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ELIS - Alfresco Learning Object Repository 1.9 Manual

ELIS Learning Object Repository

by default, ELIS uses the Open Source Enterprise Content Management System (CMS) by Alfresco.

The ELIS Alfresco integration provides for a folder for each user, where instructors, students, etc. can place files which they can access from anywhere on the site. The integration enables Moodle users to access their files via Moodle, using a desktop folder, a WebDAV client, or via an optional embedded java file manager, or by accessing Alfresco's online interface directly.

The repository can be set to enforce a maximum size on user's file directory, and administrators can set up content rules, workflows, metadata, etc. via Alfresco's online interface. Quotas and passwords are set in Moodle.

Why use the Alfresco ECM as the File System for Moodle?

With ELIS 1.8, Remote-Learner has vastly improved the ability of Clients to use Alfresco ECMS, a world class content management system, as the main file system for their Moodle sites.

So why would an institution want to use Alfresco as the file system for Moodle? There are number of great reasons; here are just a few.

  • Alfresco contains versioning capabilities that the Moodle file system does not. This means if a teacher or administrator accidentally or purposefully overwrites a file in Moodle (e.g. updates a homework assignment with new content), Alfresco retains both the original version of the file and the updated version in case the teacher or someone else would like to access the original file. Without Alfresco as the file system for Moodle, the original file in Moodle would be lost.
  • Alfresco will not actually delete files even if the teacher accidentally deleted it from Moodle. Instead, Alfresco will retain a copy of the deleted file where the site administrator can retrieve it and undelete it in Moodle.
  • Alfresco contains rich search capabilities. This enables users to search for file content across all of the various Moodle classes an institution has - they will see only the content they have permission to see. The Alfresco file permissions are automatically set by Moodle's roles system, although the site administrator can override or modify these. This means teachers working in Moodle have a straightforward and efficient way of finding and accessing content saved in Moodle by others via Alfresco. The Moodle file system does not include such file searching capabilities.
  • When used with ELIS 1.9 - our Alfresco implementation supports organizational and sub-organizational folders, where everyone in an organization has certain permissions to view and/or edit the files in the organizational folder.
  • Finally, files put into Alfresco can be linked to from any number of Moodle courses - when the file is updated in one place, the changes are instantly visible in all the courses the file has been used in.

All of this additional functionality is delivered without changing the teacher’s current user experience with Moodle*. They still navigate to the same place in Moodle that they usually do to both save and open files. They don’t need training or otherwise need to learn new software. Institutions and IT Pros can deliver the same Moodle experience their teachers are accustomed to.

*Although, as described in subsequent pages, via our Alfresco integration teachers and students can setup desktop folders, WebDAV clients, etc. to batch upload/download and manage files on Linux, Windows, MacOS, iPhoneOS, etc.