Joomla for Learning Management: Review of Joomlearn LMS

Learning Management Systems provide organisations the power to manage and control their own website content by providing a seamless solution to deliver education. Many common terms used for this are; e-learning software, e learning lms, learning content management systems, open source LMS, online learning systems but regardless of the terms they all deliver web based training.

Web based training with a Learning Management System is an information technology solution and delivery platform that keeps track of the education process from course registration, content management, student evaluation and course completion.

Extra functionality can also be provided to create an online learning community experience for your users. These include discussion forums, chat rooms, integrated e-mail system, whiteboards and multimedia interaction.

One such approach for implementing a flexible web based training system is to use the Joomla! CMS with LMS extensions. One of the several optional Learning Management extensions is the Joomlearn LMS. A key advantage to this approach is that the Joomla CMS platform has over 5000 extensions for building social communities and integrating other extended features that can enhance the available resources to your learners. The open source code base also gives you freedom to expand your system or integrate it with legacy systems in addition to future proofing your delivery platform.

Using the Joomlearn LMS Extension with Joomla CMS

Joomlearn LMS is an easy to use solution that can grow with your organisation over time. While the features are not as robust as some of those used by larger institutions (such as Blackboard LMS) it has all of the basic features required to deliver and track effective learning management for your small to midsized business, non-profit organization.

This learning management system is available in the following packages:

Joomlearn LMS Basic Edition - The Basic Edition was the very first Learning Management System designed for the Joomla platform to allow your site users to view your training modules, take a quiz and get scored on their results. If they pass the course, the system can generate a certificate for the course.

Joomlearn LMS Silver Edition - The Silver Edition provides a total solution for organizing and managing your training content in a very easy to use interface. It is a cost effective and easy to use commercial training delivery system that offers many more options than the free Basic Edition.

Key Features of the Joomlearn LMS Silver Edition

eCommerce

The Silver Edition provides the ability to sell subscription access via a linked virtual payment portal that supports integration with most of the online payment processes.

It is Ideal for small to mid-size businesses that want to offer online tutorials and training to their employees or other registered users of their website.

Content Organisation

The system allows instructors to manage course content delivery, prerequisite requirements, course lists, testing and analysis of student results. Administrators or instructors are able to upload multimedia files to enhance the training experience.

System Administration

The learning management system is easy to install with front end administration to add, block and assign users of the system. Joomlearn LMS can report and notify key personnel within the organisation of a user’s course results as well as issue certificates.

Why choose Joomlearn LMS?

Major benefits for selecting this approach to implement web based training with Joomla CMS and the Joomlearn LMS is:

1.       Platform leverages open source technology – Freedom to expand or integrate

2.       It offers considerable cost savings – Low cost of entry

3.       Includes ecommerce and all basic features required to track and manage student activity.

4.       Is simple and intuitive for both administrators and users

Comparing with other LMS products on the market it really highlights the value of Joomla CMS with the Joomlearn LMS Extension for delivering exceptional features, functionality and flexibility.

Choosing an LMS solution for your organization requires a close look at priorities and culture of your intended participants. CNP Integrations training and education department works with companies to help assess and evaluate the best options that will meet or exceed intended use and expectations. Leveraging the Joomla CMS open source platform for web based training can offer significant cost savings and allow you to grow a much more significant program with limited resources’. For more information on how CNP Integrations can help with your evaluation and assessment process call: 1-508-644-1553 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Problem

Corporate training and educational programs in general is a major topic of discussion right now. Funding cuts within our schools and the high turnover in the office combined with the need to tighten our belts and polish business processes are all waking folks up to the value of improving and or developing quality training resources. It is proven that education in the workplace will improve efficiency and productivity and help your company or remain competitive in a global economy. Schools and learning institutions have requirements for student results trackin and there is a shift required to evolve a more sustainable educational system.  This may require a blend of traditional settings as well as virtual training. Corporations and schools alike can reduce travel costs and transition times productivity lost shifting between locations. These and other key factors are all opening the door for the online or virtual training solutions.

Opportunities

The cost advantage of a Joomla Content Management System with integrated Learning Management capabilities now makes this capability within reach for small businesses, learning institutions and non-profit organizations.

