Comparisons and advocacy

NGO in South Africa considering using Moodle

 
Picture of Jason Tame
NGO in South Africa considering using Moodle
 

Hi all,

I work for an edtech NGO based in South Africa. We have been looking at various options to change the LMS which we are using. Moodle is one of the top candidates. 

Our use-case is a little different, and I am wondering if someone in the community would be able to give some input on whether Moodle is a good fit or not. 

The first difference is that in most cases, we would be using an Android app as a wrapper, and running the LMS within this app. I know there's a Moodle Mobile app, but for various reasons we will need to run the Moodle web app within our own app. 

The second requirement is we operate centres all over the country which require offline functionality, but still need to be able to sync up with a central server when possible. Each of these centres will need to have learner data tracked independently and will need to be able to be managed by a local administrator, without internet access. All the devices will of course be connected to a server via a local network.

My main concern is the amount of custom development it will take to get the offline access and syncing functionality up and running. Has anyone done something similar with Moodle before?

Any comments or suggestions would be much appreciated!





 
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Picture of Visvanath Ratnaweera
Re: NGO in South Africa considering using Moodle
Particularly helpful Moodlers
Hi Jason

Sounds like leading edge technology. But I can't say I have understood it.

First thing, the term edtech: It is just a short form for Educational technology - as such synonymous with E-Learning, right? (Sources https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edtech and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-learning)

And you wrote:
> we would be using an Android app as a wrapper, and running the LMS within this app.

Let me rephrase: You are looking at a mobile app which is a) a Moodle server and b) a Moodle mobile app, both in one, right? As you've already found there is (are) Moodle mobile app(s). But to my knowledge nobody has come up with a Moodle server packaged in a mobile app.

Even if you could, what is the learning szenario, CBT https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educational_technology of yesterday, today the mobile device instead of the CD? The philosophy behind Moodle, Social Constructivism, is quite the opposite. Read https://docs.moodle.org/en/Philosophy#Constructivism.

I know this is not what you are looking for, nevertheless: I needed a portable Moodle server recently and helped myself to a MoodleBox, a Raspberry Pi as a hot spot and a Moodle server. See https://moodlebox.net/.

> I know there's a Moodle Mobile app, but for various reasons we will need to run the Moodle web app within our own app.

Did you evaluate the Branded Moodle Mobile App https://moodle.com/mobileapp/ ?

> The second requirement is we operate centres all over the country which require offline functionality,

You know that the Moodle Mobile App already has lot of off-line capabilities and improving rapidly?

> but still need to be able to sync up with a central server when possible. Each of these centres will need to have learner data tracked independently and will need to be able to be managed by a local administrator, without internet access. All the devices will of course be connected to a server via a local network.

This has been discussed, mostly in the Hardware and performance forum, a couple of times. To my knowledge there is no Open Source solution available so far; Moodle was not designed with this kind of satellite Moodles in mind.
 
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