Let me take a minute to explain what it does, how it does it, and how you can get your hands on it.
What Does It Do?
As stated on the Github repository, the plugin simply “emits events from the Moodle Logstore as xAPI statements”. For those that don’t know, the Moodle Logstore is a log of activities in Moodle. When you view a course, complete a quiz, or grade a student a log of that activity is recorded in the Logstore. The plugin uses these logs to produce xAPI statements and then sends (emits) them to an LRS that you can configure.
How Does It Work?
The plugin is made up of three parts, an Expander, a Translator, and an Emitter. Every log entry goes through each of these parts in a six step process before finally reaching the LRS (see below).
A simplified view of the six step process defined above
We hope that these parts will be reused to create similar plugins in the future, like a “Moodle to Activity Streams plugin” or a “Blackboard to xAPI plugin”.
How Do You Install It?
Assuming you’ve already got Moodle installed and working, you’ll want to follow the instructions below to install the plugin (you’ll need to be logged into Moodle as an Admin).
Why Do You Need An LRS?
In steps 8, 9, and 10 you needed a Learning Record Store (LRS) to store the xAPI statements generated by the plugin. For the purpose of this tutorial, we at Learning Locker have created a free to use demo LRS. Let me pause here quickly, because some of you may be unfamiliar with the term “LRS” and “Statement”.
An LRS is a type of data repository designed to store learning activity statements. The xAPI specification states that “prior to the xAPI most LRSs were Learning Management Systems (LMSs)”, however “a full LMS is not necessary to implement the xAPI”, but the “xAPI is dependent on an LRS to function”.
A statement on the other hand is defined by the specification to be “A simple construct consisting of <actor (learner)> <verb> <object>, with <result>, in <context> to track an aspect of a learning experience”. The specification also states that “a set of several Statements may be used to track complete details about a learning experience”. In regards to Moodle, a set of several statements could detail how a learner progressed through a course.
Now that you’ve installed the plugin, you can start viewing courses on Moodle and you should see statements via the “Statements” page for the “Demo” LRS. You’ll need to login to the demo LRS with the email “firstname.lastname@example.org” and the password “demouser”.
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Starting as a placement student in 2014, Ryan re-joined the Learning Locker team after graduating from Oxford Brookes University where he won the John Birch prize for the highest grade average in the University.
From his minimalist desk, Ryan leads the Learning Locker team and consults with people on all things xAPI to conscientiously craft products and services that sustain and evolve training and performance.
When he’s not swimming or injuring himself on the cricket field, Ryan enjoys playing funny (and usually inappropriate) games with his family.
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