Understanding the Moodle Admin


The open source platform provides unrivaled flexibility for Moodle admin users but this also comes with the need of gaining expertise in the goldmine of online learning outcomes that is Moodle.

Getting Familiar with Moodle Admin

The key is consistently spending time on a regular basis to gain further exposure to the Moodle admin benefits, risks, how specific functions are specified, what parameters are paramount for your Moodle course admin needs and how different plugins interact with your course design.

Getting all this done in practice commensurate with your expectations and design can be a daunting idea, but thankfully its users have a lot of support, from a number of sources.

Learning and Support

The online community of its users is a great resource, building relationships through its forums will help build an army of support you can access at any time. Using the Moodle course admin support team is also a valuable resource and indeed if there are major pieces of work in the design of your course, you can access the Moodle site admin developers to assist you.

Spending time with how to moodle.com is also a valuable resource for leaning the elements of its There are also courses that can be attended to provide you with a steeper learning curve and build relationships for future reference down the track.

The two-day course can be attended by any aspiring Moodle site admin user, for those wanting to get a better handle on it in a concentrated time frame. The first day of the course focuses on site administration covering the following key areas:

Site organization:

Manage options to organise the site

Managing Settings:

Identify and manage standard options and appearance settings that impact on your users’ experience


Customize the interface terminology

Managing Authentication:

Create and manage user accounts with manual and email authentication

Managing Enrolments:

Add users to courses using different enrolment methods

Managing Roles:

Permissions: Identify, assign, modify, create and manage roles

The second day of the course focuses on your course administration:

Managing Permissions:

Adapt and review user permissions within a course

Managing Groups:

Manage user participation and segmentation with groups and groupings

Completion Tracking:

Enable facilitators and learners to track progress in a course. Learn how to configure programmed, teacher and learner initiated completion tracking options

Conditional access:

Define criteria within resources and activities to restrict access to specific course content

Monitoring activity:

Access and monitor learner activity logs within a course


Re-use and archive activities and courses

Orphaned Activities:

Add activities/resources to a course that are not directly associated with a topic/section

Using the Gradebook:

Customise gradebook by creating categories and exploring different configuration options


Reward learners and allow them to share progress and achievement with others using badges

Doing the Moodle admin course will be the most efficient use of your time by bringing together key parts of its you may not have realised were integrated. Having the ability to bounce questions off the admin course trainer will means you will learn much more dynamically and quickly.

Moodle Admin Documentation

In the absence of doing this course there is lots of information you can access as a new Moodle admin user, or an existing Moodle admin user who wants to brush up or expand you expertise on such a powerful but broad platform.

The documentation section provides its users with a great resource for self-learning. There is well-explained graphically assisted documentation that is easy to follow for key elements of its functions.

For example, if you’re beginning at day one. There is a well-explained home page’ construction to get your learning outcomes out of first gear. Changing the look and feel of your site to keep students engaged and refreshed is also explained. Adding courses is obviously a key part of the Moodle course admin process. This can be done on an individual course basis or as a bulk upload through CSV.

There is full description in the documentation of the different ways its user can set security profiles by which new students can enroll to courses, using an authentication process that employs email verification. Setting the design of this correctly in the first instance will go along way to a hands-off’ approach to your course operations, as Moodle looks after the processes for you.

Tips and Tricks

With every system there are tips and tricks that make the management of the site more efficient and robust. A great example of this is the ability to use previous Moodle templates that already have many of the settings controlled. This provides a great starting point if you can see a template which mirrors your intended learning outcome design. By accessing the Site Administration > Plugins > Activity modules area the Moodle site admin user will find pre-existing templates. Simply apply the plugin and you have the constructed learning centre ready for you, the user, to add courses.

By perusing the Advanced features’ section of the same Site Management area, a Moodle site admin user will find interesting features to enhance learning outcomes. Features like RSS feeds, blogs, completion tracking, portfolios and badges. If students have a busy schedule the Moodle site admin user can even assist their learning outcomes and time management by applying mobile access. Enabling the mobile app through the Plug-in > Web Services menu, students and teachers can be in touch with coursework and colleague interaction anytime of day in any place. This is a great feature to add to its toolkit. There’s even a plugin for language services, so the course can access a multi-lingual base of students.

The broad nature of the Moodle platform bring with it huge potential for any of its user. With it comes the crucially important need to have the expertise. Expertise of its user to bring together the intended course design, and the practical implications for every teacher and student logging into the course having the same intended experience. With time spent on enriching your Moodle administration capabilities and accessing the support team and online community as you require, and indeed being at the forefront of new features and plugins, the added benefit to learning outcomes will be immeasurable.


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.