Welcome back! In recent weeks we’ve gone through everything from installing Moodle, to common mistakes and post installation tips. This time, we’ll be taking you through the most popular Moodle plugins of the year so far.
What’s a plugin I hear you ask? Well, in short, they can be described as added extras to your Moodle site that will help it stand out from the crowd. They can range from adding extra functionality to your site through ‘gamifying’ the learning experience, to adding an online roster of those involved in the course. Plugins can help take your Moodle course to the next level, engage your students more and also allow you to collect useful metadata about those taking your course and how they are performing.
So let’s get stuck in to some of the most popular plugins of 2017! If you’re keen to browse more plugins (we can’t possibly cover them all in one blog post) head on over to the Moodle homepage and go through the Reviewer’s Choice Award, where Moodle display the highest rated plugins in a handy list. But for now, we’ve singled out the big hitters and collated them here:
Our first plugin highlight, is Essential. You could argue that it’s not strictly a plugin, as it acts as a complete theme for your Moodle site. But, leading the way with over 13,000 downloads, you can’t argue with the quality or the popularity of the Essential Theme.
Essential pushes the boundaries of what a Moodle Theme can do, incorporating lots of additional elements that you wouldn’t find in other themes. For example, Essential offers dynamic display of social media icons depending on which page of your Moodle site is open. What look like additional graphics are all part of the theme itself, and everything from sliders to colour schemes are fully customisable.
Using Essential will help move your site away from the norm, and give it some much needed personality. Essential aims to “make the site look as little like Moodle as possible” and it achieves this with ease.
Coming a respectable second place with around 7000 downloads, is the Interactive Content plugin from H5P. This plugin allows you to add interactive media such as videos, quizzes, collages and timelines to your Moodle site.
This plugin is free to use, responsive and uses the widespread language of HTML5 to adjust and add content. If you’re unfamiliar with this, the plugin comes with an installation guide as well as tips and tricks as to how to get started. If you’re looking to engage more with your Moodle Site users, interactive content could be the solution you’re looking for.
The video games industry is one of the most rapidly growing and consistently profitable industries in the world, and it’s popular for a reason. Games are fun, they hook their audience and have people regularly coming back for more. Level Up adds a game experience to your Moodle site, offering learners the ability to earn experience points from completing aspects of the course. These experience points will accumulate and allow students to level up as they progress through your course.
Featuring displays of experience earned so far, how much they need to reach the next level, and a leaderboard displaying the rank of all students enrolled in the course, Level Up could be the perfect way to introduce some healthy competition and injection of motivation into the students of your Moodle course.
The power of web analytics can be really useful to anyone that has their own website, and having a Moodle site is no different. The Analytics plugin in adds the power of Google analytics to your Moodle Site. This will allow you to gather useful statistics about the students that are visiting the pages of your course.
Such information includes the residence time of each visit, the number of visits, the bounce rate (which describes how many people visit the site and then leave again with the next click) as well as being able to distinguish between first time visitors and returning users. Harnessing the power of analytics are key to keeping the visitors to your Moodle Site engaged and coming back for more.
Our last plugin choice is Roster. Roster is a short and simple way of displaying a photo of everyone that is enrolled in the course. Think of it as like an online yearbook of your Moodle students. Adding faces to the names of your digital students can be really helpful when it comes to learning and retaining the information generated by each one.
A classroom teacher would be able to recognise their students by appearance and by name, so why should a digital learning platform be any different?
So those are 5 suggestions for the plugins to install for your Moodle site. These plugins add power, versatility and customisation to your already impressive Moodle site. They’ll help you stand out from the crowd and improve the learning experience of your students.
We hope this post has been helpful, and we’ll be back next week with more tips and tricks for Moodle next week!