Plone 5 as a full LMS project?

Hello everyone, I'm new here so I hope this is the right section.

I already checked https://plone.org/community/edu/intranet/ploneedu-addons and already know that can be used successfully on EDU projects EDU Success stories however I'm yet to see a project where Plone is used as a full LMS project, here I mean something like OpenEDX or khanacademy...

Yes there are some addons like https://plone.org/products/e-lect (more here : http://www.contentmanagementsoftware.info/plone/e-learning) however all of them are extremely outdated and I'm yet to see a production LMS build on top of Plone...

So the question:
Is there a practical guide explaining how to build a LMS using plone (and what addons to use) or wee are not yet there and for now if someone want's something like that should himself develop or rely on third party private development?

If there isn't, or isn't possible yet, could we focus on doing something like it as the base it's already there?
Thanks.

I'm seeing recurring interest with clients asking for LMS capabilities. Building a full LMS on top of Plone is quite a big undertaking though. I'd be interested in exploring first if it is feasible to create an OpenEDX integration bridge, with single signon and data exchange.

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I wouldn't completely agree as most of the features are already there, the problem would be only getting the stuff together (organisation) which has been already attempted with addons.. As for OpenEDX it's to big of a platform to maintain and figure out what's going on, not to mention that it's like build for AWS only, otherwise , paid support which isn't cheep trust me :smile:

Staying on the topic, is it possible to build a LMS using plone? If yes how?

I agree that Plone has a lot of what you want from an LMS very close to the surface. I worked on a feasibility study for a government client on this. One thing that needs attention is the integration with Tin Can API reporting or its equivalent. Six Feet Up did something LMS-like a couple years back, I believe, for a university client. Also Jazkarta did an incredible job on the Mountaineers website, which you can read about at: http://jazkarta.com/news/the-mountaineers-scaling-the-heights-with-plone

@igpg if you are aware of a way to fund the development / integration of Plone and add-ons to create an LMS, then I'm sure you can find developers and/or companies who would be interested in helping you. Plone being a decentralized project means that you would have to piece it together yourself, or find a client who is willing to pay for such a package to be developed for them, and, ideally, to be released to the wider community.

Plone has lots of built in functionality that makes it a good foundation for an LMS. The specific requirements of each LMS "client", however, make it hard to generalize, unless there is a financial incentive to make a generalized LMS that is more widely applicable.

As @gyst states, it may be better to merge Plone's CMS capabilities (its real strength) with those of a purpose-built LMS (e.g. Moodle, Open edX), because it would probably take more work to turn Plone into a fully fledged LMS, and there is also the question of long term sustainability of maintaining all that work and keeping up with the LMSs that have their own dedicated, focused teams continually adding to and refining their product.

Got it so basically it's not yet possible and it needs development.
Well, would be nice but if we are talking about convincing a company in to sponsoring something like that would be a bit of an adventure especially when they are "ready-to-go" products (different types) which can be deployed instantly, however a good idea would be to get the funds from : https://fundly.com/ and when it reaches the right point share the project with the community.

@igpg,
What's your checklist for features required in a "Plone as an LMS" implementation?

  • Courses with a eye-candy interface easy to get to like KhanAccademy
  • A similar interface about the LMS with activity tracking of the user (like it finished watching the video or not)
  • The LMS should include:
    --- forums ( student's classes where they can discuss with one another on the lesson) - with ability to post the communication in audio, or video, or a video-conference.
    --- Courses (public, private, quota, prerequisites)
    --- A gradebook to post students results
    --- Syllabus
    --- events + calendar
    --- ability to take the course in an active (video-conferences) and passive mode
    --- Workflow or Plan / objectives of the student
    --- resources management / library with the possibility to download the content
    --- Quizzes (with also the ability to leave the answer to be manually checked by the teacher)
    --- Profile with gamification
    --- Podcast tool
    --- Projects , place for students to collaborate on something (document, cast, video, etc)
    --- Statistics , for the students to view it's progress in detail
    --- Interface for suggestions on how to improve the lesson content
    --- And finally a graduation page with the possibility to get an online-verificable certificate.
    --- chat
  • Full control of the teacher on the options of the course, like can restrict the type of the answer, comments, etc...
    As for payment methods I'm not interested as this is completely a non-profit project.

On the teacher side, would be great having a detailed statistical dashboard on the students. The more details the better. As for producing the content I think everything is already there (WYSIWYG) except some minor integration with what the LMS has to offer. Of course role management which is however already there..

PS: with a community like Plone and an increasing interest in the LMS I don't think it will be difficult to raise the funds without problems.

My initial thoughts are that, apart from the general interface work, you'll want to spend time on the following modules as I think they will be the most significant: Gradebook, Statistics, Chat, Quota and Workplans. It feels like 480 - 600 man hours of work to get to a release. This is based on an assumption of 60 to 80 hours per significant module and allowance for some contingency.

No idea if that is helpful, but just putting it out there. I expect someone with more experience can make corrections to my assumptions.

It's true, requires allot of work.. What prompted me to Plone was the performance and security , which are very important in such products, yet again , if the $$ is raised , developers may work to do something like it, till than , I'm switching to something else. Thanks for the discussion, maybe this thread may inspire or push someone to put in "todo" list.

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