Migrating MedLearn to Moodle

Medical Sciences Division hosts its teaching material in a system called MedLearn. The pages are mixed with 2D and 3D images, video, interactive content and self test questions.

For 10 years we’ve used Magnolia CMS. It was a good, simple system. In the last 4 years they’ve released 5.x.x which requires significant effort to migrate. We tried to find an upgrade path but couldn’t without spending more than our budget. Staying on the 4.x.x branch was fine until a recent Java security changed stopped us from publishing new pages. We have decided to migrate.

There are plenty of CMS and VLEs to choose from but they need to be maintainable and free. We chose Moodle because it’s free, extensible and fits with our technology strategy. We were particularly happy with the variety of questions available through the Question Bank.

Moodle doesn’t really support our mix of teaching materials with self test question. The Book module provides a good structure for the teaching material; the Quiz Activity provides assessment. We wanted to mix these together. Lesson tool was discounted because the questions are too restrictive, the authoring is confusing and the questions are on separate pages

We think that we’ve found the solution with the Generico filter plugin and its accompanying Atto plugin. The filter will write in an iFrame showing a preview of the question. In due course we may change it to call Javascript which writes preview content into the page. All that’s missing is a method of browsing the Question Bank.

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