My office currently has about 1,000 employees and we are looking for a way to facilitate training them without requiring them to all come to a class.
We found Moodle and think it may work, but are unsure if it can do what we want it to.
Some of the functionality we need are:
- Ability to track who has gone through a course and who has not so we can send reminders and make a log of who was trained.
- Ability to play videos and keep users from just skipping past the video to show they've completed the section.
- Ability to let our training team handle all of the system other than regular system maintenance.
- Ability to set a start date and a very long end date (possibly never if it is ongoing training) and allow users to work at their own pace.
I'm sure we'll have other requirements but from what I can tell it seems like Moodle can handle quite a bit and do most of what we want. The above items are the more important ones that we need to account for.
Any input or feedback you can provide is greatly appreciated.
Hi there. The short and quick answer to all of these is yes. There is a sort of caveat regarding bullet point 2 - the videos.Moodle doesn' have a native way of demonstrating they have watched all the video. The only way you could check they had acutually played and watched the video all the way through instead of just skipping past is by setting questions on various parts of it .
Not exactly native - but some SCORM creation packages I think can force the user to have completed watching the video before it will move onto the next page (eg the end) and the SCORM package could be embeded on the moodle page in place of just the video? Would that work for this particular point???
Would be interesting to find out for sure as our HR department have a similar request - although it's on the backburner for me right at the moment because we're trying to get our Moodle upgraded to 2.3 (from 1.9.3!) for the coming academic year, so teaching courses are taking priority over HR and others for the moment!
All the other queries, as you already said, Moodle would handle with no problems at all.
This is very good to hear. Now we just need to figure out how to configure it to do what we want it to. Are there any recommendations for training or helpful info to get up and going quickly with Moodle?
We've heard of a system (not sure where or what it is based on) that will require the user to wait the amount of time the video would play before they move on, that way if they try to skip through the video they still have to wait as if they watched it. Is that something that SCORM can do?
hi josh, I found a really good moodle class on lynda.com you pay a flat monthly fee for any calss you want ot take. good luck.
It is not that our users need to be force fed the course, it is a matter of regulatory compliance and ensuring that staff have gone through the required training so that we are in compliance with both our own policies and those that govern our operations.
I wish we could trust them all to do it on their own and not take advantages of loopholes the system may allow but the reality is that if given the opportuniqui enough of our staff wouldset through the course as sat as they could figure out.
Re: Visvanath's comment about ensuring that learners watch a video, this is a discussion that comes up frequently on Moodle forums and in elearning in general. The truth is, the only practical way to ensure that some watches a video is to have a proctor in the room with them. I've been asked to develop media players that continually poll a remote server with the playback position, and requiring learners to hit a "next" button every few minutes, but even that doesn't ensure that the learner is watching the video; They might be playing Farmville in another tab, calling or messaging friends on their mobile phone, or watching TV with the sound on the computer turned down.
It's the old saying, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink."
Matt said: It's the old saying, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink."
But you can also put salt in the oats.
- Make the video a little more compellng??
- Moodle has good quizzes. Even is person X watches a video, have they learned? One method I use is some set up activity prior (As you read/watch note down the three key difficulties with the process) and then set a small quiz (Name the three difficulties) and an exercise (Make a post in a forum: In your department, which if these three items is the most time wasting? Why? Any suggestions?)
Institutional culture and style of training is a factor. Is there any possibilitty of some discussion elements in your training rather than just watch a video? Frankly, if all you want to do is make sure they watch a video, break it up into small bits and ask a question after each one. Draconian.
But I realise you hprobably have policy to cope with.
Our environment is one where we previously had proctors our topics but due to staffing we are choosing to move towards a more learn at your own pace style. We understand that we cannot force our staff to pay attention during videos and we know that short topical quizzes would help but we want to do what we can to at least require the user to be on the page for as long as the video should play to keep them from moving on before the length of the video is over.
We realize that our environment is less than ideal but our staff are both very structured and very clever to get credit (and paid for the full amount) for their time as quickly as possible. We would prefer to at least discourage the skipping of videos if we can help it.
Overall how we implement it is up to our training unit but it is my job to provide them with as many options as possible for how they want to configure their courses.
Are there any recommendations for video configurations for our environment?
Re quizzes between videos and presentations. Although the main rapid elearning IDE vendors, e.g. Adobe, Techsmith, or Articulate, push it and even provide training for it, there's no evidence to support claims that they have any significant impact on learning outcomes. The US dept. of Ed did a meta-analysis a coupel of years ago: http://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/tech/evidence-based-practices/finalreport.pdf
For in service learning and training, I haven't heard of better approaches than apprenticeship, mentoring, reflective practice (Donald Schon), and communities of practice (Etienne Wenger). Some aspects of these approaches can be moved online successfully. However, I doubt that videos, presentations and quizzes will produce desireable learning outcomes.
