Most of the updates are minor bug fixes and performance improvements, though we have now added the option for user to progress through courses in a linear way – so only allowed to move on to the next activity after completing the previous. This can be set up for the course when it is exported from Moodle, and there is still the option to allow the user to complete activities in any order they feel.
A video showing the new mobile content training app I’ve recently been working on:
There’s more info about the app on my personal blog (see here, here and here). If you’re interested in trying the app for yourself you can get it from Google Play – it’s a work in progress so any feedback is welcome.
I’ve recently been rewriting the mobile HEAT application and I now have a first version ready for people to test out. You can get the app from Google Play for installing on you Android phone. As it’s just a first version, I’d really appreciate any feedback (either email me directly or post a comment below), which is also why I’ve just posted it up here, rather than making it available on the Google Play store – which I’ll do once it’s been tested a little more.
Few notes comments on how to use the app and what it does:
As with the previous version, you’ll need a MQuiz login account (though you can register for this directly in the app). So you do need an active internet connection on your phone for this step.
Unlike the previous version, this app comes with no course content. This was one of the main reasons for rewriting this app: to decouple the content from the app. So after you’ve first logged in, click on the ‘manage modules’ button and you can get a list of the available modules you can install, so you can select which content you’d like to download. You’ll also need an active internet connection for doing this, though I have built in a way in which you can just put the course package directly on the phone SD card and it will auto install.
Once you’re logged in and have downloaded some content, an active internet connection is no longer needed.
For testing out the video content (in the “video demo” course), the videos are not included in the course download package (as it makes the download packages too large). If you’d like to test the video content, please download the .m4v files and place them all in the /mtrain/media/ directory on the phone sd card.
There are 3 main areas I’d really appreciate feedback on:
Tracking: as you navigate through the content (play videos and take assessment exercises) the app records your activity to submit back to the server (for example, so your course tutor/supervisor can see how you’re doing). The app tries to do this whenever you complete an activity (so connects to the internet at this point), but it may be that you’re offline at the time. Note that a text page is only considered as being completed if you have spent at least 3 seconds on the page before moving to the next one (to at least give some pretence that you may actually have read the content ;-)). To cover the possibility that you may be offline when using the app, but you still want your activity logged, the app also installs a service to try to connect once an hour to submit your activity, even if you’re not using the app. I’m a little unsure that this is the best approach, since I’m not too keen on applications connecting to the internet in the background, but I haven’t yet thought of a better way to handle this. I may just add a preference to allow you to decide if this service is allowed to connect or not. But any comments/thoughts on this appreciated.
Navigation: once inside a course module, I’d like some feedback on the navigation between the activities for each section in the course. Currently you can’t see a full list of all the activities for a given section, without clicking on the previous/next arrow buttons, as I wanted to avoid the user needing to go through another list selection page to get to the activity, but I’m not sure that what I’ve done so far is quite right.
App name: I’m not too keen on the app name ‘mTrain’, so any suggestions for alternative names welcome!
In the next days, for those of you who don’t have an Android phone to test this on, I’ll post up a video of the app in action.
Video demo of the patient management tools currently being used by Health Extension Workers on our project. This video shows the mobile protocols (using ODK), the mobile scorecard and analytics dashboard.
Here’s an updated video showing the OU HEAT content running on an Android smartphone and tablet showing embedded video content (videos stored locally on the device) and interactive self assessment exercises:
Thanks to all of you who took part in our Mobile Developer Challenge, we’ve spent that last couple of days reviewing the applications and we were very pleased with the standard of all the entries. The winning application was by Daniel Tareke, so congratulations to Daniel. A screenshot of his application is below and you can download his application from Sourceforge.
Win an HTC Hero smartphone by taking part in our Mobile Development Challenge
Create an Android application to maintain a task/appointment list for Health Extension Workers on their smartphones to help them manage their maternal care visits.
Closing date: Saturday 18th February 2012
Needs to work with Android v2.2 and above.
Stores the task data offline, connecting to the server to update the task list regularly. Update [20 Jan 2012]: Just to clarify, following a couple of queries, there is no requirement for the application to submit data back to the server, the task list is generated from information submitted by the HEws using OpenDataKit regarding their patient visits.
The task list will require a username and password (as get or post parameters) and will be provided by the server in JSON format. This is an example of the structure of the data that will be returned by the server, you can use this link to test your application – this is the format your application will be judged against.
Code must be released under an open source license and made available on a publicly accessible code sharing site (for example Sourceforge, GitHub, Google Code)
Your application must meet all the requirements to be eligible for the prize.
You must be an Ethiopian national, currently living in Ethiopia, to be eligible to enter.
Your mobile application will be judged on:
code structure, quality, error handling and commenting
user interface design
features available (for example: highlighting overdue tasks, grouping by task type etc)
All code submitted must be original and your own work.
The judges decision is final.
Help to get started:
If you are new to developing applications for Android, here are some links to help get you started:
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been looking at how we can deliver assessment and quiz activities on smartphones. The main requirements being that users can take the assessment activities offline on their phones, but the results can be submitted back, so we can track progress and results. We now have a prototype system available for anyone to try out: http://mquiz.org. The video below shows the client application in use:
Using mQuiz you can either create a quiz online, or you can import quizzes in the GIFT format. This format is used by Moodle, so if you have an existing quiz in Moodle you can export in GIFT format for importing into mQuiz, it will support multiple choice, multiple select, short answer, matching and numerical question types. Anyone can then take your quiz using their Android smartphone and results can be sent back to the mQuiz website for you to track responses.
We’re looking to create a more generic client application (probably HTML5) to enable running on a wider variety of platforms. All the code (both server and client) is open source, so you can even create your own mQuiz server or adapt the client, for more info see the developer page: http://mquiz.org/developer/.