Moodle is a wildly, wildly popular LMS, and for obvious reasons. Offering the largest set of diverse features compared to other very task oriented and niche designs, Moodle brings an easily customized and diverse learning experience that allows the viewing of training in a whole new light. But, one of the big sellers of this LMS over other pretty equally competent solutions is the availability of Moodle plugins.
Moodle being open source, and with this readily developed plugin base as well, kind of pulls a Salesforce and offers theoretically boundless features. While there isn’t quite the slick App Exchange sort of channel here, Moodle plugins are quite extensive.
But, since it does lack the app market Salesforce has to make it easy to browse these, you’ll be curious as to what kinds of plugins there are, and what they might do. Well, let’s take a look at a handful of them.
#1 – Recommender
Recommender is a block-based plugin which works as a modular feed for different pages in Moodle. This is a good UI element to work in for your students, so they can access everything you want to offer them.
Recommender can point out popular courses, popular activities in a given course and the like, so that students are attracted to the features and fruits of all your hard work.
These block plugins are kind of a neat modular idea, and they’re uniquely Moodle. I spent a minute reiterating several times that Salesforce had such a sophisticated app system, but I’ve seen no modular thing like blocks.
#2 – Checklist Grading Method
Another big thing about Moodle is that the grade book and grading methods are able to be modified, which means the classical letter grade and percentage grades can be eliminated mercifully.
This plugin gives you the power of checklist criteria for level of completion grading. Now, this sounds like a basic design, and it is, but the power this unleashes is pretty awesome.
See, this kind of criterion concept is important for gamification and the social centrism of flipped classrooms. So, if you want to use a newer kind of training model, then this plugin is a must for you.
#3 – Assignment Files (Reports)
Finally, you’ll be needing a tool which can track who’s been assigned to what with projects, activities, courses, testing results and so on. Well, just as with CRM, you need collating and tracking tools for your analytics, you need it for complex training.
This tool does precisely that, and is supported by any version of Moodle newer than version two point four. Do not underestimate the power of sorting and association tracking like this, because without things like this, you’ll have an onslaught of data that will make your head throb.
Moodle plugins like this are simpler than the sort of thing CRM has, because LMS is a little more specifically-tasked. However, these are only examples, and many more things like them do exist. With the open source nature of Moodle, we can expect a significant boom in plugin design for this software in the future. For now, the ones above are very useful, I wouldn’t waste your time talking about them if they were not.