We’re often asked “Can you manage course and event bookings within Moodle?” – with just a core Moodle installation, the answer is No; however there are plug-ins available which can be freely downloaded and installed that can easily turn this answer into a Yes!
Face to Face (maintained by Stacey Walker) and Booking (maintained by David Bogner) are two of the plug-ins that I’ve been looking at in detail recently that offer course booking management solutions
When installed, both plugins offer the facility for activities to be created within a course and, if desired, the main Moodle site page where learners can book themselves places on courses or events. Other features include:
- Offer different sessions for a training event : a training course or event can have one or more sessions allocated to it; perhaps scheduled as different days or in different locations.
- Limit booking numbers : both plugins can limit the number of people booking on a session and can use waiting lists where oversubscribed users can by notified if a place becomes available as a result of a cancellation.
- Book places on behalf of other users : whilst the default setting is for users to book themselves onto courses, it is also possible for a teacher or manager to book places on behalf of other users.
- Export list of attendees : teachers/managers can monitor the bookings status of a course at any time simply by accessing the activity, and they are also able to export a list of booked users (along with any on the waiting list) into a spreadsheet for maintaining external records or for reporting purposes.
- Gauge interest for future courses : as it’s not essential that you provide a date for a course, a face-to-face or booking activity can also be used to gauge interest in a potential future course
- Keep informed : comprehensive emailing options exist in both plugins in relation to communication around the course bookings; confirmation of a successful booking, a cancellation to an existing booking and being added to a waiting list can all be emailed to both the user concerned as well as, if desired, a designated user/manager who you may want to be kept informed of all course booking activities.
Whilst there are many similarities between the two plug-ins, the following details a couple of distinct features pertaining to each.
The Face to face plugin provides the ability to record attendance in relation to a booked session via the Moodle interface; the attendance records can then be exported to a spreadsheet for further analysis or to update any external systems.
If you want some control over who is booked on a course, a face to face activity can be configured so that a user can request to be on a course rather than directly booking themselves onto it. Each request can then be approved or denied by a teacher/manager via the activity interface in order to confirm attendees.
The Booking plugin can be configured so that a course booking can be linked directly to an online Moodle course; and, if desired, users can be automatically enrolled on that linked course simply by registering their booking. Alternatively, a teacher/manager can manually enrol the booked users via the Booking interface.
Just a quick update to the above. I’ve put together a comparison table of features:
Whether it is to support classroom or online learning – or indeed a blend of the two - both plugins offer great features which can really help you organise your training events centrally on your Moodle site.
For more information about either of these plugins, visit the Moodle.org Plugins directory:
As with all third party plugins we advise that you check they are compatible with your Moodle version and note that they may not be maintained by the original developer in future.
If you would like to get more out of your Moodle site, we want to help. Call us on 0330 660 1111 or contact us via http://info.howtomoodle.com/contact-us.