A Moodle administrator is basically a VLE administrator who manages a Moodle system. We first look at the job functions, responsibilities, and necessary skill sets in general before understanding any Moodle-specific duties.
VLE Administrator (or LMS Administrator or MLE Administrator)
VLE Support Officer
The list does not include functions that regularly act in an administrative capacity such as IT support. It also does not include roles that are situated in the pedagogical field, but often take on the work of a VLE administrator such as learning technologists or e-learning coordinators.
A VLE administrator usually works very closely with the staff who have responsibility for the administration of IT systems, databases and networks. It has proven beneficial to have some basic skills in these areas. Additionally, links are likely in larger organizations where content management systems, student information management systems, and other related infrastructure is present.
User management (learners, teachers, and others)
Course management (prospectus mapping)
Module management (functionality provided to users)
Look and feel of the VLE (sometimes 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 VLE-specific features, you are required to make sure that the virtual learning environment is secure, stable, and performs well. Backups have to be in place, monitoring has to be set up, reports about usage 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 VLE is hosted in a managed environment, some of the tasks closer to system level will be carried out by the hosting provider. So it is important 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.
While a range of e-learning related activities are now taught as part of some academic and vocational qualifications (for instance, instructional design or e-moderation), VLE administration per se is not. Most VLE administrators have a technical background and often have some system or database administration knowledge. Again, it entirely depends on whether you host your VLE locally or it is hosted externally. The administration skills of a remotely hosted system can be learned by anybody with some technical knowledge. However, for an internally hosted system you will require good working knowledge of the operating system on which the VLE is installed, the underlying database that is used, the network in which the VLE has to operate, and any further components that have to work with the learning system.