Moodle networking (MNet)

working with Moodle Offline

 
Picture of Mark Dickinson
working with Moodle Offline
 

Hi,

I need to be able to allow a user to be Using Moodle from a server and have the facility to use it offline, ie if the internet connection is not available.

If i'm right in my understanding, I may have to have a moodle installation on a server and an additional moodle installation on a laptop which would have the course installed onto it already

Is there anyway where these can meet as in the user completion data from the laptop be transferred back to the server once the internet connection has become live either manually or automatically

TIA

Mark

 
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Picture of Dan Marsden
Re: working with Moodle Offline
Group Core developersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup Plugins guardiansGroup TestersGroup Translators

Hi Mark, 

The Moodle Mobile App provides some level of offline functionality but we've been working on a project with UNICEF recently to provide offline access to courses and allow completion data from SCORM packages to be passed back to a central server. I'm presenting about it at the Australian Moodle Moot but you could also touch base with our UK office who may be willing to show you a demo.

We do plan to release the code at some point too but I haven't had a chance to package it properly yet and it's still in testing.

Here's a brief summary of how it works.

We package a pre-built cut down Moodle install with apache/mysql in a Windows installer package using Installshield (mainly so we can build an MSI for deployment with nice shortcuts and good uninstall process) - but it would be easy to use our code to build a moodle on a stick style deployment. (we might do this in future ourselves)

The install that goes on the users local machine includes pre-configured code that connects to a main server to download courses and then upload the completion data.

Here's the way the local machine build does it.

on first install there are no users or courses on the local Moodle install so it asks you to login to the main site - this passes back some information to the local install related to the logged in user - (email/firstname/lastname) - then the user can also see a list of courses they are enrolled on the main site and download them to use on their local machine instead of on the main site. The main site sends a recent Moodle backup file (excluding user data) to the locally installed Moodle and creates it on the site.

The locally installed course contains a full copy of the main course but we pre-configure the capabilities to allow only read-only mode of things like forums and activities like assignments are disabled.

The only data we are currently syncing is SCORM - when a user has completed a SCORM package they can sync that data back to the main site - to simplify things we delete the local data after the sync. To check their full course completion status they must visit the main site.

At the moment we don't do anything with versioning of courses and there is definitely further room for improvements.

hopefully that makes sense! - feel free to drop me an e-mail or give our UK office a call if you have further questions.

 
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Picture of Mark Dickinson
Re: working with Moodle Offline
 

Hi Dan,

Its good to see that someone else is looking at the possibilites for this.

You mention your still in testing, but can you give me a rough indication on when it may be released?
What version of moodle are you developing this for?

I am very interested in this as we are thinking of doing a similiar thing, and as you are in testing you are alot closer than we are. We are looking at completing Quizes and sending results back to the server, ideally when an internet connection became available again but i think this is far too much to ask for hence like yourselves a local copy seems to be the only way. 

Its just a matter of transmitting that data and incorporating that into the Database for reporting that would need to be done (if only it was as easy as that!).

Kind regards

Mark

 
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Picture of Dan Marsden
Re: working with Moodle Offline
Group Core developersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup Plugins guardiansGroup TestersGroup Translators

Hi Mark, 

I guess with a bit of encouragement I could set up a git repo with the 2 plugins - one that sits on the main server and one that sits on the local server - but we might need to set up a demo to walk you through how it's supposed to work to give you some context. I should also check to make sure there isn't any hardcoded specific UNICEF code in there as well.

The sync process uses the standard backup process to generate a backup of the scorm data on the local machine and then extracts out certain xml files from the backup - then packages all the courses that are being synced into a single zip and passes that to the main server - the main server then does some custom handling of that xml file to import the data. It shouldn't be too hard to add the quiz data to that code.

I'll see if I can find the time to release it on github in the next few days.

 
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Picture of Mark Dickinson
Re: working with Moodle Offline
 

Hi Dan,

Just wondered if you had time to look at releasing something on github.

Cheers

Mark





 
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Picture of Dan Marsden
Re: working with Moodle Offline
Group Core developersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup Plugins guardiansGroup TestersGroup Translators

yes - I just found time to do this this afternoon:

This one sits on your main site(referred to as the mothership):
https://github.com/danmarsden/moodle-local_offline

This one sits on the offline install:
https://github.com/danmarsden/moodle-local_offlineplayer

I've included some basic notes in the README files that will hopefully help guide you through it.

The code is really early release stuff - there's a lot of room for improvement.

hopefully some of it might be useful.

 
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Picture of Ganesh Shelke
Re: working with Moodle Offline
 

Hi Dan

The following links are redirected to 404 - Page not found

https://github.com/danmarsden/moodle-local_offline

https://github.com/danmarsden/moodle-local_offlineplayer

It will be great if you update the working link

Thank You 


 
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Picture of Dan Marsden
Re: working with Moodle Offline
Group Core developersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup Plugins guardiansGroup TestersGroup Translators
Hi Ganesh, 


that link was for early pre-release/alpha code that wasn't complete and is no longer around. We're hoping to release the final code at some point in future - feel free to get in touch with me directly if you may be able to help fund some of the effort required.

 
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Picture of Twahir Hussein Kassim
Re: working with Moodle Offline
 

Hi Dan,

I have read through the thread and I must say I find this a very promising prospect.

