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School of health Sciences Elective Placement Resources

Elective Placement Resources

Aaron was tasked with the development of an Elective Trip Advisor type resource to enable students to leave reviews of their placement experience so that future students might make more informed decisions relating to their own elective placements.

Funding had been obtained from the school of Health Sciences to develop a resource that would replace a ring bound folder containing paper copies of placement feedback. After a process of defining requirements and objectives Aaron looked to the Universities Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Moodle, to see if any of its features might be utilised to meet these requirements with the added advantage that the student would remain within a familiar environment and not have to get to grips with another system its associated user credentials.

Elective Trip Advisor

Aaron quickly focused in on the Database Activity within Moodle to provide the main functionality of the trip advisor. The database activity allows for the creation of a database which can be configured to enable students to contribute. The configuration of the activity along with the data structure is quite flexible but interaction with the data is constrained. So working within these confines Aaron has pushed to develop an intuitive user experience which meets the needs of the Elective Placement Team.

Elective Placement Resources - Module View

Elective Placement Resources - Module View

The activity allows students to define the location of their placement both in terms of country and continent but also by providing latitude and longitude information which then provides a direct link out to Google maps highlighting the location of the placement. There is also the ability to upload supporting image and provide a star rating for the placement.

Elective Placement Advisor, Placement Review

Elective Placement Advisor, Placement Review

Bespoke CSS styling and JavaScript has been combined with the core styling capabilities of Moodle to greatly improve the user experience of this resource.

Elective Trip Advisor Reviews Listing

Elective Trip Advisor Reviews Listing

Aaron has developed a graphical view of the data by utilised the Rich Site Summary (RSS) generation capabilities of the database activity to obtain a live data feed from the resource. This live data feed is then utilised by external script, allowing the interaction with the Google Maps API, visually presenting the 50 most recent placement reviews on an interactive map. Importantly this is a passive feature and requires no ongoing maintenance and will always show the latest information form the resource.

Elective Trip Advisor with Google Maps Integration

Elective Trip Advisor with Google Maps Integration

Technologies

  • Moodle 2.6
  • HTML5
  • PHP
  • XML
  • Google Maps API
  • CSS3
  • JavaScript
  • jQuery
  • Bootstrap (2.3)



The article was viewable from Monday, 3rd November 2014.

Author: Aaron Fecowycz