Exploring the Possibility of Hosting Graduate Nursing Curriculum Moodle Book Resources within Xerte
Aaron has been exploring the capabilities and customisation options of Xerte in response to the envisaged requirement to take Book Resources developed within Moodle and making them publically available. Currently these Book Resources are generated and delivered within Moodle but have the restriction that users would need access to the University’s installation of Moodle.
The potential of allowing these high quality resources to be made more widely available along with potential benefits with regard to reuse and sharing across courses have been voiced by the HELM team.
The book resources are generated through the Book Module within Moodle, and this “makes it easy to create multi-page resources with a book-like format.” (Moodle Documentation) These resources are linear type resource which is limited to chapters and subchapters. These resources are non-interactive but allow for the embedding of audio, video and files within the contents.
Here are examples of a GNC book resource within Moodle:
Screen shot of the Moodle Book Resource - title page
Screen shot of the Moodle Book Resource - learning topic introduction page
Screen shot of the Moodle Book Resource - lecture information page
Screen shot of the Moodle Book Resource - learning topic completion page
The main features provided by the book resources are:
- Ease of linear movement through the book
- Additional contents navigation
- Ability to embed image, audio, video, files and other web content
- Ability to print both current section or the entire book
Xerte is an open-source suite of tools for the development of interactive learning materials. The latest version of which has replaced the Flash plugin dependency utilising HTML5 templates including a responsive template which makes use of the Bootstrap Framework.
The Xerte Project provides a suite of award-winning open-source tools for elearning developers and content authors producing interactive learning materials. The tools are in use in institutions and organisations all over the world, with an enthusiastic community of users, and an active team of developers working to bring new features and enhancements to the software.
With the release of v2.0 of Xerte Online Toolkits, content can be delivered to any device removing the dependency on the Flash Player. A new responsive template enables authors to deliver content to all devices, from an iPhone to a large desktop computer, and the Xerte Online Toolkit now contains over 75 templates for presentation and interactivity.
Aaron decided to explore these new capabilities and see how well one of the Moodle books may transfer over to Xerte. The initial work involved taking content from the Moodle book and transferring it in to the Bootstrap template within Xerte. Standard Xerte Bootstrap Template
Screen shot of the Xerte book resource conversion - standard view
There was also a little modification of code used to improve the interactivity of the Curriculum Mapping inclusion within the books.
Screen shot of the Xerte book resource conversion - modified version with explinations
Screen shot of the Xerte book resource conversion - modified version - title page
Screen shot of the Xerte book resource conversion - modified version - overview page
Screen shot of the Xerte book resource conversion - modified version - lectures page
Screen shot of the Xerte book resource conversion - modified version - completion message page
Embedding within Moodle
Moodle offers a couple of mechanism for embedding Xerte content one of which is via the Add Activity -> External Tool -> Xerte Online Toolkit which seems to create a link to a page which has an iFrame linking directly to the specified Xerte resource. The second is adding the content via an iFrame to any component of Moodle which allows HTML input.
Screen shot of the Xerte book resource conversion - modified version - resource embedded within Moodle
The Xerte version of the Moodle Book resource is fairly close in functionality, the main omission is the full resource printing feature but Aaron feels confident this could be added through further development. There are some distinct benefits to the Xerte approach:
- Open access to the resource – not limited to those who have the University of Nottingham Moodle accounts
- Responsive template – providing excellent experience on various devices and screen sizes
- Ability to easily customise both in terms of functionality and style
- VLE independent
- Xerte Online Toolkit
The article was viewable from Friday, 9th May 2014.