by Lingel Learning | Apr 28, 2023 | LMS, Moodle
In this article, we will be discussing the best practices for maintaining and upgrading your Moodle LMS. As an administrator, It’s important to keep your site and its plugins up to date to ensure integrity, security, and compliance.
Please refer to Moodle’s Official Documentation
for detailed information.
Maintaining your Moodle LMS
It’s a good idea to periodically check the System status report available by visiting:
Site administration > Reports > System status.
This overall report provides information on the status of the server environment requirements, upgrade requirements, cron execution frequency, number of failed tasks, and whether the ad-hoc task queue is empty.
The administrators should frequently check the ‘Notifications’ page found by visiting:
Site administration > Notifications
This page will display notifications/errors of interest to the site administrator. Administrators can check for available plugin updates and download newer versions of Moodle if available.
Before upgrading your Moodle LMS version
It is recommended that you test the upgraded Moodle version on a staging site (copy of the production site) to ensure it is working properly.
Check that your server meets all the requirements for the new Moodle version (eg. Moodle 4.1):
Site administration > Server > Environment
Note: Moodle 4.1 can only be upgraded from Moodle 3.9 or later. For previous versions, upgrade to Moodle 3.9 first.
It’s recommended that Moodle LMS administrations put their site into maintenance mode to prevent non-administrative users from logging in. This is to prevent user access during version upgrades. Users will be informed of the ‘Maintenance Mode’ status when visiting your Moodle LMS.
Backup site data
In addition to backing up your Moodle LMS, you should also back up the following areas:
- Moodle software
- Uploaded files (eg. server/moodledata)
- Moodle database (eg. MySQL database dump)
Upgrading your Moodle LMS version
The latest release of Moodle can be downloaded by visiting:
You can follow the instructions outlined in Moodle’s upgrading documentation.
by Lingel Learning | Feb 28, 2023 | LMS, Moodle
What are authentication methods
Within Moodle, there are numerous ways to authenticate users into your site. These are often referred to as Authentication methods. You can set and view the current authentication methods for your site by navigating to:
Site administration > Plugins > Authentication > Manage authentication
You can disable specific authentication methods or move their order within the list of priorities. The table will also display the number of users that are using this authentication method to log into your site.
What is single-sign-on?
Single-sign-on is a service that allows a user to log into multiple websites and software with a single identity. For example, you may be familiar with using your Google account to log into multiple websites. This service is beneficial due to its simplicity, and not requiring the user to memorize multiple login credentials for various sites.
The SAML2 and OpenID are two popular single-sign-on plugins used within the Moodle community.
The SAML2 plugin is a great choice because all the setting configuration is done within Moodle. This means that you do not need to perform any additional installs or utilize any extra applications. You can install the plugin and ensure that you have enabled it within the Manage authentication page. You may access the SAML2 settings from this page or follow the instructions below.
Access SAML2 settings page:
Site administration > Plugins > Authentication > SAML2
For more information on the SAML2 authentication plugin please refer to:
The OpenID authentication plugin provides the single-sign-on functionality by utilizing configurable identity providers. These include the Azure Active Directory which is included in the Microsoft 365 suite of plugins. This plugin allows users to log into Moodle with their Microsoft 365 account. Users with the existing Moodle accounts can be switched over to this authentication type. In addition, new users can log in with this plugin and have a new Moodle account created for them.
Please ensure that you have enabled the plugin on the Manage authentication page. You can access the settings for OpenID Connect by clicking the settings link or alternatively by following the instructions below.
Access OpenID Connect settings page:
Site administration > Plugins > Authentication > OpenID Connect
For more information on the Moodle legacy OAuth2 authentication, plugin please refer to:
For more information on Google’s OAuth2 authentication plugin, please refer to:
Setting a user’s authentication method
A user’s authentication method can be updated or defined when the user account is created or when the user profile is edited.
For example, users who have the OpenID Connect authentication method may log into your Moodle site by clicking the OpenID Connect button on the login page.
by Lingel Learning | Jan 31, 2023 | e-learning, LMS, Moodle
Making Moodle courses more interactive is a great way to engage students and increase their participation and retention. Here are some tips and tricks to help you make your Moodle courses more interactive:
Moodle allows you to add multimedia elements such as videos, images, and audio to your courses. By incorporating these elements, you can make your courses more engaging and interactive. For example, you can use videos to introduce new concepts, images to illustrate key points, and audio to provide audio instructions. You can also use screen recording tools to create interactive video tutorials that can be used to guide students through a particular process or concept.
Use forums and discussion boards
Moodle has built-in forums and discussion boards that allow students to interact with each other and with the teacher. These tools can be used to facilitate discussions, ask questions, and provide feedback. By creating open-ended questions or discussions, you can encourage students to express their opinions and share their thoughts. You can also use these tools to create peer-review assignments, where students can provide feedback on each other’s work.
