Using Moodle to Respond to Changing Needs

Can Moodle be used for contact tracing in response to COVID-19?

One of the things I love most about Moodle is the huge array plugins that can be used in so many ways. Chances are if you have a problem, there is a plugin that was developed by someone in the community to solve it. As my University plans for instructional “hyflex” scenarios with the U.S. still very much in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, our school of nursing identified a need to track which students are in a physical classroom on a particular day to assist our county and state officials with contact tracing efforts.

To meet this need, I was able to quickly adapt the Attendance module by modifying the default status set. This will allow instructors to record attendance and track who is physically present each day.

To further prepare I set up a query using the Ad-Hoc Database Queries report. This allows me to pull a record of attendance for the institution each day so that I can readily provide that information if it is needed. I know some other Moodlers out there have similar need so I am sharing the query I used here.

SELECT c.shortname AS Course, from_unixtime(s.sessdate, '%Y-%m-%d') AS Date, u.lastname, u.email, st.description AS Status FROM prefix_attendance_sessions as s LEFT OUTER JOIN prefix_attendance_log as l ON s.id = l.sessionid JOIN prefix_user as u on l.studentid = u.id JOIN prefix_attendance_statuses as st ON l.statusid = st.id LEFT OUTER JOIN prefix_attendance AS a ON s.attendanceid = a.id LEFT OUTER JOIN prefix_course AS c ON a.course = c.id WHERE from_unixtime(s.sessdate, '%Y-%m-%d') = CURDATE()
Ben Kahn
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Ben Kahn

Ben works as a systems administrator, systems architect, instructional designer, and technologist at the University of Portland, managing Open Source tools for learning, including enterprise Moodle & WordPress installs.

One thought on “Using Moodle to Respond to Changing Needs

  • 19th July 2020 at 11:14 am
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    Nice post Ben !
    I don’t deal with any classroom based courses these days, so hadn’t really thought about how Moodle could be used to assist teachers with tracking and tracing – very nice work application of the Attendance plugin 🙂
    Thanks for sharing the SQL report too – could ve very useful for others trying to achieve the same daily monitoring – awesome !

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