Archive for the ‘SCORM’ Category

Moodle 2.2 SCORM Reporting improvements and GSOC

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Ankit Agarwal has been working on restructuring the SCORM reporting code as part of a GSOC project this year. This now allows the standard Moodle plugin functionality to the reporting interface in SCORM – developers can write their own SCORM report plugins and drop them in place in the same way installation of a block/module/standard plugin is done in Moodle.

The initial work involved a large amount of restructuring and very limited (if any) differences in the UI to users…. but Ankit has just finished a new “interactions” report that displays SCORM interactions in a more readable manner – This report is currently available in MDL-28277 and will probably become part of Moodle 2.2 core very soon. This interactions report is something that has been requested a lot in the forums and will hopefully allow teachers to make a lot more sense out of the data that SCORM presents.

Kudos to Ankit for his hard work on this project – it will be interesting to see any new SCORM report plugins that are developed and hopefully the new interactions report provides a useful addition to the SCORM reporting in Moodle! Thanks heaps to Google for funding Ankit’s time to work on the project!

Moodle 2.2 SCORM 2004 and GSOC

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Mayank Gupta has been working on a new test harness that allows us to automatically run the SCORM ADL 1.2 and 2004 tests as part of a GSOC project this year. This also means we can start to run the 1.2 and 2004 tests during Moodle’s weekly integration review to make sure that any new code hasn’t broken SCORM compliance. Previously, running the tests has been a very time consuming task – even for SCORM 1.2 with just 2 SCORM packages to test… SCORM 2004 has 189 different SCORM packages that need testing!

As part of Mayank’s work a small number of SCORM 2004 issues have been resolved in Moodle 2.2 and hopefully with the automated test harness in place it will help to progress with other SCORM 2004 bugs.

If you would like to keep track of Moodles SCORM 2004 progress, add yourself as a watcher to MDL-7068 where each SCORM 2004 test has been added as a task.

If you would like to install the test harness and check it out in action – see the instructions here:
http://docs.moodle.org/dev/SCORM_Test_Harness#Running_ADL_SCORM_Test

One of the challenges we faced was loading 189 SCORM packages into a Moodle Course – I knocked up a quick script to import bulk SCORM packages that is available on MDL-17822 if anyone is interested!

Mayank’s work has been a valuable contribution and I’m personally appreciative of the effort he put into the test harness – it’s going to save me a LOT of time – and hopefully help to prevent any SCORM regressions from appearing in new versions of Moodle! – and thanks heaps to Google for helping to fund Mayank’s time to do the work!

IE7 and XMLHttpRequest

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

I’ve spent a big part of the last week of my time lost in the abyss of IE 7 and XMLHttpRequest as part of MDL-28295 – it seems that under certain conditions a call to XMLHttpRequest crashes IE 7 when called from a child window….

Posting here in case someone else runs into this weird bug in the hope that it might save someone some time!
Pseudo code:
httpReq = new XMLHttpRequest();
httpReq.open(“POST”, url,false);
httpReq.setRequestHeader(‘Content-Type’, ‘application/x-www-form-urlencoded’);
httpReq.send(param);

When “param” contains something like this it works fine!
id=&a=11

but when “param” contains something like this – it crashes IE 7:
id=&a=11&cmi_corelesson_status=incomplete&cmicoreexit=suspend&cmi_suspend_data=|&attempt=1&scoid=28

Initially I thought the encoding might be the issue and encoding the params using encodeURI() seemed to work – but further testing found it was still an issue.

The fix was to re-structure the code so that it didn’t call the code from a child window but from within the “parent” window…. crazy….

SCORM and GSOC

Monday, April 25th, 2011

We’ve just accepted 2 GSOC students to improve the SCORM module in Moodle.

Mayank Gupta will be working on a SCORM Test Harness to allow us to automatically run the SCORM ADL tests on the latest code – this has previously been a time consuming process and can only be performed in IE – this will greatly improve our existing code review process and help to identify the issues with SCORM 2004 support and allow ongoing development without breaking compatibility with previous tests, for more information on this see MDL-26912 – a secondary task for Mayank is to add tracker issues for the failing SCORM 2004 tests and if he has time suggest fixes for a few of them as well.

Ankit Kumar Agarwal will be working on improving the quiz reporting in SCORM – presenting the responses to quiz questions (if the SCORM package reports them back to Moodle) in a more readable manner – for more information on this see MDL-27256 , a secondary task for Ankit(if he has time) is to look at some of the SCORM 2004 tests that are failing and suggest fixes for them.

Moodle/SCORM and GSOC

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Moodle is part of this years Google Summer of Code – this program pays students to work on open source software products for about three months over their holiday break. I’m hoping to find/mentor a student to write a test harness to run the 1.2 and 2004 ADL tests (and fix a few 2004 bugs while they’re at it!) – For more information on the GSOC project see: http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-26912

Hopefully this will get us a little bit closer to having full SCORM 2004 support directly in Moodle.

