Enhancing Open Source Learning Management to align with new instructional methodology | Moodle Impact for Language Learníng
The client has been teaching English language to middle school children in Israel for more than 50 years history. Over the years the client has undergone sustained growth in student enrollment along with increase in number of branches. The client leveraged open source LMS Moodle to administer the delivery of its tutorials processes. It asked DigitalSkunks to help it modify and enhance Moodle in order to align the system with the client’s existing processes and teaching methodology.
Background and Challenges
Client is a well-established and reputed school in Israel. The school focuses on teaching English to students.
The school was using customized installation of Open Source LMS Moodle, with a completely personalized theme, for facilitating various tasks. Unfortunately, the client did not have any documentation for the previous modifications which added complexity to implementing any changes.
Moodle, due to its open source nature, has a lot of freely available plugins. The client has used a lot of free plugins to adjust various process flows to suit their requirements.
There were around 600+ users of the platform comprising of administrators, managers, teachers and students.
The system was primarily used to supplement classroom training. This was done in the form of administering activities and tasks to the students using the LMS.
The system was originally built to support English and Hebrew, but the most of the content in the system was in Hebrew. This was identified as an expected challenge when testing would commence on the system.
The client asked DigitalSkunks to customize Moodle to make the product more user-friendly for their managers and teachers, in alignment with their existing processes.
Given the fact that Moodle is an extremely complex technology, every change had to be assessed carefully for impact on interdependent modules.
The challenge posed two key challenges one that had to tackled with self-learning of the existing platform in absence of any documentation and secondly tackle the complexity of Moodle to align client’s business processes while keeping the existing implementation intact!
In absence of system documentation DigitalSkunks project team initiated the project with a complete study of the existing codes prior to installing the system on our servers. This involved identifying and changing some hard coded scripts such as IP addresses in several files.
Upon successful installation , the project team reviewed multiple plugins that were installed in the system. This was important as any modifications could have adversely affected the functioning of these plugins.
Understanding the implementation of ‘Enrolment’ module was the next step in the self-learning process. As Enrolment being the core module with approximately 50% of the scope involved developing this module within Moodle it was extremely important to extend the enhancements in this module correctly as any bug could potentially disturb the working of the entire system.
Through extensive testing we identified several bugs in the system that we had received and which had not been recognized by the client. However, the identified bugs were resolved efficiently and the module was enhanced to work in the expected manner as per client’s original expectations.
Apart from core functional changes, there were additions requested to improve the overall usability of the system from the perspective of the end users (managers & teachers). These were done in a consultative approach where our UX/UI designer worked with the client in identifying the most optimum solutions.
Detailed documentation was also prepared and shared with the client to support the various enhancements and modifications we had done in the system.
Outcome: Successful Implementation of the enhanced Learning Management System
The client was extremely satisfied with the final version of the enhanced system, and appreciated the professional approach taken by the team. Our continuous consultative approach was also applauded by the client.
This engagement with the client spanned a period of 6 weeks.
The critical challenge of understanding of a vast system, without any documentation, and with unknown bugs took more time than expected but ultimately laid a solid foundation to work on.
Based on the positive result of this development, talks of building mobile applications to support the Learning Managing System are also ongoing with the client.
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