Revolution on moodle

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Preston Shea
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Revolution on moodle

Post by Preston Shea » Wed May 13, 2009 8:47 pm

How does one set up a Revolution stack so that students can access and run it through moodle?
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Klaus
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Post by Klaus » Thu May 14, 2009 8:29 am

Hi Preston,

I have not the slightest idea what "moodle" is, but you simply have
to put your stack on a server somehwere and your (standalone) students
can load and display it with one simple line of code:
...
go stack url("http://www.your_server.com/subfolder/your_stack.rev")
...

Cool, isn't it :-)

Hope that helps.


Best

Klaus

Preston Shea
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what is moodle

Post by Preston Shea » Thu May 14, 2009 1:18 pm

moodle is an open source program used for on-line classes. Pretty popular world-wide at this point. Is it possible for students to run a standalone from a server without downloading it?
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Klaus
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Re: what is moodle

Post by Klaus » Thu May 14, 2009 1:43 pm

Preston Shea wrote:moodle is an open source program used for on-line classes. Pretty popular world-wide at this point.
Aha, thanks.
Preston Shea wrote:Is it possible for students to run a standalone from a server without downloading it?
No.


Best from germany

Klaus

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Re: what is moodle

Post by FourthWorld » Thu May 14, 2009 3:55 pm

Preston Shea wrote:moodle is an open source program used for on-line classes. Pretty popular world-wide at this point. Is it possible for students to run a standalone from a server without downloading it?
Any executable needs to be downloaded to run.

Thanks for posting about Moodle. Interesting project. I made some SCORM/AICC-compliant courseware several years back with ToolBook. Fun stuff; nice to see standards that are actually useful and well thought out. ;)

Moodle's description makes the same mistake so many lay people make: using "Internet" and "Web" as though they're synonyms. The Web is a relatively small subset of Internet capabilities, largely restricted to the confines of a browser window. From my brief reading at the Moodle site, it seems their system is primarily web- (read "browser-") based.

That said, it seems there's a SCORM module for Moodle, and in it's full scope the SCORM spec is a lot more platform-agnostic. So there may be a way to integrate downloadable executables into Moodle; hard to say for sure without looking into it more, but seems worth doing so if it's of interest.

The issue with web-based media is that you have no choice over language. Browsers natively support only one language for interactivity, JavaScript, so anything designed to run in any browser must be written in JavaScript.

But that's just the client side. On the server you're free to use whatever works, including the Rev CGI or on-rev.com. If your UI is simple enough, you could use just HTML with very little JavaScript, calling the server to do most of the work, and use the Rev engine there to handle that.

And down the road in a few months, RunRev has announced that they're working on a browser plugin. Of course this will still require the plugin engine be downloaded and installed, but for orgs that allow that sort of thing it should be as simple as updating Flash.

But in the here and now, do you need to use Moodle as your CMS? There are many SCORM-compliant CMSes available, and most support the full scope of that spec which includes downloadable executables.

With Rev delivering downloadable courseware is much easier than with many other tools because the included libURL makes most common Internet transactions one-liners.

You could conceivably make a single standalone to manage any number of topic modules, and save a lot of time implementing attractive UIs over what you'd spend writing those in JavaScript.
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Post by acidjazz » Thu May 14, 2009 11:44 pm

Preston, do you actually need all the SCORM stuff? If you simply want them to interact with your stack (e.g., a tututorial on some topic) but not collect any data, then it's pretty easy. Yes, as Klaus noted, students will need to download the standalone (until version 4.0 of Revolution comes out, as Richard noted), but in moodle, you can easily upload your standalone into your "area" in moodle, and then create a link for students. Here's the help page I found on this: http://docs.moodle.org/en/File_or_website_link My university uses Blackboard, but it's the same idea; I do it all the time.

- Mark P.

