Alfresco for Education

alfresco-nfp-edu

 A key component in a best-practice, holistic educational technology architecture is a learning content management system (LCMS). Acting as a content layer behind the presentation layer of the LMS, the Alfresco LCMS acts as a repository for development, workflow, version and state management for the learning content that is central to the online learning capability of educational institutions.

COPHE’s preferred software architecture components have been selected because they have the complementary functionality to create a coherent educational technology suite for member institutions. Alfresco comes with both inherent high level functionality and robustness as well as a deep set of integration interfaces including the Andresco Alfresco-Moodle integration interface.

Alfresco is the world’s largest open source Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platform, and has been bringing its power and flexibility to the Learning Content Management System (LCMS) space in collaboration with Moodle (via the Moodle-Alfreso integration ‘Andresco’) since early 2011.

Some of the salient features of Alfresco that stand out when compared to other LCMS offerings in the space include:

  • A fully open source version as well as a highly QAed and supported version
  • A rich and vibrant online community with hundreds of regular contributors of code and advice
  • The quality of the architecture and business knowledge of the product space arising from the experience of the founders
  • The level of robustness of the Enterprise edition in particular, and the sheer scale of some of the implementations meant that the product was proven to scale to the levels required for any current or potential client-partner in the Asia-Pacific region
  • Full integration with the desktop – the ability to set up any part of the Alfresco repository tree as a network shared folder for drag and drop contribution, editing and access
  • The focus on inheritance and automation: the ability to assign aspects and rules to content in any part of the repository rather than be limited to static collections, and to have those aspects and rules automate everything from versioning and workflow steps to converting between document types and automatic capture of metadata
  • Google Docs/Google Drive integration for highly effective realtime collaboration
  • A strong focus on standards including CMIS compliance and APIs for generic access

Alfresco is used in leading organisations such as the University of Westminster, Macquarie University, EA Sports, Toyota and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP). As well as supporting learning content management, the system can scale horizontally to support online collaborative project spaces (with blogs, wikis and so on), document, email and records management, and has well developed and freely available iOS and Android clients.

COPHE’S Educational Technology partner, Androgogic, prefers to deploy Alfresco as the LCMS and this choice is built on now many years of experience building and integrating LCMSs including Equella and Alfresco as the underpinning technologies. Alfresco integrates more elegantly into Moodle than other LCMSs, is Open Source, and has a very broad and powerful feature set outstripping other possible technology choices. Alfresco for Education