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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Edwiser Selective Synchronization extension to selectively synchronize Moodle courses with WordPress

Checklist by Jurgen Appelo.
Licensing: Creative Commons,
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
Source: http://goo.gl/2M0yB7
Welcome the my third post in a series of five posts featuring the Edwiser Bridge and its four extensions. Today I will focus on the Edwiser Selective Synchronization Extension, which is a commercial plugin.
Image 1. SS extension icon.

This plugin works in tandem with the other extensions to achieve a Moodle-WordPress synergy.

Section I. Overview


Image 2. The Big Picture. Where
the Selective Course Synchronizatin extension fits in.

Why is this plugin useful? Imagine a Moodle site with hundreds of courses. With the Edwiser Bridge alone, you would import ALL courses into WordPress. That could be a lot of courses being synchronised, leaving you with no choice but to let the Bridge do everything for you.  You might then end up having to delete the WordPress courses which you don't need. Wouldn't it be far more convenient to be able to choose the courses to be synchronised? You can with this plugin by Edwiser.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Edwiser Single Sign On (SSO) extension to access Moodle and WordPress

Two Doors by Stefan W.
Licensing: Creative Commons,
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)
http://goo.gl/sVgWXa
This is the second post in a series of five posts featuring the Edwiser Bridge and its four extensions. To re-cap, these WordPress plugins allow you to integrate Moodle with WordPress. In today's post I will focus on the Edwiser Single Sign On Extension which is a commercial plugin.

Image 1. The SSO extension icon.

This extension is an integral component in an e-Commerce system that comprises of Moodle, WordPress and WooCommerce. It works in tandem with the other compnents to create synergy in your system.


Section I. Overview

Image 2. The Big Picture. Where 
the SSO extension fits in.

What is the Single Sign On?
Single sign-on (SSO) is a session and user authentication service that allows a user to use a set of login details - name and password - to access two or more applications, in this case, WordPress and Moodle.

The Single Sign On extension allows you to enter your login credentials once in Wordpress, and to be logged into both WordPress and Moodle at the same time. So with this Edwiser extension, you will be able to, from within WordPress, launch directly into a Moodle site without having to go through the Moodle login page. This extension, used in tandem with Edwiser Bridge and the other three extensions, produce operational synergy for your website.

How to sell your Moodle course with Edwiser, Moodle and WordPress

Source: Alexa_Fotos; Pixabay https://goo.gl/jyiz8N
Some time ago, I wanted to know how I could sell a Moodle course online with a local Malaysian payment gateway. After doing some research online, I discovered that I could do this by using the free Edwiser Bridge and its four commercial extensions (plugins) from Edwiser. Throw in a payment gateway like the iPay88 plugin for WooCommerce, and the world's your oyster.

What is Edwiser Bridge?
Edwiser Bridge is a plugin by Edwiser that integrates Moodle Learning Management System with WordPress. It allows you to import and sell Moodle courses using WordPress. Software requirements of the lugin: WordPress 4.0 or higher.  Compatible up to WordPress 4.5.3.

Today's post is the first in a series of five posts where I will illustrate how I used the Edwiser Bridge plugins and its extensions to create an E-Commerce WordPress website to sell Moodle courses.

Most of the information provided by me on the Edwiser Bridge installation can be obtained from Edwiser's website, specifically the company's Documentation Page. What is different in my blog are detailed screenshots of the installation and test process, and some explanation in my own words.


Learning Outcome
At the end of this post, you will know how to import and synchronise your Moodle courses with WordPress by using the free Edwiser Bridge plugin.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Book Review: Tornado Down



Hi All

And now for something entirely different. A book review of the 1993 best-seller on Desert Storm. Tornado Down by John Peters and John Nichol.



I just finished the book. Here is my honest review.

The first page of the Book starts out literally with a bang. 280 pages later, it ends with a profound statement about what a hero and bravery is.

The book is well written and is easy to read. You feel as though both authors are speaking to you. Such is the power of reading a book! The authors' descriptive writing makes their whole experience come alive.  All five senses will be engaged. You feel the excitement as the airmen prepare for imminent war. You feel the aircrew's fear of failure when the Tornados refuel in-flight, in pitch darkness. You feel the scorching heat of the desert. You feel the adrenaline rush as the desert floor whizzes past the Tornado that is flying at 500knots, 50 feet above the ground. You taste the fear in the aircrew when they see Triple-AAA greet them as they fly towards and over the Iraqi airfield. You feel the shudder of the aircraft as the SAM hits it. You smell the prison surroundings and feel the dampness of the floors of their eventual prison cells. You winch as the authors describe the brutal blows and torture landed upon them, time and time again. You sniff a tear as you read about their emotional reunions. Such is the power of the descriptive writing style of the authors.

