The administrator role in Moodle learning management system (LMS) is one of the three default roles. And it’s crucial; something like it’s akin to the role of the captain in a ship, given the tasks the role performs. So, here in this blog post, we will focus our discussion on the important tasks (at least a few of them!)of a Moodle admin.
By the way, this blog will be helpful (we hope so!) to those geeks who wanna take up the Moodle administration as their long-term career.
Let’s dive into the tasks of a Moodle admin straight away.
#1. Site administration
Site administration is one of the simple and general tasks for a Moodle admin. Under this task from Site administration of your Moodle LMS, your admin takes up general tasks to change/set settings for your site front page, mobile app, messaging, notification, location, language, and so on.
And the section covers some items such as badges, competencies, and H5P content types. These administrative subsections become crucial in the process of learning/training of students. They encourage their learning, rate their learning, and make their learning interesting.
- Under Badges, add a new badge, manage the existing ones, and set the useful settings such as issuer email, name, and the expiry badge date (if any).
- Under Competencies, create competency frameworks, learning plan templates, settings to them, and others. Include/exclude competencies to courses.
- Under H5P, upload an engaging, apt content type to the LMS
And there’s one more: The security part which we will cover as a separate task to do in the following paragraphs.
#2. Setting up theme
Choosing the right theme that suits your company/organization and setting it up is quite a task for a Moodle admin. Once a theme is selected, there are certain settings for you to do on your Moodle.
On the Theme settings, you have to select necessary checkboxes and add custom menu fields if any. If a thing isn’t looking good, come back to Theme settings and make changes.
The changes you make to the theme will reflect across the Moodle site.
Task path: Site administration > Appearance > Theme
By the way, take a look at the Material Theme from eAbyas, the Moodle partner.
#3. Managing courses
Courses are part and parcel of the Moodle LMS. Managing everything that is related to courses is one crucial heck of a thing for the admin.
There’re a lot of things that a Moodle admin will do under Courses. He will add courses, add categories, custom fields to a course, keep or change default settings of a course, and even restore a course.
If not creating a new course, upload a course to your Moodle LMS.
Moreover, the Moodle admin will oversee the course requests and the pending ones. Plus, you will select the settings related to these requests.
Task path: Site administration > Courses
#4. Managing users and roles
As a Moodle admin, you will manage everything that relates to users on your Moodle LMS.
You need to follow this path to do the task: Site administration > Users.
Under Accounts, add a new user. Or upload users as bulk. Set user default preferences. Create cohorts. Browse through a list of users. And manage all the users of your LMS.
Just creating users is enough? Not at all. The users also need so roles to perform their responsibilities.
So here is the task path for creating roles on your Moodle: Site administration > Users > Permissions.
Define new roles or assign the system roles to users. For doing that, check the system permissions and set them according to your LMS preferences. Additionally, you will set the user policies and the privacy settings.
Thus, as a Moodle admin, you take up creating users and roles as one of the important tasks.
#5. Scheduling reports
Scheduling reports may not be a task on a plain Moodle, but you will have this task once you get a learning analytics tool like LearnerScript. Scheduling reports will become an important task of a Moodle admin afterward.
You will schedule the Moodle reports daily at a particular time, or weekly at a particular day, or monthly at a particular date.
Once you do it, you will automate the scheduling of those Moodle reports.
#6. Creating calendar events
As a Moodle admin, you’ll create events related to your organization. The calendar events can be global (= at a site level) and at a course level. To speak so, an event can be at any level depending on the necessity of the event for that respective level.
Hence, even other roles on your LMS has this option to create their own events. And those related to that role only will see that event.
The Moodle admin has to create an event from his Moodle LMS.
To create an event, find the Calendar under the main dashboard on Moodle LMS and do the task.
#7. Taking backups
Taking backups will happen at two ends: at your server-side and at your organization. The former one is taken care of by your host (= server provider). If you maintain your own servers, then your system admin will take up that task. The latter one is your part, as a Moodle admin.
At your organization, you’ll take the backup of courses (all or some of them).
There are different backup settings available on your Moodle. Be it automated backup, general backup settings, or general restore settings to set up as admin tasks.
#8. Running the Cron
Running the Cron is one of the important tasks to do if you want to be a Moodle admin. It’s required when you want to update your database. For example, if you are using a Moodle learning analytics tool like LearnerScript, you’ll need to run the Cron to update the database about course completions. If not, you won’t see the course completion date on a Moodle report.
Likewise, you’ll need to run the Cron for scheduled tasks, which is your responsibility as a Moodle admin.
#9. Security checks
There are a whole lot of security checks/settings to turn on in the Moodle, as part of your admin tasks, specific to your organization.
Here are some of them to take note of:
- IP addresses blocking
- Cookies settings whether to allow or not
- Username protection
- Force login to do anything on the site
- Whether to keep options open for the search engines and for indexing on their search results
- User profiles visibility and the password policy
- Cron execution settings such as whether to run the Cron on the web or on the command line
And so on. As part of your tasks, you will set these things on your Moodle LMS to safeguard your user data.
#10. Debugging Moodle (a technical thing!)
Debugging is a kind of technical thing, usually done by developers. As a Moodle admin, if you have your hands-on technical things, you can find out what goes wrong by debugging the code.
To set the settings for debugging, you need to follow this path: Site administration > Development > Debugging.
The task will help you to figure out the errors and report them to a technical team for speedy and exact solutions.
#11. Managing updates
Managing the updates either related to your Moodle LMS or related to the add-ins will be your task. Sometimes, it needs approval from your superiors to proceed with this task.
Updates will be in the form of new versions or a part of an existing version of Moodle platform or the plugin which is specifically add-in to the LMS.
So keeping up with the updated software goes far away especially in maintaining the latest security features on the system.
Check out our other blogs on ‘how to Moodle’ stuff. Plus, have a look at our Moodle services and products and reach out for further information about them.