How Conduit, an Open LMS-Exclusive Automation Plugin, Saves You Time
Powerful learning management systems make your administrators’ lives easier without compromising the user experience. Developing high-quality adult learning requires significant time and effort. While Moodle™’s open-source software is a great starting point for many institutions, its basic features aren’t the most efficient for completing administrative tasks.
Learning and development professionals can create stellar educational experiences for their users when they have the time and resources to do so. That’s why we sat down with our Director of Product Management, Laura Martin Prieto, to discuss Conduit, an exclusive feature of Open LMS designed to automate administrative tasks and make LMS management easier.
So Laura, what is Conduit, and how does it help with operating an LMS?
Conduit is an Open LMS-exclusive plugin for Moodle™ that automates recurrent administrative tasks. User creation, course enrollments, and other similar activities can run on their own when our clients install Conduit. The plugin can even create courses from scratch, creating a default, shell-like course with no content in it, or it can create a course based on a template or another referenced course. It will copy all content and information and create a replica.
It’s one of our most popular plugins and is very user-friendly and intuitive. We think of Conduit as a bridge between the client’s student information system (SIS) and our systems. The main thing to remember is that we’re removing the need for our clients’ LMS administrators to duplicate data, saving them time while reducing overall human error.
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How does it work?
We start with the data from our client’s SIS. The SIS contains user and enrollment information, as well as a record of which courses a specific user needs to take. Integrating the client’s SIS with Conduit ensures that information isn’t duplicated. For example, if a client creates a new user in its SIS, then that new user is also created automatically in our database.
There are two ways we can get our client’s information into the system. The first is via an API integration. An API (“application programming interface”) defines how users can access information in a system. When our clients connect their SIS with our API, the information flows between the two systems.
If our clients want to upload their student information via Excel or plain text files, we offer that as an option too. They can upload approximately 10,000 lines of Excel data.
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Who could benefit the most from using Conduit?
Conduit could be used by many organizations, but higher learning institutions will likely see the most benefits. The most painful and recurrent tasks for LMS administrators to manage are enrollments, course creation, and new user creation.
Colleges and universities deal with an incredible volume of enrollees, and many offer extensive course portfolios. We have some clients who need to update 10,000 users within a matter of hours. Conduit handles this with ease. Trying to manually complete projects of that scale on a consistent basis could leave room for errors. Automating these processes can free up the LMS administrators’ time for other projects.
What’s a common example of a Conduit use case?
Using Conduit can help administrators create course templates. Let’s say a university has a course it wants to replicate, like a popular entry-level mathematics class required for most students.
Conduit will allow administrators to copy courses automatically. For this to happen, the LMS administrators take out the information from the original course that doesn’t apply to the new one being created. For example, prior versions of the course may have grade or cohort information that are not needed by the new course instance. If any information or elements need to be added, the administrators can do that without creating a new course from scratch.
Our users really love Conduit. It improves their experience with their learning platform.
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