Who is this book for
This book is written for technicians and systems administrators as well as academic staff – that is, basically anyone who has to administer a Moodle system. Whether you are dealing with a small-scale local Moodle system or a large-scale multi-site Learning Management System (LMS), this book will assist you with any administrative tasks.
Some basic Moodle knowledge would be helpful but is not essential.
LMS job functions
A Moodle administrator is an LMS administrator who manages a Moodle system. A quick search through recruitment agencies specializing in the educational sector reveals a growing number of dedicated job titles closely related to LMS administration. A few examples are as follows:
- LMS administrator (or VLE administrator or MLE administrator)
- LMS support officer
- LMS architect
- LMS engineer
- LMS coordinator
The list does not include functions that regularly act in an administrative capacity, such as IT support. It also does not include roles in the pedagogical field that often take on the work of an LMS administrator, such as learning technologists or e-learning coordinators.
An LMS administrator usually works closely with the staff responsible for IT systems, databases, and networks. It has been proven beneficial to have some basic skills in these areas. Additionally, links with other departments are more likely in larger organizations where content management systems, student information management systems, and other related infrastructure are present.
Given this growing number of LMS administration-related roles, let’s look at some key obligations of the job functions and what skills are essential and desirable.
Obligations and skill sets of an LMS administrator
The responsibilities of an LMS administrator differ from organization to organization. However, some obligations are common across installations and setups:
- User management (learners, teachers, and others)
- Course management (prospectus mapping)
- Module management (functionality provided to users)
- Look and feel of the LMS (often carried out by a web designer)
- Year-end maintenance (if applicable)
- Beginning-of-year setup (if applicable)
- Support teaching staff and learners
In addition to these generic LMS-specific features, you must ensure that your system is secure, stable, and performs well. Backups have to be in place, monitoring has to be set up, usage reports have to be produced, and regular system maintenance has to be carried out.
If you host your own system, you will be responsible for all of the listed tasks and many more. If your LMS is hosted in a managed environment, the hosting provider will carry out some tasks closer to the system level, so it is essential that they have a good understanding of Moodle. Either way, you will be the first person to be contacted by staff and learners if anything goes wrong, if they require new functionality, or if some administrative task has to be carried out.
With great power comes great responsibility!