Collborative Learning Systems in Drupal: A Case Study (DrupalCon Session Notes)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Wayne Eaker
Site Builders
Collborative Learning Systems in Drupal: A Case Study (DrupalCon Session Notes)

The client for this project was Population Services International (PSI), an organization who teaches health skills in developing countries.

Social Features

  • Chat: Chats allowed group interaction. Chat functionality is focused on discussions between locally-based peer groups and mentors.

Collaboration Features

  • Students work together on homework: Students do peer review on each other's work.
  • Revisions with Mentors: Students marketing briefs (their work) would go through multiple levels of revision, and then eventually published publicly.

Gamification Features

  • Badges, Points: "Chat Ninja", "Marketing Guru"‚Ķgives permission to review other's work.

Chief Modules Used

  • Organic Groups: Courses set up as OG groups. Courses have "mentors" (group admins).
  • Drupalchat: Set up with Node.js to pass the actual messages in realtime. Drupalchat by default can add a lot of load on your server. Suggest getting Node.js working with the quickstart first, then connect to Drupal. Tricky to get everything working, but it's worth it.
  • Achievements: Requires custom code to really use this module effectively. You have to define achievements in the hook_achievement_info() hook in your custom module.
  • User Points: Rules-driven, define number of points to add in a given category when an event happens. Events are like a user filling out their profile, posting a node, etc.
  • Workbench Moderation: States: Draft, Peer Review, Mentor Feedback, Approved. Use OG to manage permission on student work. The document is a group itself. When you "add peer reviewer", you are adding them to the organic group that is the document. Students can make comments on individual sections of a document. Also they added a "Peer Editor" OG role to allow students to work on the same document, and all get credit for its publication.
  • Rules: Powers a lot of the above, plus email notifications for state changes