Modern Education & Technology Associates

OpenCourseWare MetaMod for Moodle 1.8

Open resources for all learning

Part of Meta's mission is to openly contribute and share with the educational community. To that end, we're developing mods for major learning management systems, such as WebCT and Moodle.

Table of Contents

  1. Project Status
  2. Download the Open Open Mod for Moodle 1.8
  3. Overview
  4. Using the Open MetaMod
  5. New in this Version
  6. Terminology
  7. Server Requirements

Project Status

After a year-long developer famine, we now have a new Web developer who is assisting us on revivifying the Moodle Open mod project as part of his duties.

In a nutshell: the primary goal of the mod is to allow individual resources OR activities within a Moodle course to be "open" to either non-authenticated visitors or a custom role called "Open User". There are a number of secondary goals related to intellectual property metadata (e.g. Creative Commons).

Download the Open Mod for Moodle 1.8x

Users interested in testing the latest released beta version of the Open Mod may download the following ZIP file: Open Mod for Moodle 1.8x Note that this version of the mod works only on Moodle 1.8x installations on mySQL. A PostgreSQL version is forthcoming. Additionally, unlike previous versions, this version of the mod does not have an installer, and files must be modified manually. In short: use at your own risk!

Detailed Overview of the Open Mod


The OpenCourseWare modification for the Moodle learning management system (version 0.81) of the Open MetaMod for Moodle provides instructors and designers with the ability to mark individual Resources or Activities within a Moodle course as "private" (only visible for registered students) or "shared" (allowing anonymous guest viewing).

A new third option for Moodle Activities, "open", allows registered non-student users to interact with the class in Moodle activities. This is different from "shared", as it allows authenticated users on the Moodle system who are not officially registered for the course to interact with students and instructors on the discussion board, take quizzes, complete activities, contribute to wikis, etc.

Instructors and designers can mark resources or activities as "Copyright cleared/Creative Commons" and as "shared" either individually through the normal course module/block interface, or en masse through the Open Settings in the Administration block. All Creative Commons license types are supported in the latest version of the Open Mod

Allowing Guest Access

If any resources or activities are going to be designated as "shared" the course instructor/designer should turn Guest access. To take full advantage of the Module, the default role for the course should be changed to "Open User". These self-enrolled students will only see content that has been cleared designated as "shared". This is found in the Settings page in the Administration block.

Moodle Settings

Resources and activities may still be tagged as Copyright cleared/Creative Commons" and as "shared", however without Guest access any "shared" designation will be useless.

Tagging Individual Resources/Activities' Copyright Status

Note: The default tag of all resources and activities is copyrighted. This is done intentionally to inhibit the accidental sharing of copyrighted course materials.

  1. To tag individual resources or activities with a copyright status, first enter your Moodle course and click Turn editing on.
  2. Next to each resource or activity you will note either a red "C" indicating Copyrighted or a green "CC" indicating Copyright Cleared/Creative Commons: Toggling the copyright status
    • Clicking the red "C" or the green "CC" will toggle the copyright status of this resource/activity.
    • Only resources/activities tagged as "CC" are eligible to be "shared".

Marking Individual Resources/Activities as "Shared" or "Private"

Note: Changing the copyright status of a resource marked as "shared" from "CC" to "C" will automatically disable the shared status.

Making Copyright Status and Shared Status Changes En Masse

Tagging and marking individual resources seems pretty onerous, right? Well, this is purposefully the case so that instructors/designers are forced to consider the copyright status of each and every resources or activity.

However, we recognize there are cases where the entire course is known to be Copyright cleared or under a Creative Commons license. We've accomodated the need to tag and mark multiple resources and activities simultaneously with the OCW Settings link, found in the Administration block.

OCW Settings


Copyright C This indicates that a resources or activity is protected by copyright law, and should not be made available to the general public. For one's own protection, one might best assume that all resources or activities are de facto copyrighted<./dd>
Copyright Cleared or Creative Commons license. CC This refers generally to the idea that a particular resources is legally eligible to be made available to the general public. Ensuring the Copyright Cleared or Creative Commons license status of a resource and activity is solely the responsibility of the instructor or course designer.
private Indicates that a resource or activity should only be available to registered Moodle users who are also enrolled in the course.
shared Indicates that a resource or activity should be viewable to both registered Moodle users who are also enrolled in the course as well as anonymous Moodle guests.
open Indicates that an activity should be fully accessible to registered Moodle users regardless of whether or not they are officially enrolled in the course. If a course allows "Guest access", anonymous Moodle guests may view but not interact with "open" activities. Note: This feature is not available in the current version of the Open MetaMod for Moodle.

--Jared M. Stein, Rick Chaides, 2007

Questions about appropriate use of these resources? Contact us.