups) cannot view and submit each others activity AND set permissions that allow each group to view and submit their own activity.
  2. Set the permissions on each html block (In this example, Students cannot view Instructor block and vice versa: the Instructor block has for the Student role: view block = prohibit and the Student block has for Non-Editing Instructor Role view block = prohibit.)
  3. Set the permissions on both html blocks so that Guests and Supporting Admins cannot see the blocks as well.
  4. Test your activity with actual users to ensure it is working correctly. (Non-editing Instructors should see and be able to submit only the Instructor Survey upon logging in to their MySites page and Students should see and be able to submit only the Student Survey upon logging in to their MySites page.)
  5. When your activity is ready to go live, go to the front page blocks and click the eyeball to unhide each html block containing the link(s) to the activity.

Best practices:

  • For surveys, use the questionnaire activity in CCLE (do not use Feedback activity — you can’t prohibit students from submitting a feedback).
  • The way front page activities are designed is that users must be logged in to view them. Do not send out direct links to your activity, instead direct users to their MySites page where they will see the link after logging in.

Contact the author of this article with questions.