Popular Moodle wisdom says that plugins are the way to add new features to Moodle. This includes new ways to visualize courses and resources, which explain the wealth of themes. But while they often predefine a few parameters, they do not make key choices for you.

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“Why not?”

After hearing the rhetorical question he himself asked, Lukas Celinak realized a brand new world of Moodle productivity and workflow streamlining was opening before him.

He works at the Financial Directorate of the Slovak Republic, and has been a Moodle veteran for a few years. After the training of a couple hundred people under his purview, he realized a few disquieting is patterns. For an arguably straightforward LMS, many steps, as logical as they are, seem needless and add clicks where there should be none. Canvas LMS does seem concerned about it, and by focusing on taking users in as few clicks as possible to where they want to go, it increases its perceived speed. Which as we all know is 50% of usability.

Of course, it is difficult for Canvas to accommodate the diversity of cases Moodle handles, in large part thanks to its army of plugins. Many of them, Celinak would figure, have made Moodle feel faster, for general and specific cases alike, even feeding defying another belief: That plugins slow Moodle down. Hardly a better example exists than the Course Format plugins, which reduce the seemingly infinite “Scroll of Death.”

Well you see, there is two kinds of speed in Moodle. The machine’s, and the psychological kind. You know, the one that matters.

Celinak’s gallery of plugins are designed to speed up the quite particular process needed at the Slovak Financial Directorate. But at heart, they want the same we all look for in Moodle: More time for students studying rather than going from place to place. More time for teachers to spend with students, not in front of a screen. More time for admins optimizing the system’s resources, not fixing the same issues time and again. Those issues covered religiously every new semester by trainers, and promptly forgotten.

Learn more on the video.

eThink LogoThis 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.

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