Best practices: Five tips for making the most of Moodle™ reports
In Moodle™ thousands of users can interact within a site all at the same time. At any point in time you can have students teachers course builders and site administrators all working in a particular course or even a specific activity. Keeping tracking of all interactions can be time consuming if you aren’t aware of how to use the available tools and resources right within the system. Since Moodle™ and Joule have so many options for reporting this post is divided into two parts. First we will share some best practices regarding core Moodle™ reports (which anyone using Moodle™ has access to) and later we will post another blog on how to take advantage of reports that are exclusive to Open LMS ’ Joule platform the Joule Reports.
All user interactions in Moodle™ are automatically logged by the system in its internal database; consequently when teachers or administrators run reports they are extracting information saved as course or site logs which are called Reports. When facilitating I utilize these reports frequently to understand and analyze how users are working in my courses. I run reports to identify course visits new forum posts submitted assignments and more. In addition I use them as shortcuts to easily grade and provide feedback to my students. Below are some best practices on how to take advantage of Moodle™ course reports.
Tip #1: Use filters to find the logs that are relevant to you:
The default settings of logs can display thousands of results depending on how long your course has been active and how many students you have. For this reason it might take you a long time to find the information for which you’re looking. Use filters to narrow down data and get straight to the point. You can filter results by CourseParticipant nameDateCourse activity name and User action.
Tip #2: Narrow down actions to monitor collaborative activities:
One of my favorite filters is the Action filter. Using this filter allows you to narrow down your search according to actions such as views additions updates and deletions. As an example selecting the option “Add” will allow you to see what elements have been added to your course. This is particularly helpful if you want to see new forum posts or glossary entries made by students. Just click in one of the links under the action column and Moodle™ will open a window that will allow you to read reply grade and even delete the selected entry.
Tip #3: Display information in different formats:
Depending on the chosen filter selections you might generate a report that has several pages. Moodle™ allows you to export logs and use other tools to analyze the results. Use the Display filter to download the information in text ODS or Excel format. Once in an editable file format you can run your own statistics and analytics on the results.
Tip #4: Easily find out how students are interacting with the course:
The Activity and Participation reports can assist you in the process of analyzing how students are interacting with a given course. The Activity report tells you which activities are the most popular by showing the number of views for each activity and resource. The Participation report will allow you to narrow down more specific details; it lets you filter student participation by each course activity and once the results are shown it allows you to send messages by selecting the names displayed in the report.
Tip #5: Check activity completion in a glance:
By enabling completion tracking within course activities (available only in Moodle™ 2.X installations) teachers can visually keep track of course completion by accessing the Activity completion report. This report is easy to use because each student has a box for each activity listed in the course. When you see a check mark in the box it means the activity has been completed. If you hover your mouse over the checkmark you can find out the when the activity was completed.
These are just few tips for ways to maximize the use of Moodle™ reports. As promised we will talk more about the reports that are exclusive to Joule in just a few weeks. If you are interested in learning more about using both Moodle™ and Joule reports I recommend that you visit our training site and enroll in our webinar Making the Most of Moodle™ and Joule Reporting.