New Social Community capabilities also can fuel the way we interact and share information. Since Joomla offers this capability through a host of extensions there are limitless opportunities for developing focused learning communities with segmented user groups.

Affordable Options for LMS

There are many options for Learning Management but a couple of major contenders in the open source community are Moodle LMS (Ideal for schools) as well as Joomla when using the numerous third party Learning Management System (LMS) extensions (More ideal for companies and Non-profit organizations). There's actually a "bridge" between the two systems that lets you utilize both Moodle and Joomla for the same user base. This technology capacity is a force multiplier that can open the doors for a lot of possibilities iff it is applied properly.

CNP Integrations has become an early adopters for this bridge on our http://www.givetoed.org project where we incorporated a number of tools for K-12 school teachers, parents and local community leaders to work with others and engage in conversations concerning the potential of education and related matters. While still a pilot project the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

Professional LMS is now within reach

There are many enterprise level systems used for conventional learning establishments and larger organizations but these tend to be expensive solutions to implement since the training and deployment costs are extensive. Until recently this has made Learning Management Systems far out of reach for the small and mid size business, local school districts  or non-profit organization.

What we have found is that by leveraging either a Joomla CMS (http://www.joomla.org) along with integrated LMS extensions or Moodle (http://www.moodle.org) or even a bridged combinations we are able to help deliver a reasonable scale of functionality and student tracking capability that puts the strength of Learning Management Systems available to small and mid-size businesses, learning institutions and non-profit organizations. Not only is this technology platform substantially more cost effective but each of the curriculum and education resources that we produce can be designed to be SCORM compliant and as a result can be integrated with virtually any other SCORM compliant Learning Management System should your requirements ever outgrow the platform. However, because the technologies continue to improve and scale with new features you may never need to look elsewhere.

Practical Applications of LMS

If you are a small business, training can help you deliver your products more consistently and position your company to be able to scale up or down to meet the needs in the marketplace and protect you from risk in employee turnover. If you are a School or educational institution it is important to segment your user types and track student progress. If you are launching complex business tools on the web you need to empower your users to get the most out of your technology investments. What this means is that utilizing the capabilities of Learning Management can offer benefits to businesses and organizations of many types and range in size. It also means that this may be a wise investment that can have short term and long term payoffs.

Experience to Succeed

Since most of our team has backgrounds in education and training there is a lot of passion in our company for incorporating professional development and training as part of the value in our service offerings. We will be dedicating this month as "Training Month" at CNP and moving forward you will see a lot more from us in training and curriculum development for educational products and services. We hope the articles and information that we present will generate conversation and help us find creative ways to help you engage your customers and better train your workforce using many of the cost effective solutions that we support.

Stay tuned for ongoing articles and reviews of LMS systems and approaches that can benefit your organization. We are eager to help you better understand the opportunity you can have with an effective online leaning or professional development program using our tools and expertise to implement them.

If you would like to have a demonstration or more information of any of the Joomla based learning management solutions or training we can offer, feel free to contact us so we can help you assess if what we offer will fit your needs.

Additional information can be found at: http://www.joomladesignservices.com

http://www.cnpintegrations.com

http://www.learningcrm.com

http://www.givetoed.org

2010 has been a boom year for web hackers. I hear that overall hacking was up more than 600% during the last year reported by Joomla ! web protection specialist Tom Canavan. Tom wrote a book labeled “Joomla! Web security” released through Packt publishing. A handful our customers experienced hacker problems this year which is certainly an issue that keeps all of us on our toes. A large majority of the hacks tend to be more embarrassing than anything however, many do affect intellectual assets, client assurance as well as corporate identity. Although hacking occurs in almost all public website systems and Content Management systems the Joomla! online community is among the fastest to reply as it is using one of the biggest worldwide systems of Joomla cms developers as well as skilled programmers. In our struggle of keeping the bad guys away we've drawn together a few ideas along with links that you ought to think about.

