Problems with Kolibri exams

I am attempting to teach myself how to use the Kolibri LMS with khan academy material. I am able to create classes, groups, assign teachers and students etc, and I am able to create lessons for the classes. However, the exams function not only doesn’t seem to work, it appears to crash the browser. I have tried with both Chrome and Mozilla. The create new exam page appears, I name the new exam, and specify the number of questions. Then there is nothing else to do on the page except click a checkbox next to Khan Academy or cK-12. When I click in the Khan checkbox, the page becomes unresponsive and I have to close and reload the browser and re-login. After persisting a bit, I found that at least on 2 tries it did generate an ‘exam’. However the questions on that exam appear to be drawn from an entirely different section of the Khan library than the section I used for the lesson. Very puzzling. At no point in the exam creation process did it ask me what material the questions were to be drawn from. Very puzzling. The ‘exams’ function seems vital to making Kolibri work, so any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Are you using Kolibri Studio?

Thanks so much for your reply @khinelay, I have not used Kolibri Studio yet. Do I need it? I notice that my Rachel Plus has version 9.2 kolibri installed, but checking the Kolibri changelog at https://github.com/learningequality/kolibri/blob/develop/CHANGELOG.md, it seems like the latest release is 12.8. Could this account for the problems?

Hello Brian,

At first, I thought you are creating the new channel. To create a new channel, we need to use the Kolibri Studio. Now, I’m aware that you are using the contents from existing channels in Rachel+.

I’ll test it the quiz and tell you later.

Khine

Thanks! Am I correct about the version being old? looks like many important changes, not just bug fixes have occurred since v9 .e.g as v11 exams now called ‘quizzes’

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Hi @Brian_Stanton – you are correct, we haven’t kept up to date with Kolibri software on RACHEL. It’s not as simple as clicking an update button unfortunately. There are some complicated interactions between the two systems. We’re working right now on a pathway to get to version 12.8 or perhaps 12.9 by the time we release it. Stay tuned for a process on how to update.

Best,
Jeremy

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Thanks @jeremy for your reply. Kolibri seems to be working except for the quiz function. But that’s a core function. I have reasonable Linux terminal skills. If I SSH’d in and installed the latest .deb, would that solve the problem? You would have to provide me with the credentials to do so and I would void my warranty (not a disaster). Not sure what your timetable is for browser based solution.
Btw, I tried using the browser based Update function and it showed 3 modules needing updates, however after I clicked Update All, 1 updated successfully, but 2 modules are now marked with a “X internal error (4)” error. Not sure how to fix that either.

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Hi @Brian_Stanton – which two modules showed the internal error?

You would not be able to just use the straight latest .deb package unfortunately. Many of our users still wanted KA-Lite on the devices. KA-Lite and Kolibri have port conflict when installed side by side. We customize the install to change the Kolibri ports.

We should have an SSH based upgrade pathway soon which you can help us beta test.

I’ll let you know.

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Hi @jeremy, thanks again for your kind assistance. The 2 modules showing the Internal Error (4) are:
en-kolibri-index
zz-kolibri-upgrade

not sure what those do or if I need them for anything. Maybe you can suggest how to tweak them.

After evaluating and testing the device for a week, my impression is that much about Rachel is really brilliant (wikipedia, wiktionary, tons of edu videos, textbooks etc), but unfortunately I am finding that many of the LMS features are badly in need of repair/updating. I know this is a voluntary effort, so I feel like a whiner, but I know the teachers at the school I’m helping are going to be asking a lot questions about how to evaluate their students using the computers, and I’m sad not to have better news for them. Kolibri looks very promising, but the quizzes have a bug that makes them unusable, and based on reading the Kolibri forum, the bug was not really fixed until v12! So if we could update to the most recent that would be great, because being able to use already written and tested quizzes for the khan content would be great. I’m not shy to use an SSH based approach (fingers crossed I don’t brick it!) The teachers are pretty maxed, so I don’t know that they have energy to write their own quizzes. There is a more primitive quiz feature built into KA-lite, but that doesn’t work quite properly either i.e. some questions don’t show the graphics, making the question impossible to answer (which would really upset me if I were a kid and my grade depended on it). Also, I get the impression that KA-lite is not actively supported anymore and you guys are trying to transition to Kolibri. Kolibri offers ‘canned’ quizzes’ , if we can get that bug fix, but I should mention that I don’t see any mechanism for teachers to create their own quizzes. I read something about a kolibri plugin for Perseus, the software that Khan developed for making their own quizzes, but there’s no sign of it that I can find.
There is also Moodle. Moodle appears to offer a great deal of functionality, and as far as I can tell, it is working. Teachers could use it to create their own lessons, quizzes, track progress etc. However, there is a semi-steep learning curve for Moodle and writing all those lessons and quizzes is a lot of work. I plan to spend the next few days trying to teach it to myself. It would seem like there should be repositories on the web of Moodle content, either for free or for sale. Oddly I can’t seem to find anything. Moodle.net has only a few items, when I tested 1, none of the images appeared in the lesson, and the site has a big warning saying that it is being discontinued as of Aug 2019. This really puzzles me since I have read that Moodle has ~1/3 market share of school LMS installs. In addition, the Moodle version installed on Rachel appears to be v1.0, whereas the latest on their site seems to be v3.7! Seems like that desperately needs updating, although so far in my testing, it does seem to be working (although maybe a problem with importing content, but that problem could have just been a bad content download). Anyway, still exciting to work with Rachel. Don’t know of any other installs here in East Malaysia. Any insights you can offer will be greatly appreciated.

Hi @Brian_Stanton – The two Kolibri modules you see are going to be that way until we develop a pathway to upgrade via that interface. They represent “hooks” for us to utilize later to upgrade the system when available.

The LMS features really aren’t the intended use of our device. Currently, LMSs like Moodle just stress the system too far to use them robustly and we haven’t seen demand for it from the actual field (we have six international chapters that have deployed hundreds of units and an LMS is far down their priority list which drives us).

That being said, I think Kolibri is creating demand in this space. Kolibri is also designed to work on lower resourced devices and host content, a key LMS feature, so we are excited to keep up with their progress going forward as we can.

Best,
Jeremy

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Hi Jeremy, I guess I’m too ambitious! Thanks for explaining that. I guess I will try using the device just for delivering the content, and wait for the Kolibri upgrade before attempting to use it as an LMS.

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Hi Jeremy,
Since KA-lite’s quizzes seem to be working just fine, I could use it as a somewhat less functional, but working substitute until our volunteers can devise a way to upgrade to Kolibri to v12. Kolibri is basically an attempt to enhace KA-lite, and the two systems seem to have a similar structure. According to the online docs, KA-lite also has 3 user statuses, Facility, Coach and Learner. However, as delivered, I don’t see any way to gain Facility or Coach status. Can you share those passwords with me?

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login / password: admin / Rachel+1

thanks for rapid reply! omg, that should have been obvious to me. feeling stupid. sorry for the question!