Monday, October 16, 2006

Breaking the impasse

I find that there is a point during any lengthy creative process where I find myself staring blankly at the project. I don’t quite understand what I have, have no idea whether it is going to work, and have no idea where to go from here.

I was at that point last week – hence my sporatic blogging.

During those times, I find myself doing a LOT of research – in an attempt to break the impasse. For the Moodle project, the impasse broke on Thursday.

We are implementing Moodle for the reporting. For good reporting, we need to understand what types of reports we need and how best to publish our Captivate files to get the right metrics.

I spent Wednesday staring at the mySQL database behind Moodle. I didn’t see an easy way to query the database for the types of reports I want to run. One of the other IT staff suggested that we may need to install more reporting tools. This didn’t make a lot of sense. So Ta and I finally sat down with Vandana, our database guru.

Using Vandana’s experience with reporting tools, we finally found the keys to running queries off of the Moodle database. Even better, Vandana was excited about what she saw, “This thing is really robust! We can run reports off of this database and our other databases!” Excellent news. We can start thinking about reports to see how well the training works in the real world and also the return on investment in $$$$$.

Looking at the reporting options, I realized that I did not have to republish the 60 tutorials I currently use. Since I will have to trash 50 of them in February with the major upgrade, I did not relish the thought of republishing these tutorials (again).

When I build the new tutorials for upgrade, I will publish them as 800x600 SCORM files. This will give me time and attempts metrics, and optimum visual quality for our systems.

This Wednesday, I am going to meet with the rest of the IT department to show them what Ta and I have been up to. We are going to have them test our system and give us some ideas for improvement. This will also give us more metrics for us to manipulate in preparation for the big meeting next Monday.

I will give more details as I get the time to write them down. Right now, I am racing to populate some courses for testing.

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