At Kineo we are strong advocates of open source software in the corporate sector. We believe that it's important to put back into the open source ecosystem in order to help to keep it sustainable, and Moodle has a thriving community that we are proud to be a part of. At a more simplistic level, it's just good karma!
This month, we'd like to tell you just what we've been up to...
Making open source LMS work for corporates
We believe that open source LMS solutions can offer a great many benefits to our corporate clients, not least licence-free core code, a wide range of robust functionality and a scalable solution. Moodle was originally developed for educational institutions and that remains the focus of many Moodle developers. However, at Kineo we have worked with our corporate clients to identify where adjustments need to be made to make Moodle work better for the corporate sector. As a consequence we have developed modules which nicely fill some of the feature gaps that we identified with our customers.
In the spirit of giving something back to the open source community we offer these as freely available, open source downloads.
Two core gaps
The two core gaps we have sought to fill are around using Moodle for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and improving the SCORM reporting functionality for tracking e-learning course progress. Professional development, competency management and compliance are all hot topics in corporate learning, so we hope that our fellow learning professionals will make good use of our contributions.
CPD Report for Moodle
CPD is how learners maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge and skills to develop professional competence throughout their working life. There are hundreds of professional members' bodies that specialise in this area, often providing some sort of ePortfolio tool, whereby evidence of professional competence can be gathered and points then awarded for different activities, culminating in the awarding of a qualification or improved member status. But CPD can also be more informal, conducted within individual organisations where learners keep a record or portfolio of their professional development activity, both within and outside of the workplace.
Kindly sponsored by Eukleia Training and developed by Kineo, the CPD Report for Moodle allows learners to record and report on their CPD activities. These are not Moodle courses and resources but more likely to be things like seminar attendance and journal reading. The CPD Report tracks type of activity, learning objectives, time spent, start and end date, status, and more. Learning managers can set up customised CPD years and activity types, and view their employees' CPD Reports, which can be printed out and signed ahead of each employee's annual appraisal. The learning manager has permission to view all the employee CPD reports which can be searched by CPD year, date range, activity type or individual user.
The CPD Report for Moodle can be found here – and was downloaded nearly 1000 times in its first six months.
A significant new revision is currently under development due to the kind sponsorship of a major UK professional body, which will integrate the CPD Report more tightly with Moodle course materials, allowing learners to select activities and resources from within the Moodle system to count towards their CPD objectives. This will be released into the freely available version in the coming months.
SCORM Report Builder
Kineo has also developed a generic Moodle report module, which can be added to an existing Moodle site to give detailed user reporting for courses with SCORM modules. It allows managers to create, run and schedule detailed progress reports on SCORM compliant e-learning courses. Managers can build their own report queries and display formats without any knowledge of database querying and export these into Excel format if they wish.
The report contains five different types of report filter, which allows managers to search by user, category, course, unit or date. The module is very flexible and can generate a wide variety of SCORM-related reports using the filtering system. Corporate organisations especially make heavy use of SCORM materials, and this report makes light work of user progress reporting for managers – which is otherwise a fairly cumbersome task using the built-in Moodle functionality.
The SCORM Report Builder can be found here.
A major new revision has recently taken place that widens the scope of this report to other course activities such as the Moodle Quiz module. These changes are currently in the process of being fed back in to the open source version and will be released via the Moodle.org site in due course.