I would also like to use Moodle as a schoolroom administration tool. (Face-to-face administration). Is there a plugin for it or a software that can be used to extend Moodle?
Best regards Marlise
Hi Marlise, this is a trap that a lot of people fall into.
There are different tools for different purposes, and currently, there is no one-size-fits all tool for both learning and classroom management anywhere, AFAIK.
Moodle is a VLE, a Virtual Learning Environment, or better known as an LMS, a Learning Management System. That is what it is designed for.
What I suspect you may looking for is a Student Management System, an SMS. The SMS keeps track of enrollments, reports, attendance/absences, general and specific information about the student and a variety of other functions that relate to student information and their school history. This could also be known as a Student Information System, SIS, although that seems more specific than a management system.
I have thought that perhaps the two functions could be combined, but it is just not feasible, I suspect. The definitions of each are not mutually exclusive, but the encoding and management of such a combined tool would become monstrous and extremely complex. Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle would dictate that more complex a system, the less adaptable to change, the higher the risk of malfunction and the more chronic the outcome of malfunction.
Considering this, though, it is always possible that some specific daily functionality could be included in Moodle, or some specific learning functionality could be included in the SMS, but I doubt it would be all that satisfactory.
Having said all that, there are several existing tools in Moodle that could be used for classroom management purposes, e.g. the Book tool could be used like a diary for recording information about a student, with one chapter per student, and a sub-chapter for specific incidents, which can be hidden from students. The Attendance plugins can be used to track attendance, but from memory, they are really designed to work with a course, not as a general daily attendance roll. You could have a course that contains the plugins and students are required to log into that course, registering their attendance, but it becomes easy for someone to log in as someone else when that someone else wants a day off school.
We use QL for the SMS functions, but we don't really call it an SMS in the UK - we call it an MIS as even small ones can get complicated (and the UK government's own procurement advice refers to them as MIS for both schools and colleges / universities). SIMS is apparently the most-used software to manage students, in UK schools - a but a lot of colleges (including this one) are moving to ProSolution from QL.
We have ProMonitor already, which acts as the eILP that students interact with the most (staff feed their grades into it, targets, and notes on behaviour etc but the list of courses and funding/money side is handled by QL and attendance is part of the QL side, which shows up in ProMonitor). Various moodle people have tried to make ProMonitor talk to moodle in both directions, and failed to get a fully working project.
One system that can do everything apart from be the LMS would be ace. But you'd need it to be modular.