Posts Tagged ‘GSOC’

GSOC 2014 update

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Another year of GSOC has just finished and Vignesh has done a great job helping us to improve a number of areas of SCORM!
I’m really glad to finally have some changes made to the JavaScript datamodel files as part of MDL-35870 – I’m hoping this will improve the performance of the SCORM player as the JavaScript can now be cached properly by the users browser rather than dynamically generating it using PHP.

Vignesh has made a number of general bug fixes to the SCORM code and has also tidied up the code in the 2.8 branch so that it now complies with Moodle’s coding guidelines.

These changes have involved almost every single file in the SCORM module and significant architectural changes have been made. We’ve done our best to avoid regresssions (thanks Ray for testing SCORM 2004) but due to the large number of changes (and the fact that we only have 1 behat test for SCORM) It would be really great if people could test the 2.8 branch with their SCORM content before release so we can pick up any other regressions that may have occurred.

Thanks heaps to Vignesh for his hard work on SCORM during GSOC – and kudos to Google for running a great program and providing the funding to help it happen!


Friday, September 13th, 2013

Adobe have kindly invited me to speak at the Adobe Learning Summit in Las Vegas at DevLearn, I’ll be in San Francisco for the GSOC Mentors Summit between 17th-20th Oct and then in Las Vegas between 21st – 25 Oct – even if you’re not attending DevLearn but are in the area and want to catch up – drop me an e-mail!

I’m also thinking about a trip to Alcatraz on the 17th or 18th if anyone wants to join me!

GSOC 2013 Projects

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

We had some great applications for GSOC this year and there are 7 students who have been accepted. I’m excited to be working with 2 students this year – Mayank Gupta who will be working on improving the SCORM player in Moodle to work better on mobile devices – Mayank has been part of GSOC with Moodle in previous years so his continued contribution to SCORM is appreciated!

Vinnie Monaco submitted a proposal to develop a plugin that uses keystroke dynamics to verify the identity of a user before allowing them to enter a Moodle quiz – this will involve a practical application of his research and looks to be a very interesting way to verify the logged in user.

The biggest mistake applicants made this year was not attempting to fix a Moodle bug – one of the requirements of the Moodle GSOC application process is that students must try to fix a Moodle bug – many didn’t try and some just rewrote a patch that was already available on the tracker.

Thanks to all the students who put effort into their applications – hopefully some of you will continue to engage in the Moodle community even if your applications weren’t successful.

Stopping work on SCORM 2004

Monday, May 6th, 2013

I’ve been the official maintainer of SCORM in Moodle since 2008 when we implemented full SCORM 1.2 support thanks to funding from Moodle HQ. Since then with the help of a handful of other developers in the community I have spent over one thousand volunteer hours supporting and improving the SCORM module and occasionally funds have been provided for my time by organisations to fix a particular issue.

SCORM 2004 is now over 8yrs old and despite many efforts no-one has been interested in funding the time required to complete native support for SCORM 2004 in Moodle – I’ve run some successful GSOC projects which which have been a great learning experience for the students involved but have not made a significant dent in the work required to complete SCORM 2004 support. This year we received no valid GSOC applications for improving SCORM 2004 support in Moodle.

I spent a lot of time discussing the opportunity to run a crowd-funded project to complete SCORM 2004 in Moodle but it’s hard to define a fixed figure that would allow us to complete the project and I wonder if such a large amount of my time could be spent on projects that are more current.

Full support for SCORM 2004 is already available in Moodle by using the Rustici SCORM cloud plugin for Moodle and I think it is more cost-effective to purchase a subscription to their hosted solution which is much more stable/reliable and feature rich than what we could provide directly in Moodle anyway.

There is also a new version of SCORM (Tin Can) and I think it makes more sense to focus development effort on that rather than continuing effort to get an old standard working within Moodle that so far no-one has cared enough about to fund.

I will continue as a volunteer to maintain support for SCORM 1.2 and AICC packages in Moodle and the new Tin Can work that is currently underway. I will also make best efforts to avoid regressions in the existing SCORM 2004 code.

I will no longer be spending any time as a volunteer to support or improve SCORM 2004 in Moodle, I will accept patches from community contributors to improve SCORM 2004 support as long as they meet coding guidelines and are easy to test. All existing SCORM 2004 bugs will be closed as “won’t fix” – these will only be re-opened if a community member provides a good patch with full testing instructions or if someone funds my time to continue the work.

Thanks to everyone who has spent time working on SCORM over the years – hopefully drawing a line in the sand over SCORM 2004 support will allow us to focus on more current developments like Tin Can.

GSOC update

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

We’re just past the half way mark of GSOC and Kanika and Mayank have been hard at work!

Kanika has pushed a range of improvements for the plagiarism API into Moodle 2.4 including support for Online text in assignments, Forum posts and the Workshop module. She has been working on adding support for these new api hooks into the Urkund plagiarism plugin and may have time to add support to the other plugins in future.

Mayank has been rewriting the way navigation works in SCORM – he has a pretty big patch incoming for SCORM which will hopefully enable us to pass a few more SCORM 2004 ADL Tests – we also have some special courses loaded on that contain all the ADL test package for both SCORM 1.2 and 2004 so we hope to run the test harness a lot more frequently when making changes to SCORM code.

Thanks to Kanika and Mayank for their valuable contribution!

GSOC 2012 Projects

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Moodle is lucky to have 4 successful GSOC projects this year – hopefully this will be a rewarding experience for the successful students and will produce some useful code for Moodle! – Thanks to Google for providing the funding to allow this to happen!

The quality of applicants varied a lot this year – we had one applicant who copied the full Wikipedia Moodle page and submitted that as their proposal. There were several students who put a great effort into their applications and missed out this year – hopefully some of these may still engage further in the community – we appreciate the effort you put into your applications and the patches you provided as part of your application process!

GSOC 2012

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

GSOC is here again and Moodle has been approved as a participating organisation. GSOC students get USD $5,000 for participation in the program(thanks Google!).

Depending on the number of slots allocated to Moodle and the quality of the applicants, I’m planning to run 2 projects this year.

SCORM 2004 – building on the work from our GSOC 2011 student Mayank, I’d like to get some more progress towards SCORM 2004 compliance – there are a large number of tasks to complete 2004 and I may take on more than one student to work on this (depending on slots/applicants) If you know of any students good with Javascript and PHP – make sure you point them towards GSOC.

Improving Plagiarism API – The plagiarism api currently only hooks into the upload assignment types – I’ve been planning to add hooks into other Moodle modules but haven’t quite got round to it – this project will involve adding new hooks to other Moodle modules and probably some work on some plagiarism plugins like Crot.

For more info see:


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:

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!