When you’re building any business, data-driven decisions are crucial to its success. Not only can they help you build your business better, but also they can help you grow it sustainably to scale greater heights. So, the reporting functionality of your LMS also matters as much as its other features (maybe even more). That’s true about your Moodle™ e-Learning business too, that heavily depends on data analysis in order to run efficiently.
The Need for Better Visual Moodle™ Analytics
Now, when we think of Moodle™, there’s no doubt that it’s one of the most scalable and feature-rich LMS platforms that you can ever use today. However, when it comes to reporting, there are some shortcomings. While Moodle™’s inbuilt reporting functionality tracks many data points, they’re not presented in a meaningful and easily understandable manner.
In addition to that, if you need to analyze some extra data points and you install some plugins for that, you quickly realize that those plugins do not integrate with the core functionality to generate a dashboard of comprehensive reports. Instead, they generate their own separate reports, thus increasing your workload.
Now, the thing is… if you have to arrive at any meaningful conclusion from your tracked data and make strategic elearning business decisions, you not only need visual analytics that are easily understandable but comprehensive reports that provide a 360-degree view of all metrics important for your eLearning business.
Quick Takeaway – It does help you track many metrics but they still might not give you the exact information you need. And Moodle has different reporting plugins to create different types of reports so it’s quite unorganized and less friendly to use for most moodlers. Convenience in information management is as important as simpler storage and presentation. Moodle™ reporting needs to improve on this front.
Why? Well, that’s what we’ll explore in this article. And by the end of it, we’ll also tell you about a tool that can make visual LMS tracking and analysis possible in your Moodle™ installation. Let’s begin!
5 Reasons to have Visual Analytics in Moodle™
#1. To set a clear baseline for performance tracking
One of the reasons why visual analytics is important in Moodle™ is because it allows you to set a clear benchmark for performance tracking and evaluation. It allows for a richer analysis of data by providing you a visual representation of which data point represents what, and how is everyone performing on it.
So that way you can easily determine what an average performance looks like on a certain metric. For instance, you can figure out how well students perform on average in a certain course. Or the average engagement rate of your courses. Or maybe, something else that you want to track.
These average scores and results can then become your baseline for Moodle™ analytics. And from there you can improve everything you want to improve.
Visual data reporting helps you set this baseline easily with just a glance at your reports.
Quick Takeaway – Mapping student progress becomes easier with a clear baseline. And visual data can go a long way in fine-tuning your baseline. A baseline could be the benchmark value of the elearning metric of your choice, before making gradual course improvements (something like a BEFORE picture of your LMS/Courses). If you successfully manage to impact performance levels and achieve numbers better than the baseline, it means that the modifications made to your elearning courses are working or making a difference.
#2. No cognitive overload
Let’s accept it – numbers are boring. And when you have a ton of them in front of your eyes, they’re boring as hell!
Nobody likes sifting through dozens of data points and hundreds of records for each of those data points to arrive at a conclusion (okay, maybe some mathematicians like it 😀, but not an average person for sure). That’s a lot of cognitive overload, especially when you’re dealing with an LMS. Remember – data dump hinders productive decision-making.
That’s where visual data reporting makes life easier. It visualizes the story that numbers are telling you and allows you to arrive at meaningful conclusions about your various courses as well as students on the basis of their performance, as elaborated by the data.
#3. Better clarity on student performance & engagement
Student engagement and performance are the key drivers for any e-Learning business. They tell you how well your course content is doing among your learners, and also where you need to improve.
However, merely tracking student performance and engagement won’t tell you anything. You need to clearly understand how they are impacted by each part of your course content and LMS functionality, and for that, you need visual data reporting.
With help of visual Moodle™ analytics, you can arrive at insights and conclusions related to user behavior, time spent on the course, and cognitive difficulties being faced by your learners. This can help you improve your course content as well as website functionality.
Quick Takeaway – Visual reports help in behavior tracking and give qualitative insights into student engagement. Analyzing these insights and taking action is easier when represented visually. It’s a better way to understand the cognitive capabilities of your students and their willingness to learn based on how much time they are spending on the courses or on your site in general.
#4. Simplified LMS trend analysis
Spotting trends is crucial if you want to keep an edge in almost every business, and e-Learning is no different. If you keep an eye on emerging user behavior trends in your LMS, you can easily understand how well your content is doing among your learners. Not only that – you can also learn how regular they are in their learning, which parts of your eLearning site or courses observe the most engagement, and which ones least.
Trend analysis with help of visual reports can also help you understand which of your courses are doing well, and which ones are not finding enough engagement among your learners so you can create less content around them.
However, investigating trends isn’t easy without proper data analysis tools. And when we say “proper”, we again mean ‘visual’. Because it’s only visual data reporting that can provide you valuable insights into emerging elearning patterns & trends. Hidden or not-so-obvious student behavior is best understood with a visualized analysis of key data points.
So visual data reporting in Moodle™ analytics is also important for simplified analysis of LMS and e-Learning trends.
Quick Takeaway – Visual reports help you not only drill down to course-level or course-group level trends but also capture overall LMS trends in one place and make decision-making simple yet effective for you. It makes your prediction game stronger and your LMS ready for the future.
#5. Makes Moodle™ reporting interesting
Last, but certainly not least, visual data reporting makes Moodle™ reporting interesting, exciting, and fun. Ask yourself – how does it feel when a change done by you makes student engagement bars grow larger on a chart? Or, when the plot line for the number of hours spent by your learners in the course material goes higher and higher?
Obviously, it gives you a sense of achievement. The same goes for those occasions when a change is done by you doesn’t give the expected results – you get alerted in time, and you can reverse the change to get your numbers moving in the right direction once again.
That’s how visual data reporting adds an element of emotion and excitement to Moodle™ reporting, thus making the mundane task of data analysis as interesting as it can be.
With all the reasons and explanations given above, by now it should be clear to you that there are numerous benefits of adding a visual element to your Moodle™ reporting. Throw in some graphics, and you can improve your Moodle™ reports by leaps and bounds.
Fortunately, adding that graphic element to your Moodle™ LMS reporting functionality isn’t difficult. There are plugins available in the market which can help you do it very easily, with Edwiser Reports being one of them.
With this plugin, you do not need to do anything to understand the various insights that are being conveyed by your data. Edwiser Reports analyzes everything on its own and presents it to you in a visual format on a well-organized dashboard, so you can make sense of which numbers and metrics are telling what. You can also dig deeper into each metric if you want to for understanding things better, all with just a few clicks.