Moodle Drupal Integration and Features

Gaining an understanding of Moodle Drupal integration and the features is imperative for users.When software applications first emerged, they brought several enhancement benefits that led to the current dependence on them as solutions to numerous problems. The rate at which new software is developed is tremendous. It is now obvious that software engineers will need to focus on developing middleware platforms that integrate separate software to share information.

In fact, there already exist various integration modules that enable synchronization of data from two or more software applications. One of them is the Moodle Drupal integration that enables Moodle and Drupal platforms to work together in sync. To understand how this form of integration works, its benefits and how to achieve it, you must first have a clear distinction between the two different applications.

• Moodle – To review, this is an acronym that stands for modular-object-oriented dynamic learning. It is a freeware that was first released over a decade ago in 2002. Moodle is basically learning management system LMS (also referred to as virtual learning environment VLE or course management system CMS). It is a virtual learning platform that allows the creation of online courses or programs and interaction/sharing of learning content and resources.

The Moodle module comprises various features that include its main software. This software offers a portal where the Moodle community (over a million registered users) can interact and share resources, ideas and support services.

• Drupal – Drupal is a free content management open-source framework. It is written in PHP language and contains features characteristic of a quintessential CMS. Drupal modules are often used in various applications mainly as a back-end framework for website content management. Approximately 2.1% of all existing websites use Drupal frameworks to manage their contents. Drupal offers solutions such as account registrations, site maintenance, RSS feeds and menu management, layout customization, taxonomy among others.

Moodle Drupal integration is simply the harmonizing of relevant data across these two applications to enable automation of certain tasks. This integration also increases the number and enhances analysis of existing metrics. To accomplish the integration, it is important to know which features each software houses and how components will be integrated.

Moodle Drupal Integration and Features

Moodle is a learning management system that comes with a host of features to assist course creation, administration of learning resources, evaluations and certification. Some of the Moodle features include the following:

• Discussions forums
• Assignment release and submission platforms
• Files downloads, instant messenger and online calendar
• Online announcements and news at course level and college level
• Online quizzes, wiki modules and Gamification

Drupal on the other hand comes with a set of features to help companies organize their contents, maintain free flowing feeds and manage a website. It ensures the viewers of your website have access to nicely organized content, maneuverable display and layout as well as a clear path to follow. In simple terms, Drupal enhances a site’s accessibility by merging aspects of ergonomics and high quality viewer experience. This is the exact environment needed for a learning management system. Some of the key features offered by Drupal include the following:

• Access to logging and statistics, books, blogs and comment forums
• Advanced searches and descriptive URLs
• Multiple user content creation, site support and menu levels
• Aggregation, RSS feeds and OpenID support platforms
• Security features such as access restriction, user role definitions and user profiles
• Automation systems such as work flow action-trigger tools

When these features are listed, it becomes clearer why Moodle Drupal integration is one of the best solutions to achieving inter-software efficiency. The integration will ensure all contents, communications, feeds and other operations of a Moodle LMS are efficiently organized and automated using Drupal management modules. In simple terms, the idea is synonymous to managing moodle contents and workflow using Drupal capability features.
How to Integrate Moodle and Drupal

To accomplish a successful Moodle Drupal integration that is functional, you need a middleware. There are many third party packages used in integrating Moodle and Drupal. These packages (modules or software) do not offer any end-user features (side uses, capabilities or advantages of their own).

Their main purpose is to integrate Moodle and Drupal so that information between the two can be shared and capabilities used to update each others contents. They are therefore only installed when needed by other modules. The integration is more of adding Drupal features to manage Moodle systems rather than the reverse. The third party package acts as a common interface between the two software applications. The main features included in such integration packages are”

  • An administrator screen that allows one to perform settings on Moodle database and,
  • An API function that allows connection to the Moodle database.

Some of the third party modules used in Moodle Drupal integration includes Moodle Connector, Drupal Commerce, Drupal Moodle and Totara Drupal among many others. These packages allow integration between CMS (content management systems), LMS and e-commerce applications.

Advantages of the Integration

The advantages of integrating CMS and LMS modules are very conspicuous and defined. Learning management systems are some of the busiest and require optimum organization, refreshing, updates, analysis, structure and layout. To achieve effective organization and flow of activities as well as information, you will need efficient content management systems that can handle large junks of information. Moodle has excellent support community including tech support options.

They offer simple content managing features, which is of course a common bonus characterized by most modern software modules. You however still need a dedicated system that can access, separate and manage heavy loads of information while at the same time refreshing your sites. A high quality LMS module should only be integrated with equal quality CMS. Benefits include defined workflow, task automation, scheduled reminders, information/resource sharing and homogeneous updating.

Conclusion

Virtual learning environments are becoming the preferred options for most modern training institutions as the digital world is gradually adopted. This means such communities are only destined to witness registration influx and corresponding increased volumes of information. Institutions that employ such solutions will need to find a more efficient way of managing this increasing information to maintain, if not improve client experience. Software integration is only the first stage. Future trends may require partnership between developers to offer solutions that are already integrated as a single suite, but for now this Moodle Drupal Integration overview should give you insight.

Nicole Lewis is the Lead Author & Editor of MyLMStips. MyLMStips is dedicated to providing the most engaging topics, information, tips and tricks surrounding Moodle®. It's a place where Moodle® users can receive guidance on how to get the most out of it and increase their productivity and progress.