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The anatomy of a Moodle system

Posted by Priyanka Nag on 7:41 AM in , ,

Moodle core provides all the infrastructure necessary to build a Learning Management System. It implements the key concepts that all the different plugins will need to work with. These include:

Courses and activities:
A Moodle course is a sequence of activities and resources grouped into sections. Courses themselves are organized into a hierarchical set of categories within a Moodle site.

Users:
In moodle, users are anyone who uses the moodle system. There are several categories or roles into which the moodle users can be categorized like:

  • Students
  • Teachers
  • Administrator (More types of users can be created in moodle but these are the default ones)
User functionality in moodle:
  • User roles in moodle: A role is an identifier of the user's status in some context. For example: Teacher, Student and Forum moderator are examples of roles.
  • User's capabilities in moodle: A capability is a description of some particular Moodle feature. Capabilities are associated with roles. For example, mod/forum:replypost is a capability.
  • Context: A context is a "space" in the Moodle, such as courses, activity modules, blocks etc.
  • Permissions: A permission is some value that is assigned for a capability for a particular role. For example, allow or prevent. 

Added facilities provided by moodle:  
  • Creation and editing of user profiles: In moodle, the moment an user creates his account, a profile is created for that user. The user needs to fill in his initial details for completing his profile. The user generally always have the permission to edit his own profile anytime on moodle.
  • Groups and cohorts: Cohorts, or site-wide groups, enable all members of a cohort to be enrolled in a course in one action, either manually or synchronised automatically.
  • Enrolments and access control: Users are generally enrolled into some courses and according to their permission settings and the groups to which they belong, they have limited access on moodle.
A bit more about moodle:
  • Activity and course completion:
    The activity completion system allows activities such as Quizzes, SCORM modules, etc. to be marked complete when specified conditions are met.
  • Navigation, settings and configuration:
    The Navigation block provide easy access to view various sections of the Moodle site and includes:
    •  My home - a personalised home page displaying links to the courses a user is associated with and activity information (such as unread forum posts and upcoming assignments)
    • Site pages - links to site pages and resources from the front page of Moodle
    • My profile - quick links allowing a user to view their profile, forums posts, blogs and messages as well as manage their private files
    • My courses - lists (by course shortname) and links to courses the user is associated with. Click the course's shortname to view the front page of the course or use the arrows to navigate quickly to a specific section, resource or activity.
  • JavaScript library:
    Moodle has adopted the Yahoo User Interface library. There is also a nice system for loading the additional JavaScript files required by each page.

Upgradation of moodle
Moodle can be upgraded in four simple steps:
  1. Make sure that your server can run the lates Moodle version
  2. You should always be prepared to "roll back" if there's an issue with your data or some custom code you've     added. So before comitting, create a test install and always make backups.
  3. At this stage you can replace the Moodle code on your server with the version you downloaded and check for     the plugins.
  4. Perform the upgrade by triggering the upgrade from the admin page.
    (More information abour upgradation can be found here : http://docs.moodle.org/23/en/Upgrade_overview)
Logs and statistics in moodle:
  • Statistics in moodle: The statistics graphs and tables show how many hits there have been on various parts of your site during various time frames. They do not show how many distinct users there have been. They are processed daily at a time you specify. You must enable statistics before you will see anything.
  • Log in moodle: Logs in Moodle are activity reports. Logs are available at site level and course level.

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