October 2011 Archives

Updating Custom YUI 3 JavaScript for Moodle 2

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In a previous entry, we wrote about how to incorporate YUI 3 JavaScript into Moodle 1.9. Recall that the advantage to using YUI 3 rather than YUI 2 or jQuery in Moodle, is that your JavaScript code is then prepped to make use of Moodle's native JavaScript framework when your courses are converted to version 2 of Moodle. Everyone visiting our Moodle 2 sites automatically download YUI 3 because of its integration with the course management system — if we make them additionally download YUI 2 or jQuery in order to experience custom interactions for our course, that adds to download size and more code for the browser to interpret, both of which can cause a more sluggish experience.

If you followed along with our previous post's Click and Tell example, or made something similar, here we'll take a look at what requires modification in your code once your course is upgraded to Moodle 2. To start with, take a look at how our references to JavaScript files looked in 1.9:

    <script type="text/javascript" src="https://moodle2.umn.edu/file.php/438/Scripts/yui3-combo.js"></script> 
    <script type="text/javascript" src="https://moodle2.umn.edu/file.php/438/Scripts/yui-click-and-tell.js"></script> 

In Moodle 2, since it already references the YUI 3 library in the head of the document, we can remove the reference to our custom implementation of YUI 3, shortening this to:

    <script type="text/javascript" src="https://moodle2.umn.edu/file.php/438/Scripts/yui-click-and-tell.js"></script> 

We'll also need to make a couple of minor adjustments in the JavaScript file itself, and in our CSS. The need for these adjustments comes from the fact that Book pages in Moodle 2 no longer have an ID of "mod-book-view" but rather "page-mod-book-view". That means that our JavaScript and CSS will not work unless we replace all instances of "mod-book-view" with "page-mod-book-view".

After you do that, your code should be good to go. The example above only directly applies to Books — if your JavaScript and CSS apply to something other than a Book, you'll need to change it accordingly. But the strategy is the same: update your JavaScript and CSS files so that they reference the new HTML structure of Moodle 2 pages, and your code should be fully functional.

Project: Patient DVD for Schulze Diabetes Institute

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Challenge: When the University of Minnesota's Schulze Diabetes Institute wanted an additional method to recruit patients with type 1 diabetes for a clinical trial, they asked the AHC Learning Commons to create a DVD explaining the benefits of islet cell transplantation. They envisioned a video that could be distributed in clinics, hospitals, community events, and on the Center website.

Solution: In response to the request, the AHC Learning Commons developed a DVD that covered various aspects of the clinical trial:

  • Background on the Schulze Diabetes Institute and islet cells
  • An overview of the transplant procedure and its results
  • Testimonials from prior recipients of the transplantation
  • Information directing the patient on how to volunteer for the clinical trial.

An online version of this DVD can be viewed at https://healtheducation.umn.edu/schulze/islet-transplant/.

Impact: This DVD provides patients an informative look at the possibilities available to them through islet cell transplantation, connects them with the providers of the procedure, and shares the experiences of other recipients. Patients volunteering in the trial help to advance knowledge of islet transplantation, paving the way for advances that will benefit others with type 1 diabetes. Additionally, the DVD serves as a tool for diabetes educators in the community to provide information on the procedure.