LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS USED – TECHNICAL SIDE

As you red from earlier chapter, all three SimE-courses were easily accessed in web-based platforms. We used two different technical solutions in SimE-project.

Course 1 was built on top of Chamilo, which is a free software (GPL licensing). Chamilo is usually categorized as a learning management system (LMS). You can read more from Chamilo Association website.

Courses 2 and 3 were built on top of WordPress. WordPress is also a free software (GPL licensing) and is categorized as a content management system (CMS). WordPress is used in tens of millions websites globally. You can read more about WordPress.

The main reason why we used two different softwares as a platform is mainly based on course 2. It was the first course we started in project, and technical and feature requirements for course 1 and 3 were not decided yet. Course 2 was described as “ethical coffee room”, where users can freely discuss about ethical things with their nicknames. Even teachers are not allowed to know who is using which nickname. We could also select some Bulletin Board System (BBS) as a base software, but we selected WordPress. Selection was mainly made because it was familiar for many users as a content management system, and also it is very familiar for our web developer. Our web developer in project have created tens of different platforms with WordPress during ten years. WordPress was slightly modified to hide identity of users and still keeping moderating features for teachers.

Also in course 3 we used WordPress. Features we’re little more expanded (or to be honest, some restrictions were decreased from course 2). WordPress was used more as a material sharing system and discussion was more background feature.

Feature requirements started to be more clear for course 1, and it was easier to use some LMS as a base system rather that make heavy modifications to WordPress. For example all return boxes, feedback system and knowledge quizzes are features which are working out-of-box in most learning management systems. Out web developer didn’t have much experience about LMS development so we were looking systems which could work without big developing work. Originally we were thinking to use Moodle as our LMS, but there was some restrictions from our hosting provider. Chamilo was working directly so it was easy decision.

All technical solutions we made in project were created as a minimum viable product (MVP). giving just enough features to satisfy users with minimum effort because of a lack of resources. There are many things in a list for later development, for example combining of systems, using external authentications and so on. Overall everything were still working nicely and users were satisfied.

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