Teaching with Moodle

A unique situation (or maybe not!)

Picture of Anton Marais
A unique situation (or maybe not!)

Hi all,

I need a few pointers in the right direction. Here is my situation:

I have about a 80 users who have been working for the company for anything from 3 months to 3 years. I have found about 150 courses online that I want to make available in Moodle and track the users' progress as they start and complete the courses. 

The basic idea is that each course is contained in it's own "container" that spells out the particulars of the course (Course name, Source URL, Hours involved, etc.) and have some way to store and reference their "proof of completion" When they start a course they click a button/checkbox (so I can see who is busy with a course), then do the course (remember the courses are not on Moodle but external). When they complete the course, they return to Moodle and upload their certificate / score / test results (that they get from the external website), and then click a checkbox/button to signify that the course is complete.

At any point I should be able to answer the questions:

  • Who is busy with what? Give me a list of users and what course they are currently busy with.
  • Who has completed a specific course? Select a course and see who has completed it, or who is currently busy with it.
  • Which courses has a specific user completed? Select a user and get his/her individual record.

The situation is unique in that users have a 3 month period in which to complete a group of courses. They then move into a new group that makes new courses available to them. So the longer they are employed the more courses are available to them(The old courses stay available too). Let's assume I have these courses available:

  • Month 1-3 : Courses A,B,C
  • Month 4-6 : Courses D,E,F
  • Month 7-9 : Courses G,H,I
  • Month 10-12 : Courses J,K,L
  • etc.

User Working (months) Courses available)
1 3 A-C
2 4 A-C
3 8 A-I
4 9 A-I
5 9 A-I

Then next month this should happen:

User Working (months) Courses available)
1 4 A-F
2 5 A-F
3 9 A-I
4 10 A-L
5 10 A-L

As you can see each person gets more courses available depending on the months working. Some stay the same, some get more courses.

Now my problem: I don't know how to structure the data so that this can be administrated and I can pull the necessary reports to answer questions like the ones above. I know Moodle well enough to import data, create courses, backup, restore, etc. All I need is someone to tell me how to structure this so that at least some of it can be automated (courses becoming available, enrolling for new courses that have become available,etc.) I cannot see me moving users manually from course/group to course/group every month, and enrolling them, etc.

Any help would be appreciated.



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Re: A unique situation (or maybe not!)
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Trying to keep track of external courses from inside Moodle is not an easy task, and there are likely to be any number of successful approaches to resolving this. Right off the top of my head, with little or no thought at all, and using the information given, (so not really knowing your exact circumstances) I think I would try something like this: 

1. Set up each group of external courses that link together in a single Moodle Course - 1 external course per section. Say Moodle Course 1 is Month 1-3 Section 1 course A, Section 2 Course B, Section 3 Course C. Moodle Course 2 is Month 4-6 and so on. 

2. Create an Assignment for each Section which requires Users to upload their Certificate of Completion. 

3. Hold a short quiz, say no more than 5 questions, about the course they have just completed in each section. 

4. Using Completion Tracking and Restricted Activities, hide Section 2 until the Course A Certificate is uploaded AND the quiz has a result of 100%. Then the same for Course B Certificate and quiz to activate Course C.    

Repeat through all courses. 

The issue, I suspect, is that unless you have all Users working through the Moodle, you won't be able to track completion. So the response is how to be able to keep them coming back to Moodle, thus keeping your tracking in place. 

Of course, this kind of structure is difficult to implement if Users can select different courses to undertake and can make their way to the end goal by any number of paths. In this case, you may want to use one single Moodle Course with a Choice activity at the end of each section instead of a quiz. As they select their path, make a choice, a record is kept of what their selections are so gives you an idea of what Certificates you would expect to see.

Another alternative is to find out if the external sites are LTI compliant, then you should be able to use the Moodle LTI implementation to connect to the courses. This SHOULD allow you to track your Users completion status considerably more easily. 

I suspect there are other solutions, but these are the ones I am likely to try first.   

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