SCORM Bug update

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

In preparation for Moodle 2.0 we’ve been going through all the outstanding SCORM bugs in the tracker and have merged many of the fixes into 1.9Stable – we’ve closed over 30 bugs in the past 3 weeks with a range of issues from grading to support of buggy SCORM packages. Piers has also been working on a new SCORM player to hopefully fix a range of issues people have had with the old one – it’s based on the new player that Petr Skoda wrote for the new IMSCP Module in Moodle 2.0.

2.0 is looking like a great release!

Moodle and SCORM 2004 – certified already?

Sunday, November 1st, 2009

now that I’ve got your attention…. The guys at Rustici have written an plugin for Moodle to connect to their Commercial hosted SCORM player – which is SCORM Certified for 1.2 and 2004

Bascially, they “host” your SCORM object on their SCORM Cloud, and the Moodle plugin redirects the user to their site, and allows their site to pass back information like the grade and duration data. The Moodle module is free to download, and you pay Rustici for “hosting” your SCORM objects. You can create a free demo account to test their SCORM Engine but to use on a production site, you will need to pay them for the hosting.

The Moodle code and the SCORM Cloud are still in beta, (I’ve just had a quick look through the beta code and reported a couple of small issues) but in the near future, this could be an easy answer to those RFP’s that require a SCORM 2004 checkbox to be ticked.

something like this could be used in those RFP’s(and in the moodledocs):
Moodle 1.9.5 is SCORM 1.2 Compliant and Certified, it supports some SCORM 2004 content, but if SCORM 2004 certification is required then the commercial Rustici SCORM Cloud can be used to host SCORM objects that require full SCORM 2004 support

With the availability of the Rustici engine at an affordable price, the urgency for getting the SCORM module in Moodle SCORM 2004 compliant/certified has definately decreased.

Moodle Scorm 1.2 Certification

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

In case anyone missed it – Moodle is now certified for SCORM 1.2

Helen posted about it.

Martin closed the Moodle Tracker issue

Good work everyone!

SCORM Engine

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

I’ve just noticed this post on Rustici’s Blog -they’ve also mentioned in the past about the possibility of offering a commercial plugin for Moodle and their SCORM engine.

One of the questions posed on their post is:

Q: Would open source adoption increase revenue substantially?
A: Doubtful. If the SCORM Engine were part of Moodle, for example, would any Moodle user come to us for a support arrangement? Or would they go to a Moodle host? Would we continue to appear to be a distinct entity in the eyes of a user? We don’t think so, and given that, what’s the positive impact for us? (It is, after all, about us, in some respects.)

While this may seem selfish to some people in the open source community – it’s also a very important one that many open source communities battle with! Rustici is a Business that needs to make money to pay employees so they can pay their mortgages etc… I presume a large amount of their income comes from the licensing of their SCORM engine.  SCORM LMS development isn’t cheap – and it’s not always easy to find someone to fund the full development work, but it’s not as hard to find people willing to pay smaller amounts of money to get a SCORM compliant Engine! – So when SCORM 2.0 comes out finally – Rustici may be in a better position to spread the cost of development across a larger group of clients rather than the traditional Moodle method of a single up-front cost.

But eventually, an Open Source based LMS will implement SCORM 2004 and then 2.0 (maybe) – we’re hoping this will happen for Moodle soon! – So any income that Rustici receive for licensing may decrease significantly when that happens. But – if the SCORM engine in Moodle was an open-source engine from Rustici – then the profile Rustici would get from this integration could improve Rustici’s revenue rather than decrease it!

So will Rustici release an open source version of their Engine? – I would love to see it happen, but I don’t think it is likely at this stage! – in the meantime it will be good to see a commercial offering from them to allow people who really need compliance/certification inside Moodle to have a viable option!

SCORM 2004 in Moodle

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

Now that we’ve manged to get Moodle 1.9 Stable to pass all the SCORM 1.2 tests, there’s been a lot of talk between Moodle Partners and other Moodle users about SCORM 2004. I’ve posted about this in a few places in the moodle.org forums 1 2 and I’ve sent various e-mails to a range of interested users! – here’s my attempt at summarising it all in one post!

To get to where we are today took 3 months of solid funded work (thanks to Moodle HQ) from 1 full time Senior Developer(Piers), with 1 part-time Senior Developer supporting(me). This included closing approximately 160 issues in the Moodle Tracker, and modifications to support the ADL test suite.

The SCORM 1.2 test suite comprises of 2 test packages. SCORM 2004 contains 103 test packages, of which Moodle currently passes 2 (at least it did last time Piers ran the tests) – It’s really hard to define how much time it would take for us to complete SCORM 2004 so it passes all the different tests!

Sequencing and Navigation is a big chunk of SCORM 2004 that isn’t implemented – we expect that once this work is completed a bunch of the test packages will pass. I’ve seen estimates that put completion of SCORM 2004 work at 6-8 months or even more! – there are also a range of SCORM 2004 bugs that are related – for more details see MDL-7068

We’re currently attempting to source an initial 3 months worth of funding to continue work on SCORM 2004 – we believe that 3 months would be a worthwhile effort,  at the end of which we would have an accurate picture on what it would take to complete! – bounce me an e-mail if you might be able to help fund this! – dan@danmarsden.com