The surprising benefits of being a Moodle tester

I recently spent some time testing the next release of Moodle. This is the second time that I have tested a Moodle site, so I enjoyed it a little more. My first time round, I picked some safe, easy tests, and only did about 10 of them. I really wasn’t to sure exactly what to do and did not want to mess things up. As a developer I understand the value of testing and getting proper feedback. I just hate it when people find bugs in my work. I did not want to be the guy finding the bugs – which is really the whole point of testing.

This time around I picked tests from across the site. I wanted to not only test the new functionality, but also learn about functionality I had not previously used. Examples of this being Scales and User tours.

I am busy working on a new site for a client. I started the site when 3.5 was only an ALPHA release. It was a little risky, but I figured since the site would only go LIVE after Moodle 3.5 STABLE was released, I would be fine. This being another reason why I had a vested interest in testing the new release.

Some of the requirements from the client in the new site were exams using the Quiz module, extensive use of forums, and a new theme. When it come to picking test cases from Jira, I tried to pick as many from these areas as I could.

When it come to the forums, I opted to pick tests relating to functionality that I had never used. One such function being the use of Scales in a forum to rate a post. I have been using Moodle a long time, and never have I even thought to use a rating scale other than a standard grade. By doing these tests, I not only tested the functionality, but I also learnt something new in Moodle.

course_scale

The same can be said for the User Tours. I have seen them, but aside from immediately cancelling them, I have never really bothered about them. By selecting User Tour tests, I really go to understand them, and even build my own. Did you know there are User Tours that you can download and add to your site? That you can force a tour to be re-run. I do, and this is something I learnt because I helped test.

user_tours.jpg

I started out testing Moodle so that my client site would be stable when I released it, and along the way learnt a few new things in Moodle.

Reference:
User Tours: https://docs.moodle.org/34/en/User_tours
User Tour repository: https://moodle.net/mod/data/view.php?id=17
Scales: https://docs.moodle.org/34/en/Scales

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