Using Outsystems for e-learning
Application Type
Traditional Web, Mobile

I'm relatively new to OutSystems and I was wondering if there are any apps or examples where OutSystems is used to build an e-learning application, or what is coming near to such functionality. I've searched the community and internet and I didn't found anything so far. Maybe I've missed some entries? Or is there a good reason why Outsystems seems  to be not used for such functionality?

mvp_badge
MVP
Solution

Hi Kevin,

It will all depend on the level of customization you need for your particular use cases. For the ones you have described so far, the Learn section of the OutSystems website is the perfect example. As far as I am aware, the exception is Rise 360 modules/SCORM.

  • Community Users are self-service (you register on your own and can manage your profile)
  • YouTube video is integrated in many lessons, as is text, images, documents and even zip files with learning resources
  • You have lessons (and exercises), quizzes, sections, courses and guided paths to help you organize your learning experience. These are also classified using tags/categories. You even have a Training planner to help you build a customized learning experience based on your needs.
  • Users can keep track of their progress in each course they are following. This includes a gamification component.

There are surely back-office features to keep track of learners' progress so decisions regarding the experience can be made by the development team (this is me speculating, but that data is definitely being used to drive the evolution of the system) 

Generically speaking, the platform provides you the tools for most of what you need to develop an LMS. It will depend on how much effort you want to put into it:

  • A robust user management can be built on top of the existing back-office provided out of the box. I'm sure by now you will be able to find implementations of these on the Forge, including things like self-service or onboarding journeys.
  • Uploading and Downloading files is supported, as is embedding standard content that is supported by HTML5. There are also components to embed resources from other sources (YouTube videos, for instance) and to provide easy-to-use rich-text editors.
  • Complex data-models can be defined and used, in order to support the desired level of flexibility.
  • There are pre-existing templates for Dashboards, and you can easily create yours, so both learners and others can easily keep track of progress.

SCORM (which Rise 360 exports) would be the one thing not easily supported, as there is no pre-built component to read/play it, so you'd need to invest time and effort on building that.

Why don't you see examples of those systems implemented in OutSystems?... Probably because often they are internal to organizations, so there is no outside visibility? Or because the effort of building (and maintaining!) them in-house isn't cost effective and COTS solutions are used instead.

Sorry for the long post!...

Hi Kevin,

As per the Outsystems Platform model, you can visualize it has all the stable widgets and components available to build e-learning applications especially (Reactive and Mobile) in the current scenario. As you mentioned domain is e-learning we need to integrate many third-party services like (google drive etc.,) those integrations can also be done with outsystems. You may not be seeing any example applications deployed to confirm this, but definitely, as per my experience I have seen, there are many real-time projects implemented in OS for the e-learning domain. As they are confidential I can't disclose the exact details. 

Understand the platform then you will have a clear idea of what is possible what is not.

Regards,

Saravanan Santhanam


mvp_badge
MVP

Hi Kevin,

A reason for that, other than the one Saravanan mentions, is that there are robust and well established open-source (and not so open-source) e-Learning platforms. Learning Management Systems are a complex beast and tackling them from scratch will not be something to undertake lightly when there are other viable options.

But If I'm not mistaken, the Learn section of OutSystems website itself is implemented in OutSystems... I'd say that can be considered an e-Learning application?

Can you share what sort of use cases you are interested in?

Hi Jorge,

Yes, I know several excellent LMS-platforms.

Use cases where I'm especially interested in are those where: 

  • OS already is used as a (basic) system with CRUD functionality for users. I'm familiar with e.g. Laravel where there are several good apps which have this basic functionality and where you can build on.
  • e-learning content or modules can easily be placed / uploaded / integrated in the system. This could be e.g. video's, documents etc, but also e-learningcontent that's produced in other more specialized systems. E.g. Articulate 360 Rise webmodules.
  • the e-learning content can be organized in 'learningsections'.
  • users (now called 'students' or 'learners') can follow the courses and trainingpaths and have an overview themself of what has been followed.

That's mainly what I had in mind. 

On top of the above functionality one can naturally go much further (monitoring learning results by 'teachers',..,...), but this would be more for the very future. And IMO it's then better to use an existing LMS-platform, link this to your OS and synchronize user accounts.

I've seen the Learn section of OS also, it has several elements of above which come close to it. Main question for me is now, is there already an OS-app (open source) available that has minimal the CRUD functionality.

mvp_badge
MVP
Solution

Hi Kevin,

It will all depend on the level of customization you need for your particular use cases. For the ones you have described so far, the Learn section of the OutSystems website is the perfect example. As far as I am aware, the exception is Rise 360 modules/SCORM.

  • Community Users are self-service (you register on your own and can manage your profile)
  • YouTube video is integrated in many lessons, as is text, images, documents and even zip files with learning resources
  • You have lessons (and exercises), quizzes, sections, courses and guided paths to help you organize your learning experience. These are also classified using tags/categories. You even have a Training planner to help you build a customized learning experience based on your needs.
  • Users can keep track of their progress in each course they are following. This includes a gamification component.

There are surely back-office features to keep track of learners' progress so decisions regarding the experience can be made by the development team (this is me speculating, but that data is definitely being used to drive the evolution of the system) 

Generically speaking, the platform provides you the tools for most of what you need to develop an LMS. It will depend on how much effort you want to put into it:

  • A robust user management can be built on top of the existing back-office provided out of the box. I'm sure by now you will be able to find implementations of these on the Forge, including things like self-service or onboarding journeys.
  • Uploading and Downloading files is supported, as is embedding standard content that is supported by HTML5. There are also components to embed resources from other sources (YouTube videos, for instance) and to provide easy-to-use rich-text editors.
  • Complex data-models can be defined and used, in order to support the desired level of flexibility.
  • There are pre-existing templates for Dashboards, and you can easily create yours, so both learners and others can easily keep track of progress.

SCORM (which Rise 360 exports) would be the one thing not easily supported, as there is no pre-built component to read/play it, so you'd need to invest time and effort on building that.

Why don't you see examples of those systems implemented in OutSystems?... Probably because often they are internal to organizations, so there is no outside visibility? Or because the effort of building (and maintaining!) them in-house isn't cost effective and COTS solutions are used instead.

Sorry for the long post!...

Hi Jorge,

Thx for the extensive post! I've now many inputs for exploring OS further for this purpose.

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