Moodle initial configuration

I’m assuming you’ve got a Moodle site installed.

If not, then you’ll need to choose one of these options:

Your choice will depend on how much you’ll need to customize it, your access to technically confident people, and the size and complexity of your target audience.

So, now you have a site setup, what do you do?

Out of the box, Moodle works OK, but there are some things I nearly always do as part of the initial configuration, to make it even better.

Note: Since Moodle 4.0, the Admin Presets plugin has been integrated into the core Moodle code. This allows you to take a copy of your current configuration and import it into another Moodle site. This is such a time-saver if you're setting up multiple Moodle installations. If you're new to Moodle, you might just want to use the provided Starter preset and then take a look at the rest of this article.

I'd advise against using Admin presets you've downloaded from elsewhere, unless you really trust the source.

Changing the default settings

As the administrator, you have a duty of care towards your users to keep the site safe, secure and as easy to use as possible.

For privacy and simplicity at first, I tend to change the following settings from their default:

Admin > General > Advanced features

Turn these on when you understand what they do and how they work, and you know that you really need them.

Admin > General > Security > Site security settings

Admin > Users > Accounts > User default preferences

Admin > Plugins > Activities > Manage activities

Admin > Plugins > Blocks > Manage blocks

Admin > Plugins > Text editors > Manage editors

Once you’ve done all that, then you can get on with configuring the rest of the site - things like the theme pack, custom css, reports and category/course structure.

Additional resources

If you are completely new to Moodle, then there are heaps of free resources.

Start with the Moodle Academy

Refer to the Moodle administrator documentation

Or buy a recent book, such as Moodle 4 administration by Alex Büchner from Packt Publishing.

Or get someone like me to help set things up and provide coaching and ongoing support.

Posted: 04 May 2024

Tags: Solutions architecture Moodle

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