Moodle Plugins: Help Customize Your LMS

Moodle Plugins: Help Customize Your LMS

One of the primary advantages of the Moodle Learning Management System (LMS) is its helpful plugins. Plenty of Moodle plugins! They are especially useful when you want to customize your LMS according to your Learning and Development (L&D) objectives. Some of them may not be as famous or enormous in their use as H5P or BigBlueButtonBN. Nevertheless, these plugins add beauty to your eLearning as well as to the Moodle site.

Irrespective of your organization’s background, these top 13 Moodle plugins will help you immensely in your L&D. By the way, for your information, the order of the tools listed here is just a random arrangement.

1. Beautifying Your Content Arrangement: Tiles Format

You know, our habit may be to look at the list of course contents before we take up a course. We do the same thing even before we buy a book, don’t we? Anyway, how about displaying the list of course contents in some other, yet beautiful way? Well, you’ve got a Moodle plugin for that. And, its name itself spells out the purpose.

The Tiles Format tool helps you arrange the list of your course contents in tiles format. The plugin also helps you set activities under tiles as sub-tiles. Each tile displays the content under it with the help of animation. You can set an image or an icon to make it visually appealing. With the circles on the tiles, you can see how much progress you’ve made with a percentage.

The tool is both user-friendly and mobile responsive.

 2. Gamifying Your eLearning: Level Up

Level up your eLearning with gamification. The word gamification in eLearning sounds a little puzzling, doesn’t it? Guess what? Learning is fun and thrilling when you do it as if you were playing a game. Certainly, you can’t disengage yourself from learning, can you?

Using this plugin, you can add game mechanics to your Moodle site. The use of game mechanics in eLearning is aimed at saying goodbye to dull and boring online learning. However, it helps you engage in productive content exploration, learning, and skill development. For example, game mechanics, such as points and leaderboards, let you know where you are in a certain course or activity—in healthy comparison with your peers.

The term "gamification" was coined by a British computer programmer and writer, Nick Pelling, who has had extensive experience in the gaming industry. However, someone on the internet called it, "deliberate ugly word." In the words of Norman Lewis, author of The Word Power Made Easy, “The writers are often lazy to coin new words.”

Currently, the plugin is available in four languages now: Chinese, English, French, and Spanish (Mexico). As a result, about 3700+ sites are gamifying their Moodle with this tool.

3. Assessing Your eLearning: Questionnaire

This tool is one of the most downloaded Moodle plugins ever. You can guess the reason for it; you can conduct assessment surveys using it. As you may know, Moodle is the number one LMS platform, where learners assessment is at its heart and soul.

With the help of this add-on, you can check your learning progress with various types of questionnaires: yes or no, multiple choice, essay questions, fill-in-the-box, and so on. This way you can measure your learning on Moodle for various types of assessments. You can check out similar tools in this category, like Feedback Pro and 360° Feedback—which, both, come with advanced feedback features.

 4. For STEM Learners: Math Type Filter By WIRIS

If you belong to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) studies and are using the Moodle platform for your learning needs, then this is the plugin that’s really handy for you. Are you wondering how that can be?

Well, quizzes, assignments, questionnaires, and other assessment types form the heart of learning on Moodle. To insert mathematical equations in such assessment types or communications, in general, Math Type comes to your rescue. By the way, you can handwrite mathematical equations on your touchscreen using this Moodle plugin.

Since the launch of this plugin in August 2014, Math Type has been in use on over 3600+ sites so far. One good thing about Math Type is that it is going to be available in over a dozen languages (including Russian, traditional Chinese and French), once the translation is complete. As of now, the translation has been completed only in two languages, English and Spanish (Mexico).

You can make use of Math Type based on the subscription model.

5. Registering Automatically: Auto Enrolment

If there are a thousand learners at your university, is it possible to sign them all up manually for mandatory courses, such as University Regulations, Semester Syllabus, Security Networks, etc.? It’s hard, isn’t it? That’s why you can use this quite helpful Moodle plugin for the job, Auto Enrolment.

You can set up Auto Enrolment in 2 ways: upon seeing a course/resource or upon login. For example, if you have logged into your university system then you are automatically assigned to mandatory courses. Moreover, the plugin allows you to configure it and send a welcome note to a learner upon enrollment.

6. Examining Yourself: StudentQuiz

Self-examination is powerful; irrespective of different walks of life, whether it be in the times of St. Paul or in this current learning-on-Moodle era.

StudentQuiz allows students to test and prepare themselves before the D-Day. You can create question pools on Moodle, form quizzes, rate, and comment on the questions. These questions become part of the question bank on Moodle and can be reused for quizzes.

As the teacher, you can decide the type of questions allowed in the pools and points given to the corresponding questions.

Because of its self-assessment nature and benefits that StudentQuiz offers learners, Moodle HQ is going to include this plugin in its core LMS from the 3.8 version onwards.

