Tools for the Medical School



Under construction...

The Pinkas project


The Pinkas is a tool that is being developed for the Medical School to help students build a portfolio of their progress throught the clinical years.
It is, essentially, a group of Advanced features that were added to the Database activity plus various summaries for both students and those responsible for courses and clinical years.
(The summaries combine data across courses and instances of Moodle and - for those responsible - across students and mentors.)

What is a Pinkas?

A Pinkas is a collection of Tasks undertaken by a Student.
Each Task is of a particular Type - perhaps an admission to the ward, or a shift in A&E - and is part of a Database
A Task is supervised by one of the doctors that was present at the time that the student undertook it. These are the Mentors.
A Mentor is required to approve or provide Ranks or a Grade, and or/provide Feedback, on the Students's performance at the Task.
Each course has a Facilitator who is responsible for ensuring each Student fulfills the requirements of the course.
The requirements may include more than one Database, each with a minimal number of Tasks of each of several Types with approval or sufficient Ranks or Grade.
If Mentors are required to provide Feedback, also their performance may be assessed by the Facilitator.
In each clinical year there is a Coordinator who is responsible for ensuring that each Student fulfills the requirements of all that year's courses.

How is a Pinkas built up?

A Pinkas spans all the clinical years.
Each clinical year is a collection of courses.
  (For some students, a clinical year may span several Moodle years.)
Each course has one or more Database activities that is a collection of Tasks.
A Task is a Database entry.
A Database entry is targetted by the Student to his Mentor for that particular Task.
  He does this by selecting a Target user. Target user is a type of Database field.
Feedback is a Database field that can be edited only by the Target user for that Task.
  Any field can be designated as Feedback.
Rank is a type of Database field that can take a value from a pre-determined selection e.g. Poor, Satisfactory, Outstanding.
Grade is a type of Database field that takes a numeric value that can be calculated automatically from all the Rank fields.
  (Both Rank and Grade are always Feedback fields.)

Roles and capabilities

  • A Student can add a Database entry. Each entry has one or more Target user fields.
  • A Mentor can view, approve, and edit only entries of which he is the Target user.
    He can edit only Feedback fields. See below
  • (NY) A Facilitator can view all entries as well as various summaries of the achievements of each of the Students and Mentors.

A Mentor is any user with capability mod/data:approve (Teacher, TA, Grader...).
Users with this capability cannot add entries (regardless of capability mod/data:writeentry).
A Facilitator must also have capability mod/data:managetargetusers.

Database settings

Five features were developed in the Database for the Pinkas project.
The Database settings are in section Advanced features. They should all be enabled.
Show picture
If enabled, the default templates include the name and official picture of the user who created the entry
Enable Target users
If enabled:
  • Settings Approval required, Allow comments on entries, Entries required before viewing and Maximum number of entries are disabled
  • Field type Target user is available.
    It can be either an autocompletion field or a menu.
    It can be configured to include:
    • All users with particular roles and/or
      • All users in any of the Student's group, or
      • All users in particular groups, or
      • All users in any of the Student's groupings, or
      • All users in particular groupings
    The user can optionally be notified when he is selected.
    (There can be more than one Target user field.)
  • Only Students can create entries
  • Approving an entry simply marks it as approved. It does not release it to the view of anyone else.
  • The View list tab allows selection by Target users and approval status.
    A Target user field that is restricted to particular entry Types, is shown only if one of those Types was selected.
    (Target user fields are not included in the default Advanced search template).
  • Tags are disabled. (The default Add and Single templates do not include ##tags##.)
  • If Show picture is enabled, the default templates do not show the name and official picture to the user who created the entry
  • Advanced search does not included Author fields for users who can create entries.
Enable Feedback
If enabled:
  • Any field can be designated as Feedback.
  • Students can edit only fields that are not Feedback.
    (A student's Edit template does not include Feedback fields.)
    Mentors can edit only Feedback fields.
  • The Fields tab shows which are the Feeback fields.
Enable Entry types
A set of Entry types can be configured. For each Type, the minimal number required for course completion can be specified.
If there are any, then:
  • Instead of the Add entry tab, there is an Add tab for each Type.
  • Any of the fields can be configured to be restricted to particular Types.
  • The Type of entry is shown
  • The Fields tab shows the Types of each field.
  • The View list tab allows selection by Type.
    Advanced search includes fields restricted to particular Types only if a Type is selected (and only fields of the Type selected).
Enable Ranking
If enabled:
  • Field type Rank is available.
    It is a set of radiobuttons with each button optionally having an associated number.
    There can be more than one Rank field and each can be restricted to particular Entry types
  • An item is approved if all its Rank fields are set.
    Items cannot be approved or unapproved manually.
    (If there are no Rank fields for the item, it is automatically approved when edited by a mentor.)
  • Field type Grade is available.
    There should normally be only one such field.
    It is similar to the Numeric field type.
    However, if a value is not set, it shows the sum of the numeric values of the Rank fields of that item.
    Note: If any of the Ranks for that item are not set, or do not have a numeric value, the field is empty.
  • (NY) If there is a Grade field, then the student is considered to have met the course requirements if, for each of the Entry types he has at least the number specified in the Settings with a Grade of more than zero.
    His grade for the Database is the sum of the Grades for the items.
    (If he has more than the required number of items, only the highest grades are considered.)

How it works

The templates determine which fields are displayed:
  • A field that should not be shown to the user who created the entry should have style property @@author@@
  • A Feedback field should have style property @@feedback@@
  • A field that is to be used only in entries of Type xxx should have style property @@xxx@@.
  • Likewise, a field that is used in only in entries of Type xxx and yyy should have style property @@xxx@yyy@@ and so on.
  • A Feedback field that is to to be used only in entries of Type xxx should have style property @@feedback@xxx@@##.
  • Likewise, a Feedback field that is used in only in entries of Type xxx and yyy should have style property @@feedback@xxx@yyy@@ and so on.
The @@...@@ strings are either removed or replaced with display: table-row;, depending on the Type and/or whether the user is a Student or Mentor.
Note: There should not be more than one such string per line of template.

The following alternative syntax is also valid:
  • A field that should not be shown to the user who created the entry should have style display:none;##display: author##
  • A Feedback field should have style display:none;##display: feedback##
  • A field that is to be used only in entries of Type xxx should have style display: none; ##display: xxx##.
  • Likewise, a field that is used in only in entries of Type xxx and yyy should have style display: none; ##display: xxx## ##display: yyy## and so on.
  • A Feedback field that is to to be used only in entries of Type xxx should have style ##display: none; ##display: feedback xxx##.
  • Likewise, a Feedback field that is used in only in entries of Type xxx and yyy should have style display: none; ##display: feedback xxx## ##display: feedback yyy## and so on.
Patterns like ##display ...## are either removed or replaced with display: table-row; depending on the Type and/or whether the user is a Student or Mentor.
Of course, the style should cover also the label.