Use quizzes and assessments
Moodle has a variety of quizzes and assessments that can be used to test students’ knowledge and understanding. These tools can be used to provide immediate feedback and to encourage students to participate more actively in the course. You can also use these tools to create interactive quizzes, where students can get immediate feedback on their answers and see explanations for the correct answers.
Moodle provides a great selection of reports for both administrators and teachers to conduct their e-learning. Despite this wide array of reports, some administrators and teachers may require additional reports that provide their organisations with advanced information. With Virtual Slate, our interactive dashboards allow you to report against your courses, activities, and users and view detailed reports.
Use collaborative tools
Moodle has a variety of collaborative tools such as wikis, blogs, and group assignments that allow students to work together on projects and assignments. These tools can be used to encourage collaboration and teamwork among students. By creating group projects, you can foster a sense of community among students, and give them opportunities to learn from each other.
Use gamification techniques
Gamification is the use of game elements and design techniques in non-game contexts. You can use gamification techniques to make your Moodle courses more interactive and engaging by incorporating elements such as points, badges, and leaderboards. By making learning feel like a game, students will be more motivated to participate and engage with the course material.
Use feedback and analytics
Moodle has built-in analytics and feedback tools that allow you to track student progress and engagement. These tools can be used to identify areas where students are struggling and to adjust your teaching methods accordingly. By using these tools, you can get a better sense of what’s working and what’s not, and make changes to your courses to make them more interactive and effective.
Incorporating these tips and tricks into your Moodle courses can help to make them more interactive and engaging for your students. However, it’s important to remember that every class and every student is different, so it may take some experimentation to find the best approach for your specific situation. Don’t be afraid to ask for student feedback, and be open to adjusting your approach as needed. With the right strategies in place, you can create an interactive and engaging learning experience that will help your students to succeed.
by Lingel Learning | Dec 9, 2022 | LMS
Lingel Learning is proud to announce we are the winners of ‘Moodle Certified Partner of the Year 2022 – Asia Pacific region (APAC) for the 2nd year in a row’. We have been continually working with our customers (from startups to enterprise level) to deliver excellent and award winning (no pun intended 😉) solutions.
Over the past couple of years we have been working on products that help new customers to get up and running in e-learning with ease as well as helping already established online learning organisations improve and automate their offerings.
Established in 2011, Lingel Learning has prided itself on its commitment to Moodle. With offices in Canada and Australia, we continue to deliver exceptional services to our clients across a range of industries such as Corporate, Government, Education and Not-for-profit.
Lingel Learning offer its clients the benefit of using Moodle’s latest and greatest features along with enrolmart and the Virtual Slate framework that comes bundled with advanced plugins, integrations, and user-friendly dashboards.
We are looking forward to the new year and helping our clients get the most out of their learning management systems.
by Lingel Learning | Sep 21, 2022 | LMS
In Moodle, there are multiple ways to grade your student(s) work. Some popular activities that are commonly used to grade student work are the Assignment and Quiz activities. You may already be familiar with these activity types, however, today we will focus our attention on the various grading options when working with these activities.
It is important to mention that not all activities and resources within Moodle support grade settings. Activities and resources within Moodle will have their own grade settings that associate with them. For example, when adding a new assignment activity to your course, the following grade options are available:
- Grade: Select the grade type that will be used (none, scale, point). You must also provide a Maximum grade value for the assignment activity when using the point grade type. If you decide to use the scale grade type, then you must specify the scale to be used for grading.
- Grading method: Choose the advanced grading method that will be used to assess student work (simple direct grading, marking guide, rubric). Set this value to simple direct grading to disable advanced grading methods. Otherwise, select the advanced grading method you would like to use.
- Grade category: The grade category that the activity grade will be placed in within the gradebook.
Grade to pass: Specify the minimum grade required in order to pass the activity. This value is used when assessing activity and course completion.
Grade to pass: Specify the minimum grade required in order to pass the activity. This value is used when assessing activity and course completion.
Anonymous submissions: Specify whether student identity is hidden from the grader/markers.
Hide grader identity from students: Specify whether grader/marker identity is hidden from the students.
Use marking workflow: If enabled, the marks will go through a series of workflow stages before the grades are released to students. This allows for multiple rounds of marking and students will all receive marks at the same time.
- Hide grader identity from students: Specify whether grader/marker identity is hidden from the students.
- Use marking workflow: If enabled, the marks will go through a series of workflow stages before the grades are released to students. This allows for multiple rounds of marking and students will all receive marks at the same time.
Advanced grading methods:
When setting up the assignment activity, you can choose to use Advanced Grading Methods. To do so, you can click the Rubric or Marking guide over the simple direct grading methods.
