Please forgive this newbie, but I have searched for my question and can't find it in clear language for me. I hope you don't mind me asking for help. I am desperate.
I work on a moodle course that is hosted by a university. The course is 302 mb. The university is telling me that it is too big and, therefore, the size makes it slow for users. Is this true? Does the amount of content in one moodle course impact the speed it moves for the user? I took out a large chunk of it and no change in speed and only a small change in size.
Thank you for your help,
Wish I knew more
Why should the University tell you that, their physics dept. could give you an exact figure. My rough calculation goes like this:
- get the density and the dimensions of the disk and calculate the inertia
- from the inertia and seek time, get the torque of the drive
- distribute the 300 MB @ 10^-38 kg/bit evenly on the disk (see http://scottkurowski.com/massbit/index.htm ) and calculate the new seek time.
Seriously, if they have a state-of-the-art computer, 302 MB lying around is peanuts. People talk of 6 GB courses in this forum. Either your University does not want to give you the resources or they can't handle a demanding application.
Just a thought. Could it be that you might have misunderstood your system administrators? As Visvanath says, 302Mb is not really so big but could it be that some of your individual images and media are too big? This could certainly slow down access for some users via the internet.
For example, there is no point uploading a photo Megabytes in size for a small or medium sized image on a webpage. The file should be resized with a suitable image editor before uploading. Audio and Video can be similarly optimized.
Excuse me if you already know about these points.
There are many reasons for a Moodle site to be slow, and some of those are related to the system setup and configuration - the responsiblity of your IT dept.
However if your course, in particular, is slow then I would start looking at your course. The large size of your course leads me to believe you might have a lot of pictures or graphics loaded into your course, or perhaps a lot of large documents - PDFs, PowerPoints, etc.
The first thing I look for is resized pictures or graphics. Many instructors upload large, high resolution pictures, then set the size to something very small (e.g. 1" x 2", or 100px x 200px). This really slows down your course for two reasons 1) it takes time to transmit the large picture file from the server to the browser, and 2) then the local computer has to resize the picture as it is displayed. You can notice this if pictures in your course display very slowly. The solution to this problem is to resize and compress your pictures _before_ loading them into your Moodle course.
A second problem I've seen (especially in Moodle 1.9) is courses slowing down when a page contains a lot of text copied/pasted from Microsoft Word. MS Word puts a lot (and I mean a lot) of useless hidden code in documents that gets copied over when you copy/paste text into Moodle. If you have done this, open the Moodle document edit window and click the HTML < > icon. You might see several pages of code. If that is the case, use the editor's W (clean MS Word) icon to see if it can remove most of the code. If not, you will want to delete the text in Moodle, then save your MS Word document in plain text format before doing a copy/paste. Reformat the text in Moodle with the Moodle editor.
If you have a lot of large PowerPoint files (especially with a lot of graphics), those can make your course appear slow when students access the ppt file. The solution is to save the ppt file with compressed graphics.
Large PDF files can also load very slowly and make your course appear slow. Adobe Acrobat PRO can save PDFs in a compressed format. Another option is to break the PDF file into several sub-files or pages and place them in a Moodle Book.
I also advise instructors to clean out unused files from the Moodle 1.9 files area.
I hope this gives you a start. I'm willing to take a quick look at your course if you want to give me access (reply privately if you do this).
Thank you to everyone who has posted here. Thank you Floyd for your offer to take a look, I may really need that help. A follow up question Floyd, my course has a lot of large size PowerPoints. You said this can make the course appear slow when students access the ppt file. So, does this mean if they are not trying to access the file, it shouldn't run slow? Is it just slow when they try to open the ppt?
With sincere gratitude!
Possibly I misunderstood this:
>>> Does the amount of content in one moodle course impact the speed it moves for the user?
I thought, it was about the size of one course making another course slow. That would be a joke.
Of course, your course will be slow as seen by the end user, if they need to download big files.
My first question is "In which ways is your course slow?"
Do you mean the course main page takes a long time to fully load? Do you mean, as I think you just said, that PPTs take a long time to "open" (actually, I believe the PPT needs to be totally downloaded to a user's computer and then opened, unless you are using IE, in which case, the same thing is happening but it appears to open inside IE)?
Do you mean that quizzes run alowly?
It just seems like every click takes time to load. Not even just when you click on a file, but when you click a link or anything. Every click takes a while.
Moodle is affected by lots of issues.
- You could be looking at a hardware/software issue outside of Moodle. For instance, the estimate of RAM Gb needed is often 50 concurrent users to 1 Gb of RAM. BUT, the definition of "concurrent user" is not easily made.
- PPT downloads are no fun for users, as they are downloads. They won't start instanteously. Unless you make them into Flash files (Open Office will convert relatively simple PPTs into flash files. AND, Open Office is free.)
- If you have many sections and links on your course front page, it will take a long time in most browsers to load.
- If you have lots of links and files, etc. on any one particular link off the course front page, that will take time to load.
I advise you to take advantage of Flord's offer to look at the course. Communicate with him off this forum.