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Revision as of 03:23, 23 August 2019 by Delponte (talk | contribs) (Plans plugin)

Plans plugin

Later here will be a more detailed description how the new Plans plugin works, first only a short summary:

ArtefactType Plan

Plans are now available as private(as before) and group plans, so we have "private" plans which can be reached through the menu and we have group plans, which can be reached unter the tab "Plans" when viewing a group.

Plan templates

Private plans now can be created also as "template plans". This is a functionality for potential group admins (teachers). In their private area they create a plan with selectable tasks as a template plan and later as a group admin they have the possibility to create easily a group plan just by importing this template plan into the group. Once imported the group itself is the owner of the plan (cause it's a plan created in the context of this group) and it is completely independent from it's "parent" template plan. The latter can be edited, deleted or extended while not affecting any groupplans based on it.

Of course also the new group plans can be edited, extended or deleted while not affecting their parent plans.

Group plans

Inside a group, plans can be created (or imported from a private template of the creator as mentioned above) as "normal" plans or as "selection plans". A "normal" group plan works like a private plan as we are used to it from previous Mahara versions.

Selection plans

A Selection plan is only for groups available (or template plans which are only supposed to be imported as group plans) and it's option on the form creating a new group plan is available under following conditions:

Important requirements in the group settings to be able to create selection plans inside the group

To be able to have selection plans inside a group, following group settings are needed:

  • Content - Create and edit: Everyone except ordinary members
  • Allow submissions: Yes

Selection plans provide the following functionality:

Group admins and tutors see the plan as a "normal" group plan and are able to edit it.

Normal group members see the plan and it's tasks in a readonly view and can select every task by clicking the switch next to it. In this case they overtake the task and it's parent plan inside their private plans. If an outcome portfolio is assigned to the task, a copy of it will also be created in the (private) portfolio section of the user.

Once chosen the normal group members (students) can view the assigned task view (with more detailed and deeper informations and additional material referring to the task), edit their assigned outcome portfolio (which is after chosing the task a private copy of the assigned outcome portfolio template) and submit this outcome portfolio into the group - all from one single point: The task. As they now also have a copy of the plan and their chosen tasks in their private area, students have the possibility to set their inherited plans and tasks settings individually, e. g. a reminder of 14 days before the completion date was set as default in the group task, but the student wants to be reminded earlier, he can change this setting in his private area because this is his own private plan with his own assigned outcome portfolio after choosing a task from a selection plan.

A portfolio (view or collection) which is assigned to a private task which is rooted in a selection grouptask, is recognized as such by the system and provides only this group in the group dropdown of the submission form on the portfolio.

Benefits of Selection Plans and Tasks

So selection plans make it much easier for students to handle plans resp. tasks and referring portfolios. They just choose the task in the group and even without the knowledge how to create and manage portfolios they can directly enter their automatically created portfolio, edit, style it and submit it even without having the trouble to submit the right portfolio into the right group. Together with the reminder functionality they even can't forget a chosen task and if adequately set still are able to submit the portfolio just in time.

But also teachers benefit from this funtionality: They can be relatively sure that their students have the matching detailed informations to the task (by the task view), can't make any mistakes in creating portfolios (by an assigned outcome portfolio) and submitting it to the right group (by the possibility to submit the portfolio right by the task resp. by the intelligence of the system to filter the right group in the submission area of the portfolio) and even get a reminder before time gets really critical.

Fields of the ArtefactType Plan

Template (Only available on the creation of a new private plan)

If set, this plan and it's tasks are and will ever be (for much more easier technical handling) a template for importing into groups.

Selection plan (Only available on creation of a new template or group plan)

If set, a group plan is a selection plan which means that normal group members will have the possibility to select tasks they want (or have to ;-)) do.

ArtefactType Task

Tasks are extended with some more fields.


Currently only an information field which will have in later Plans releases functionality.

If implemented a group task will only be available and possible assigned group views and collections only visible to the students if the startdate is reached. With this functionality a teacher can setup group plans and assigned portfolios "in the background" while a group already is started and visited by students without having the normal group members seeing his efforts to design cool and interesting portfolios assigned to the respective tasks... ;-)

Also if there are several time points for the submission of portfolios referring to different tasks, the students aren't possibly confused by seeing a large list of tasks from the beginning of the course (group).


If set, the user receives a reminder notification related to the set reminder time period in relation to the completion date.

Taskview (view)

Here the user can assign a view to the task in which the task can be described more detailed and some material could be provided.

Outcome (view or collection)

Here the user can assign an outcome to a task. The biggest advantage of this feature is the assignment of an outcome portfolio to a selection grouptask. Now the student (normal group member) can choose the task (and make a private copy of the outcome portfolio), edit the portfolio (which also can be reached from the groupplans) and submit his final outcome to the group without having to create a portfolio and on submission the user can be sure, that it's submitted into the right group.

So the student has a central "cockpit" to work on tasks which are provided from a teacher inside a group - The Plans tab, from which he can 1. Have a closer look at a possible detailed task view 2. Edit his outcome to every task 3. Submit his outcome assigned to the task

Of couse he will find all the tasks also in his private Plans area callable from the menu.


The workflow for the teacher depends on which functionality he wants to benefit from. If a teacher doesn't want to use the template functionality, he justs starts with step 3 and creates the plans, tasks and assigned portfolios directly in the group. He also doesn't need to assign whether a task view nor an outcome portfolio to the tasks if he wants his students to do the latter by themselves. (Of course students can also assign or replace a portfolio as outcome by themselves to a private plan and it's tasks "inherited" from a group selection plan.)


  1. Create a plan template and tasks in his private area
  2. Create views with detailed informations and assign them to the corresponding task
  3. Go to a desired group in which he has the role "admin" and the group should have the settings mentioned above under "important" (Content - Create and edit: Everyone except ordinary members, Allow submissions: Yes)
  4. In the Plans tab click "create new plan", then "from template" in the edit window
  5. Make shure, that the selection plan option is set and save.


  1. Visit the group and the plans tab
  2. View the desired plan and select desired tasks (eventually after previewing the assigned detailed task view)
  3. Visit all outcome portfolios (which ate after choosing the task his private ones) by clicking the related button located at the respective tasks
  4. Submit the outcomes by clicking the related button located at the respective tasks


Use the functionality of the new submissions plugin, which will be described later but is relatively self explaining.

That's all for now - more to come soon.

Have fun