MINTED - Moodle Integration with Enterprise Data

Introduction - why Minted?

One of the challenges facing us when we adopt a learning management system (LMS) is handling staff roles and student enrolments in an efficient and scalable way that keeps pace with late enrolments and registration changes. This requires a robust solution to integration between the enterprise database and the LMS, preferably one that is standards-based, so that once the integration work has been done, it can be re-used in a number of different contexts.

The IMS Enterprise specification describes a way of representing Person, Group and Membership data - or Learner/Teacher, Course and Enrolment - and is an open technical specification for interoperability. Using this specification seemed to move us closer towards the E-Framework model for learning technology of small, agile services loosely coupled with standards-based exchanges of data.

So a team from the University of Sussex have been working on a JISC-funded project to explore how the IMS Enterprise and IMS Enterprise Services specifications can be used to integrate our enterprise database with the Moodle LMS. We have called our project Minted - Moodle Integration with Enterprise Data.

Aims and objectives of the Minted project

The Minted project is a JISC demonstrator project, and is based on an existing toolkit that implements the member component of the e-framework.

The Minted project is based on the IMS Enterprise SDK toolkit, developed by Scott Wilson and a team from CETIS.

One key role of demonstrator projects is to lower the barriers of entry for toolkit use. So our objectives include goals around making it easier for other institutions to adopt the toolkit. The objectives are:

  • Evaluate the ease of installation and use of the toolkit, and work with the toolkit developers around delivering additional documentation, installation notes, etc
  • Develop the toolkit further so that it can be used with an Oracle database, or any other database that uses JDBC
  • Develop a standard package for linking the toolkit to the institution's database, to make deploying the toolkit simpler for other institutions
  • Enhance the enrolment features of Moodle, making it easier for an institution to use Moodle enrolment in a scalable way that takes account of the need for departmental templates

The MINTED project ran between 2006-2007 and was funded by JISC as part of the E-Learning programme