ADAMZAP

Reteach

Reteach

Reteach is a Python program that converts Blackboard course backups to Moodle course backups. Its initial release was in 2010.

Skills

  • Python Programming
  • Object-oriented Design
  • XML Parsing
  • Reverse engineering

Backstory

I was a full-time Moodle developer at Louisiana State University from 2008 to 2012. Most of my job was to write PHP code for Moodle, but I also had side projects. One of them was writing software that converted course backups from our legacy learning management systems to Moodle. I wrote it in Python, and it was some of the most fun I had at that job.

The project was a success. We converted thousands of real courses to Moodle with the program I had written. I even got to open-source it.

Word about the course converter started to get around in the Moodle community. All kinds of organizations needed high-quality, hands-free course conversions done in bulk.

A large school district across the country contacted me about writing similar software for them. The concept was the same, but they were moving from a far more recent version of Blackboard. Much had changed, so I started from scratch and wrote Reteach. My client was nice enough to let me open-source it once the job was done.

Everything went well, and I got a taste of doing contract work while also having a full-time job. I learned a lot. I did a few other contract jobs based around Reteach in the next year or two. As I write this, I haven’t touched the code in years.

I’m thankful to have been able to develop and open-source Reteach.