Among the highest demanded widgets for the SLE (at least, according to our survey) was a method of viewing the status of outstanding pieces of coursework and being able to submit completed works electronically. As with all projects, before any coding was undertaken, wireframes were drawn up to give an idea of the content of the widget.
The wireframe above was made in Pencil (free and open-source GUI prototyping software) and shows the initial draft of the widget. From this, a mockup was created in HTML (shown below). It has limited functionality and styling, but enough to give the illusion that it works for example, although the dates displayed are hard coded into the prototype, the widget itself can be dragged and dropped around the page.
With luck, there was a simple starting point to the implementation of this widget as ECS maintains its own electronic hand-in system called C-BASS. This is managed by Christopher Gutteridge, who very kindly compiled the publicly available information (such as module code, due date, hand-in url) into an XML document.
An implementation is shown below – however, this is still in development and some things are liable to change).
As can be seen from the screenshot above, the course code links to the module hompage and the assignment title links to the appropriate description (if one is supplied). The “Go to hand-in” link directs the user to the submission page for that particular assignment. The date is dynamically checked against today’s date – if the coursework is overdue, it is highlighted red, if there is less than a week until the hand-in date it is highlighted yellow.