One of the most important features of a good LMS (Learning Management System) is understanding how your learners are performing.
It can be difficult to grab attention or monitor students in an online class. So, to deal with this tricky part, having a tool that helps you analyze how your learners are behaving or performing is extremely important!
Today, you’re competing in an active data-driven world, where you need accurate insights into your learner’s activity. In order to keep up in this rat-race, a good reporting plugin for your Moodle is inevitable.
So, without any further ado let’s begin.
Built-in Reporting Options in Moodle
Before we start, let’s get to know the limited built-in reporting features of Moodle.
This feature allows the students to view their most important aspect i.e grades on a particular course or subject through the grades link in the user menu. With a single click on a course, it takes them to their user report.
The Activity Report shows you the number of views for each activity and resource.
It gives you access to view the course activity reports in two ways:
Individual activity reports
Each learner can access reports of their contributions such as their submitted assignments, statistical reports, and forum posts if you enable activity reports for a course in the course settings
This reporting tool helps you to view a brief list of a student’s last login details, activity, and some resources in your Moodle course, with the contributions in detail to any type of course activities.
You can find the activities and resources displayed in the same order as they are on the main course page itself. It looks like a student’s portfolio at a particular course.
With the help of this report, you can instantly generate a participation report for a certain activity. It allows you to generate a list of those who participated in a particular activity multiple times!
It can also help you filter by view or post.
The most useful feature is that you can send messages to your students who have not completed an expected activity or any such important messages.
This reporting add-on can present a breakdown of grades of individual assessments. It can also show the ranking of each grade item with respect to the rest of the class.
Limitations of Default Reporting Options in Moodle
Although these options seem good now, they’re not the best and can restrict your reporting potential in the long run. These tools are just limited basic features one can have. Plus they’re not beginner-friendly.
But to report more than vanity metrics and make well-informed decisions, you should consider better options that are available out there to kickstart your journey in smart reporting.
Here’s why the built-in reporting in Moodle isn’t enough….
They don’t really help you improve your courses – Please keep in mind that these are only reports that can’t extract useful insights for improving your courses or your e-Learning platform in general. They don’t give you feedback but are just features to access some relevant learner data.
They are not easily accessible – Although they give you different types of reports, they’re not so easy to access. Important information can be hidden under some distant menu.
They do not provide graphical reports – You can find reports in a tabular or any other format but they’re not visually appealing and you can’t gain information at just a glance.
No option to send the report via email – The reports can’t be mailed to your supervisor or students. You will have to download it if there’s an option and later send it to them but there’s no option to directly send through email.
Due to these constraints, you’re required to use plugins from the Moodle repository to effectively fulfill your reporting needs. Let’s see what options you’ve got there!
Plugins for Reporting in Moodle
Moodle offers you a wide range of plugins to extend the default reporting capabilities of Moodle. Some of the popularly used plugins are as follows:
This moodle plugin can produce various site and course report graphs for you. The code has been composed in a way that makes adding more reports becomes easy. However, you may need to know some coding to add some reports or you can contact a developer.
The Forum Graph Report can analyze interactions in one Forum activity of a course and it also creates a graph. The graph can be read quite easily as it has two different colors for indicating a teacher’s activity and a student’s activity in the forum.
On your Way to Better Reporting
The above-discussed add-ons offer good functionality but they also come with their own share of tiring constraints!
For instance, they can’t give you real-time information and insights into user behavior on your Moodle site. Plus, you have to install different plugins for different purposes.
So, you must have a holistic and robust plugin that is dedicated to doing all the reporting work in your Moodle.
There’s more! Let’s get to know the WHY behind having a single reporting plugin that can effortlessly replace all the 9 options mentioned above.
8 Reasons why an all-in-one reporting solution is worth it
Imagine how cool it would be if you get all the essential features for your e-learning platform at just one junction?
A master plugin that can optimize all records and make sure you are up to date!
It can save you valuable time and effort and make your life 10 times easier!
#1 Tracking learner engagement and behavior like a spy
Engagement is very imperative but often difficult to measure for the success of your online courses. By using a dedicated reporting plugin for Moodle, you can make it possible. Because vanity metrics don’t measure real engagement on your platform.
You see, there’s a difference between learners simply logging in and logging out to perform certain actions that you want them to take. For instance, start a course, update or submit an assignment, complete a course, take a test and so on…
In such cases, an all-in-one reporting plugin can be a great help to you.
