I have been working with The Linux Box and Luther College and we have made (in our opinion) good progress on a converter to turn Blackboard 5.5 IMS 1.1 course exports into Moodle 1.4 exports. This was announced and made available in a Blackboard related thread:
I would like to probe people's interests regarding integrating the conversion of Blackboard exports with the Moodle restore interface.
Should they be integrated?
Should it be transparent or should there be conversion related controls?
Should it be a separate module?
Do people only care about Blackboard 6?
Should they be integrated? How so?
Should it be transparent or should there be conversion related controls? I would vote simplicity, so as transparent as possible.
Should it be a separate module? What are the options? Would a simple restore place activities into a course using existing Moodle modules, or would this be something like a Scorm restore?
Do people only care about Blackboard 6? Lots of v5.5 stuff out there I imagine, with people wanting to migrate to Moodle.
Currently, the project maps many Blackboard sections such as Course Documents, Assignments, and Books to Moodle topics. It also creates a topic for each subfolder, but only for the first subfolder. For other Blackboard folders it places the content in the topic of its parent folder and uses indention. So far it creates files resources, text resources, labels, and forums.
Here are two examples of "integration" ideas so far:
1) Include a new interface like the ones I've made available on the Luther and Linux Box web pages. They are simple browse/upload forms that take a Bb zip file and immediately return a moodle zip file. (Please try them! They work! I'm eager for feedback!) This could perhaps be a separate module.
2) Upload a blackboard backup like any other restore file. When a restore is requested run a detection on the zip file to discover if it is a Bb file, convert it, and proceed with the restore.
I have a few files a client sent me but I think they are BB6. Can you look at them? They didn't seem to convert properly at LinuxBox.
I know that BB6 won't work right now. I'd be happy to look at your files and see if I can't improve that. Go ahead and email the address in my profile.
One of the more interesting things I found working with your Bb6 files, Bryan, was that they treated course files (jpgs, docs, etc.) very differently than my Bb6 files. Unfortunately, neither file set contains information about what version of IMS they are using. Do you know the complete version number of your client's Bb6 system?
While I would like to put more time into Bb 6 compatibility, it will have to take a back burner to 5.5 for the time being. The Linux Box is interested in finding sponsor(s) for further Bb 6 to Moodle conversion work.
Did you ever get results with your bb6 files?
Yes and no. The converted file did not choke when I restored it, however the resources were not present with the file I had to work with so I'm still in the dark. I'm hoping I can lay my hands on a BB6 course complete with activity resources to try this out.
Did you get different results? Or are you trying to test something very different than the text exports?
whats about BB 5.5?
your work is creating a lot of expectation (at least for me!!). I really think that your "2nd example of integration" is really good. Any moodler will press, simply, the restore button and, if the file is supported (Moodle Backup (MB) format or BB format) it will start. Very transparent, usable and expandable in the future...
The restore process include a pre_check step, where the file is unzipped, copied to the temp directory and it's checked to be a valid "MB" file. There, is where you can include your checks too and to launch your conversion instead...
There was a design for subsections in Moodle but it did not make it in the mainstream.. but I prefer your intend solution, it is more elegant and keeps the view for the user more simple, complements.
(And I use subfolder in another way: The section contains the current topic and I paste a subsection in this section if the content of that section is a set of - a little off topic - support tasks.)
I have a test implementation of transparent blackboard course conversion which allows you to treat a Blackboard export as if it were a Moodle export. It is NOT complete, especially Blackboard 6, but it can produce quite usable results.
I inserted one clause in restore_precheck.html just before it checks for a valid moodle export. This clause detects and converts blackboard exports so that when the next clause in restore_precheck is triggered, it finds a valid moodle export.
I've tested with Moodle 1.4.1 and CVS. You can grab it from here.
It is a tar file that should be extracted in your moodle's main directory (always backup your files!). It will overwrite files in the backup directory and create a backup/blackboard directory.
I welcome feedback and better/other implementation ideas. And code too!
i tried, but i have got following error
Running on W3K, IIS, php 5.02 XSL uncommented
power on moodle
There may also be complications with php 5.02 that I'm unaware of.
restoring a online converted bb.zip works. But no forums are restored.
I also have a Problem with files which where uploaded as Zip-files with option - unzip file - while uploading on Blackboard. ex. Zip files with Hot-Potatoes HTML files. Some of them are not working. I did not try exames.
But perspective is great.
power on moodle and moodle becomes the BEST
Went into the course it had created, nothing was there except the course title, no content, etc.. Did I do something wrong???