Moodle Off-Line Application

Someone asked me recently what the chances would be of building an offline client for Moodle. To be honest I had not thought about that, so I did. Moodle has three types of content essentially:

  1. Courses built using the Moodle authoring tool
  2. SCORM courses (including Authorware)
  3. Flash modules in the Moodle course

To my mind the offline client should be a stand-alone application that is installed on the Users PC. The application should permit the following:

  1. Log in using their Moodle Username and Password (Network access required)
  2. View all their courses
  3. Do a Course
  4. Resume a Course they are busy with
  5. Save the progress and results locally
  6. Manually (or automatically) synchronize their data with the Moodle server.
  7. View grades
  8. Update their profile
  9. See which other students are online (red dot, green dot)

Now back to the courses. I think, and if I’m wrong please let me know, that all the courses use PHP pages to move the data from the content to the database. So, unless you install WAMP as part of the deployment, you’re pretty buggered.

So, now the question is, how can you build a course that can be used in Moodle, as well as in an offline application, that does not require Apache/MySQL and that will meet all the other requires I have mentioned above.

I have an idea, but would love to hear from you what your idea is.

0 thoughts on “Moodle Off-Line Application

  1. I think offline capability for a Moodle site/classroom would be a pretty slick enhancement to the system. It would totally alleviate the need for students to have internet at home (just sync and get on the bus) and enable work/productivity during a commute or whatever (when there’s no internet access).

    I’d be interested in learning if there’s a way to do this…if you don’t mind, I’m going to quote this on Moodlemonthly and see if we can get some more comments/input/ideas for you.

  2. Pingback: Offline Moodle: an answer to limited web access?  | Moodle Monthly

    • Hi Richard,

      At this stage we are working on an AIR application that would allow you to view your details and save them offline, as well as view and comment on forums offline and then sync with the online forum when the internet connection is discovered.

      Unfortunately this is still very early in production, so we can’t give you any due dates as to when it will be ready.

      If there is anything you would like to see in an offline version of the application, please let me know and we will try and include it.

      – Kirsten

  3. You said – “So, now the question is, how can you build a course that can be used in Moodle, as well as in an offline application, that does not require Apache/MySQL and that will meet all the other requires I have mentioned above.”

    I reply – Great Idea! I have one point. Why do you require offline Moodle? I suppose – it is required at places where internet connectivity is a problem. Offline version will allow its users to work on Moodle (running on offline machine) and whenever their machine is connected then their works will be synchronized with the central server. When I say “work”; it means – assignment submissions, forum participations, offline chat replies, quiz participations. Only these are required to be synchronized.

    Users get the course material in a zip format from their teachers which they can always upload using some easy to understand interface.
    So- when this is the case – why would we require a Moodle which runs without Apache/Mysql in offline version?

    • Hi

      My thoughts around this were more related to doing a Moodle course off-line, and being able to write the tracking code to a location. Then when you had connectivity, you could simply sync with the server and continue as normal. Living in Africa, means 24/7 connectivity is not a given, much less broadband in some instances. This limits both the size of the content and the time when it can be done.

      My idea is to build an AIR framework that uses SQLite. The database would contain only a small number of Moodle tables. The user would access Moodle through the AIR application and sync only their relevant data. Once off-line they can access a course build in Flash or Authorware SCORM course running of a CD, and work through the course. The tracking data would be written to the SQLite table. Once online, the tracking data will be sync’d and their progress recorded in Moodle.

      Certainly forums could also be sync’d allow the application to act as blog reader for the course, along with the users details, grades, etc.

      Regards
      Sean

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