Friday, November 27, 2015

View PDF files in a ShadowBox pop-up window in the Essential Theme on your Moodle 3.0 site (works on all other themes as well!)

Source: Jens Peter Olesen,
Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain
Design. It's all about design. Today's post is  a sequel to my earlier post on the same subject. In that post, I enabled my PDF and ODF files to open in a Lightbox-like window, when clicked upon, in three themes: Evolve-D, Academi and BCU. I had used FancyBox and ViewerJS to achieve this. I couldn't get Fancybox to work with other themes.

The great news is that I have since discovered that ShadowBox (in place of FancyBox) works on Essential theme. The installation is much easier, and I managed to optimise the look and feel of ShadowBox by tweaking its original CSS file.

Learning Outcome
At the end of this post, you will be able to hack your beloved and sacred Moodle site so that PDF files will open as pop-ups. That's all. Nothing earth-shattering. However, I strongly believe that my post today is going to touch lives and make a difference in your Moodle experience (XP). As well as your teachers' and students' Moodle XP. Read on!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

How to install the multi-platform PDF pop-up window on your Moodle 2.9.x/3.0 site.

Pop up! Source: Pixabay,
License: CC0 Public Domain;
See https://goo.gl/lAIF8x


Welcome to my Dummies' Guide for the Complete Dummy!

This guide will show you how to enable your Moodle 2.9 site so that if you click on a PDF file resource, a lighbox-like pop-up window will open. I made mention of this 'innovation' here.

A dumbed-down version of this guide is called the Idiot's Guide. But I haven't gotten down to doing it yet because I'm not a complete idiot. Yet.


I crafted this Guide because I am afraid that three months from now I might forget all the steps. Thus the Dummy is I. This guide is insanely populated with screenshots because it is a step-by-step guide for, like I said, Dummies.

A Dummies' Guide should be simple enough for any 'Dummy' to follow. All you need to do is to follow the steps and in the end you will be rewarded. I will hold your hand all the way through.

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this Guide, you will be able to
  • install the PDF pop-up on your Moodle 2.9.x/3.0 site using one of these themes: evolve-D, BCU and Academi. Disclaimer: if you are using a different theme, I cannot guarantee that it work on your theme. I tried to get it to work on Essential, More and Clean themes. I failed. Maybe you can succeed where I failed.
  • to experience the joy of seeing your students open up PDF files as a pop-up window on Moodle, on every platform and device known to man. After this you can sit back, relax and watch Netflix.
  • to see a PDF, Text and ODF (Writer, Presentation, Calc) file open on multiple platforms in the same and consistent way. Check out the Slideshare presentation below. Drool.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Open and view a PDF file on a Moodle 2.9 coursepage inside a fully-featured pop-up window using Javascript. All without leaving the Moodle coursepage.

By Sean McEntee. Source: https://goo.gl/5vEpBI
Creative Commons License (Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0))

Hi All

1. Introduction


2. The Solution

I managed to make use of existing Javascript libraries to produce a PDF pop-up on my Moodle site. Here's what happens. I drag-and-drop a PDF file into my Moodle 2.9 coursepage. When I click on a PDF resource link, a fully-functioning pop-up window appears.
I've made it work on and for the following: iPad, PC, Android and Mac. I've tested it on IE, Firefox and Chrome. They all work.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Seamlessly connect Moodle 2.9 to Wordpress with Simon Booth's LTI Connector plugin for Wordpress 4.2.2 and 4.2.3

Image by Adina Voicu of Romania.
Source: https://goo.gl/CNpZNx
License: CC0 Public Domain

Update on 4th August 2015
I've converted this  super-long post into a PDF file. You can also go to the bottom of this post for a Scribd embed version of this post.