When working with the Rubric method, you will be required to define a rubric that will be used by graders to assess the student’s grade, based on criteria plotted against levels of achievement. Each level is assigned a numeric grade which is then used to calculate a sum of all criteria grades.
Here is an example shown of a rubric grading method. In this scenario, the student received a 2/2 in Grammer, ½ in Research, and 2/2 in the Syntax criteria levels. This results in a total grade of ⅚ (83.33%) in the gradebook for the assignment activity.
The marking guide advanced grading method allows teachers to provide comments and grades for each criterion. For example, here is an example shown of an assignment activity that utilizes the marking guide advanced grading method. There are 2 criteria defined, one for Research, and one for Grammar. In the image below, the user has obtained a 2/2 in research, and ½ in grammar. This results in a ¾ and final activity grade of 75% within the gradebook.
Quiz grading methods:
With the quiz activity, you can specify the number of attempts allowed. Depending on your requirements, you can specify the maximum number of times a user can attempt a specific quiz.
When setting up the quiz activity, you can select from the following grading methods:
- Highest grade: the highest grade from all user attempts.
- Average grade: the average grade from all user attempts.
- First attempt: the grade from the user’s first attempt.
- Last attempt: the grade from the user’s last attempt.
by Lingel Learning | Aug 22, 2022 | LMS
Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) is a learning technology standard developed by IMS Global Learning Consortium. LTI acts as a medium to integrate learning tools (virtual applications developed by providers) into another platform, which is the tool consumer. Moodle can be both an LTI tool consumer and provider; we can export content available in a Moodle instance as a resource to other platforms, and we can also import content from other providers into Moodle.
Using Moodle as an LTI consumer
Teachers can use the External tool to link external resources from LTI compliant platforms to their Moodle course page and also have users’ grades sent into Moodle from where they are being externally calculated. This means that users can conveniently just log into Moodle to access resources without having to go to the provider’s platform with a separate login.
The following instructions need to be followed to set this up:
1) In a course, find and click on the Turn editing on button
2) Go to the desired course section and click on the Add an activity or resource button
3) In the pop-up that opens, go to the Activities tab and click on the option External tool
3) This will direct you to the settings page for the activity. The name must be provided and a description as well if necessary. The External tool’s URL has to be provided along with the consumer key and shared secret, which are provided by the External tool provider. The settings are described in more detail in the next section.
4) Save the changes
External tool settings
This section covers the settings of the External tool activity when it is added to a course and also the site administration level settings for the course module.
The activity settings have eight different setting groups. Except for General and Privacy settings, which are specific to the External tool, the remaining groups are general activity settings that you can read more about from these links:
- Activity name
- Add a title, description if required, with your choice of display
- Activity description
- Give a short description here
- Display description on course page
- Choose to show the description along with the activity name
- Display activity name when launched
- Have this appear when the student clicks the link.
- Display activity description when launched
- Have this appear when the student clicks the link.
- Secure tool URL
- This overrides the tool URL when moodle uses SSL (if your site is configured to use HTTPS in the web root)
- Consumer key
- This tells the External tool’s site that your Moodle is allowed to connect.
- The site will issue you with this key
- If you are merely linking to a tool with no secure access or gradebook sharing, you won’t need a consumer key
- If you are linking to a course or activity from another Moodle site, you can add any consumer key
- Shared secret
- This is the authentication passphrase to connect to the External tool’s site
- Custom parameters
- The tool provider might use this to allow you to display a specific resource
- This setting may be left blank for most External tools
- Icon URL
- Enter the URL to a different icon you want to display instead of the default External Tool icon
- Secure Icon URL
- Enter the URL of a different icon here if your students are accessing Moodle securely via SSL
- Preconfigured tool
- This is how Moodle communicates with the tool provider. If in doubt, leave as default
- If your administrator has made a tool available site-wide, you will be able to select it here
- Select content button
- This button is for LTI Content-Item configuration
- Tool URL
- This is the URL for connecting to the tool’s external site.
- If your Moodle site uses SSL (is on HTTPS), you will only be able to use a tool that also uses SSL. Make sure the tool URL has HTTPS before attempting to use it or you may get a blank page
- Launch container
- This is how the External tool will be displayed and one of the following options must be picked:
- Default – If in doubt, leave as default
- Embed – The External tool will be embedded in the Moodle course page with blocks and navigation bar
- Embed without blocks – The External tool will be embedded in the Moodle course page but without blocks
- New Window – The External tool will open in a new window (a new window or tab will open with the External tool and the old browser window containing the course page will not change)
- Share launcher’s name with the tool
- The student’s name will be displayed on the connected External tool site
- Share launcher’s email with the tool
- The student’s email will be displayed on the connected External tool site
- Accept grades from the tool
- The connected External tool site will send back grades to Moodle’s gradebook
- This will be discussed in more detail
Site administration settings
Adding a tool site-wide
A site administrator can manually configure External tools from Admin dashboard > Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > External tool > Manage tools to render them available across the site.
