Moodle – the best open source LMS in the world is modular in nature and provides a lot of flexibility to extend the available features with plugins. Managing a Moodle site as a Moodle Administrator can be a daunting task, especially if you are new at job and don’t have much experience with Moodle.
Moodle has a lot of tools and configuration options under the Site Administration menu which can be used to optimize your Moodle site.Today in this article I am going to share with you about the 6 hidden tools which can make your life easier as the Moodle administrator. I believe that most of you who are new Moodle site administrators may not be knowing about their existence also.
First of all let me ask you a question – What are the challenges you have faced as the Moodle site administrator? Just share your experience in the comments below and how did you resolve that challenges.
Now let me start with the 6 hidden tools in Moodle which can help you when you are stuck up with a bigger challenge. These tools can be managed through Administration > Site administration > Plugins > Admin tools > Manage admin tools.
6 Hidden Moodle Administrator tools:
- DB Search and Replace – Have you ever wished to do a search and replace function in your Moodle database. Let’s say that you have migrated your Moodle site to a new URL and you contain a lot of internal links. How you will update all of them? DB Search and Replace is the perfect tool to help you out in such scenario. To use this tool, simply go to Your_Moodle_Site/admin/tool/replace/index.php and enter the URL for your old server (http://oldserver.com/) and new server (http://newserver.com/) and it will fix any links stored in the database. A big time saver indeed!!! **Before using this tool, Make sure to keep another copy of your Moodle database as backup.**
- Database transfer – There may be case when you would like to migrate from one database to another e.g from MySQL to Postgre. The database transfer tool enables an administrator to migrate their Moodle site from one database to another. The dbtransfer tool uses the XMLDB schema definitions from Moodle and installed plugins to retrieve the data from one database and transfer it to another. You can find this tool through Administration > Site administration > Development > Experimental > Database migration.
- Capability Overview – Moodle offers the most advanced and fine grain control over the user roles and permissions. Sometimes, you may need to check out the roles and permission for a specific capability. Capability Overview report will show the role and its permission level for that capability and if that capability was overridden for the role where in the site. Check out the capability report for your Moodle site through Site administration > Users > Permissions > Capability report.
- Security overview report The security overview report will give you a quick overview about the areas where the security may be compromised. The report is useful to enhance the security level of your Moodle site and configuration. Check out the security overview report in Administration > Site administration > Reports > Security overview.
- Spam Cleaner – Is your Moodle site affected with spam content? In case your site is affected with spam, then the first thing you should do is to upgrade it to the latest Moodle version and update these critical settings. In case you are not using the Self registration for authentication then better disable it. Spam Cleaner report script allows you to search all user profiles for certain strings and then delete those accounts which are obviously created by spammers. You can search for multiple keywords using commas. Run the report from Site administration > Reports > Spam cleaner.
- Language Customization – Do you know that you can change the default Moodle terms or phrases used on your Moodle site? Language customization options is another tool which can be highly useful to rephrase the default terms according to your requirements. For example, if you would like to change the word “Topic” to “Chapter”. You can easily go to Site administration > Language > Language customization and choose the language which you would like to customize. For more details about Language Customization, check out this Moodle doc.
These are the 6 Moodle tools which may result in saving a lot of time for you as the Moodle administrator. Do you know any other tool which is not listed in this list but it had saved a lot of efforts for you? DO share with me in the comments section below.