Preston Shea
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SCORM moodle Revolution muddle

Post by Preston Shea » Fri May 15, 2009 12:26 am

Thanks for all the help. I'm an old teacher-type who started with HyperCard on a 512 Mac and have managed to stay up more or less with Rev in its current glory. I've used the Web but I have never programmed for it.

I've got a big Latin project (hence the signature from Ovid) pretty much ready to go in RR. It represents years of patient part-time work. The original plan was to release it on CD as an interactive version of the original textbook.

More and more of our textbook users are in schools using moodle and we find ourselves needing to offer our RR content in that environment. What I'm getting so far is that because moodle is browser-based students will download pieces as needed and run them on their computers. The new version will make this easier. How am I doing so far?

Moodle makes use of filters to detect specialized content and connect with viewers, players etc. I'm going to ask the moodle forum about it. Thanks again.
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Buttercup
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New Version

Post by Buttercup » Fri May 15, 2009 3:52 am

My understanding is that the "new" version should not require that students download an executable but rather the stack will "run" within the browser just as flash content -- requiring a plugin -- runs in the browser.

I also use Moodle and would be happy to see such a thing.

Judy

Preston Shea
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Re: New Version

Post by Preston Shea » Fri May 15, 2009 12:49 pm

Buttercup wrote:My understanding is that the "new" version should not require that students download an executable but rather the stack will "run" within the browser just as flash content -- requiring a plugin -- runs in the browser.

I also use Moodle and would be happy to see such a thing.

Judy
That would be excellent! Do you use RR content on moodle now, and, if so, what do you do?

Thanks for the encouraging news!
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Post by FourthWorld » Fri May 15, 2009 4:15 pm

Yes, the plugin will be pretty nifty. But whether within the browser window or as a standalone, running stacks still means downloading and installing some form of the Rev engine.

The plugin will be pretty convenient, but at a price: browser plugins are limited in terms of file I/O; you won't be able to provide an offline mode or maintain your own control over your cache, so folks will need to download your stacks each time they access them.

If you plan on delivering to an organization which will allow the installation of the engine in plugin form, it's every bit as secure for them to download a standalone. This means you can start delivering your work right now today using a custom courseware "player" standalone to manage and run your courseware.

The browser plugin will make the installation one step easier, but there's nothing stopping you from delivering Internet-deployed content right now.

Check out Richard Herz' Reactor Lab for inspiration:
http://www.revjournal.com/features/reactorlab.html
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Buttercup
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Re: New Version

Post by Buttercup » Fri May 15, 2009 5:06 pm

Preston Shea wrote: That would be excellent! Do you use RR content on moodle now, and, if so, what do you do?

Thanks for the encouraging news!
No, I do not, because we have no install privileges in the lab. And while they *say* this is negotiable, in reality, it isn't. I can't even get campus IT to install software for which we have a valid license! For that matter, my department IT refuses to even maintain Moodle, so I have to pay to run it offsite.

So, I'm waiting for the plugin. Sigh.

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Re: New Version

Post by FourthWorld » Fri May 15, 2009 11:45 pm

Buttercup wrote:No, I do not, because we have no install privileges in the lab. And while they *say* this is negotiable, in reality, it isn't. I can't even get campus IT to install software for which we have a valid license! For that matter, my department IT refuses to even maintain Moodle, so I have to pay to run it offsite.
I've run into similarly tight IT practices with some of the hospitals we deploy to.

In an environment where installing the Rev engine as a standalone is prohibited, will they allow installing the Rev engine as a plugin?

In my own experience, sites that control machine configurations often restrict all executable code, regardless of what form it's in. But hospitals may be a bit more stringent that colleges.
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Buttercup
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Re: New Version

Post by Buttercup » Sat May 16, 2009 1:17 am

FourthWorld wrote: In an environment where installing the Rev engine as a standalone is prohibited, will they allow installing the Rev engine as a plugin?
Good question. I'll have to ask. When I'm at the main campus in my own department's labs, I can usually get stuff installed. But not at the satellite campus.

Judy

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