7. Ticking Who’s Present: Attendance

This simple, yet useful, Moodle plugin helps you register attendance for all your learners and maintain it in a digital record. This is useful because for some courses you may have to attend sessions, and your attendance in these sessions is considered as part of the criteria for completing a course.

With this tool, developed by Catalyst IT, you can mark your learners’ attendance as either present, absent, or excused. Similarly, if you are a student, you can keep a record of attendance for your own reference. If needed, the tool allows you to export a report of attendance in Excel or text format.

Moreover, Attendance is supported by your Moodle mobile application. It is also available in multiple languages: German, Spanish, and Russian.

8. Learning Analytics And Reporting: LearnerScript

LearnerScript is an advanced analytics and reporting tool. The main plus of this plugin is that it was designed and developed by a Moodle partner. Learning about the significant problems of learning analytics, like cumbersome Moodle custom report design, this tool provides solutions for multiple reporting dashboards from multiple roles. And, these dashboards are absolutely customizable.

Further, this exclusive tool for Moodle helps you design a Moodle report superfast, all that in one page itself. Sounds incredible, doesn’t it? Furthermore, with its super easy scheduling option, you can view reports without having to log in to your LMS.

The latest plugin in the Moodle family supports all your favorite databases: MySQL, MSSQL, pgSQL, and MariaDB. And, you can make an unlimited number of Moodle reports, like site-wide reports, avg. time spent, browser and device stats, Moodle course comparative analysis, etc.

With its affordability for all, LearnerScript saves you from breaking the bank because of exorbitant subscriptions.

9. Spotting The Unoriginal: Turnitin Plagiarism Checker

Plagiarism is a serious threat to academic integrity at any level of learning. As a result, what started out as a “peer review application” in 1998 turned into Plagiarism Checker, and is now a major plagiarism checker in academic circles. Its outstanding accuracy in detecting duplicate content has, therefore, resulted in the application receiving 500 million+ academic submissions up to 2014.

In regard to its use on Moodle, you can use this plugin with Moodle’s assignment module to check unoriginal content from your learners. However, this tool is not free. You need to subscribe to use it.

Despite its popularity, Plagiarism Checker is available in US English only. Translation into other international languages is underway.

10. Certifying Your L&D: Custom Certificate

I guess you love anything that is customizable on Moodle—and without having to pay a single penny. One such Moodle plugin is Custom Certificate. Using this free tool, you can create custom certificates to award your learners. In case you want to edit any certificate, like its color, font, etc., the plugin facilitates it through a web browser.

What a good way to award your learners with custom-made certificates, apart from badges, for free! If you have benefited from the tool and if you feel generous enough, you can chip in a few dollars to this plugin-maker. It will help improve the tool and benefit tens of thousands like you.

Needless to say, that the plugin works seamlessly well with Moodle versions starting from 3.0 and above.

11. Staying Updated: Resource Notification

How do you know if your learners know about a new activity/resource or edits in your course? Unless you send notifications to them, chances are that they do not know about the updates. But the Resource Notification plugin helps you do that job quite easily.

Whenever you add a new activity/resource to your course or make some changes in a course, you will see a new entry called "notification" at the end of the drop-down menu. When you click it, all those who have enrolled in your course will receive the notification about the update.

If you do not want to notify to all, you can select the names of recipients and send the notification. Currently, you can send notifications in seven languages.

12. Exporting Or Importing Questions: Moodle2Word

You have thousands of questions. But, do you sit up and start typing them on your Moodle? That's a good job to allocate to someone when you want to punish them! Or, you can use the Moodle2Word plugin if you, yourself, want to do the job.

Using this extremely helpful plugin, you can import all sorts of questions (with/without images) to the question bank in Moodle from the structured tables in Word. However, you can’t import numerical sums into Moodle. That’s the only minor drawback with this import option.

Similarly, you can export questions from Moodle to a Word or Excel file for offline or paper tests. Surprisingly, you can export numerical sums and valued questions. Apart from that, this tool supports question formats like drag-and-drop, image or text, missing word type, and so on.

So, isn’t the tool really helpful?

13. Engaging You Again: Reengagement

Oops, it all happens with every one of us sometimes. Sometimes, you tend to neglect or forget your learning, for reasons only heaven knows. In this scenario, you may need reminders to help. Well, this Moodle plugin, by Catalyst IT, does exactly the same job for you. You know that the name itself is straight forward about its purpose.

Using the Reengagement tool, you can send emails to remind your learners to complete a pending activity as well as release content material timely. If you finish tasks without fail, then you won’t get any reminders.

In conclusion, apart from these plugins, there are some other plugins like WebEx, Hotspot, Opencast Videos, 360° Feedback, etc., that can make your Moodle experience better. The only thing that is required is "need" on your part.