Tracking student progress
One of the nicest new features in Moodle 2 is that you can now track student progress by setting criteria for completion of resources and activities with activity completion. You can then monitor the students’ progress through the course with course completion. This would be a good way to monitor student engagement and flag up problems, for example, to identify at-risk students who may need support (see Franklin et al, 2012, Exploiting activity data in the academic environment, JISC).
To enable activity and course completion, you first need to enable this on the course settings. Go to Settings > Course administration > Edit settings and make sure Completion tracking is set to Enabled, control via completion and activity settings.
Once you have enabled Completion tracking, you can set activity completion criteria whenever you set up or update a resource or activity, although it is worth remembering that you don’t have to! (you may only want to use it on a few activities, which you see as important). The criteria could include:
- viewing a resource
- obtaining a grade in an activity
- obtaining a pass grade in an activity
- posting new discussion topics or replies in a forum
- allowing students to manually mark resources or activities as complete
The completion criteria you set will determine what the student sees next to the links on their Moodle page i.e. tick boxes which show activities as Completed, Not completed, or ready for the students to Mark as complete.
In order to have an easy-to-view record of the activities you then need to edit your course completion settings. To do this, go to Settings > Course administration > Completion tracking. Only the activities you have set completion criteria for would appear on this screen, but you can choose which of them to include as criteria for course completion.
You can view the Course completion report. On the Navigation block, go to (Course name) > Reports > Course completion. This will show you who has done what (ordinarily you would see the students’ names and email addresses here):
You could also add a Course completion block to your site for students to view their own progress, thereby taking responsibility for their own learning. To take this even further, you also have the option of allowing students to mark the course as complete themselves, in which case you could add the Self completion block for them to self complete.
The video below, from Moodle HQ, explains how these functions work in Moodle 2.
In a future post we’ll explain how you can use activity and course completion together with restricting access to create conditional activities.