Troubleshooting as Another User

Troubleshooting your LMS as another user is a great way to test out setting changes or to see the workflow experience of another end-user (e.g., learner or course creator) is like.


Sometimes, you just won't be able to find an answer to your problem in the LMS documentation or the user Community - so you'll need to do it yourself. Below are some tools and methods you can use to overcome a variety of issues you might face in your day-to-day use of Lambda Learn (Moodle). 

Using Your Browser's Private or Incognito Feature

Having more than one type of browser allows you to understand how your site operates for other users. It also allows you to have two separate instances, or logins, happening at the same time - which can be useful if you're updating settings and want to see what it specifically affects.

Common browsers include Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer (or the modern Microsoft Edge), Safari, and Opera.

Each of these browsers has an option to browse in a private or incognito session, meaning you won't have cookies or browsing history tracked. It also means that you can continue using one browser, but login with two different users or sessions. 

This method allows you to login with two separate accounts, without having your browser session creating a conflict error. This is useful when you want to login using the same browser type, but with a different account.

To do so, open an incognito, or private, window/session using your browser. An easy way to access a specific page within your LMS after logging in is to right-click a link to a page you are currently working on and click to open in an incognito/private window. Then, login as a separate user account.

The benefit of having two sessions open while logged into two different accounts ranges from being able to see the different roles/permissions side-by-side, allowing you to see any updates or changes you make and how it impacts the user, thereby letting you speed up any QA process you might have.

This method works well if you have a test user account (or multiple ones) and want to see how users with similar roles are interacting and experiencing your LMS. 

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Using Test Users

Test users are a great way to check different permissions, experiences within the site or course, and to test the workflow from a different users' perspective.

This is useful when looking at dashboards, course restrictions, activity completion, and anything a user may interact with.

To create a test user in your LMS, go to Site Administration > Users > Accounts > Add a new user.

Our recommendation is to give this user a simple username (test.user), create a password that meets the password policy, and the first and last name. A good way to have this test user have a functioning email is to use your own, with a +1 before the "@" symbol.  For example,  This allows you to use the same email without causing a duplicate email error when creating the user account. 

Now, with your test user, you can log in using a different browser, change some settings as your admin, and then identify how the end-user is impacted by bringing up the browser with the test user logged in. This is an easy way to understand how the system affects admins compared to end- users, like students or course creators.

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Built-in LMS Features for Testing as Other Users

There are a variety of ways you, as an administrator, can experience the LMS as someone else, specifically, or generally. Below are the built-in features in Lambda Learn that enable the Admin or other authorized users to toggle between their own user profile and another user. 

Switch Role To

To do this, simply click your profile icon, and in the drop-down, you should see "Switch role to...". After clicking it, you will be directed to a page with all the roles you can switch to, and the permissions or views that they have.

Screen Shot 2020-07-09 at 10.32.02 AM


This method works well for seeing how a course appears to end-users, or what blocks and other components of a site may appear to users with a certain role.


One drawback with this method is that in some instances, you may still have the view or permissions of an administrator - so you don't get the exact user experience.

Log In As

This method can be accessed from a user's profile. Start by going to the Navigation block then find Site Administration > Users > Accounts > Browse list of users. From there, select a user you would like to login as, and click their name. On their profile page, under the Administration section, you will see a link that says "Log in as". Click this, and a confirmation page will appear indicating that you have now logged in as this user.

"Log  in as" provides you with the exact experience that user is having on your LMS. Logging in as this user does not count towards a "Login" action for this user, in case you are tracking users who have or have not logged in.


A word of caution using this method - any action, like activity completion, message, or change completed as this user will actually affect the record of this student. Use this method to navigate rather than interact, unless you are familiar with the consequences of doing otherwise.

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