By Team Edwiser.
Quizzes in Moodle are an integral part of many (or most) courses built on the Open LMS.
However, poor site performance and slow-loading quizzes on Moodle are issues our clients and users routinely complain about.
Relatable? Not to worry! Because we, Team Edwiser, have not just looked hard into the issue. We’ve also come up with a thorough solution.
What is wrong with my Moodle Quiz? ????
Let’s begin by going through the factors involved in the smooth running of your Moodle site.
The most common operating systems used are Windows & Linux. Generally speaking, Windows is often found across small-scale or personal venture, while larger classes, universities and corporations, have Linux as the more popular option.
Neither is always faster than the other, but the system of choice has many implications in the diagnosis.
The load your Moodle site can handle directly depends on your CPU configuration, including the number of cores. Proper measures can help ensure the cores are working on relevant tasks at the appropriate moment, for the snappiest possible experience.
The memory capacity of your server system decides the number of concurrent users your Moodle site can handle. If your LMS runs on the cloud, you can manage memory availability, for example to increase it during rush hour (or finals week) and restrict it during down time.
The storage capacity of your server affects the number of files you can allow and their size. Naturally, large files, or activities that require a large number of them, will make things slower. In general, videos tend to be the largest files on storage.
Number of Users (Concurrently)
Your Moodle site can handle certain number of concurrent users. Figure out your upper threshold. The technical limit is decided by the RAM available to your Moodle setup. A thumb rule people generally follow is to have 1GB of RAM per 50 concurrent users. By “Concurrent users” we mean the users accessing the LMS resources (page or activity) at the same time.
Ensuring a good diagnosis
The Moodle Quiz activity can be highly demanding, in terms of resources. While quizzes are taking place, we’ve seen that load time raises by 30%. This is because quizzes need relatively more resources.
Achieving a balance is the only way out when it comes to effective resource allocation.
Moodle, as a web application and LMS platform, is highly popular in the world. However, its use of resources can be quite intensive. This is because, among other things, every time when a user accesses a page on Moodle, a “virtual instance” is created on the memory, reserving a sizable volume of data and resources for one user.
This means that for 20 students accessing a quiz with 10 pages, up to 200 instances will be created, disputing resources at a given moment.
When the student clicks on “Submit” or “Next”, the next page or set of pages is pulled by your Moodle server, increasing the load on the memory. It also exerts demand on the server, which also slows down according to the concurrent number of users.
You can get a vague idea of the pressure Moodle puts on your physical resources. Imagine if 1,000 students take up a quiz at the same time. Your server suddenly needs to create a preposterous number of virtual instances.
So, is there a hack around it?
As they say, precaution is better than cure. Be on the front foot always, when it’s about smooth running quizzes on your Moodle. Ensure a seamless Moodle experience for your users by keeping track of important performance parameters.
Edwiser Performance Site Monitor is a free plugin that gives you exactly that: Access to your system’s health stats, in real time. Use it to diagnose slow Moodle sites, and the effect of concurrent on resources. It is particularly useful to analyze the resource usage of specific Moodle components, such as the Quiz Activity.
Check out Edwiser Site Monitor plugin today!
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