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Mahara/Moodle integration /
Mahara block external link


Ryan Bernstein's profile picture
Posts: 3

19 January 2016, 8:03 AM

Greetings, 

This is probably more of a feature request, but we'd like our Mahara block in the Moodle dashboard to be an external link. Right now it links to Mahara, but students exit Moodle. We don't see this in the settings for the plugin. Is it possible to do this or add this to a feature request. 

Thanks!

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 3369

19 January 2016, 10:23 AM

Hello Ryan,

Can you please provide more information on the block that you are using and what you are expecting?

If you set up the MNet connection to Mahara correctly, you can add the "Network Servers" block to a Moodle page which will contain the link to your Mahara instance. Students will not be logged out of Moodle and will be logged in to Mahara immediately. When in Mahara, they can simply click the link back to Moodle in the profile block.

If you don't want to use the Network servers block, you can simply copy the link that is displayed in there (it contains "jump.php") and put that anywhere on your Moodle site. If you only link to your Mahara site without the jump link, your students will need to log in to Mahara separately, which they can't, since they need to go via Moodle.

Or did you mean that you want to display Mahara in a frame in Moodle or have the same top navigation? If you'd like to tie in Mahara more seamlessly in Moodle, you can do that via the theme and replicate the header as closely as possible or include a navigation item to Mahara with the jump link in your Moodle navigation. And then in Mahara you can customize the navigation to also include a link back to Moodle.

Cheers

Kristina

 

Ryan Bernstein's profile picture
Posts: 3

20 January 2016, 6:23 AM

Hi Kristina,

Thank you for the prompt reply. We are using the "Network Servers" block. We see that students can be auto-logged into Mahara through the block, which is good - we just wished it opened up into a new browser window instead of opening in the current window. 

I do see and can copy the jump link. I've created just a standard HTML Moodle block and need to do some testing to see if works as we'd like. 

Thank you for the information - I'll present this to our team here and follow up with you about what we're going to do. 

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 3369

20 January 2016, 8:31 AM

Hello Ryan,

Thank you for the explanation. If you want to continue using the Network Servers block, you'd need to make an adjustment there in the code in Moodle to open any links in a new window. Alternatively, an HTML block would do the trick as you can give a target to any link in there. It also offers you more flexibility, e.g. inclusion of the logo of your Mahara site, additional text etc.

If you go with the Network Servers block and you only use it to display the link to Mahara and no other Moodle site, I'd recommend you change the block's language string from "Network Servers" to something a bit less techy, e.g. "ePortfolio" or whatever you call Mahara so it's easier for students to make the connection.

Cheers

Kristina

 

Ryan Bernstein's profile picture
Posts: 3

20 January 2016, 10:01 AM

Thank you Kristina. 

We did actually rename the block to "ePortfolio". However, It appears as though the jump link works exactly the same with LDAP and single sign on. Users can sign into our network, open Moodle and click on the Mahara jump link to access their ePortfolio. If they have never used Mahara, if they click on the link a Mahara account will automatically provisioned for them. I think that's what we're going to go with - a custom HTML block with a Mahara logo and the jump link. 

Thanks for all the help, 

Ryan

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 3369

20 January 2016, 4:21 PM

Hello Ryan,

That sounds like a good plan. I'm not so sure of the two authentication methods though. MNet only supports one authentication method as parent authority in Mahara, thus either SSO or LDAP. Please test it out with a few users before you roll it out to your entire institution not that double accounts are created.

Cheers

Kristina

 

Rick Johns's profile picture
Posts: 11

23 May 2016, 5:27 AM

Hello Kristina,

I have a similar problem in reverse. We use Mahara as the main site and link to Moodle using the Network Servers link created in Mahara.

When we click through to Moodle all is well, except there seems to be no way back.

Can I publicise and subscribe to both SSO (Identity Provider) and SSO (Service Provider) to create a Network Services link back to Mahara?

I have tried just creating an HTML link on the front page of Moodle with the URL of the Mahara site but it seems to be unreliable in taking you back to Mahara logged in. Once you flip backwards and forwards a few times it seems to settle down but it's not working properly.

I wondered if there is a known way to create a 'jump' link to go back to Mahara.

Thanks a lot

Rick

Kristina Hoeppner's profile picture
Posts: 3369

23 May 2016, 1:39 PM

Hello Rick,

Mhh. To be honest, we don't work much with having Mahara as the outgoing and Moodle as the incoming application because transferring of Moodle content to Mahara and the Mahara assignment submission plugin only work if the accounts come from Moodle and thus Mahara is secondary.

I just tried to set up MNet the other way, but ran into a problem that I haven't been able to fix yet. What I did see though was that the Mahara server is not displayed in the "Network servers" block and I'm not aware of another block. Maybe there is a link under your profile in the right-hand corner now which allows you to go back to Mahara?

Cheers

Kristina

 

Rick Johns's profile picture
Posts: 11

24 May 2016, 7:42 AM

Hi Kristina, 

I set up a new Mahara / Moodle site to test this out and it seems when you set it up conventionally (Moodle = out and Mahara = in) you can add a Network Services block (link) in Moodle and Mahara automatically puts a link in your profile box to return to Moodle.

When you do it the other way round Mahara creates the Network Services link but there is nothing created in Moodle to go back to Mahara. 

As you say, there is a log out option in your Moodle profile (top right corner) which takes you back in one hop directly to Mahara fully logged in. So that's a good option and I could just create an HTML block with the instruction of what to do.

I also tried using this link to create a new HTML block in Moodle with the href = "http://yoursite.com/moodle/login/logout.php?". As you cannot use the session key which is created in your profile (because it's unique for each session) it means it asks you if you really want to log out (yes!) at least it works and takes you back to Mahara fully logged in still :-)

So two options which are both quite workable.

Additionally as a bit of fun I tried ticking all the boxes in Moodle SSO (publish and subscribe to everything) and this causes great confusion and everything stops working. Mahara will only do one or the other!

Thanks for all. Rick

Rick Johns's profile picture
Posts: 11

24 May 2016, 7:50 AM

Kristina

Ref your last paragraph :

I just tried to set up MNet the other way, but ran into a problem that I haven't been able to fix yet. What I did see though was that the Mahara server is not displayed in the "Network servers" block and I'm not aware of another block. Maybe there is a link under your profile in the right-hand corner now which allows you to go back to Mahara?

Yes, when you swap round the in/out from 'conventional' to 'unconventional' the Mahara server link disappears from Moodle so you don't have the option of using it.

Rick

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