Your Guide to Moodle Block Development

In most cases, Moodle developers always come to a particular situation when they need to initiate a process of Moodle block development. If you are one of them, perhaps you have done it a couple of times. The process of developing a Moodle block is very easy since you need to copy-code from an already existing Moodle block and then modify or add it, as you want it to be.

However, it can be a good idea if you understand how exactly the block works in an environment of a Moodle. In addition, as a professional developer, if you decide to document your projects, as you want, it might come to be very useful and helpful especially when replicating it later. So, how does a Moodle block development take place? Let’s find out:

The Background

A Moodle block is basically a component of user interface commonly shown on a web page. For instance, educators would like to show their reading list on their own course pages. In ancient times, there was a block known as the Library Resources, which offered a few of this particular functionality. This traditional block senses the present course ID of the existing page context. This ID is then put in a static link usually shown by the same block. Unfortunately, it is not possible to edit the URL of this block, especially from an admin interface. Therefore, there is a need for a smarter block that at least offer interface that enables you to edit the URLs right from the back-end. This block can be named as the Reading Lists.

Organizing the Process of Moodle Block Development

Taking some time to interact with end-user representative, there is a lot needed to improve its user interface. As indicated on the diagram, the Moodle block only shows some module reading lists that will also show a few static links. It is also easier for a course admin to enter a base URL of a reading list, some static URLs and module codes on the back-end. As a developer, you can decide to write a considerable document fulfilling a formal requirement like the one recommended for a training course by Moodle developer. For beginners, it is an ideal starting point to have your requirements documented as indicated in the diagram.

The Reading Lists Requirements of a Moodle Block

This development process might occur in an integrative-agile manner where every iteration might bring additional features as well as fix existing bugs. However, you can begin the development process with an inverted-tree approach through listing all features in a hierarchical way. You may decide to either shrink or expand the tree diagram by adding more nodes splitting the complex duties into simpler ones. This actually comes with some befits since it can help in prioritizing your tasks as well as visualizing the milestones.

Lastly, the process of Moodle block development requires some expertise in order to execute it in an effective and efficient way. However, the process of developing a Moodle block is something to handle in a couple of minutes if you have the necessary expertise.

Nicole Lewis is the Lead Author & Editor of MyLMStips. MyLMStips is dedicated to providing the most engaging topics, information, tips and tricks surrounding Moodle®. It's a place where Moodle® users can receive guidance on how to get the most out of it and increase their productivity and progress.