I work with an Online University that uses Moodle as a platform. We are looking into extending our learning environment to carter for Correctional facilities where they are not granted internet access. What we are proposing to do is have an offline server preloaded with the courses the inmates would be taking and then on a monthly basis have the offline server synchronized with the main servers.

What is the possibility of having this done?

Thank you and have a blessed day.

Twahir

 
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Picture of Dan Marsden
Re: working with Moodle Offline
Group Core developersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup Plugins guardiansGroup TestersGroup Translators

I wouldn't recommend this particular setup for managing access to people within correctional facilities but here at Catalyst we do provide direct support to correctional facilities using Moodle. This can be a complicated/expensive exercise as many maintenance task must be performed on-site.

 
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Picture of General Manager
Re: working with Moodle Offline
 

Use the moodle app.   Distribute mobile devices with the course content and quiz materials downloaded for offline use, let the students practice. 

From time to time, create a local wifi zone and synchronize all.  Then turn the wifi off to comply with regulations.

OR:  do not let the prisoners keep the tablets and smartphones at night at all, have all devices turned in, then outside the wall, let them all synchronize in a wifi zone. 

At least then you do not have to update a local moodle for each learner, or have an offline moodle on a local server without internet connection to the outside world. Instead, individuals could work offline with occasional synchronizing.  

Still lots of abuse potential-assuming the first thing the guys want is porn and the ability to send threatening mail to victims and witnesses, that could all happen with all the devices going online to internet outside.  A local network inside with a single computer that goes outside and connects would be more secure, as everything could be more easily controlled through a single point, and restricted to just moodle updates and synchronizing. 

 
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picture of Scott Braithwaite
Re: working with Moodle Offline
 

Hi Dan

We are looking at options to start developing something similar to what you have been working on, and are investigating what solutions may already exist which could be used to accomplish this task, or any advice which you could give on the area.


As I am struggling to find anything up to date which could accomplish this task.


Thanks

Scott

 
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Picture of Tom Wilson
Re: working with Moodle Offline
 

Hi Dan, 

I am also looking for an offline Moodle version that operates on tablets to be used in a correctional facility. Currenlty all my courses have been designed for justice-involved individuals in a community supervision setting. However,  I am getting more inquiries for situations where there will never be any internet access. Please let me know if if you need support for this effort. 

Tom Wilson

CEO, Tom Wilson Counseling and Telehealth Services

Boise, Idaho USA

 
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Picture of General Manager
Re: working with Moodle Offline
 

Yes, right here says it should work: https://docs.moodle.org/31/en/Moodle_Mobile_quiz_offline_attempts

Moodle mobile with downloaded materials, then occasional synchronizing. Question is:  how to synchronize?  Sure, take all the tablets into a wifi zone from time to time ...but then anything waiting to be sent on the mobile device is going to be sent, emails, requested downloads.  Would be labor intensive to block each mobile device.

On the other hand, a local wifi network running a standalone moodle instance would be secure.  Then, take the one laptop outside to wifi for updates to moodle and content.


 
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Picture of Sourabh Maheshwari
Re: working with Moodle Offline
 

Dear Dan,

I would like to know if I can run this offline mode on a mobile set using an external memory card which will have moodle LMS with our course material preloaded on it. This would be like an app loaded on an external memory card which would use mobile's OS for installation and operation.

Thanks

 

 
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Picture of Dan Marsden
Re: working with Moodle Offline
Group Core developersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup Plugins guardiansGroup TestersGroup Translators

possibly, you would need to basically install a web server and db server on the memory card, targeted for the mobile platform you are working with (Andriod/iOS/Windows) The code I have been working on isn't really ready for release yet but I'm hoping it will be within the next few months.

 
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Picture of Sourabh Maheshwari
Re: working with Moodle Offline
 

Hi Dan,

Have you removed these codes from the site?

 
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Picture of Dan Marsden
Re: working with Moodle Offline
Group Core developersGroup Moodle Course Creator Certificate holdersGroup Particularly helpful MoodlersGroup Plugin developersGroup Plugins guardiansGroup TestersGroup Translators

that link was for early pre-release/alpha code that wasn't complete. We're hoping to release a more complete version at some point soon. Feel free to get in touch with me directly if you want to help fund this process.

 
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Picture of Shannon Kramer
Re: working with Moodle Offline
 

Hi Dan,


We are trying to create a course that works offline (meaning quizzes, learning modules, etc...) and then all the data/grades are uploaded to the database when it reconnects with the internet.


I was hoping you would give me instructions on how to set this up, or if this is even possible.


Cheers,


Shannon

 
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Picture of Naveen Pammi
Re: working with Moodle Offline
 

Hi , Iam looking for a similar solution. We are having some SCORM courses which we uploaded into Moodle LMS in our datacenter.  There are learners from the remote areas , where internet availability is not proper.

I need to design a solution where these remote learners can access content locally from LAN , but all the user tracking like time spent , assessments..etc has to be updated into the live server.

I see there is no activity on this thread in this topic.

Can someone guide me with right solution for this requirement.

Thanks


 
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Picture of Sourabh Maheshwari
Re: working with Moodle Offline
 

Hi Naveen,

Could you find a way to do what you have mentioned in your comment. If yes, please share the details.

 

Thanks

 

 
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