Summary: Docebo is another open source LMS which functions well with Articulate.
Difficulty: Medium

While 2010 has got off with a bad start in Haiti, this year looks to be an exciting one on the technological front. The Apple iTab or iSlate tablet seems likely to be announced next week, 3D television is apparently just round the corner and who knows what other surprises may be in store for us?

Doing it the Italian way…

Last year, I started a short series on well known and lesser known open source learning management systems and in this post we continue with a look at a third European system called Docebo.

As we have already seen, getting your own LMS does not have to be an expensive and fastiduous process. In the first two posts of this series, we looked briefly at Dokeos and Dokeos Campus, and eFront. With the Docebo headquarters in Milan, this LMS is particularly popular in Italy but with about 55% of their installation manual downloads being in English as opposed to Italian, it is clearly proving popular throughout the rest of the world.

I met up with one of Docebo’s executives at Online Educa Berlin last December and understood very quickly that their focus, like most of the open-source providers we’ll be looking at, is on expanding what they call the Corporate LMS sector and providing the services required by those companies. The LMS itself is free so if you need something cheap (ie. for free), you might want to give it a whirl.

Check out the demo account

First let’s have a glimpse of Docebo feels like. I have set up a demo Docebo account which you can access here.

Register and log in to Docebo demo LMS here

You’ll need to register and you can fake everything except your mail since open registration MUST be confirmed by mail. (this is a feature of Docebo and cannot be changed). Once you get your registration mail, just click on the link and your registration will be confirmed.

You won’t be subscribed to any courses, but click on the Course catalog and choose the “Test Presentation” course.

You’ll need to click on a “Subscribe” button, and then an “Enter” button.

To access the presentations, click on the Course tab in the left menu.

As with the eFront, I have set up four presentations, each set to be accessible after completing the one before it.

After successfully completing the four presentations, you can print a certificate.

What is good about Docebo.

  • To be honest, there seem to be quite quite a few nice things about Docebo but I think without a doubt, the feature I prefer is how the Articulate or SCORM content opens up in what is known as a Lightbox or Thickbox effect (see image below).

    The rest of the LMS interface is darkened out and the effect is slick and smooth. Also, the Articulate player is resized automatically to best fit in the window so there are no issues of unused space as we have seen in some other systems.

  • There are a lot of advanced features including forums and chat, plus, as we have seen, there is the possibility to set up prerequisites very easily so that Presentation 1 must be seen before going on to Presentation 2 etc.
  • The interface, while a little complex in places, is relatively easy to work around.
  • Installation was quite easy (see below).
  • What’s not so good.

  • The interface layout is pretty fixed. It is possible to adjust the templates via CSS but changing some of the basic images or logos requires editing the images on the server direct rather than going through the LMS interface.
  • Some of the English is not English (!) but that’s not too much of a problem as there is an inbuilt tool to change all the text labels in the interface and have multi-lingual support as my demo tries to show.
  • I find that some of the support material is sparse and the forum responses a little consise. As with most open source solutions, you get what you pay for, and you cannot really expect people to support you for nothing.
  • The Articulate reporting is accurate but basic. You get the percentage in quizzes and passed and completion in quizzes or presentations, but you do not get the specific responses of users even though this data is passed on to the LMS. I tested in both SCORM 1.2 and SCORM 2004. This obviously contrasts with the full reporting available in Articulate Online.

  • How to install.

    I went to the Docebo download page and downloaded the latest (beta) version of their LMS (they have a ‘solid’ version too). Like with eFront, I installed on my Siteground server and had no major issues though one of my PHP values was flagging up as red which I chose to ignore. Nonetheless, documentation is sparse and I found myself using eFront documentation to install Docebo ! If you have trouble installing Docebo on Siteground, let me know.

    Creating a course in Docebo and importing SCORM content.

    Once you get the hang of it and have got round the Docebo logic, it is not too difficult to import Articulate SCORM into Docebo. This Screenr shows you the main steps as well as looks at the reporting from within the system.



    View on iPhone

  • First you need to create a course.
    1. Login as admin and go into the Admin Area.
    2. From the top menu, go Elearning -> Elearning -> Course Management
    3. Give your new course a code and a name and for the moment leave everything else as is.
    4. Click on Create at the bottom right of the page (you’ll need to scroll down).

  • To be able to add content to the course, you’ll need to attribute yourself as a user.
    1. Click on the symbol which pops up with the text “Enrol users in this course” (a little teacher with a green plus sign).
    2. Subscribe you (the administrator) to the course and click Confirm.
    3. Give yourself administrator priviliges to the course and click Subscribe User.

  • Now that you are user in the course, you can jump back to the main LMS and start adding your content.
    1. In the top menu, go to Jump to LMS.
    2. Select the course you just created.
    3. Go to the Teacher Area tab on the left and select Admin learning object.
    4. With the Course Objects tab highlighted by default in the centre of the page, click on New Learning Object.
    5. Select Load Scorm Object and click on New Learning Object.
    6. Now browse to your LMS zip file that you created with Articulate (either SCORM 1.2 or SCORM 2004) and click on Upload Content Package. Your SCORM package will be uploaded and viewable immediately.

    Like with eFront, you can upload several SCORM objects in a same course and set pre-requisites. You do that by clicking on the key and page symbol to the right of your admin learning object.

    You can also create a certificate in the Admin area and attribute it to a particular course such that when all of the learning objects have been completed, the certificate is made available for the user to display and print (see demo above).

    Conclusion

    If you are looking for a simple, non-expensive tool to organize and distribute your Articulate content, without being too concerned about detailed reporting, then Docebo is well worth looking at.

    Finally, if you are in London next week, come and say hello at the Learning Technologies 2010 exhibition at the Olympia. I’ll be at the Articulate stand (#124) with our Vice President Don Freda showing all the great things you can do with Articulate. See you there!


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    3 Responses

    1. [...] Dave Moxon reviews Docebo, another Articulate-friendly open-source LMS [...]

    2. Michael says:

      Very nice! I had a problem trying to figure it all out how to import a Scorm file. Thanks a lot. This is very helpful. I would be most grateful to see more video’s like these if that is not too much to ask. I am still trying to build my own e-learning website.

    3. Any person from Docebo.com is reading this website?

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