Unlocking the Power of Custom Reports in Moodle

In today’s fast-paced learning environments, tracking learner progress and identifying potential issues are crucial for ensuring success. Moodle’s custom reports feature is an invaluable tool for organisations to achieve these goals. However, many Moodlers struggle to use this feature to its full potential. This article will help you understand the power and potential of custom reports in Moodle, making it easier to set up meaningful reports that meet your needs.

Imagine having a powerful magnifying glass that lets you see exactly how your learners are doing in their courses. Moodle’s custom reports are just that—an essential tool that transforms raw data into meaningful insights, helping you make informed decisions to enhance learning outcomes and organisational efficiency. Custom reports enable you to tailor the information you need, whether you’re looking at course completion rates, tracking overall learner progress, or identifying areas where learners may need additional support.

Types of Reports Available

Moodle offers a variety of reports, both in the LMS and Workplace versions. While the core functionality is similar, Moodle Workplace includes additional reports making Workplace an excellent choice for organisations especially when you also consider its task automation capability.

Report SourceMoodle LMSMoodle Workplace
BadgesBadge details, badges issued, badges received, and coursesBadge details, badges issued, badges received, and courses
BlogsBlog content, tags, users, and coursesBlog content, tags, users, and courses
CohortsCohorts and cohort membersCohorts and cohort members
CommentsComments and usersComments and users
Course categoriesNew in 4.3: Course categoriesCategory details and courses, cohorts, roles, and users
Course participantsCourse, course category, user enrollments, groups, course completion, course accessCourse details, user enrollments, course completion, jobs, and tenants
CoursesCourses, course categories, tags, course imagesCourses and course categories
FilesFiles and usersFiles and users
GroupsGroups, groupings, and group membership visibilityGroups, groupings, and group memberships
NotesNotes, recipients, authors, and coursesNotes, recipients, authors, and courses
TagsTag collections, tags, tag instances, and tag authorsTag collections, tags, tag instances, and tag authors
Task logsTasks and usersTasks and users
User badgesBadges issued to users in courses, including badge detailsBadges issued to users in courses, including badge details
UsersUsers and interestsUsers and their job assignments
AppointmentN/AAppointments: Seminars, sessions, and participants
Certificate managerN/ACertificate templates: Available certificate templates; Issued certificates: Issued certificates to users
CertificationsN/ACertification users allocation and completion: Certification details, including users’ progress information; Certifications: Certification details
DatastoreN/ACourse completion from datastore: Data in Workplace datastore
ProgramN/AProgram users allocation and completion: Program details, including users’ progress information; Programs: Program details
WorkplaceN/ACourse reset for individual user: Course resetting data during recertification

Setting Up a Custom Report

Creating a custom report in Moodle is straightforward. Follow these steps to set up your first report:

  1. Navigate to the Report Builder: Go to Site administration > Reports > Report builder > Custom reports.
  2. Create a New Report: Click on “Add new report” and choose the type of report you want to create.
  3. Select Data Source: Choose the relevant data sources for your report. For example, if you’re creating a course participants report, select course participants.
  4. Customise Your Report: Use the editing interface to add columns, set conditions, and apply filters to your report. This is where you can tailor the report to meet your specific needs.
  5. Choose Audience and Schedule: Once you’re satisfied with the setup, choose who can view the report and whether the report will be automatically emailed to audience members.

Understanding the Editing Interface

The editing interface in Moodle’s Report Builder is designed to be user-friendly, allowing you to customise your reports with ease. Key features include:

  • Field Selection: Choose which fields to include in your report, such as learner names, course completion status, and progress.
  • Columns: name and arrange your columns.
  • Conditions: Set conditions to filter your data. For example, you can create a condition to only include learners who have not completed a course.
  • Filters: Apply filters to refine your report further. Filters can be based on date ranges, groups, or other criteria.

Conditions and Filters

Understanding the difference between conditions and filters is crucial for creating meaningful reports.

  • Conditions determine which data is included in your report. They are set before the data is processed, allowing you to exclude irrelevant information from the start.
  • Filters are applied after the data is processed, allowing you to refine the results further. Filters can be used to view specific subsets of your data, such as learners from a particular department or time period.

Using conditions and filters effectively ensures that your reports are accurate and relevant to your needs.

Audience and Scheduling Reports

Defining the audience for your reports is essential to ensure that the right team members receive the information they need. In Moodle, you can specify the audience for each report, making it easy to share insights with relevant stakeholders.

Scheduling reports for regular updates is another powerful feature. You can set up automated reports to be generated and sent to your team members on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This ensures that everyone stays informed without the need for manual updates.

Examples of Useful Custom Reports

One of the most useful custom reports is the “course participants” report. This report provides detailed information about all learners enrolled in a course, including their progress, completion status, and performance metrics. By regularly reviewing this report, team members can quickly identify learners who may need additional support or intervention.

Other useful reports include the ‘Program users allocation and completion’ and ‘Certification users allocation and completion’. These reports provide a quick and easy way of tracking learner progress in their allocated training.

To identify which reports are the most useful to you, we recommend you set up a report using each report source. Exploring is the best way to get familiar with report options and the power of data at your fingertips.

Common Challenges and Solutions

Many team members find custom reports challenging to use, often due to misconceptions or a lack of familiarity with the interface. Here are some common challenges and solutions:

Challenge: Not realising the full potential of custom reports.
Solution: Explore the different types of reports available and experiment with creating custom reports to see the range of insights you can gain.

Challenge: Difficulty customising reports to meet specific needs.
Solution: Take advantage of the conditions and filters features to tailor your reports precisely. Refer to the Moodle documentation for step-by-step guides and examples.


Take the leap and explore the full potential of Moodle’s custom reports. Empower your team, enhance your learning environment, and ensure that every learner’s progress is monitored and celebrated. Your journey to smarter data management and impactful education starts here—embrace the future with custom reports in Moodle.