Source control for eLearning projects

eLearning projects usually consist of a large number of assets and configuration files. These need to be stored and managed in a way that permits controlled access as well as the ability to manage versions properly.

SCM (software configuration management) products are normally used to manage software projects but do have all the tools required.

  • Access control with password protection
  • Version control so you can keep track of version and work on a new version of a course while doing maintenance on the current version. Past versions can be checked out so you can go back to any older version to look at some assets.
  • History with each update so you can tell who changed things
  • Checkout/checkin with collision detection so you can catch the situation where 2 people changed the same file so that the work of the first person to commit changes, are not overwritten by the second person, accidently.

There are number of different version control systems available. Subversion is one of the big ones that has been around for a while.

Git and Mecurial are newer ones. Microsoft has one. CVS is an older one that is still used but has lost a lot of its following as the newer approaches came into style.

We started with CVS and moved to Subversion 5-6 years ago.

These run on servers but have Windows client applications that make the library look a bit like a disk on your PC. You can drag projects into a local directory to check them out.

Your IT infrastructure team or software development  may be willing to set you up with a repository dedicated to Learning and Development

There are hosting sites that can provide a private repository as well.   http://www.cloudforge.com/pricing offers Subversion or Git. for a pretty small monthlly charge.
Watch for storage costs if your courses include a lot of video or audio assets that will take up a lot of space.

Alternatives

Other less functional approaches can be put together using CMS systems (WordPress, Sharepoint, etc.) or Wikis. They will have some of the features of a SCM but not all.

Posted in Learning