Rich LMS Functionality without an Internet Connection

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Online Forums 2015 - August 20, 2015
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Gerry Higgins

Senior Learning Technology and Production Manager
American Society of Anesthesiologists

Vjekoslav Hlede

Senior Learning Management System Specialist
American Society of Anesthesiologists

Thomas Lentz

Manager of Solutions Architecture

Why this Project Was Needed:

The rapid, disruptive, and persistently changing healthcare landscape, combined with new government regulations tied to physician clinical outcomes, require online-learning platforms that have significant sets of new rich functionality.

The American Society of Anesthesiologists’ membership of 52,000+ physicians anesthesiologists comprises very busy professionals investing significant amount of time in continuing education. It is crucial for these members to be able to learn always and anywhere. Because the members are often in a hospital setting without an Internet connection, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) needed a way to deliver that rich functionality on mobile devices without Internet connections, and without duplicating efforts for development of ASA web and app products.

Tools/Technologies Used:

  • Totara learning management system (LMS)
  • Moodle LMS
  • Association Management System (AMS database)
  • Responsive design
  • Mobile App (Android and iOS)
  • Polymer, Web Components, Angular, Ionic , Cordova, RESTful web services, Java Angular, Postgres


52,000+ physician anesthesiologist members.

Completion Time:

Seven months.


While developing the LMS mobile app, ASA had to address this challenges:

  1. How to design a mobile app that allowed members to work online and offline, syncing their data seamlessly.
  2. How to provide LMS functionality natively on mobile apps without an Internet connection.
  3. How to address benefits and risks associated with delivering learning activities through offline mobile apps versus a responsive LMS interface.
  4. How to allow members to synchronize activities through multiple channels, including the offline mobile app, the online web LMS interface, and the online custom mobile responsive interface.

Insights/Lessons Learned:

  • Growing numbers of companies that support open-source learning platforms create frameworks through which organizations can gain all the benefits of open-source projects while receiving similar levels of support and security available when working with proprietary software.
  • Development of a mobile app that delivers LMS content required a bigger initial investment than ASA expected. However, because the resulting app allows ASA to deliver courses in web and mobile format without additional costs, their return on that investment will be very fast.

Project Link


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