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UC's Unit Outline Block features

Features of UC's Unit Outline Block in Moodle:

In 2009 I managed a project to implement a university wide unit outline repository. The unit outline block in Moodle has continued to evolve, so I thought it would be worth documenting the features for when we re-implement the block using a database instead of an object repository.
  1. Business Process Awareness: Built in messages targeted to staff and students communicate unit outline business processes. The messages are dynamic, for example if an outline is not in the repository students are advised to contact their lecturer, and lecturers are informed about who to send their outline to for uploading.
  2. Network Communication Timeout: 45 Second network timeout so that in case of a fault with the network or Equella the block doesn't wait forever and stop loading the rest of the site. This only matters when the SOAP request doesn't get a response at all, e.g. when Equella is hung, or a network fault results in the request being lost.
  3. Statistics for Staff: Built in logging system so that staff can see unit outline access statistics per outline.
  4. Multiple Outlines Per Block: Support for multiple unit outline per site (one unit outline per cohort).

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