Topology notes

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Topology rules

Some rules are encoded within the block algorithm, depending on the node type, that make or make not possible some architecures.

  • Unlimited amount of Training Centers: A Catalog can provide course material to any amount of Moodles.
  • Unlimited amount of Factories: A Catalog can receive course material from any amount of Course Factories.
  • One Catalog per network: A Catalog must be unique in the Moodle publishing network. The publish flow is not yet able to monitor multiple remote published status.

Architecture samples

The French Pairformance Project : Performing massive teacher training within the National Education System

The Pairformance Project focusses massive training of teachers to be certified against the french IT ability certification called C2I2e.


Key features of the training project are :

  • The main situation is real training of teachers, using online or blended approaches
  • The training is widely distributed on all the Education System, that is strongly administratively divided into Academies
  • The training is organized in sessions, that is, grouping some trainees during a scheduled period (so called training sessions).
  • Multiple training sessions can be based on the same content (course unit)
  • Each division wishes having autonomy on what part of the training offer is distributed, and want to have autonomy on the organization of how it is presented and organized.
  • The local offers have to be consolidated within a state wide catalog, that will present the complete available offer
  • The National node has a presentational purpose, and needs regrouping state wide communities.
  • The teachers involved in the program will be sollicited for creating learning pathes.
  • There is no reason that all learning path authors be contained in separate workplaces. State wide collaboration must be encouraged for authoring course units.
  • The construction of course units and the training activity has no need to be located at the same place. Moreover, it might be helpfull not to mix different concerns so each community has a consistent workplace to work with.
  • Users are allowed to circulate in any node, being assigned local contextual roles in each node type.

Proposed topology

The resulting topology is:

french pairformance topology.jpg

Effect of the French model

In this model will the majority of the users be using training nodes, as French model is used for massive training. A small amount of users might roam to the factory node for producing new Learning Pathes, and a bigger part would connect to the National Catalog at least once to watch general services.

The model allows scalable growth of the number of training nodes, thus new institutions can be attached to the system. It also allows progressive setup of the full network, opening new nodes on demand.

The factory is unique, so all course authors are invited to produce within a single workplace and collaborate crossing academy boundaries.

Refeeding loop closing the loopback

French Pairformance model promotes final flexibility of the learning content, allowing final trainers to alter the delivered content. Any authorized trainer will thus construct an adapted variant of the provided course units, or use the exact delivered content.

The altered content may vary so much that a new learning path emerges. The feedback loop allows retrofitting the factory with the altered content to renew the life cycle.

pairformance refeeding loop.jpg

Case Study: Thinking about a collecting hub (similar to Moodle Hub approach in Moodle 2.0)

A submitted situation focussed using the publishing architecture capability for assessing the "trained teacher" before he get graduate for teaching. The construction of a course unit is presented as an assessment that requires assembling multiple skills to produce a consistant learning scenario using IT and digital assets.


Key features of the demand were:

  • Each college training teachers needs to require assessment to their own students
  • The workplace must be splitted, so college activity within the solution may not interfer.
  • Each working space is closed, with students working in and some lecturers that will pilot the work in progress.
  • The lecturers review, amend, and advise students performing the content construction.
  • The work can be performed as an individual, or within a team, but each team has to be given an autonomous workspace for construction.
  • The final status of an approved course unit is publication.
  • Published courses are freely viewable by everyone, under the editing responsibility of the lecturer(s).
  • Authoring credits of the original authors (students) are kept safe, althought the whole content might be guaranteed out of claim for property (creative commons).

Proposed topology

Proposed architecture is:

multiple factory topology.jpg

Effect of the multiple factory model

The multiple factory proposal allows each College to have a similar but autonomous home page for students and lecturers that can further be slightly customized to each college's need.

Setting a factory per college favor the workflow aspect, allowing to bump up the main process of the assessment: designing a Moodle Course. The multiple platform topology allows segmentation of the construction process, letting each college to adapt it's internal rules (or conversely being federated by a common administrator).

Rough material "under construction" will not be mixed with published material, as published material is being accessible on collecting Catalog.

Published courses will have long term stability, even if the originating course (construction instance) is being reviewed and altered, or destroyed. Public will not have to suffer of blinking content.

Further developments

The potentiality of the lecturers wanting to postprocess Learning Paths for maintenance and/or for refeeding other colleges or their own could have some architectural answer, altering the proposed solution.

Additional constraints could be expressed as:

  • Lecturers WANT to review courses
  • Review MIGHT NOT alter the currently published course, nor discard it from available publication.
  • Review MIGHT be performed across college boundaries, as being performed by lecturers.
  • Reviewed course might be published back to the general catalogue, replacing previous version, or as a new production.

multiple factory topology w postproc.jpg

Effect of the altered multiple factory model

Adding this additional node will allow having a separate communautary factory in which lecturers could review and rework exizsting courses. Moreover, this construction place might be usefull for building courses OUTSIDE the assessment process involving colleges and students.

The retrofitting loop would allow any lecturer to get material back to its local college context.

Case study: Applying the multinode model to small size implementation

This case study addresses low size (and budget) situations for small institutions. In such context, the publishing contribution should provide administration enhancements without a big footprint in complexity.


The constraints are foreseen as:

  • Low budget to pay people maintaining big size IT service infrastucture.
  • Lower technology footprint within the institutions.
  • Less amount of involved people in IT developement and daily use

As a consequence, the proposed solution intends using a very few number of nodes architecturing a simple publishing flow.

Proposed topology

simple topology.jpg