About Requests for Additional Features or Plugins

The Moodle-based ctYOU.org server provides a free, robust, few-frills learning management system for CareerTech instructors and staff. The agency selected the Moodle platform because of its widespread popularity, its ease of use, and the availability of a vast amount of free documentation from Moodle.org and academic institutions.

The Moodle open-source development community offers an added benefit, in that programmers from around the world create additional plugins (add-ons) that can increase functionality when installed on a Moodle server. However, although Moodle developers are typically caring and generous volunteers, they have busy lives. In some instances, developers have been slow to update their plugins to ensure compatibility with the latest version of Moodle, which can cause server problems or bring it down completely. Also, although a plugin may initially work well, it could eventually conflict with another plugin or a core Moodle function following a system upgrade.

Working in a partnership with our service provider, the ctYOU.org administrator strives to offer a safe and secure LMS with the critical functionality that meets the needs of the vast majority of its users. However, in addition to maintaining ctYOU.org, staff members have additional responsibilities unrelated to maintaining servers. Because of this, ctYOU.org must be managed effectively to maximize the use of staff time and resources.

Although we appreciate suggestions for enhanced Moodle services, please understand our staff cannot honor all requests. Given limited staffing and funding, the ctYOU.org administrator must be judicious and install plugins that 1) address a common critical need of most users, 2) are compatible with the version of Moodle currently running on ctYOU.org, 3) can be maintained and supported by the agency’s small staff, 4) do not duplicate existing Moodle applications or other web solutions, 5) appear to be systematically maintained by the developer.

Suggested plugins undergo testing throughout the year. However, the service provider and server administrator update the system only twice a year—in June and during the winter holiday break when fewer schools are in session. The staff must rigorously test each new plugin in an online testing environment, because a new plugin has the potential to damage the server. For this reason, requests for plugins for an upcoming school year must be received before May 1. Plugin requests received after this date will be tested for possible implementation during the December break.

Please remember, too, that any installed plugin may be dropped in the future if it becomes incompatible after a system upgrade.

To view the plugin implementation criteria, click the link below. 

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