Yii Authentication

In the controllers established by gii, yii’s scaffolding tool, there is a standard method called accessRules() that defines what users can do what actions.


set date and time from commandzone

As the title suggests


Extracting a catalogue of element names from a collection of XML documents using XSLT 2.0

We are trying to build a single stylesheet to work with the documents of two independent journals. In order to get a sense of the work involved, we wanted to create a catalogue of all elements used in the published articles. This means loading as input document directories’ worth of files and then going through extracting and sorting the elements across all the input documents.

Here’s the stylesheet that did it for us. It is probably not maximally optimised, but it currently does what we need.


How to “clone” a test in Moodle 2.0

Here’s how to clone a test in Moodle 2.0 (i.e. make an exact copy so that both appear in the course; this is useful for making practice tests or copying a basic test format so that it can be reused later in the course)


Organising Quizzes in Moodle 2.0

Moodle 2.0 allows designers to divide questions into pages. But while this introduces great flexibility, it can be quite a cumbersome system to use at first. Here’s a method for making it more efficient.


Differences between Moodle and Blackboard/WebCT short answer questions

There is an important difference between Moodle and Blackboard (WebCT) short answer questions that instructors should be aware of, namely that Moodle short answer questions allow only one answer field.


Multiple Choice Questions in Moodle

Here are some tips for the composition of Multiple Choice Questions in Moodle.


How to build a randomised essay/translation question in Moodle 2.0

In my courses I often use a question of the following format:
  1. Common introduction
  2. Two or more sample passages or questions requiring an essay response
  3. A common form field for the answer to the student’s choice from #2.
The point of this format is to provide the student with a choice of topics. If students all write their essays or translations at the same time, you can build your choice of topics by hand and write them into a single question. The challenge comes if you want to be able to allow your students to write the test asynchronously, as is common with Learning Management Software. In such cases you want to be able to draw your essay topics or translation passages randomly from a test bank. Read the rest of this entry »

Manual Grading of All Questions in Moodle 2.0

Manually grading in Moodle 2.0 seems to be causing many faculty members at the U of L trouble. Here’s how to do it. Read the rest of this entry »

How to setup a signup sheet in Moodle

You can create a signup sheet for Moodle using the “Choice” activity. Read the rest of this entry »

How to do stuff in Moodle

Looking for a guide to Moodle?


Active Pedagogy and University English

For the last four or five years, I’ve been investigating ways of changing my teaching. Like most faculty of my generation, I learned to teach largely by imitation and guesswork. I mimicked the teachers and classes I enjoyed as a student and otherwise experimented with techniques and ideas grabbed magpie-like from various sources. This worked well at Yale, and, as I was recently reminded during a PhD seminar in Digital Anglo-Saxon studies at Memorial, is probably generally a good approach with highly motivated students who already have a sense of how literary scholarship works. It works less well with students who don’t have a natural sense for what is interesting and appropriate in critical discussions or who have yet to develop experience in that kind of debate. Read the rest of this entry »

Using Oxygen and Subversion client

Here are instructions for using Oxygen for accessing the Littlechief Project Subversion server. Read the rest of this entry »

O Captain! My Captain! Using Technology to Guide Readers Through an Electronic Edition

Most theoretical discussions of electronic editing attribute two main advantages to the digital medium over print: interactivity and the ability to transcend the physical limitations of the page. From a production standpoint, printed books are static, linearly organised, and physically limited. With a few expensive or unwieldy exceptions, their content is bound in a fixed, unchangeable order, and required to fit on standard-sized, two dimensional pages. Readers cannot customise the physical order in which information is presented to them, and authors are restricted in the type of material they can reproduce to that which can be presented within the physical confines of the printed page. Read the rest of this entry »
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