European Centre of Technology
Based in Edinburgh, the European Centre of Technology (ECT) www.theECT.org is an approved professional body for education in Engineering, Management and Finance. Formed in 1975, they have access to 36 years of experience in training courses and have helped thousands of professionals and technicians to enter and succeed in the fields of Engineering, Management and Finance. ECT operate an online booking system for distance learning courses and examinations and after a number of years of operation, they were keen to offer an enhanced online experience to the market.
Ultimately, this would mean upgrading their existing Moodle platform to take advantage of enriched online features, such as:
- Greater flexibility in booking courses and examinations online.
- Automatic reminders for course participation and examinations.
- Automatic dispatch of course certificates upon completion.
Pulsion Technology was approached directly by ECT to assist with this important project and after a short scoping exercise to understand ECT’s objectives, Pulsion was successfully appointed to deliver the upgrade project. The project team responsible initially set up and configured the new online booking system using the open-source learning management software, Moodle. All of the original course content was migrated from the previous system to the newly developed system and the Moodle system was then customised to suit their needs, including;
- Adding custom profile field notes that can only be seen by administrators.
- Creating a custom authentication plugin so that fields that are not required by default can be made optional.
- Heavy customisation on ‘booking’ and ‘certificate’ Moodle third-party plugins in order to adhere to ECT’s requirements.
Additionally, functionality to facilitate automatic recording while students sit exams was introduced via a third party plugin. The project team kept in regular contact with ECT, deploying user acceptance testing on an ongoing basis. In partnership with ECT, Pulsion Technology developed an automatic online exam booking system, where students can book their exams and access them only in the time slot they have booked. After completing the exam, the student receives an email advising them of their results. The system allows ECT to choose whether to send the results email immediately or delay for a short period. If the student has been successful, the email will contain a custom created certificate. The new online booking system benefits ECT in a number of ways:
- As the system was developed in open-source web framework Bootstrap 3 and the latest version of Moodle, it takes advantage of the built-in security systems and coding standards already available within Moodle and PHP. The new system also has a more dynamic and up to-date look and feel.
- ECT can publish multiple slots for exams however the student can only book 1 slot and can only sit their exam in the slot booked. ECT can choose which students receive the results email right away and who shouldn’t receive it at all.
- ECT will have a recording of the student taking the exam which is saved in the system.
- The issuing of certificates is automatic – there is no need for ECT to send the certificates to the student themselves. Automating online exam booking.