You get good graphic reports that can quickly give you an idea of engagement levels on your Moodle site. You can also analyze and extract this data to gain valuable insights into your learners’ behavior, with the help of tracking completion rates, enrollments, and so on.
#2 Keep a keen eye on course progress and course completion
While you work on content creation, appealing multimedia, and seamless course layout, one of the key aspects of your online course is keeping an eye on its progress and successful completion.
It is extremely important to watch your student’s activity while they’re actively engaging with a course. This helps you to know how your learners go about a course and you can also ensure that you’re able to monitor your student’s progress.
#3 Keep track of the hot or the most preferred courses
Trends are the secret ingredient you need to enhance the taste of your course! An advanced multipurpose reporting plugin can constantly show what’s hot in your course. By keeping a track of the most popular courses, it can encourage you to curate more such courses for your students – courses that are liked and pursued fervently. This means more engagement and more learners.
#4 Make reporting and analytics interesting and easy with visual graphs
What’s the point of mundane and dull graphs that don’t show you the reporting at a glance? Nothing. Exactly! That’s why a single consolidatedreporting tool makes it easier for you to gain and analyze information.
Sometimes the regular reporting graphs and stats can be complicated to understand. Therefore, you need a tool that can produce visually appealing graphs with better readability.
#5 Reports can be scheduled or automated
Automated or Scheduled reporting is the delivery of reports containing relevant learning information at certain intervals or after an unexpected event. This is crucial so you don’t have to spend the time finding the information yourself.
For instance, you can send out an automated report that may be scheduled once a week like Friday at 9 am every week.
This handy feature is great to improve your productivity. If you are managing a large amount of data or reports then you may need it more than anything.
#6 Special dashboard catering to all your reporting needs
We understand that teaching online courses is not a piece of cake. But it can be easier if you have a smart dashboard from where you can manage all the data of the course, students, their achievements, and so on…
A dashboard is like a brain of your e-learning system. It is easily customizable meaning that you can pretty much tailor it according to your needs. However, moodle lacks a full-fledged dashboard-based reporting and analytics system.
A single reporting plugin comes with a customizable dashboard.
You can configure the dashboard depending on your reporting needs. You could expand or limit the view of information by having the most essential blocks at that moment. You can even add more blocks easily and see more details whenever you need it.
This way, a major part of your job is done as it helps keep your data secure, increase engagement, and improve the learning experience. It’s just like having a uber-smart bot to perform an extensive set of tasks!
#7 Additional information on how your site is used by the learners
You have done your job by curating courses and building a good learning ecosystem for your students. Well done! So your job ends here right? Wrong.
You are yet to chisel and sharpen the sculpture of your work by knowing some additional information about how your platform is used by the learners.
Visual representation is important!
So, additional features like gaining insights through graphs and observing how your learners go about using or exploring your site can help you make your analysis much easier and refined.
#8 Option to choose from multiple languages
E-learning is successfully breaking geographical and time barriers, so a plugin that comes with no language barrier for teachers and admins is a great choice!
If the reporting plugin offers multiple languages to choose from, it will be an added advantage for teachers or admins speaking languages other than English
A holistic reporting plugin will be useful for its ability to generate reports for such teachers who may need it in the language that they understand. So having a plugin that has an option of tweaking language settings to suit different language preferences is definitely a PLUS.
Final Piece of Advice
To wrap this up in short here’s what you should look for.
In a nutshell, a dedicated reporting plugin should:
Give you all the essentials compiled in one place
Give you clear insights into learner engagement and behavior
Help you easily track the activities on your site
Help you effortlessly read the graphs and draw important conclusions to improve different aspects of your e-Learning platform
Help you extract useful information that can help you improve your courses too.
I’m sure that you’re already using a reporting plugin for your Moodle site. But if it doesn’t provide you with enough reporting benefits. It’s high time to consider getting your hands on a plugin that is committed to fulfilling the above tasks for you to keep some stressful tasks at bay.
Before calling this discussion off there’s something important in store for you to make your best decision. Here are some reporting plugins that we have hand picked for you from the most effective list.
If you want to know more about the four plugins that we introduced, check out our detailed article.
Also, to save your time and energy, here’s a plugin that we recommend when it comes to flexible and easy reporting! You might want to check Edwiser Reports out. It comes with a customizable dashboard-based reporting system for Moodle. And it is absolutely free!
So, the ball is In your court now. Go ahead and choose what suits you the best based on your reporting needs and budget.