Code Access - Why My Open Source LMS Beats Your Closed Source LMS

Moodle is well-known as a free (cost) LMS with a wide-range of capabilities and features.  While you'll get no argument from me about the importance of cost, what you may not realize is that the fact that Moodle allows free access to the source code is much more important.

 
 
 
Recently, a friend asked about the default date and time picker.  Out of the box, Moodle has a widget that lets teachers set the starting and ending times of assignments, calendar events, and other activities.  As shown below, this picker is set to intervals of 5 minutes.  This means that an activity can start at 8:05, but not 8:03.
 
Moodle Default Selector
 
He wanted to change this so that he could start an assignment at any time, not just at five minute intervals.  If this were a proprietary LMS such as Blackboard, or Schoology, you would be out of luck, or have to put in a "feature request" that may or may not get added...someday...far...far...in the future...
 
Fortunately, with Moodle this is not the case.  A little Googling and a little searching of the source code led me to /lib/form/datetimeselector.php
 
Moodle Code
 
As you can see, the code is pretty straightforward to change.  By changing the 'step' => 5 to 'step' => 1 in line 57 we were able to change the default interval from 5 minutes to 1 minute as shown in the image below.
 
 
For those of you stuck with whatever features and defaults your closed source LMS graciously allows you to have, you have my sympathy (and you have no excuse for such a sorry state of affairs).  When you're tired of being told what you can and cannot do, come join the open source revolution at http://moodle.org and take control of your own destiny!

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