I have a couple course syllabi online here and here.
I didn’t write any plugins (except for a DOI resolver that is now broken; one day I’ll find the hour it’ll take to figure it out again). What I do have is a handful of scripts that make API calls to do things like create badges that are triggered when someone creates a topic with a particular tag in a particular category and then another badge when that topic gets liked by a teacher and another when it gets a certain number by peers.
Another script will read a ZIP file produced by Sakai, unzip it, see which badge the student got, enter a grade into the grades file, and then zip it all back up to upload back to Sakai.
What would I do with unlimited resources? I’d need to know more about who’d be using it and why. I used openEdX a couple years back while I was working at Stanford, and even with near-unlimited resources, the group I was working with couldn’t deal with it.
I installed a Discourse instance for a friend who was teaching a graduate course, and for them, it worked pretty well. If someone were to use Discourse for teaching on a larger scale than a course or two in an instance, you’d need some things like:
- a plugin to create a category and sub-categories for a course and assign appropriate permissions
- means to hook Discourse to the in-place LMS, or, perhaps better, whatever system deals with grades
While I think that the argument that discussion is the most important part of online teaching and that most LMSs have really horrible discussion platforms makes a lot of sense, but there’s a fairly strong hegemony toward making things like quizzes and private assignments being the most important part of teaching. I once wrote a conference proposal about that. If you’re interested, I can send you a copy.
I’ve since left my academic job and am working on making a living off of Discourse. If you’re serious about unlimited resources, well, let’s talk.