Tip one: While developing and designing any Joomla! website be sure you keep on top of an effective protection system as well as add these expenses in your on-going budget. A dynamic website calls for frequent focus which indicates a continuous investment of your time as well as resources to help keep this up. Hackers pound away at the central Content management system platform along with third party plug-ins in search of vulnerabilities. If you always make sure that your primary Joomla! Content management system along with extensions are operating using the most recent security patches you will save yourself lots of complications simply by protecting against a large portion of vulnerabilities. The more time a component exists but not patched the greater probability a hacker has to crack into your infrastructure. Remember, that for just about any reasonable website, you place lots of time as well as treasure into making this your home on the internet and unless you invest in guarding it the whole place may be blown up in a puff of smoke.

Tip two: Use professional components whenever feasible and be prepared to help with some of those initiatives that aren't. The reason is, powering the code are serious men and women and financial aspects works into the achievements as well as durability of those components. It really is a significant responsibility in order to maintain the stability and advancement of those development initiatives. The healthier you are able to enable them to develop into the healthier your own code possibilities are going to be to be able to develop your individual internet system over a period of time.

Tip three:
“Keep a clean house” as they say. Be sure you clear away any unused components and modules. This will not simply help in reducing the ways for any hacker to get access it will likely enhance the overall performance within your web site. Be sure file permissions are going to allow you the mobility you'll want to build out material however, button down the rest in order to additionally prevent risks.

Tip Five: Check out the alternative of utilizing a security tracking program. Often these solutions will be accessible via your current Web service provider. We've worked with the “Securelive” solution developed especially for Joomla! and thus far it is doing a fantastic job. There were a few performance problems while we were first having it set up but now it is very effective. Learn about it from www.securelive.net.

Tip six: Backup everything on a normal schedule and do not forget. This provides you with a far greater feeling of protection on several levels as well as defends you against more than hackers, and also protects against “human failures” at the same time. You might want to take a look at www.joomlaplug.com and http://www.akeebabackup.com/ for a couple Joomla! component alternatives we have used.

Tip seven: Have a look at exactly what security vulnerabilities might have an effect on your site most. The more you know the better prepared you will be. Here are a few blogs and posts we located that could further assist your own study ways for stopping hackers from spoiling your entire day as well as sending you and all of your group in “fire drills and rescue missions”:



Joomla Development CompanyJoomla is an exciting platform for growing your business online

One of the most exciting reasons for recommending Joomla as a platform to our clients is the vibrant global development community that continues to innovate and grow the platform’s capabilities. Others include; an open source architecture that allows us to provide economical solutions for our clients and ease of use for collaboration across a team of users with varied technical skills. This allows for a broader base of collaboration and empowerment across a team of stakeholders.

The current collection of extensions and add-ons for Joomla CMS is now over 4691 and new stuff is coming out daily. This provides tremendous flexibility and scalability over time. Our company specializes in Joomla development, we enhance and build new components or extend existing Components and Modules to add features or configure them in the most effective ways. If done right there are really limitless possibilities for achieving cost effective results and achieving targeted business goals.

Here case study for a recent solution we provided: Rokstories layout like Yahoo

RokStories is a module built by the folks at Rocket Themes. Rocket Themes is a Joomla template design company that has evolved their template architectures with innovative features. They have built integrated modules, plug-in’s and other superb functionality around stable and graphically pleasing Joomla 1.5 native and Joomla 1.0 compatible templates. Their team has one of the best template clubs available in the marketplace and we offer free use of http://www.rockettheme.com Joomla templates to our customers as part of our service engagements.

One of our clients wanted us to modify their RokStories module with a layout to look like the yahoo module content slide show as seen here: http://www.yahoo.com/. This is what our enhancement to the RokStories module looked like when we were finished: http://www.canonprofits.org. Some of the features are turned off in this installation but as you will see the same look and feel was achieved at a fraction of the cost compared to building such a module from scratch. This is a good example of what open source is all about, working with existing code to help a client achieve goals in the most efficient way possible. Building functionality like this from scratch would have taken a considerable effort, cost more and had a much longer development cycle. With a few hours of additional programming we were able to provide what the client wanted at a fraction of the cost.

