The Ad-Hoc database queries plugin is the simplest way I know to get started with data science in Moodle.

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Ideas about the right data science process vary, but their shape does not differ too much from the following:

  • Create a question or hypothesis
  • Collect or obtain data
  • Explore the data
  • Model the data
  • Communicate results

The plugin is a key alley for steps two and three. The data can be plugged into a model to answer and visualize the question. The key insight in the data science process, naturally, comes from the first step. What ideas students have about how their own learning takes place?

Tim Hunt and Mahmoud Kassaei maintain the plugin, and have brought it up to Moodle 3.6.1. Fixes to how URLs are gathered from the site and column name formatting are some of the latest fixes.

Admittedly, the plugin is designed for administrators and not for students. To let students query the Moodle database, the admin must enable key permissions for the student role. As always, the official recommendation is to create a custom role with extra permissions rather than edit the default student role. Direct interaction with the Moodle database

Install or download Ad-hoc database queries from the official Moodle Plugin Directory.

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