devolved user admin to Moodle: pilot in S4H

The background is that S4H run a Moodle Open Week. This is for registered users (they register with the School), and have access to a specific Moodle course. They usually use WAA accounts. However, there are a number of admin issues with this approach, which make it more difficult to implement. Therefore, we are considering a new approach.

Talisen has mulled over an opportunity to use the external database authentication. The approach is;

The school have a database (excel / csv file) that is connected to the external database option for authentication in Moodle.

They make the changes, i.e., name, email, username, password – and this is uploaded nightly. A week after the open week is completed then the link is severed. They still access their local data but we remove the accounts from Moodle.

They would also like a way of batch enrolling (auto) enrolling these people on the specific Moodle course.

A number of checks and balances need to be put in place to manage and reduce risk. For instance,

  • set a maximum quota (100 usernames)
  • user type is student only
  • they can only access courses in the School for Health Category
  • the account codes will be S4H001 to S4H100

The time frame for this is …

  • The open week is 11th – 15th May
  • they’ll start registering people week commencing 27th April

So … how are we going to implement this?

  • can the external authentication have the constraints raised above?
  • how are we going to auto enrol them in the course?
  • what database are they going to use at the S4H end?


  1. andyoutandabout

    some comments from Nitin (verbal)

    1. might want to bring the usernames into BUCS convention, and make it easier to serach, i.e., e-
    2. should be able to enrol using the csv file
    3. might be able to use the LMF as the means of accessing the data, i.e., ask Kelvin for true URL, and share with a e-learning account (need to create one)
    4. can set to unenrol from the course, if we so wish at a set date

  2. Lisa

    Might be worth mentioning a bit of history here:

    We used to use a similar approach with some of the Blackboard registrations, however when we moved to Moodle we were told by BUCS (and if I recall correctly it was reiterated by the Information Services Committee) that no-one (without exception) should be able to access a University of Bath service without having a valid (and traceable) BUCS ID. Indeed, this is the reason that the WAA Accounts were developed by BUCS.

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