Top 5 reasons to go with Joomla

  1. Using any open source platform will give you scalability but Joomla stands out since it is the most popular and best supported open source CMS platforms in the world.
  2. You can build out features freely and never be “held over a barrel” by a development company.
  3. You can always update over time and respond to your future needs.
  4. Joomla offers limitless flexibility for just about any business model with thousands of extensions and an easy to use administrative interface.
  5. Working with a talented group of Joomla! developers and consultants that understand Joomla both from a programmatic capability and from a business process and configuration capability will serve you well and allow you to get the most technology for your investment.

JomSocial and Joomla CMS help to initiate conversations

JomSocial is a perfect tool for meeting the demands of the marketplace and our overall shift in cultural interaction notably called “socialeconomics”. I have been reading a great new book by this title and in it there are many fascinating examples of how our society, now plagued with multi-tasking and the pace of a race car on the finishing lap, is using social media to “knock of several birds with a single stone” sort of speak. I recently started a new social community as a tool to centralize information about some of my views and those that I have collected about Public Education. The idea was to build conversations around topics that can help folks better understand not only what is at stake but perhaps where they can contribute their ideas and creativity in a way that can have impact on the end game. This www.givetoed.org community allows folks to interact with most of the popular social networking and community collaboration tools in a way that remains personal yet captures the spirit of teamwork.

Platform for communication, collaboration and education

The GiveToEd.org platform leveraged all of the key features found in the JomSocial Community suite for Joomla CMS and has the intention of centralizing conversational information that can increase awareness about targeted topical categories. The ability for anyone to contribute blog articles, calendar events and comments around these topics seems like a perfect application of these tools.

Since the JomSocial components are useful for expanding the user profile fields in Joomla CMS it is a huge compliment for a variety of web applications that want extended user profiles and registration form processing. I was an avid user and big fan of another such tool for several years now called Community Builder components. These were the first for the Joomla platform and are still a great choice for Social Networking sites and extending user profiles. However the overall architecture of the JomSocial suite of community tools is a little more user intuitive for a facebook style niche social community.

We will see more and more niche social communities moving forward.

I think we will see more of these types of niche communities over time since organizations like Linked in are the business networking “Chambers of Commerce” of the future. Businesses are competing globally now and our personal social circles are also much more diversified and geographically dispersed. As an example I joined facebook a while back but did not find many folks on there just a few “early adopters”, social media geeks like me. Since leavening the Mpls MN music scene in 2000 after a rewarding 15 year career in the music/entertainment business, I have been longing to connect with many of my old friends and colleagues. A few weeks back I found a few folks that knew a few folks that new a few folks and within a week I was instantly connected with nearly 300 wonderful people that I really missed and appreciate. They and I have been able to passively and personally interact in conversations in the weeks since. It is really neat to see what many of the folks, some I have not seen for 10 years, have been up to. Though I am half way across the country in a different world as a “family man a computer geek” I am able to connect to a part of me that I could have by no other means.

Relationship management tools will be the norm of tomorrow.

The Givetoed.org community we built is hoping to bring our local communities together around a central purpose of improving our public education. Social community and relationship management tools like this play an important role and create a bridge for people to communicate at a level they could not before. For example you can look at this two ways; One, you can get those spontaneous thoughts out with quick short messages that syndicate in real time for instant response to a broad audience quickly or you are able take your time with well articulated content you wish to share that could have a lasting effect on others opinions. These social web tools can help fill the gap of communication and collaboration between where we were not too long ago and where we are now and into the future.

Public Education is just one community that needs social media conversations

If the next generation of schools are going to be effective and affordable we will have to adapt to a world to a world we have yet to understand.  Just think, when a 1st grader this year graduates from college it will be 2026 give or take a year. Look back on what happened in the past 16 years and tell me if you could have predicted where you would be today back then.

I am thankful that the technologies like JomSocial for Joomla CMS much like Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have evolved to connect people and help us manage these many relationships

My hope is that many sites like our www.Givetoed.org social community web portal will bring people together to Collaborate, Communicate and Educate on important areas within our society. We learn more efficiently through interpersonal communication than by any other means. I hope you drop by and have a look around and even better yet leave your comments.