This is the final formal project update, we are grateful for having had the opportunity to take part in this programme and excited to share a complete picture of all the work undertaken.
While our formal involvement is now complete, we will advocate for the standards and philosophies this programme has brought together as well as maintain the work we have done through it.
The two major pieces of recent progress have been:
Supporting receipt verification in the Moodle plugin - more on that here
A plugin for Moodle sits at the core of this entire project, this has now been published on and is available for anyone to use:
The plugin has been submitted to the Moodle plugins databaseand has gone through it's first round of review and feedback.
Currently this library provides functionality to verify receipts and parse out the information contained within them but it is hoped that over time it will grow to offer more functionality.
We have also suplied documentation in the form of a recent blog post:
Throughout the project we have been maintaining a publicly available reference site, this has been used as a resource for people to see the Moodle plugin in action during demos. This site will remain available for the foreseeable future.
Various conversations have been seeded throughout the Moodle forums and related sub-reddits and facebook groups.
Many conversations have been had during the duration of this project with various decision makers with a particular focus on those delivering learning to marginalised groups and in areas porrly served by current main-stream payment solutions.
There are several key issues that came up in all conversations.
Awareness of the technology - Very few people have heard of the Interledger protocol and web monetization standard, where moving money around is concerned organisations tend to be highly risk averse and so look for options with visible track records.
Suspicion of block chain based solutions - There is a huge amount of hype around web3 and associated technologies which generates suspicion around their stablity and longevity. High profile hacks such as compromises of exchanges etc., while not directly related to this project create a climate of fear.
Browser support - The lack of support for Safari (mobile and desktop) and Chrome (mobile) is a major blocker. Desktop Safari is used by between 10% and 20% of users, on mobile Safari and Chrome combined have 95% market share. It's very dificult to expect publishers to rely on an income stream that cannot be generated from such a large proportion of their audience and making it mandatory for any element of the service would be impossible.
Lack of web monetization providers - A great deal of the benefits of working with an open standard become irrelevant where it's use is entirely dependent on one service provider, in this case Coil. Many of the benefits of non-traditional payment technologies around facilitating cross border transactions and allowing those with limited access to traditional payment solutions (e.g. credit cards) are undermined by the fact that the only option to monetize a browser is via a web-site which is only available in English and only accepts payment via credit card.
The next steps required to allow this technology to gain further adoption are for issues around browser support to be addressed and further options around monetization providers to emerge to create a truly global and accessible eco-system.
The most exciting output of this project has been the launch of a web monetization enabled learning management system for Bettercare.
Bettercare design learning programmes for healthcare professionals that are widely used by government and private hospitals, non-profit organisations and training institutions in South Africa and other countries. The learning programmes bring the latest developments in child, perinatal and HIV care to healthcare professionals working in challenging circumstances.
In building this platform we took the existing chapter quizzes and assessments included in the publications and brought them into a fully featured and configured LMS in order to centralise assessments, issue certificates and track completion. The hope is that as this platform becomes established it will motivate learners to build their skill sets by covering more content and progress their careers by acquiring certificates of completion.
The tool has webmonetization enabled throughout and it is hoped that as adoption of the technology grows a steady income stream will emerge.
The site is in the process of being rolled out to users and is now publicly available - Bettercare Courses
We have reached the end of the funded period but not the end of our engagement with the project.
For the next 12 months and foreseeable future beyond we will continue to:
- Maintain the Moodle plugin and reference site
- Maintain the InterledgerPHP library
- Support and host a webmonetized learning management system for Bettercare
- Advocate for the web monetization and interledger technologies
We hope the community will engage with us in a few ways.
- Reach out if you are interested in using the Moodle plugin and have any questions
- Contribute to the InterledgerPHP library
- Build new plugins using the InterledgerPHP library, current solutions for Wordpress and Drupal could benefit from functionality around receipts
- Get in touch if you want help implementing receipt validation in your solution