- The first query received by Mr. Moodle via Twitter came from @monkrob:
Can Mr Moodle tell me how to find out home many times in the last 2 months students have logged into our Moodle site outside school hours?
— Rob Monk (@monkrob) September 19, 2017
There are many paths towards the same goal. It all depends on how thorough you want the level of difficulty to be in the path you choose.
The data-heavy path
Moodle Logs offer a comprehensive set of records of student participation and activity. An admin must enable the different log stores available before Moodle begins collecting student behavior data. Logs can then be downloaded to a CSV file, which includes students, activities, times,and even IP addresses. If you know your way around a spreadsheet you can easily apply filters or use additional data manipulation techniques.
The technically challenging path
Another wide-ranging tool to show detailed student activity in Moodle comes courtesy of the Ad-hoc contributed reports plugin. It takes advantage of the SQL database engine that powers Moodle to let you query the data and produce any report you can think of. Its usefulness is proportional to your familiarity with the relational model and the specific syntax of the database engine, which by default is MySQL. See it at work here.
Query code snippets to get you started are available on the Moodle docs. You might find the following ones relevant:
- Report of activity per course and unique user in the last 24 hours
- Report of logged in users within a period
- Report of logins by user
The time-consuming path
With “Event monitoring” you can set notifications tied to events by students. The downside is that you have to subscribe to individual events for individual students. Admins can then enable “Events list reports” so you can see all events to which you subscribed.
The hardest path (and most beneficial for the community)
If you are considering building a plugin to generate the custom information, it makes sense to get acquainted with the “Event 2” system, which includes the commands for variables and information-gathering methods.
Easier, less rewarding paths
For a simpler way that does not require plugins, use the Participation report to visualize actions by students in broader time frames. This is available at the course level.
Browser sessions lets you see a user’s current session or sessions if concurrent log-ins are allowed. To visualize them, an admin must enable visualization of Moodle profiles.
This Moodle Practice related post is made possible by: eThink Education, a Certified Moodle Partner that provides a fully-managed Moodle experience including implementation, integration, cloud-hosting, and management services. To learn more about eThink, click here.