Review: Unique Logins Authentication

The plugin for todays review is the Authentication Method: Uniquelogin.

Moodle does not force users to just maintain one session. It is possible to have two browsers open and be logged into the same account on both. I have seen a number of requests over the years about having a simple way to handle this, and some different suggestions about how people could do it. But this plug-in  is nice and simple solution.

This module is maintained by Emanuel Delgado, ed-rom.

What does it do?

This block stops people from having two concurrent sessions for their user account in Moodle. So there is only one active session. If they log in again, its a new session and old one is invalidated.

Is it simple to install?

Unlike some solutions for this which required some core changes, this is a relatively simple install. The file is hosted in Moodle Contrib so you can download the zip file from there or browse the source code. The zip holds one folder which contains the files for authentication plugin. Once you unzip, you need to upload the uniquelogin folder into your Moodle 2.0 auth folder.

This authentication plugin only works for database sessions, so you will need to have these enabled. This is one drawback as most Moodles I have seen don’t use database sessions, but perhaps a version of this for non database sessions will arrive sometime.

To enable the database sessions you need to go into Settings – > Site Administration -> Server -> Session Handling and tick the Use database for session information option. When you save you will get logged out and have to log in again.

When upgrading through the notifications page, I noticed that the language wasn’t showing. The $string[‘pluginname’] wasn’t in the language file for either of the languages so it showed up as [[pluginname]].

There is a settings page but it just reminds you about setting up sessions, so once i enabled it with the eye, it was turned on.

Is there documentation for it?

Yes there is a Moodle Docs page for the plugin linked from documentation link in the plug-in database which provides clear instructions on how to use the Module. It describes the installation and configuration and the dependency of the database sessions.

Is it easy for the teacher/admin to use?

Yes.  Once this is installed it just seems to work. I logged into chrome with one account and then logged into the same account on Firefox, and checked my user on chrome browser. Once i clicked a link he was not logged in anymore. Simple and effective!

Is it easy for the learner/student to use?

Students don’t need to do anything, as it just works in the background.

Does it do what it promises?

Yes it does. I know that most of the Moodle sites I have seen don’t use database sessions, as it can cause high load on mysql database so check carefully with your IT/technical experts before using those settings on your Moodle.

Stars: 3 out of 5 stars for this block.


**Standard Reminder**

These reviews check out the plugin for usability not for security. If you are considering installing any module on your site you should also check that is secure and does not impact the server performance.

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