Moodle™ Reporting: Expectations vs Reality
If you’re one of those moodlers struggling to improve the learning experience for your learners with limited MoodleTM reporting. This article is for you.
Despite trying your best, there’s always a void that tells you to level up. What’s that? Maybe the reporting tools you use are not meeting your expectations. Or you may have insufficient data to make informed decisions regarding your courses.
The key to this problem lies in having a strong grip on your reporting and analytics. Something that acts as a catalyst to bring your expectations to reality.
Let’s explore the gap between your expectations and reality and what you could do differently to fix it:
#1 Expectation – One single plugin can solve all reporting problems in MoodleTM
At first, you might have installed a moodleTM reporting plugin thinking it’s going to help solve all the problems.
Image credit: jcomp
Reality – It takes a lot of work to scout for plugins that satisfy your needs
MoodleTM reporting plugins such as configurable reports and several other reports may provide you with important e-learning data. But, slowly you seem to realize that having just that information about your course and learners may not be enough.
Soon you also realize that this e-learning segment is far more competitive than you thought. You come across other moodlers who have better numbers than you. At that time, you may feel there’s a long way to go or simply lose hope to be one of them.
As a moodler, you look for every kind of plugin that could take you a step further. And then you have a bunch of plugins that serve the same purpose. In the end, it becomes pointless and hard to manage those plugins.
With so many plugins available on the market claiming to give you the best reporting, it becomes hard to choose one and pay for it. As a result, you invest money on trials and either lose the money or time finding THE ONE that satisfies your needs.
If you’re lucky you’ll find the right one for you amongst the top reporting plugins in the market but if your needs are unique then you still need to find a holistic solution that makes reporting easy for you and fulfills your requirements like a pro.
#2 Expectation – All reports are available in one place
Image credit: dashthis
Picture this: You have just found a plugin that feels perfect for you. It has got all your reports in one place! What else could you need? Now you can access all your reports in one place without having to search for them one after the other.
Reality – Critical data needs much more effort and nothing is ever handed over to you on a silver platter
When you notice some critical problems such as low enrollments or learners leaving your courses in between but there’s no accurate data to show WHY?!
This is the point where just having all your cards on deck doesn’t guarantee you win. You need to know exactly why this is happening. Is there some way to bring your courses to a learner’s focus again?
And if there’s no reminder to get your learners on track what can you do to incite their interest?
This was just one example of how you can need more than what a premium plugin promises to offer you.
Handling data is not easy, you need some clarity and assistance to help you solve a problem. You may lack some features that could increase your learner’s rate or at least course completion rates. So think twice before you invest your money in any plugin that appeals to you at the first sight.
Some MoodleTM reporting plugins you use may have limited features that may fail to show you the depth of the problems in your course.
Are your reports helping you increase student engagement through automated features to make intelligent decisions and as well as implement them? A premium plugin should let you do that and more. For example, you may need multiple reports to give you key insights into all aspects of your course. Nevertheless, good reporting and analytics show you your trending courses and allow you to monitor real-time users.
So, all your critical data can bear its fruits only when they’re analyzed deeply and accurately.
Pro tip: Edwiser Reports Pro serves you all your reports consolidated in one place. It comes with dedicated dashboards for learners as well as teachers & admins for better access to critical e-learning data and management.
#3 Expectation – All reports show key actionable insights upfront
Image credit: pch.vector
It’s nice to have a reporting plugin that represents your data graphically. You’re not wrong to think that visuals are easier to understand than text. Visual data will give you an insightful picture to take actions. It will simplify the task of data interpretation for you.
Reality – You need to learn how to read these reports – reading between the lines is critical
All the reports generated by your plugin can only give you an idea of more or less. You may find it satisfying to generate reports and be happy when you see those bars up. But interpreting those statistical data is much harder than you think.
Suppose you find that your course enrollments are increasing but 30percent of the enrolled learners never really finish the course and earn the certificate. Such data can convince you into thinking that there’s nothing wrong with your course. If there’s nothing wrong then why are you seeing the same pattern in your statistical data again and again?
There’s something that you’re missing and is critical. It could be possible that your course was too long or maybe there aren’t enough reminders or indicators to let your learners know what they’re missing. The reason could be anything, but you need to know how to identify a pattern and what to do with it.
So, be careful before you ignore even a small percentage. It could be interpreted in many ways and you could do better in the future with statistical feedback.
#4 Expectation – Beautiful presentation of data is a futile exercise
Image credit: storyset
You may think that beautifully presented data by your reporting plugin is just an added advantage.
