My housemate is a character. She’s a lifelong vegan, works at a hardware store just for fun, has an alarmingly high government security clearance, and rides a full-sized adult tricycle.
Knowing her is a little depressing for me as a writer, because I know I will never be able to create a character as authentically unique as she is. I also kind of want to be her when I grow up.
She redesigned the inside of the historical house where we live. It’s over 100 years old, and she revamped the whole thing, from the walls to the floors to the electrical system (which she did herself). That electrical system has a lot of light switches, including several redundant switches, so you can turn the same light on or off without having to walk more than a few feet.
She calls this being lazy. I keep insisting it’s not lazy, but rather, brilliant. After all, why change the whole system when you can add on a few things and make it feel like new?
That’s my logic behind software, too. Why buy and install a whole new LMS when a few add-ons can do everything you need with way less work?
In that spirit, I’ve collected 15 Moodle add-ons that are great for corporate training as well as higher education. While we’ve written about Moodle plugins before, these ones have all been released or updated in the last year. Oh, and they’re all free.
Like gamification? Moodle Badges is a massive library full of free badges that can be awarded to your learners for any number of tasks. With 100 high quality images, there’s little that these badges can’t be used for. Just watch out for the auto-audio greeting that plays on the site.
Similar to the above, Badge Awarder is an add-on that helps with badge-based gamification. Specifically, Badge Awarder is a block that awards your chosen badges (Moodle Badges or otherwise) automatically within the system. Very helpful for large courses with too many learners to handle manually.
Is your eLearning system informal or relaxed? If you have few time constraints and alerts, or use offline work but still want to know when learning has been completed, this checklist plugin could help. This allows an admin to create a lists of tasks that the students can check off as they’re completed. Checklist progress can be exported to the gradebook as well.
Moodle has reporting functionality. But you might not feel tech-savvy enough to fuss with it. This block allows you to create custom reports, and includes a few basic templates to help you start.
They call it Essential for a reason. Moodle has a very distinct look which may not be suitable for your business needs. Essential gives you a theme that is clean, clear, and modern-looking for a much sleeker user experience.
What lessons are your learners’ favorite? Which areas do they practice the most? Heatmap is an instant visual reporting tool that shows you where users are clicking the most. If you want to know what your user experience is with your LMS, use Heatmap alongside your user survey for the most accurate, comprehensive picture possible.
7. Level Up!
The quintessential Moodle gamification plugin. Level Up! does exactly what it says by allowing your users to gain levels as they progress through course completion. Includes features like high score ranking, adjustable points, and image customization.
8. Link Crawler
If you’ve recently switched learning management systems, you know how scrambled everything can get. This tool checks all of your links and lets you know if any are broken, so you can fix it before your learners encounter problems. It’s also great if you’ve imported course content or are using older content.
Give yourself full access to Office tools within Moodle. This Microsoft plugin lets you access Office files automatically when Moodle’s file picker pops up, which makes importing documents, spreadsheets, and powerpoints much faster and simpler.
I’m forever harping on the importance of using surveys to determine your user experience. Instead of needing special survey software or a separate email, this plugin allows you to put a survey directly into your Moodle pages.
11. Question Trends
If you need to be SCORM compliant, I’m sure you’ve already got a handle on it. But you can always make your life easier. This plugin generations automatic SCORM reports with solid, specific statistics to measure how your learners are doing.
12. Ranking Block
If levels aren’t your thing, how about rankings? Ranking block is a point-based leaderboard system that displays how well your learners are doing to motivate them, their peers, and to give you some insight into their abilities.
Social learning is an awesome way to encourage a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of course material. Social Wall offers increased opportunities for your learners to communicate with one another, such as allowing your users to post statuses and comment on one another’s posts like Facebook.
Training Sessions is a reporting plugin that compiles overall reports of what your learners are doing in your system, how much of your courses they’ve completed, and how well they’re performing. Then you can export the info into an Excel sheet for quick and easy professional development progress reviews.
15. xAPI Launch Link
Moodle is great, but it isn’t automatically Tin Can friendly like some other LMSs. Fix that with this simple add-on, which lets you launch xAPI activities from within Moodle, no matter what program you use to host your lessons.
If you use Moodle, how do you customize it? Tell me about your favorite plugins and add-ons in the comments below. Like Moodle? Review it!