#Angel to Moodle course converter (ConversionThingy 2) released #lms #Blackboard

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This resource was recently submitted to Moodlenews and is worthy of a share.  Please note that we have not tested this (but if someone does have access to Angel and wants to let us know the process, perhaps with a video, it would be welcome).

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Angel Learning Management System was acquired by Blackboard in May 2009 for approximately 95 million USD.

ConversionThingy 2 is a program that reads ANGEL 7.3 and 7.4 course archives and converts their course content into native objects in Moodle 1.98 backup files. The conversion brings in as much as it can reasonably translate from the one LMS to the other: most of the items ordinarily located under the ANGEL Lessons tab get shifted, including folders, pages, url links, files, discussion forums, dropboxes, assessments, and WIKIs. Also included in the conversion are gradebook categories and assignments (along with their content linkages and weights), grade scales (mapping number/letter grades), chat rooms, team ids (and descriptions), and question banks…

Converted materials turn up…as native Moodle objects that can be further manipulated, configured, and edited as though they had been created in Moodle.

According to Dr. Peter Friesen who submitted the resource,

After countless cups of coffee and many many late nights, I’m pleased to let you know that “ConversionThingy 2” – a tool for migrating ANGEL 7.3 and 7.4 files to Moodle – is now available. Documentation, license info, and the program itself are all to be found at http://www.conversionthingy.net.

(The link is no longer functioning.)

In the world of course conversion this seems to be a great step in providing easy transition from one LMS to another.  If you’re a current Angel user looking to migrate, give it a test and let us know how it fares.

3 COMMENTS

  1. The Center for Adult and Professional Studies at Lee University has been using Conversion Thingy for the last couple of months. What a life saver and time saver. It certainly beats the heck out of manually converting (i.e. copying and pasting) high content courses.

    Three things I would recommend:

    1. The first thing we did was print the map view in Angel. This served as our guide to compare with the uploaded content with the original course. I would encourage anyone converting from ANGEL to Moodle to do the same.

    2. One of the things we did was to keep the ANGEL downloads in one folder and the Moodle export into another. This made it much easier for finding the Moodle files when it came time to upload. BTW, it takes a lot longer than one would think to create the ANGEL archive file and to save it than to convert and upload. Just be prepared for it to take longer than one would expect.

    3. Try a couple of single course conversions first to get the feel of how Conversion Thingy works then go for batch processing.

    We had a couple of issues, which I have passed on to Mr. Friesen, to make you aware of.

    98% of the time, all converted content was in the appropriate folder, just not in the order sequence as found in the lesson folder within Angel. Example: we could have Exercise 1-5 in the folder and it would convert to 3, 1, 4, 5, 2 when uploaded. Maybe this was resolved in the latest version. It was still much faster to reorganize than to manually move from ANGEL to Moodle.
    All course content copied however if there was link to a file we needed to go in and select the file to make the link active. (If you first clicked on the link it would not locate the file. Go in and edit the link, then it would work. Just double check all your file links work. Again this may have been resolved in the latest edition.)

    BTW, initially we tried going into the ANGEL archive and manipulating the file to make is SCORM compliant. A royal pain in the bum and waste of time after working with Conversion Thingy.

  2. One more note on our experience at Lee.
    We started to test how long it would take to manually copy one course from Angel to Moodle. In two hours I had the course up and ready to run from the initial archiving of the course to being ready to putting students into the course. After the person saw what I had done, they stopped the test knowing the amount of time to manually get things copied would have been a frustrating waste of time.

  3. Mitchell, thanks for sharing your experiences with ConversionThingy2. I hope that other users will see the value and utilize the tool in order to make their transitions/migrations more efficient and less painful.
    Cheers,
    Joe

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