Reality – Aesthetically appealing, visual reports can change your reporting game for the better
Data when presented in a neat and visually appealing way, makes you want to analyze the data. According to cognitive psychologists, appearance plays an important role in our judgment. If you had an option to read a magazine or a newspaper, which one would you choose? There’s an 80% chance that you’d pick a magazine. Because a magazine is more visually appealing than a newspaper.
In reality, you’re inclined towards data that is aesthetically appealing and it keeps you from procrastination or poor analysis. When you find data neat and beautiful, you also find it easy to understand and analyze. To test the hypothesis try analyzing a data report in black and white print and color and see the difference in your experience and the result of your analysis.
Visually appealing data brings more clarity and interest with ease resulting in better reporting and analytics. It’ll change your reporting game for the better.
#5 Expectations – Custom Reports are key to great reporting
Custom Reports are easy to create through configurable reports as they allow you to create all types of reports in less than an hour.
Reality – It requires SQL knowledge and a better understanding of how settings work in Moodle
But you can’t create custom reports without SQL knowledge. For example, you need to create a report for Course Activity, it can’t be created by just a few clicks like you do while creating a block. You’ll have to write a code without errors to build a report for the course activity.
If you’re new to MoodleTM, then creating basic reports such as course reports or timeline reports requires some knowledge of how Moodle works.
Custom Reports in core Moodle may be good but it takes a lot of time and some knowledge to create reports as per your requirements.
#6 Expectation – Free reporting plugins in MoodleTM can solve all my reporting issues
Image credit: pure imagination
MoodleTM offers you Configurable reports and Reports for free that can solve almost all of your reporting issues. There are enough resources in the MoodleTM plugins directory to build reports if you need to create something new.
Reality – There is no one size fits all solution
In the beginning, you may feel that MoodleTM has enough reporting plugins but as you grow you’ll need better solutions. It would become difficult to accommodate and manage multiple plugins for a single purpose of reporting. So there will be a need to have a smart solution with more effective features. Sadly, there’s no one size fits all solution.
There are many reporting solutions with customizable dashboards and attractive themes but you can choose an ideal plugin depending on your needs.
A best reporting plugin would be one that has smart features with actionable insights. Today, you need a solution that caters to all your needs and saves your time and effort.
#7 Expectation – I can easily remember my data and insights
With the help of multiple reports in a graphical format, it is easy to remember all the data and insights at a glance. And if I don’t, I can access them later.
Reality – It’s impossible to recollect so much data, key reports need to be scheduled/automated for better & timely analysis
Managing data is a cognitively taxing task! At first, it may seem like you have all the information you need but at times you may forget what you saw. And if you let your data pile up to view later, there’s a possibility of missing some key insights from the reports. To avoid this, you need to check your data frequently and keep yourself updated to make the right decisions.
You can remember or recollect your data if you have some plugin that can automatically send you important reports in timely intervals. So, even if you don’t remember every detail of your data, you know what you need to work on.
Pro tip: If you struggle with managing data, get yourself a simple yet smart reporting solution like Edwiser Reports Pro. It can save a lot of time and effort by sending you automated reports right in your inbox, so you don’t have to view your dashboard every time to look at critical e-learning data.
#8 Expectation: MoodleTM reporting plugins don’t send student data to other servers.
Image credit: storyset
You have read the terms and conditions vaguely and think that your data is safe and you trust MoodleTM with everything.
Reality: Some premium reporting solutions send data to other servers to work on complex reporting needs
Your data is not accessed only by you or those who you allow such as your manager. But some premium Moodle™ reporting plugins may send your data to other servers. Before you panic, let us tell you that it’s being used for making their LMS reporting and analytics better for you.
Analyzing data isn’t easy, so the company needs a lot of data to improve its reporting, this can help them enhance the effectiveness of their product.
Although this may not sound like a big deal, do you think using your learners’ data without your permission is okay? No, infact it is very risky to use plugins that share your data without debriefing you about its purpose with due clarity.
You can make sure to read the terms and conditions before buying a paid plugin. And if you find some conditions fishy to accept then you may request your right to information and clarify your doubts to stay safe from any sort of data insecurity.
There are also a few top reporting plugins that come with data security, you can do your research and find the one that’s safe and secure for your LMS.
The core Moodle™ reporting tools may or may not meet your expectations. Finding the one that meets all your reporting and analytics needs is pretty difficult.
Now, you can either be disappointed with reality or embrace it to master the skill of reporting in MoodleTM by making the right plugin choices.
An ideal reporting solution would be the one that helps you leverage your course and activities for better learner engagement.
If you want to save yourself from some research and confusion, we suggest you check out one plugin that is specially designed for MoodleTM LMS reporting and analytics – Edwiser Reports PRO. It’s easy to use and easy on your pocket too.