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The Australian Film, Radio and Television School

Drupal Learning Management System

The Australian Film, Radio and Television School has been delivering advanced training for the media industry for almost 40 years. When AFTRS wanted to implement an online learning environment (OLE), they decided on Drupal and PreviousNext.


PreviousNext were commissioned to create an Online Learning Environment for AFTRS where students could login in to a secure area, see their courses, obtain class notes and blogs from specific teachers and upload all student work back into the system for marking. The challenge here was around permissions controls and ensuring the privacy of student work and classes. In order to do this, PreviousNext embarked on deep customisation of Drupal.

“We chose PreviousNext to develop the system in Drupal, as this was the solution that would enable media sharing within an education portal and Drupal also had the community functionality we required. We went with Drupal 7 which we feel is really future proof.  It’s sophisticated and will allow future updates and enhancements,”  explained Peter Giles, Head of Educational Media at AFTRS.


As the much of the media content is video, PreviousNext had to work with the existing infrastructure at AFTRS and help the internal IT team to host and support the system. This required all video content to be encoded using the Kaltura video platform and once complete, display this within Drupal-generated web pages. The system essentially replicates functionality found in learning management systems such as Moodle, but because it's built in Drupal, the features and flexibility of the system are substantially richer. 


Given the sheer scope of this project,  a stringent process of staged release was followed, with tutors working with the new site prior to student release as part of a quality assurance and training process.

Peter Giles from AFTRS explains: “It’s been received extremely well and it’s been quite a conversation starter. Users have been talking about the content that’s on the system. Probably the most positive outcome would be that students can now more efficiently share media around the school. In the past we’ve used USB’s and this new website allows a whole new level of information sharing.” 

AFTRS now has a web platform they have full control over, and future functionality enhancements include mobile compatibility and an improved social networking capabilities. PreviousNext is engaged for ongoing support and enhancements following the system's public release.