First of all, we all got on very well and are working together, not competing. In fact we were working on the possibilities for integrating Moodle and LAMS.
Even though their system is Java and ours is PHP, there are some similarities in good places, and after looking into it closely we found that integrating a LAMS server as 1) a Moodle activity module and 2) as a Moodle course format were both very achievable in a reasonably short timeframe.
Most of the work will be done by the LAMS team, there's not much on the Moodle side. The major new thing in Moodle (apart from a new module and a new course format) will be a web service, which I'll talk more about later because I have a lot of plans for opening up the Moodle API this way.
As far as support for the Learning Design standards go things also look very positive (for Moodle and LAMS), but I can't say much about this yet. In a few weeks I'll be meeting many of the LD people at this UNFOLD conference and I can say that I have a lot of questions and ideas for them
All this work looks to be going ahead, so watch this space!
>>Even though their system is Java and ours is PHP, there are some similarities in good places, and after looking into it closely we found that integrating a LAMS server as 1) a Moodle activity module and 2) as a Moodle course format were both very achievable in a reasonably short timeframe.
Yes, that's a very good news. We're eager to see and test the integration of LAMS server into Moodle as an activity module and a course format. The problem is that:
- LAMS is rather big (>140MB)
- We need a (big) server supports Java technology when using this great feature of Moodle.
This is not LAMS *in* Moodle ... it is Moodle and LAMS co-existing in a transparent and usable way. The two systems are still separate.
Maybe with one of these? They're not much more expensive than a normal shared hosting account, and you can run anything you want, more or less.
Note: I haven't used this company myself (as fun as it would be to play with, I need another server to take care of like I need a hole in the head ) but I've heard reasonably good things about them from others.
I'm sure they have competitors, also.
Actually, I am excited that Moodle may evolve along two paths (at least for now)--because it meets needs of all parties, and does not force sacrifices. A LAMP webhost service can be an easy entry point for small schools and teachers who want to experiment but have no institutional support. Then when they are ready to move up, Moodle Partners can provide the needed dual PHP/Java servers, similar to the service that Tony mentions. And for big institutions committed to Moodle, adding a second, coexisting Java server is not such a big deal.
However, I still think we'll need to implement import/export of LD files internally in Moodle to handle our unique set of tools. In fact just creating/reading an LD XML file looks very easy to do, and we could say we're compliant, but it wouldn't be very useful to anyone, because the LD spec doesn't support our activities (same goes for LAMS, since it has its own activities). Being "compliant" is not the whole story (unless you're in sales).
I really want to explore how we as a community can extend LD in a consensual way to make it more useful.
I totally agree with you on these points .
I'm the coordinator of UNFOLD, the project that's organising the meeting which Martin mentioned in an earlier message. Our role is to coordinate and support the adoption of LD, so this is a really interesting and encouraging thread!
I'm glad to hear confirmation that LAMS and Moodle are working together. As Martin suggests, we need to get a clearer grip on exactly how LD can support this interoperability and other functionality.
I think that there are two main areas to be explored
a) tools for editing LD at all three levels are only now becoming available right now. In fact RELOAD LD Editor 2, which will be presented at the UNFOLD meeting in Braga will be the first which is able to edit levels A,B and C. So up to now it has been really hard to create Units of Learning, and there haven't been too many available to look at. The result is that we are still finding out what can be done with the spec. When Martin says "the LD spec doesn't support our activities", my feeling is that we won't know until we try. Certainly Moodle activities aren't an element in LD, but maybe we can model them using the spec (unless there is some aspect of this that I haven't understood). I guess that this would give us insight into the potential for LD to support the Moodle tool set.
b) there's lots of open source development going on in the LD world, and the CopperCore LD player engine is a great resource. It'd be useful to explore how a CopperCore based player might co-exist with Moodle in a similar way to what Martin proposes with LAMS. I'm sure it'd be valuable to have both.
If any of the people in this thread would like to join us, you would be most welcome, I know that there are already a few Moodle people registered. Ernie Ghiglione, the LAMS technical director, will also be with us, so there will be plenty of opportunity for interesting discussions!
Details of the meeting are available at
If we can make some progress online here first then the meeting will be even more useful!
as I understand (and I must recognise that, currently, it isn't too much), LD defines some "artefacts" (roles, activities, resources, conditions...) to be able to construct learning scenarios, with paths, activities... It's really a cool step beyond current "content-based" specifications, sure. That's a great difference and, in my opinion, one of the bases of LD current acceptation from a lot of tools, educators, developers... Congratulations!
Anyway, if I'm not wrong, there is one important problem that you have mentioned before. How such LD spec can handle 3rd part activities (or modules, or, simply, resources) that aren't complaint with any of the LD supported specifications (IMS Content Packaging, IMS QTI, IMS Enterprise... and ADL SCORM). For me, that's really a limited set of possibilities and I cannot imagine how other activities (and Moodle's activities are a good example) can fit into (be managed by) LD.
