This is a bit of a different review to module reviews I have done, so please excuse me! Normally I go through the following process when doing a review:
- Background to Module/Author
- What does it do?
- Is it simple to install?
- Is there documentation for it?
- Is it easy for the teacher/admin to use?
- Is it easy for the learner/student to use?
- Does it do what it promises?
However this is going to be the first post of a series which together will be my review of ELIS – Remote-Learnerâ€™s Enterprise Learning Intelligence System for Moodle. It is a system designed to tackle some complicated processes and organisational challenges, and my normal review structure wouldn’t really suit a review as it is not just a plug ‘n’ play module.
I used to work for Remote-Learner, so became familiar with the suite of add-ons. It was made publicly available through their GITHUB repository – https://github.com/remotelearner/ over 10 months ago. Initially released for 1.9 it was upgraded earlier this year for Moodle 2, so it is about time I did a review.
So what is ELIS?
ELIS is a suite of tools that add some very specific and useful features into Moodle. Here I go briefly into each aspect:
Whilst native Moodle provides category-course structures for Moodle, and some level of interlinking with meta-enrolment, these are not interlinked as a program. ELIS provides a hierarchy structure for courses, providing the ability to group them into programs, build in dependencies, assign credits or certification for completion and also to easily roll out new iterations of the whole program as a track of classes. One nice aspect is to expire a completion of a class so that they have to re-take, useful for yearly compliance type training, or CPD.
All users in out-of-the-box Moodle are managed by the admin centrally. There is ability to provide a hierarchy for organisational structures with manages, owners and so on. THe ELIS Users feature enables the creation of user sets where viewing the users is dependent on your role within the ELIS system, so that a user can only see their users and not others. Being an admin of a user SET in ELIS does not mean you are an admin in Moodle.
So with the extra course/program aspects and user structures and permissions, a lot of new reports can be built to provide an overview on the system. I won’t go through them all here, but it includes things like program level reporting across all the classes for a user, by himself or a manager of his user “SET”, be it a company organisation or a university course, and user Set report across all the programs, and classes in them, giving a very wide view on one or all people taking the programs and classes. However more later on this.
Some of the events in Moodle prompt emails to users, such as self-enrolment in a course, however if someones tutor, manager, HR department wants to also get a copy that is not normally possible. The notifications aspect of ELIS provides a decent suite of event based notifications which can go to the user, or people with a right to get them for that class or user, on events such as:
- Class enrolment / completion / or when they have not started by a given time
- Program completion / or when they have not completed by a given time
ELIS has an interesting Alfresco integration that goes beyond the repository API. I didn’t have this set up for the review with Moodle 2 so I won’t be discussing this beyond here.
So to properly review this solution, I will break the review into a few different parts.
The next post in this review series I will start with the reviewing the User Management.
Dude! How do we install this?
Hey Gavin! I’m also looking for install instructions. The docs on github are skimpy. Any pointers?
Was going to respond to other one today too.
But basically it is using the one specific version of Moodle and doing a series of patching. If you are not comfortable doing the patches, get someone who is happy with them because if you choose to run this without a support contract with R-L or someone else, you will need to be up to speed on this for when they release next versions/updates.
I did see a blog somewhere with who packaged it without a need to patch.. I have not tested this version at all so if you choose to, your choice!
Next part of review this week, about the user management.
Thanks for the review, exactly what i have been looking for!
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Remote Learner maintains quite a bit of documentation for ELIS at the following website http://rlcommunity.remote-learner.net/