We have been looking at course statistics on our Moodle learning platform. If “Statistics” option is enabled in a Moodle learning platform, you are able to see course engagement by accessing Moodle’s
Administration > Reports > Statistics.
You can learn more from Moodle Documentation on Statistics.
However, the number of student “posts” did not seem to match the number of “forum posts” on the course I was looking at. So I looked at Moodle documentation to understand what is meant by “post” in the context of Moodle statistics.
So for example, the course I was looking at had about 250 forum posts by students in March. But the “posts” graph on Moodle Statistics report shows 4000+ activity.
I was not able to find what is defined as “posts” in Moodle Documentation. So I searched elsewhere to understand what was included in “posts”.
There was a bug report in March 2020 which suggested that the number of forum posts were counted twice. See the bug report Forum posts are counted twice in Statistics. However, this too did not sufficiently explain the numbers I saw in the report.
Finally, the conference paper Research analysis of Moodle Reports to gauge the level of interactivity in eLearning courses at Assumption University, Thailand (you can access from ResearchGate) explained it clearly.
For “views and posts”, the ‘views’ means that the data about access to an object doesn’t get saved into the database, An example of “view” is that a student logs on to a course and watches an online video for a particular chapter or just views the power-point slides for a chapter. Whereas all data about the ’posts’ means anything new that is created and uploaded does (forum posts, assessment uploads, etc.) get saved in the database. An example of “post” will be that a student submitted or uploaded an assignment or a quiz.
This means that not only forum posts, but also all activity completion and quiz, survey, assignment submissions are counted as Moodle statistic “posts”.
Cross checking the downloaded log file confirmed that this was in fact the case. The “post” in Moodle statistics is much broader than just a forum post, it is something that the learner engages in and changes the learning platform with – for example by ticking that they have completed an activity.
It is useful to keep this in mind if you are interpreting Moodle statistics reports.
I am a Learning Technology Researcher and the Chair of the Online Learning Research Centre at the University College of Estate Management. My principle research interests lie in the area of social implications of information and communication technologies, especially eLearning.