The Unbearable Absence of Tags

Moodle, alas, doesn’t get tagging. And it hurts that much more because I myself am only beginning to understand its power, and I like my course management system to be, well, a little ahead of me.

You can tag Moodle forum posts and search for the tags in forums, which is great, but you can’t tag resources. And the Program for Online Teaching site has lots of resources, with more being added every month. These resources are for online teachers, and include audio podcasts, videos of our workshops, links, advice, papers, forums.

As the main page of the site, divided into helpful areas like “Moodle House”, “Workshops” and “Archives”, has become more and more full, the system has become more confusing and useless. Want to get to that Elluminate recording where Robert Kelley shows cool things with pdf files? Is that an Archive or a Workshop or a Podcast? What about that Brainstorming workshop – was it recorded on video? And I keep hearing about this online teaching checklist – where can I get one?

Tags, obviously, are the answer here. Every resource should be tagged so it’s searchable. No can do, says Moodle. Oh, except in the Glossary. The Glossary has keywords, and categories.

I’ve used the Glossary before with students. I had them create an art gallery for my Western Civ online. It was pretty cool, although some students put in huge images that threatened to crash everything, and no one seemed to reference it on tests. So today I began adding to a Glossary all the resources scattered throughout the site, using keywords and searching. I showed it tonight on our Third Thursday Elluminate session.

My only misgiving is that this is still closed, inside a CMS. My glossary will never export in any meaningful way. And feature-wise, it’s pretty weak. I wanted to post a Zoho Show, and a Zoho Notebook, that went with a workshop. But Zoho’s iframe code wouldn’t work in the Glossary (I understand it should, but apparently Moodle 1.9 has some iframe issues in labels, and I’d say here too). But I got the audio and video in, and the index will be searchable. The main page will go from a mess to something meaningful, where faculty can access information. And that, I think, will be worth it.

2 thoughts to “The Unbearable Absence of Tags”

  1. You say “You can tag Moodle forum posts and search for the tags in forums” How do you do this? I can’t find a tag function except for blog postings. Thanks

  2. I’m sorry, Gord, I must have been wrong. I must have written that because I’d tried it, but I’m not finding evidence of it now — so I guess we’re stuck with just blog posts (and profiles) being taggable. If I run into where I did it, I’ll post again!

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