Josh Willcock, the Charity Learning Consortium’s very own technical whizz, likes a challenge. Frustrated at being told Moodle functionality to track compliance was ‘impossible’ to create, he set about turning it into a reality. The resulting technical feat makes life easier for L&D professionals as well as the learners they support.
In a nutshell, what is RoadMap Replay?
RoadMap Replay helps learners remain compliant by reminding them to re-do an eLearning course – or particular sections of a course – after a given period of time. It’s incredibly easy for learning and development practitioners to set the prompts up, fixing the timing to any amount of days, weeks, months or years. So in under five minutes, learning professionals can adapt existing courses to become suitable refresher modules. How cool is that?
What is ground breaking about RoadMap Replay?
As far as I know, no-one could do this using a Moodle learning management system (LMS) before. Which is quite surprising given the number of users – Moodle is the most popular LMS in the world, with more than 78 million users worldwide.
Believe me, we have tried to get this functionality for years. We were prepared to pay what I personally consider a silly amount of money to get someone to build this for us, but we were repeatedly told it couldn’t be done! I was so frustrated that I built it myself, in my spare time.
What difference will members of the Consortium see?
Well I really hope that it will make their work easier. It will definitely save them time. Our members will no longer have to create dedicated refresher courses or duplicate courses every year. Our RoadMap platform – a bespoke version of Moodle which we have created at the Consortium – is also cleaner looking and easier to use. Reporting is also much clearer and a huge amount of work can be automated. We’ve had fantastic feedback from our community, which makes all those late nights worthwhile.
What difference will learners see?
I hope that it will save them time and help to keep them on track. Learners will be prompted by emails and – when they log onto their LMS – they’ll be able to see if a compliance course is due soon, or if it’s overdue, or needs to be redone. It’s one of those things that they’ll probably just accept automatically without really thinking about it. It’s just such a logical feature to offer them.
Can anyone access this, or is it exclusive to the Consortium?
At the moment, this is exclusive to the Consortium. It feels great to be able to give our charities this level of functionality as part of their membership.
You worked on this project mainly in your own time. That’s dedication. Any idea how many hours it took?
I didn’t keep track but probably hundreds of hours. Enough to go through all 177 episodes of House M.D. in the background! I’m really pleased that I decided to tackle this, it feels great to have created something that other people said was impossible.
What three things did you learn from creating RoadMap Replay that you can share with others:
Nearly anything can be done, eventually.
Something incredibly complex in the backend can end up being five or six clicks for a user.
There are an awful lot of episodes of House M.D.
About Josh Willcock: Josh is the DevOps Manager at the Charity Learning Consortium. Fuelled by coffee and custard creams, he’s now looking for his next impossible project. Connect with him on Twitter @Josh_Willcock.
Read about some earlier developments Josh has made here: https://charitylearning.org/2016/02/moodle-development-supports-team-learning/