Being able to play (integrate) LD learning objects (not sure if it's the proper name) from LAMS, CopperCore... is really a nice possibility and I agree that it can be amazing to have all those stuff perfectly communicated with Moodle. My +1 vote for it, sure!
But I've some serious doubts about how LD could manage other activities that aren't the official activities supported by the specification. Does the specification support any extension to be able to work with 3rd part modules? Is there any possibility, under the specification, to define other type of elements. For example, the specifications supports SCORM content. Ok, I know SCORM is an important spec but, form my perspective, it's a 3rd part spec. And LD has included support for it. Is it an exception (an IMS spec using one non-IMS spec, that it's build from a lot of IMS-specs, I know ), or LD doesn't support to work with non-IMS activities at all.
In your previous message you said that "maybe we can model them using the spec". It seems that some work can be done within LD to map, model or whatever it was, to try to make the spec supports Moodle's activities (and vice-versa, some effort could be done too, in some areas of Moodle, to find the "nexus", without losing anything of our "Style of Learn" in the way).
Anyway, I think that step 1 (being able to integrate LD compliant products with Moodle) is a great objective per se. But step 2 (being able to integrate LD with Moodle's native activities) could be, simply, amazing.
I'm pretty sure that your next Portugal's meeting will be really interesting and I want to remark again that I believe both in Moodle and LD together (a bit more in Moodle, I must recognise it, ). Good luck and have a productive and innovative moot!
PS: Perhaps I've said a lot of silly things here. Please excuse me because I'm an absolute LD's novice! I was trying to show my preliminary pros and doubts only.
> to construct learning scenarios
LD doesn't have a set of pre-defined learning roles, activities or templates. What it provides is a language in which to define your own Units of Learning by making a formal description of how people in roles carry out activities with resources. It's up to you do decide what you want them to do. So there aren't any "official activities supported by the specification" (although they are classified into "support activities" and "learning activities"). The ambition of LD (and it is a big ambition!) is to be able to model any pedagogic activity. It's already clear that LD is much more flexible than earlier eLearning specs, but now that authoring tools and the CopperCore player engine are available we will be able to see just what can be modeled with LD, and what problems and shortcomings there may be. That is one of the reasons why it would be interesting to model Moodle activities in LD!
As Dai has indicated, LD is a common language to articulate activities, not specifying what these activities are. There are no 'official' or 'inofficial' activities. The danger of extending the specification to 3rd party stuff is that we have a 3rd party here, and a 3rd party there,... extending the spec to suit individual platforms renders it useless as a spec. We see this all the time in commercial products like WebCT .
What Moodle would have to do is adopt the "common language" for describing its activities, i.e. mapping it onto LD elements. This should not be impossible and would greatly enhance the product!
We've been discussing this over in the LD Book Study and many of us think this will be very difficult, at a minimum.
It's been suggested that Moodle is more expressive than LD (in the sense used in CS theory). We have not reached consensus on this issue, but I think most of us agree that it does need to be addressed.
On a pragmatic level, many Moodle instructors (including, I think, a majority of those involved in the study) prefer developing course material "bricolage style" (a sort of meta-constructionism, if you will). This is particularly useful when designing a new course, or designing a course that covers advanced "researchy" topics (e.g., graduate seminars). LD Units of Learning are not designed to be altered at run time (according to what we've read, and confirmed by people on the LD team), which means that working in our preferred style is extremely problematic.
That doesn't mean LD wouldn't be very useful for some things, of course, but we're not convinced it can fully capture the power and rich texture of Moodle as a whole.
>>So up to now it has been really hard to create Units of Learning, and there haven't been too many available to look at. The result is that we are still finding out what can be done with the spec
Yes, at the present, examples of UOLs are very simple, not including many complex activities like Moodle activities. Some useful examples are at http://moodle.learningnetworks.org/course/view.php?id=20. I hope at this meeting, with Reload LD Editor 2.0, we'll be able to create many impressive UOLs to show real capablities of IMS LD spec. "A picture is worth a thousand of words" .
I don't know enough about Moodle activities to be able to say, but it sounds like an interesting challenge for the LD community! We should certainly discuss this in the Braga meeting.
What would be a good place to find a definition of Moodle activity structures, so that we could start looking at the issues? This could be narrative or formal, either would be useful.
What will be the difference between the three approaches? Both from a development perspective and from a teachers' & users' view. How will a LAMS-type module operate that is different than a LAMS-type web service or course format. For example, would course activity reports/ be integrated in one, but not in another? Would any require a separate login procedure? Will one be faster than another? What will be the advantages/disadvantages of each approach? What situations will one be more useful than another?
More details later
I noticed that in one response you mention single sign-on. When you start integrating Moodle and LAMS, will you also be looking at supporting Shibboleth? This would be most useful and we ourselves are currently working on a project developing a Shibboleth gateway to various of our services.
