After a year of testing I added a couple of tweaks to AutoEnrol and officially raised its status to stable. Since then the plugin has had a good amount of downloads and I really want to thank everyone for their support!
Enrolment Plugin 101
As with any enrolment plugin in Moodle 2 the administration really occurs on a course by course basis. If you go to any course which you are a teacher on and have a look under the settings block you should see course administration – users – enrolment methods. This is a new interface in Moodle 2.0.
Put simply, this page will explain how users are getting access to your course. If you look under the main table you should also see a drop down menu of possible enrolment methods you can add to a course.
If you select AutoEnrol and add it to your course with the default settings it will happily get to work enrolling anyone who visits the course as a student. In the example above you can see that Auto Enrol has already successfully enrolled 5,395 users onto the course in questions (a student help course).
Getting more from AutoEnrol
There are four optional settings for AutoEnrol which are controlled by a couple of permissions. These can be revealed by clicking the show advanced option.
The first is pretty straightforward and let’s you choose the role you wish to assign to users. This is set to student by default but I have changed this to teacher in the past for setting up sandbox courses and the like.
The next option defines when the user actually gets enrolled on the course. By default this is configured to enrol a user as they load the course, which is particularly useful when the user has been provided with a direct link from either another page or course or indeed an email. Sometimes however it is useful to have a user enrolled as soon as they log into the site, for example a student help course, and this configuration also supports that option. I would recommend using this option sparingly to keep log in as short as possible.
The Less Obvious Stuff
Group By is where the really advanced techniques start. It allows you to select a particular field from the mdl_user table by which to group your users. If you have accurate department information for example you could group members of staff by their department. At BSDC we store account type in the institution field meaning we can group users into Staff or Student.
Of course once your groups are in place you can use the grouping functionality in Moodle 2 to control what some users see such as staff-only content.
The final option builds on the filter and simply allows you to filter users by a specific string. So if I wanted to only enrol students on a questionnaire course for example I would group by institution and then filter by “student”. AutoEnrol will now only enrol students on to this course
Using these two options in conjunction with some good user administration will give you a great deal of control over who can access what.