A tool can be configured so that it is shown in the course module selection pop-up menu when adding an activity/resource to a course.
Registering a tool using a cartridge
A cartridge can be used to register a tool type. This will configure all the necessary settings info so you don’t need to from the settings page. Enter the tool’s cartridge URL into the “Tool URL…” field and click on the Add button, as shown in the screenshot below.
Then, you will be asked to enter a consumer key and shared secret. If you do not possess these, you can leave the fields blank.
Registering an External tool
To register an External tool, enter the tool URL into the same “Tool URL…” field and click on the same Add button. This will open the tool and prompt you to provide some settings.
Then, you will be shown the capabilities the tool wants to use and you can decide if you want to proceed with it.
Viewing more details
On the Manage tools page, you can also go to Manage preconfigured tools to view the preconfigured tools under Active, Pending, Rejected tabs.
You can also go to Manage external tool registrations to view the tool registrations under Configured, Pending, Accepted, Rejected tabs.
From here, you can click on Configure a new external tool registration to add a tool with limited capabilities.
- Tool provider name
- Name given by the provider
- Registration URL
- URL given by the provider
- Select all capabilities you want the provider to have
- Select all services you want to offer the provider
Once you have configured these settings and saved the page, click on the checkmark to register.
After a success message is displayed, click Register to complete the registration process.
If all requirements are met, you will be able to register automatically. Now, you can go to Admin dashboard > Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > External tool > Manage external tool types and click on the Pending tab, then click the checkmark to activate it.
External tool capabilities
You can read about each of the External tool capabilities in further detail from these links:
Note: You can view a list of LTI certified tools from IMS Global at this link.
Using Moodle as an LTI tool provider
The enrolment plugin Publish as LTI tool and the LTI authentication plugin can be used to allow remote users on a different platform to access select courses and activities/resources on your Moodle site.
Since the users need to access content on the Moodle site, they need an account for the site and need to be enrolled in the appropriate course, which is why both those plugins are needed for LTI tool provider functionality.
Enabling ‘Publish as LTI tool’ at the site level
Site administrators can enable the ‘Publish as LTI tool’ authentication plugin from Admin dashboard > Site administration > Plugins > Authentication > Manage authentication.
Site administrators can enable the Publish as LTI tool enrolment plugin from Admin dashboard > Site administration > Plugins > Enrolments > Manage enrol plugins.
Note: It is recommended that site administrators set Allow frame embedding to ‘enabled’ from Admin dashboard > Site Administration > Security > HTTP security so that tools are displayed within a frame rather than in a new window. We recommend that you use HTTPS on your Moodle instance. Please see Transitioning to HTTPS for more information.
Sharing access to a course or activity
Go to the enrolment methods page within a selected course and add the Publish as LTI tool enrolment method.
Begin by providing a custom instance name, and the activity within this course (or the course itself) that you wish to share to external users. In addition, you may wish to provide an optional enrollment duration, and date range for which external users may have access to the shared material. Furthermore, a maximum number of enrolled users can be specified (if this is set to zero then an unlimited number of remote external users may be enrolled). Lastly, a role can be provided for both the remote teacher and student roles.
Next, the teacher should specify the credentials and settings for the remote external system.
- A string of characters which is shared with the remote system (LTI consumer) to provide access to the tool.
- Grade synchronization
- Whether grades from the tool are sent to the remote system (LTI consumer).
- Require course or activity completion prior to grade synchronization
- Teachers can specify whether a course or activity should be completed before the grade synchronization is to be triggered.
- User synchronization
- Whether a scheduled task synchronizes enrolled users in the remote system with enrolments in this course, creating an account for each remote user as necessary, and enrolling or un-enrolling them as required. If set to “No”, at the moment when a remote user accesses the tool, an account will be created for them and they will be automatically enrolled.
- User synchronization mode
- Whether remote users should be enrolled and/or unenrolled from this course.
Finally, the course creator or teacher may set up default user values for remote external users.
After you have successfully added the LTI enrolment method to your course, you can navigate to the Course administration page to view and copy the registration URL for the LTI consumer site. Go to the Published as LTI tools page from the drop down menu.
Note: You should share the registration URL and secret key with the LTI consumer site in order for them to access your site. The above links will be different for your Moodle instance, but relatively follow the same format such as “http://yourmoodlesite.com/enrol/lti/”.
For more information on the Publish as LTI tool plugin, please read the Publish as LTI tool Moodle article.