How would you like to be able to launch into a Wordpress blog directly from within your Moodle production site? At the end of this post, you will know how to enable a Single Sign-On between your Moodle 2.9 site and your Wordpress multisite in a LAMPP environment. To put it simply, within Moodle itself, you will be able to launch into Wordpress directly using the same Moodle login details. For example, here I am at my Moodle 2.9 test page, before clicking on the External Tool activity:


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

How to view Microsoft Documents on your Moodle site the JQuery way (Part 1)

Microsoft Store. That's a nice logo. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft

Disclaimer: For Microsoft Office files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) this only works with  files that are available publicly via a public URL. It won't work for Ms Office documents that are added to a Moodle course as a resource.

Ever since I started using Moodle as a file repository for the teachers and lecturers at my work place, I had always wanted to view Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files easily on my Moodle site. The easier and faster, the better. You know the story.


Figure 1. Many thanks to Davo Smith and others for
the time-saving drag-and-drop feature of Moodle!


Figure 2. What the file looks, sitting pretty on your Moodle coursepage.


Figure 3. Click on the Ms Word file, and Google
Chrome instantly downloads it. So this means I need to run Microsoft Office to view the file's contents.
Fine and good. Everyone does this. But what if I just wanted to view the file without any fuss?

Figure 4. Using Internet Explorer to access and download the Moodle file resource
invokes a Window prompt like this. Clicking on "Open" gives you...
Figure 5. ..this! You will need at least another two
mouse-clicks before you get to view the file.

So after uploading a Word file to your course page by dragging and dropping, each time you click on the file, depending on which browser you use, the file either gets downloaded instantly or you are prompted to either open the file or download the file. Why can't I just view the file there and then without having to invoke Microsoft Office ?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Embed a PDF file (and more!) in your Moodle course page by using ViewerJS. Cool!

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/degu_andre/5364417987/
André Gustavo Stumpf, some rights reserved.
If you ever wanted to embed PDF files inside your Moodle 2.x course page, but didn't know how to, look no further than the uber easy-to-use ViewerJS.

At the end of today's post, you will be able to view PDF files and Ms Office files direct off your Moodle course page. How? Read on!

1. Download the Javascript zip file from here.
2. Unpack the file on your computer. You will see a folder named 'ViewerJS'.
3. Upload (FTP) that folder to your webserver, preferably to www.domainname.com/moodle/ViewerJS
3. Upload one or more PDF documents to your webserver, preferably to a custome folder named pdfs. E.g, at the location www.domainname.com/moodle/pdfs
4. Create a Label resource with the example HTML code below


The softcopy code is given here:

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Enable the Lightbox effect for an image file inside a Folder resource on your Moodle site

Folders by Colleen  Galvin, on Flickr
Source; https://www.flickr.com/photos/col233/7974661195

I am having fun implementing the Lightbox javascript effects on images on my Moodle site. It was just yesterday that I realised that I could upload image files into a Moodle folder resource, but when I clicked on an image file, the file downloaded instead of loading up on-screen. It was then that I decided to see if I could make a clicked file link open up on-screen with the Lightbox effect. I am happy to say that I have succeeded to do so, albeit with a hack or two.

Here is my Moodle folder resource.

Figure 1. A normal-looking folder containing 2 image files, 1 text file and 1 Ms Word file.
Nothing out of the ordinary here....

Figure 2. What happens when the file itec2015-1.png is clicked.
Whoa! It's a lightbox image effect. Click the 'x' to close.

Enable the Lightbox effect for an image hyperlink in a Label resource on your Moodle site


Photo credit: Lightbox-1 via photopin (license)

L
ightbox is a JavaScript library that displays images and videos by filling the screen, and dimming out the rest of the web page. The original JavaScript library was written by Lokesh Dhakar. The term Lightbox may also refer to other similar JavaScript libraries. Text is from: Lightbox (JavaScript) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In this post, I will show you how you can enable Lightbox for an image hyperlink in a Label resource on your Moodle site. The genesis of this post was the Blog Learning Rocks. Dan Roddy has written an average of one blog post a year for the last two years, and seven posts a year for the last six years. Which is not much, but this 2010 post of his has become my inspiration for today's post. In fact, thanks to Dan's post, I've also managed to enable the Lightbox effect on image files inside a Moodle folder resource! More on that later in another post on Moodurian.

Well, let's get started shall we?
Step 1: Surf to Dynamic Drive's Lightbox image viewer page.
Step 2: Download the file lightbox.zip
Step 3: Extract the contents of the lightbox.zip to your hard drive. You will see the folder named "lightbox" and its contents below:

Figure 1. Contents of lightbox.zip

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