24 May 2020

Tips & Advice

Matthew O'Connor

Marketing Manager

It’s a strange thought but one of the best aspects of online learning is the fact that you no longer need to be online to do it.

Advances in technology have allowed for increased levels of offline access to learning management systems. While online learning retains its key advantage of being something you can do quickly and easily on the internet, it now comes with the increased flexibility of being accessible offline. That often means being able to access and complete entire courses on your phone and without the need for an internet connection.

If your learners are not currently using your LMS offline, it’s worth considering the potential benefits of introducing offline learning to your organisation.

 

Why do you need offline learning features?

Learners now expect to access information at a time that’s convenient to them. The ability to use your LMS offline needs to be a key consideration when planning a new learning platform.

Using an LMS offline app will allow your learners to continue their learning even when they are:

  • Experiencing connectivity issues.
  • Travelling or commuting.
  • On the go and not wanting to use mobile data.
  • Out of the office or classroom and reliant on their phone.
  • Working in remote locations.
  • In the middle of a power cut.

As such, using an LMS offline provides greater productivity, better use of time and a more satisfying user experience. Learners can fit training around their work without having to worry about first finding a suitable internet connection.

Offline learning also means that learners’ experiences of media-rich courses are not impacted by poor internet connections. Audio, video and touch functionality all work as well as they would if the user was online.

 

How does an offline LMS work?

Offline learning usually operates via the official app of your LMS platform. For example, Moodle offers an app that provides offline learning to users of its platform.

As you would expect, an internet connection is required to download the app and relevant learning content. But the courses can then be completed offline without a connection. You only need to connect to the internet again when you want to sync or update content.

 

Using Moodle offline

Moodle users benefit from the offline sync capabilities of its LMS offline app Moodle App (formerly known as Moodle Mobile). The app allows learners to synchronise with the Moodle server, and access course materials, activities and content while offline.

Since the app was first launched in April 2013, it has developed to keep pace with changing technologies and improving offline features. Learners using Moodle App offline can:

  • Browse course content.
  • Send private messages.
  • Take course notes.
  • Write forum posts and wiki pages.
  • Complete surveys, quizzes and assignments.

Their activity will sync with Moodle when they go online again. All course content can be downloaded in one go in preparation for an extended spell of offline learning.

 

Using Totara offline

Totara doesn’t currently support offline learning. It’s expected to release its first native mobile app, which will include offline learning features, in October 2020 as part of the Totara 13 release.

The Totara app will be available on iOS and Android and provide features including:

  • Offline SCORM player capabilities.
  • Learner view of incomplete courses, certifications and other relevant learning items, plus progress information.
  • Push notifications.
  • One-time login when launching mobile-friendly course content from within the app.

 

Offline learning for your organisation

Talk to us about how an offline LMS could improve your learners’ experiences or discuss the forthcoming Totara mobile app. Or book a demo to see the offline learning features Moodle LMS. Fill out the form below to request a callback or connect with us via live chat and our team will be happy to help!

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