As Helen points out, Moodle has been Shibbolized already.
Our sister project at MELCOE, Meta-Access Management System (MAMS) -yes, we are very creative with acronyms , is working on multiple solutions for managing authentication, authorisation and identities. The MAMS team has been using Shibboleth to address some of the authentication issues. Although LAMS is planned to eventually support Shibboleth, we would also like to provide other methods for single-sign on so a random striker teacher does not have to set up a Shibboleth type of environment to run Moodle and LAMS.
Very shortly, we'll be releasing the technical documentation where we explain the simple and more complex approaches that can be taken for Moodle and LAMS SSO.
We would appreciate all those interested in the future of standards and Moodle, to take a look this document and offer your critique or questions in the next few days. As it is rather long, I have broken up each section into forum topics for your discussion over here...
As mentioned to you before, on the LAMS Foundation website you can find out detailed information about the LAMS and Moodle Integration.
On there you can find a technical documentation as well as a a simple walkthrough that shows specifically how the implementation is going to work. It's important to notice that these are not photoshoped images, but actual pictures from our own LAMS-Moodle integration implementations.
Any comments and suggestions are very welcome.
3. Linking to a Moodle activity from within a LAMS sequence: the URL for an existing Moodle activity can be included in a LAMS sequence through Share Resources allowing LAMS to launch a Moodle activity at a specific point in a LAMS sequence.
But Technical documentation say (in 1.1.2):
Note: The integration of LAMS and Moodle
will not support LAMS accessing Moodle tools. For example, if a
teacher wants to run a forum within a LAMS sequence, they must use
the LAMS forum, not the Moodle forum. If the teacher wishes the
students to use the Moodle forum, they should put in a Noticeboard
activity, which tells the students to go to the Moodle forum.
So which is it? Or is this just as it says: linking ok, "accessing" not?
- i will be able to develop a specific e-learning module with LAMS -offline- when LAMS is running stand-alone on my computer (as it really does since 50 minutes (really great)
- the i will be able to transfer this course via moodle-ftp and moodle will present the course in the LAMS format to the scholar online ?
with greetings from germany
Glad you liked the installer
Yes, you can import sequences into any LAMS server. So if you have LAMS and Moodle integrated, you will be able to import them using the LAMS Authoring interface.
If you have a look at Figure 3 on the walkthru, you'll see that you can pop-up a browser window with the LAMS Authoring interface. In there, if you click on File | Import, you'll be able to import your LAMS sequence and then you can use that sequence as your LAMS activity in Moodle.
* the i will be able to transfer this course via moodle-ftp and moodle will present the course in the LAMS format to the scholar online ?
No, probably not this way.
BEST/ LAMS 2.0 and Lock Activity in new course format
LAMS 2.0 in to BEST (Bulgarian Educational Site)
LAMS 2.0 vs. Lock Aktivity logic in Moodle
Linear or NON-LINEAR Workflow
and course(sequence) export question
(course-templates/sequences builtin repository and metadata-search)
Visualization of activities set to run in groups - Current way
Visualization complex branching
That's for pointing this out.
Actually -although this might sound like a dichotomy, both are right
You can include Moodle activities in a LAMS sequence using the LAMS Share Resources tool (as shown in the walkthru) or by putting a weblink in the LAMS Noticeboard. However, you are *not* really adding a Moodle Forum as a LAMS activity... that is, it's not a drag-and-drop activity in the LAMS Authoring environment. See getting started guide.
In reality, all you are doing is adding a URL to an activity in LAMS (share resources) that allows you to "jump" to that URL when the activity is loaded.
I hope that clarifies it. Please let me know otherwise.
In addition, and by the same token, LAMS has quite a bit of documentation for people that might want to understand how it works.
I've just got a LAMS server up and running on a CentOS4 (RHEL clone) platform, but it took quite a while as I found that unlike Moodle, the LAMS install documentation is decidedly still in Beta
I wonder if it's possible to have LAMS running on the same server as Moodle, both on port 80 - has anyone managed to get jboss to talk to Apache via modjk with LAMS?
Have a look at technical document of Moodle and LAMS integration http://lamsfoundation.org/integration/moodle/Moodle_Integration.doc. Perhaps it will help you.
There's a demo site that shows LAMS2 and Moodle 1.6.3+ integrated. You can go there and test the integration for yourself. The code is still in beta and there are a few bugs left, but we are on them
Nevertheless, the LAMS Moodle Module code is available for you right now if you want to use it.
If you need any help, have a look at the LAMS Community tech forums.
http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=32947 Moodle 1.5.3 BG LanguagePackage bg.zip plus instructions...
WeLOAD + Learning Objects Module had been integrated into the Bulgarian Educational Sitte (BEST). My team of developers work on this complementary platform.