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August 1, 2011

Why Drupal is Awesome for Developing Continuing Education E-Learning Systems.

Thought by FFW,

The word is out: Drupal is the killer-app for developing and managing large-scale E-Learning Multi-Site Infrastructure. More and more the team at FFW are being approached by organizations wishing to leverage Drupal for their enterprise E-Learning, Certificate Courses, virtual classroom, or continuing education efforts. We are proud to have deployed several such systems lately for clients such as Career Builder and the Department of Defense.

We have found Drupal based systems are a win-win; Students get an outstanding learning experience and educators benefit from low deployment costs, headache free administration, and a robust and highly scalable infrastructure. Drupal based systems provide streamlined online education experiences by tailoring the learning experience on-the-fly based upon each individual learner’s path through the curriculum and assessments. A learner may be evaluated before taking any classes so that those only courses appropriate to their weakest skills will be recommended. When students score poorly, they are prompted to utilize resources that will help them succeed before retaking a course.

Drupal based e-learning systems provide tremendous flexibility for both dynamic community-based learning experiences as well as more traditional methods where educators can build their own courses or mix and match courses for a particular curriculum. Ongoing evaluation before, during and after courses helps students follow a path custom made for their abilities and helps course administrators gauge how each course is working and to easily identify problems and rapidly adjust course content as required.

Department of Defense

Recently, in partnership Ohio State University, FFW built the Drupal based U.S. DoD Child Development Virtual Laboratory School (VLS). The VLS is an online application housing a collection of best practices for programming, curriculum, and center management for military programs serving children from birth to age twelve. The VLS is based on the current training and development programs in use by the department of defense with supplemental resources, video content, and training modules provided by a variety of DoD partners. A few Highlights include:

  • Private label branding of each branch
  • Multiple User types
  • Content Completion Records
  • Account Management and Delegation
  • Search
  • Discussion Forums and Comments
  • In-line glossaries

The website employs a number of powerful Drupal features to facilitate learning. For each course, these features include an overview, learning program, materials, links to outside learning references, a glossary, assessments and testing methods, as well as feedback for the learner. On completion, learners earn a certificate.

Educators can build courses or mix courses for a specific curriculum. Course supervisors can assign a course or course curriculum to learners.

Career Builder

Career builder needed a course catalog that would give sales reps, internal teams, customers, and end users a better way to search, sort, find, and interact with content that is available to them through the learning management system (LMS). Enter FFW: FFW provided a robust, scalable, and feature rich Drupal infrastructure for Career builders Course Catalog. Learners are able to search, view, comment, and rate courses. Salespeople can search, drill down, share custom catalogs online and export catalogs and courses in PDF. Features included:

  • customizable catalogs
  • catalog Pricing Calculator
  • 5 star rating system
  • export catalogs to PDF
  • import courses in CSV format from LMS
  • advanced faceted catalog search

Drupal E-Learning Features Drupal supports many features critical to E-Learning systems including:

  • Calendars and events
  • Custom course catalogues
  • Social networking tools such as ‘friends’
  • Both personal and group workspaces
  • Podcasting
  • Personal Image galleries and file repositories
  • Learners can create private groups
  • Searchable and customized user profiles
  • Social Bookmarking
  • Personal and course blogs
  • Create Wikis

So, if you’re running an expensive, clunky, broken-down Learning Management System give us a call and let’s talk about your graduation to Drupal!