You may want to check out Refined Training by Refined Data Solutions. It's a customized version of Moodle that represents over $600,000 in investment in additional functionality to provide features for corporate use that are not available in the standard release.
One of the many features of Refined Training is a customized video player that monitors what percentage of a video, a specific user has watched and no credit is given if the playhead is manually advanced - review is OK though. This allows the user to watch half of a video today and the balance tomorrow for example but not to skip ahead and miss parts.
The feature runs as a Moodle Activity and assigns a score based on the percentage watched and, when this is optionally set as a prerequisite, later content is not made available until the video task is completed.
The good thing about this from a compliance perspective is that you have a documented record of when the user watched the video and the percentage of the video they viewed that can be used for insurance purposes in the event of a claim against the organization. (notwithstanding the fact that they might have been playing Farmville at the same time).
The system has other "compliance" features, so for example you can upload what we call a "Read & Acknowledge" resource. In this case a document is delivered and the user must confirm that they have read, understood and acknowledge the information it contained. This provides documented compliance data for HR documents such as Sexual Harrassment Policy, Violence in the Workplace Policy etc.
Having said that, Refined Training also includes deep integration with Adobe Connect and since Refined Data Solutions also delivers CPE platforms for major law and accounting firms in that environment, there are other compliance tools that the system makes available.
Our FastTrack module allows both live and recorded content to pop silent challenges at random intervals (you choose the frequency) that must be responded to within 10 or 15 seconds. You choose the number of times that a user can "miss" their response before they are marked as having failed. If they simply play the content and walk away or multi-task, it is highly unlikely that they will be able to respond to the challenges and you automatically achieve your compliance objectives. Trust me, you cannot play Farmville and qualify as having watched the content!
There are many more features that may resonate for you so feel free to reach out and learn more. I'd be happy to provide a demonstration. Refined Training is available in both 1.9 and Moodle 2 versions.
Thanks for the overview of Refined Training. This is a good example of how Moodle can be expanded and developed by a commercial firm, and for those with special compliance needs, base Moodle may not provide enough.
I would, however, add a disclaimer, quickly in your post like this: "You may want to check out Refined Training by Refined Data Solutions (I work as the president there)." Putting that information in your personal profile is great, but readers like me would like to know immediately where you are coming from (a developer, a promoter, or a third party giving an independant evaluation).
Besides that, I learned a lot from your post concerning how the e-learning needs in the corporate world are different from the university world, and the concerns of companies in litagatious societies.
Great point Don and gracefully made. Thank you!
As you point out, I am the President of Refined Data and in the spirit of full disclosure, we are also Adobe Connect Resellers although our primary business is in software development and hosting services specifically geared to eLearning.
We are the world's leading developers of custom applications for Adobe Connect and we're the folks that Adobe themselves turn to first in situations where their clients need specialized solutions, integrations or consulting. Our products transform Connect from being yet another virtual classroom in to an extensible platform that can adapt itself to specific needs.
We started working with Moodle about 6 years ago, building integrations with Connect Virtual Classrooms and have been able to merge the two platforms so closely that students are not really even aware that they are dealing with two different solutions. You can pretty well manage everything you need in Connect directly from within Moodle, from classroom creation and scheduling to attendance tracking, fully personalized HTML email reminders with one-click, authenticated classroom entry and much more. We even take care of creating Connect user accounts and user groups and synchronize all of the invitations and permissions based on student enrollments inside of Moodle.
As we began hosting more and more Moodle sites for customers they asked us to continually add new features that were not available in the standard distribution until we had added so much functionality that I jokingly refer to Refined Training as "Son of Moodle!".
To date we have invested in excess of $600,000 on behalf of our clients (many of whom are large corporate users as well as EDU installations) - this is similar to other commercial versions of Moodle that are starting to appear. We also build out platforms that seamlessly merge Moodle, Joomla, Alfresco and Adobe Connect to create complete business solutions that are saving our clients hundreds of thousands of dollars compared to what they were doing previously.
A perfect example of "what's possible" is a project we've built called "FLEXam" - it's an application that runs inside of an Adobe Connect virtual classroom that actually reads and administers Moodle Quizzes directly from the Moodle database and runs them in a live, fully proctored environment. The proctor can see every student in real time, can communicate via text or microphone (individually or as a group) and can monitor each student's progress as they take the exam - which questions have been viewed, attempted etc. The system monitors mouse and keyboard inputs and notifies the proctor if a student resizes the screen, mouses to another application, minimizes the application, steps away from the computer etc. Students who are out of compliance can be locked out of the exam automatically or just issued a warning. All quiz answers are saved back to the Moodle database so at the end of the day, Moodle thinks the quiz was completed natively.
This is all testament to the power of Open Source software and the value that comercial services can often bring to the table to create a blended solution where clients need more than an "out-of-the-box" offering or where they would prefer to have someone else manage the platform so they can concentrate on what they do best.
I hope that helps.