By Paul Stevens
Catalyst partnered with a large non-profit, global organisation to develop a means for their staff to access critical learning irrespective of where they were located. Essentially, they needed a means of been able to run complex online courses in locations that had no Internet yet still be able to upload the results of the completed courses to the central server.
The key problem was that some training and refresher courses are most useful in the field when people need to remind themselves of correct procedures or processes. However, as the courses are online and in the field there is little or no bandwidth, access to the courses is a major problem.
The typical scenario is that most staff have access to good internet when they are located in their home countries; when they are sent into the field they have little or no decent connectivity. Irrespective of their connectivity, it is vital that course completion is tracked and the organisation needed to be able to report on the training activity.
As a lot of money had been spent on existing flash based SCORMS, as all new courses will be developed in HTML5 it's important that the older courses still played, as it is not cost effective to redevelop these courses.
The initial thought was to create a IOS/Android course player, however tablets are not always the best for running SCORM courses and a lot of the content was in Flash. Dan Marsden, the lead developer on the project, came up with the idea of an off-line Moodle or Totara LMS course player. This enables the field staff to download any of their current courses while they have a connection, and then complete the course in the files before uploading the results on their return.
The courses are backed up and ready for download without any student data in them on the Totara or Moodle Server (Off-line Mothership).
The player is compatible with the following course features:
- All Static Resources
Currently, the solution is in pilot with our client and we are looking for other organisations to get involved to help us generalise the code and open source the player.