About three weeks ago, I got the chance to get hold of the book by Alex Buchner, “Moodle 2 Administration” (Packt Publishing, 2011). (You can check the Packt website here: http://www.packtpub.com/books/moodle.) It’s an opportune time as I am currently migrating the college Moodle server from v1.9 to v2.2. From then onwards, the book became a handy reference to me, giving me good guidance on general Moodle system administration I have to get back to, as well as providing me with very good introduction on some of the new features of Moodle v2.x that differentiate it with the old v1.9. Following are some of the topics discussed in the book which I found very useful for my work so far:
Moodle setup: As the college had already decided (from experience) that the best Moodle environment based on its operation is LAMP, Buchner’s book allowed me to review the best environment possible by providing recommendations and possible scenarios with different hardware and software requirements. The book also provided an introduction on Moodle CLI which I found handy from time to time. This does not mean that the book is useful for Linux/Unix enthusiasts only. Moodle 2 Administration also provided a comprehensive setup discussion for those who favor the Windows platform, and even for those whose preference is Mac OS X.
User Roles: The book helped me a lot in setting and evaluating possibilities in creating custom roles in Moodle. As our Moodle user architecture requires the provisioning of ‘e-Learning Coordinators’ from each academic department and other custom roles to ensure smooth and effective utilization of the system from staff and students, the clear discussions and procedures I got from the book allowed to implement custom roles easily and effectively.
Moodle Plugins: I also got very good information from the book regarding Moodle plugins, particularly the one regarding plagiarism prevention. As our English Language Centre starts using Moodle for their students, I believe that one of the most important new features of Moodle v2.x is the anti-plagiarism plugin, and the book gave me a very good introduction about it.
I am still not fully complete with migrating our Moodle platform from v1.9 to v2.2, and there are still many more work and tweaking to be done. I know I will go back to Buchner’s book many more time in the next few weeks.