Learning Technology

Moodle Improvements – Session Handling

January 31st, 2014 at 01:01

In a previous post I mentioned that we were working on further improvements to reduce the amount of system activity in the Moodle database. This work is nearly completed and has passed all of its tests in our behind the scenes systems. The next (and final) stage is to put this into the live Moodle system everyone uses. The safest way to do this is schedule a few minutes of outage which we have arranged between 08:30 and 09:00 on Tuesday 4th February.

So what is Session Handling and why will it help?

As you move through the Moodle system it stores some of your information*- this is called your “Session”. Currently this is handled in the same way as all of the other Moodle activity. This information is requested and re-saved every time you change a page, shuttling back and forth between your computer and the database. In some cases this information can be up to 5Mb big for a single (very active!) user – quite a size!

It’s a little like a very large fully loaded lorry navigating to get to a lorry depot in the middle of the city. Outside of ‘rush hour’ (at times of normal load in the Moodle system) the impact on all the other road users isn’t significant. However when the roads are busy with normal traffic (at times of peak use), adding these massive trucks into the mix causes extra congestion. What we’ve done is to relocate the lorry depot out of the city centre and created the equivalent of a bypass straight to it dedicated just for session traffic.

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  Walter Parenteau

*Session information, essential for ensuring that everything you do happens promptly and in the right order,  is only kept for the duration of your login – it is deleted when you log out of Moodle.

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