Got moodle? turbocharging TW5 for education with generico filters

I’ve finally set up moodle so that each student in my intro course, when they log in at moodle, automatically sees their own individual custom info (such as progress on assignments, “team” assignments, personalized feedback) within a tiddlywiki iframe.

This matters because it means I no longer have to send the students to an off-campus link, and no longer have to ask students to copy and paste special custom permalink/permaview urls. (And of course their feedback benefits from all the dynamic links, css clarity, and depth of detail that I could never provide within the clunky LMS interface.)

The keystone step was having my campus tech folks install the generico filter plugin, which allows for a template (an iframe, in my case) that inserts a bit of moodle’s info (unique individual metadata about the logged-in-student) into a “dumb” string of my choice (yielding an iframe, within moodle, that loads a unique permaview for each student).

The TW interface itself (when it’s in that iframe, with lots of readonly css simplifying the GUI) is pretty opaque with respect to how and where student info is embedded. That’s because the solution makes use of “ghost / phantom / virtual tiddlers” for each student (in other words, each student’s custom “front door” permalink is actually a “missing” tiddler, set up with cascades and templates to draw on lists and other fields to assemble the personal overview).

The custom url hashtag itself is not displayed within moodle; from the student’s POV, it “just works.”

And there’s no quick way (as far as I can tell) for them to replicate the view (and hence to quickly reverse-engineer it) outside of the iframe (say, by choosing the browser’s view-source tool). So I’ve achieved what I’d call “polite privacy.”

Of course, all the info is in a hosted tiddlywiki which is “out there”, and I’m not willing to build and maintain custom encryption for each student. So in theory it’s hackable. (That is, a determined techie student could figure out how to see other students’ info – say, by inspecting the source code and using background clues about other students, plus lots of educated guesses about how student info is encoded.)

For that reason, I’ve kept away from having anything like an overall grade-status displayed in this tiddlywiki, even in the personalized iframes. But I am comfortable including qualitative feedback (“coaching” on submitted work), and an up-to-date overview of submitted work and its status.

Rather than give the whole recipe here, I would just invite educators – especially if you use moodle, but also if you’re using a different LMS with analogous features – to reach out and PM me here, if you’d like to learn more.


Sounds seriously impressive! We have what seems to be a moodleesq system at my current place called itslearning (but what it is learning no one can say). I’ve had moodle in a couple of jobs and tried my best to iframe things into it and actually use the thing itself as little as possible!

Presenting assignment feedback in a better way sounds good!

Now we just need a promonitor killer!

Ha! It sounds like a perpetual refrain: “Be patient with it; its-learning!”

I would love to create some kind of online community for people envisioning and building better feedback tools! Some combination of gentle highlighting (where a comment is there but not jumping out loudly), hovering (to reveal a color-coded or line-linked comment, perhaps being able to retain its open state and/or reveal all at once), inline markup (for certain obvious corrections), and linking (so that students can land at an explanation that is read-once-share-often for commonly-encountered issues).

All this (in the tool I want) should be compatible with retaining the original text of the student submission as an archival-quality field, and keeping the comments metadata as a more or less independent “layer” of information.

I know lots of faculty use commenting tools in a word processor to communicate their feedback. At this point, I have come to experience a kind of allergic aversion to word processors whenever there’s actual data structure to the content – which is pretty much always.

1 Like

Our aim should be to turn Tiddly into an “moodle” activity - with user rights management as most desired feature. For the education world this would be a great help
For my personal education world, on the long run it might be a question of life and death (and I think there are many authoritarian school boards who won’t allow teachers to quit their eLearning cage).

And it should be doable: Moodle is already php and thus already what wee need to save.
Here is the doku on writing moodle plugins.

Any talented php-devs amongst us?


In support of this just imagine how one may be able to compete with learning environments with interactive lessons like if you can use a tiddlywiki as the interactive tool.

  • Perhaps ask in the development forum?

Actually, I wonder whether some of us might pool our energies to see whether one or more institutions could help support the project of developing a solidly LMS-integrated TiddlyWiki.

I don’t have the savvy to estimate the amount of work and financial resources required to do the IT implementation, but I can be part of making the case for the pedagogical elegance and power unleashed by TiddlyWiki… (I can make the case persuasively in university-administration-oriented terms, though I’m not fluent in secondary-school-admin-speak.)

Maybe this wouldn’t have to depend on entirely unpaid (and hence easily postponed) labor!


So let us start a new thread to define the specs raise mooney and search a php/moodle developper. I would put 250 private €uros into that jar and started a new thread for this: Crowdfunding a moodle-plugin to show and modify TiddlyWikis within moodle as an "activity"