Blog Archives

Moodle and the mystery of the disappearing course enrolments

Its a good week for getting to the bottom of long standing mysteries.  Yesterday I finally solved a problem which had plagued one of my client’s moodle installations which involved student enrolments on courses disappearing without any obvious pattern.  Countless searches hadn’t turned up any reports of similar problems until I came across thismoodle bug tracker entry.  The comments on this report suggested the longtimenosee setting as a potential cause.  This Moodle setting is labelled – “Unsubscribe users from courses after” is defined on the Site administration > Server > Cleanup page and it appears to remove enrolments if a student doesn’t visit a particular course for a set time period.

Screenshot of the location of the Cleanup link

It appears that the student needs to visit that course at least once before this time limit will be applied.  By default this setting is set at a value of 120 days, so I have now set this to “Never” and intend to use this setting on all Moodle installations to avoid a problem like this being encountered again.

New setting for the longtimenosee setting

The moral of this story… I guess its to keep googling when you encounter a problem like this because finding that one page of information really is the key, but finding it isn’t always straightforward!  I’m glad I got there in the end!

 

Custom Moodle theming and reporting

A selection of custom moodle themes

Welcome to 2011, wishing you all an exciting and prosperous year!

Over the past year we have been involved in several projects that have involved developing custom themes for theMoodle Learning Management System usually aiming to match an existing website design. I thought I would share some of these in the image above which shows just how versatile Moodle is when being themed.  This really is one of the strengths of Moodle as its open source nature means you can get right into the code to modify the interface to match designs and layouts in detail.

Another benefit of the open access to Moodle code and database is that customised reporting facilities can be developed to meet the exact needs of course tutors and administrators (below is an example custom moodle report on a user’s progress in a course).

Example custom user progress report

Accessing appropriate data for tracking user progress in any Learning Management System is usually complicated and and off-putting.  Moodle is no exception to this.  However with a bit of PHP coding and an understanding of the data structures used by Moodle to log user interactions with the system, facilities displaying the appropriate information clearly and without extra clutter can be developed.

Developing custom Moodle themes and reporting facilities are spome of the many e-learning related services that we offer here at Webducate.  Please get in touch for more information.