Moodle app offline features
We live in a hyper-connected 5G world and we think the Internet is everywhere, but we usually forget about:
- Underdeveloped and developing countries
- Rural areas in big countries
- Kids with restricted data plans
- Shared internet connection in schools/classrooms
- Aerial and maritime traffic
One of the most powerful features of the Moodle App is its ability for working offline.
Students can browse contents offline and take activities, once the student is connected back to the Internet, the app will synchronise all the necessary information with the Moodle site.
How does the app store data for offline use?
- While browsing the site and its contents
- External contents (e.g youtube videos) are not downloaded
- Embedded files (audio, video) are not always downloaded (it depends on the user connection and file size)
- When the user downloads content by the download icon
- The user can use the “cloud” icon to download specific content or a complete section or course
- The user gets alerted when downloading large files
- If a resource has been updated in the server, a refresh icon will be shown.
Why doesn’t the app prefetch/cache more data?
- Because the user may have a monthly data plan
- Because the device storage space may be limited
- Massive data download might impact on the server performance
What does the app consider to be a large file?
- If the user is connected to a Wi-Fi network: large file >= 20MB
- If the user is connected to a data network: large file >= 2MB
Course features offline support
- All the course resources can be downloaded for offline (except URL)
- All the course activities are supported (except Chat and External tool)
- Community plugins usually don’t work offline
- Some functionality for certain activity modules does not work offline, see bellow for more information.
The offline mode is disabled by default in Quiz and Lesson, however, the teacher can decide if they want to enable it.
- A quiz may be attempted offline only if:
- There is no time limit set
- The question behavior is deferred feedback (with or without CBM) only
- There is no network address requirement
For detailed information about the quiz module and how it works offline please read: Moodle Mobile quiz offline attempts
- SCORM and H5P packages are always fully downloaded to the user’s device
- Wiki edition is not supported offline
- Glossaries entries can’t be deleted/updated offline
- Text assignment submissions can’t be edited offline
- Activities configured with availability conditions cannot be/are not downloaded for offline (the user will have to reconnect to be able to see activities unlocked by conditions recently met)
What other features work offline?
Apart from resources and activities certain course and site functionality are also available offline.
The offline support for completion is only for marking courses or activities completed (when viewed)
Conditioned activities are not downloaded for offline
- Calendar events
- Private files
For a comprehensive list of features supported offline please check this document: Moodle features for students
Synchronisation works differently depending on the device
- Android: The app must be opened but it can be in the background (you can be using a different app).
- iOS (iPhone, iPad): The app must be opened and in the foreground (it has to be the device active app).
- Desktop: The app must be opened but it can be in the background (minimised).
🔋The battery is the key factor, mobile OS limits its usage
There are two ways of synchronising data:
- Runs regularly, every 10 minutes
- The user will see a message indicating there is data pending synchronisation
What happens with the student activity after synchronisation? Actions performed offline are logged and stored into the system with the synchronisation time, not with the time when they happened. We are exploring ways to improve reporting via Moodle’s xAPI support.
For more information about how synchronisation works visit: Moodle app synchronization
Site administrators can decide if they want:
- Disable completely the offline mode
- Disable all courses downloading
- Disable individual courses downloading
For disabling the previous features, please read: Moodle app guide for admins
Users can decide if they want to allow synchronisation only when connected to a Wi-Fi network or also when using a data network
Moodle App Plans
When using the Moodle App, site admins can choose to subscribe to a paid plan or use the free version.
Plans limit the download of complete courses in one click.
Students can still download individual contents or sections.
We recommend a Premium plan subscription: https://apps.moodle.com