Moodle will discontinue security updates for our current version (2.3) after December 31st. We (LTOE and ITS) believe our best option is to update over the holiday break to prevent any security issues. The current plan is to update Moodle on Sunday December 29th. We will let you know if that plan changes.

This security update also welcomes a few new features: Badges, new Assignment options, Forum word count, etc. The major interface changes that all instructors will notice:

  • Course Availability (activation setting) has been renamed to Visible and has been relocated to the top of the Course Settings page
  • Collapsed and expandable setting areas (shorter pages and less scrolling)
  • Redesigned editing and Resource/Activity icons (now mobile friendly)


To review all of the changes this new update provides, please continue reading below.


New Additions

CHANGE: Introducing...Moodle Badges!
RATIONALE: Badges are small images that are rewarded to students who perform a certain task or accomplish a specific criteria. Students can then manage their awarded badges with Mozilla's Open Badges website (http://openbadges.org/).
VISUAL: Badges2.png


Image gathered at: http://docs.moodle.org/25/en/Badges


CHANGE: Quiz Essay questions now have an option to create a Response template.
RATIONALE: If a response template is used, it will appear in the student's answer text box for immediate editing.
VISUAL: Instructor setting: Quiz-TemplateBox.png

Student's answer: Quiz-Template.png


Images gathered at: http://docs.moodle.org/25/en/Question_types#Essay


CHANGE: Discussion forums can display the word count for each post (new setting).
RATIONALE: Many Moodle users have requested to see the amount of words their students are using per post. This option is defaulted to No, but can be changed in the forum's settings.
VISUAL: ForumWordCount1.png ForumWordCount2.png


CHANGE: New search box in the Enrolled Users area helps locate a user quickly.
RATIONALE: Large classes or sites make it difficult to locate a particular user. This new search box will help make the process easier.
VISUAL: EnrollmentSearch.png


CHANGE: Import calendars from Google or from other courses into your Moodle course calendar.
RATIONALE: Instructors can now import calendar feeds using the .iCal standard (most requested feature by Moodle users around the world).
VISUAL: Calendar-Import.png


CHANGE: Several new Assignment options:
  • Blind marking - This new option allows instructors to grade student work without seeing the student's name on the submission page (appears as Participant [x])
  • Cut-off date - If set, students will not be able to submit past this date (unless the instructor grants an extension).
  • Group submissions - If groups are being used in your course, you may allow them to submit their work through one student.
  • Offline grading - If selected, the instructor can download a copy of the assignment submission page for offline grading and feedback. The instructor can then upload that file (.csv) back into the grading area and the information will be carried over.
  • Submission extensions - If a student needs more time to complete an assignment, or needs to resubmit work past the due date, use this option to grant an individual extension.
  • Submission statement - This option, if set to Yes, requires students to click a check box to accept responsibility for the work being submitted. The submission statement is as follows: "This assignment is my own work, except where I have acknowledged the use of the works of other people.".
RATIONALE: These new Assignment settings were added based on feedback and suggestions from Moodle users around the world.
VISUAL:

Blind Marking - Assignment-BlindMarking.png


Cut-Off Date - Assignment-CutoffDate.png


Group Submissions - Assignment-GroupSubmissions.png


Offline grading worksheet - Assignment-OfflineGrading.png


Submission Extension - Assignment-Extension.png


Submission Statement - Assignment-Statement.png


Visual and Interface Changes

CHANGE: Existing icons have been redesigned.
RATIONALE: Icons now meet universal design standards. They are also scalable for various screen resolutions (mobile included).
VISUAL:

Current Version (v2.3) New Version (v2.5)
2.3-EditingIcons.png Editing icons 2.5-EditingIcons3.png
2.3-LatestNewsBlock.png Moodle Blocks 2.5-LatestNewsBlock.png
2.3-CourseAdministration2.3.png Settings/Administration 2.5-CourseAdministration.png
2.3-ActivitiesMenu.png Add an activity or resource menu 2.5-ActivitiesMenu.png


CHANGE: Course Availability setting has been renamed to Visible and has been relocated to the top of the course's Settings page (in the General section).
RATIONALE: The new name keeps the visibility option consistent with course activities and resources. The change in location helps organize the page a bit more, as the General section applies to course-wide options.
VISUAL:

Current Version (v2.3) New Version (v2.5)
CourseAvailabilityBefore.png Course Availability CourseAvailability.png


CHANGE: Moodle's Reports feature has been relocated to the Administration block (formerly Settings).
RATIONALE: The Reports feature was difficult to find in the Navigation block.
VISUAL: ReportsAdminblock.png


CHANGE: Quiz results and statistics have been relocated to the Administration block (formerly Settings).
RATIONALE: Quiz results and statistics were difficult to find in the Navigation block.
VISUAL: Quiz-Results.png


CHANGE: Your current course appears on its own in the Navigation block.
RATIONALE: This makes your course easier to find in the Navigation area, separate from your My courses section.
VISUAL: Navigation-CurrentCourse.png


CHANGE: Folders can display their contents in full from the course page.
RATIONALE: Selecting the Inline on a course page option in the Folder's settings will display each file on the course page. This removes the need to view the Folder's contents separately.
VISUAL: Folder-Inline1.png

Folder-Inline2.png


CHANGE: Marking guides and Rubrics are now displayed to students before submitting.
RATIONALE: Displaying this information to the students before submitting gives them a better understanding of how their assignment will be assessed. Rubrics will display the various scores per criteria, but the Marking Guides do not at the moment.
VISUAL: MarkingGuideAssignmentStudents1.png


CHANGE: Non-essential settings can be collapsed (and expanded).
RATIONALE: This results in less visual clutter, as well as minimal scrolling for the user.
VISUAL: CollapsedSettings.png


CHANGE: The Description text area is now collapsed.
RATIONALE: Collapsing the formatting toolbar helps reduce excess clutter on the page. Click on the Show editing tools tab to expand the toolbar.
VISUAL: DescriptionTab.png


CHANGE: Moodle's spell check icon has been removed from the text editor and has been replaced by the user's Internet browser (hold down the Ctrl key and right-click on a misspelled word).
RATIONALE: Google has stopped providing service to its spell check service, so Moodle developers removed the icon to avoid confusion.
VISUAL: N/A


Adjustments and Improvements

CHANGE: Performance improvements
RATIONALE: Several behind-the-scenes modifications have been made to improve Moodle's speed and performance.
VISUAL: N/A


CHANGE: Drag and Drop capabilities have been improved.
RATIONALE: This update has fixed lingering Drag and Drop issues.
VISUAL: N/A


CHANGE: Screen Reader option in user's Profile page has been removed, as all Moodle pages now work with screen reading software.
RATIONALE: Now that all Moodle pages work with screen reader software, this setting was no longer needed.
VISUAL: N/A


CHANGE: Student course list is no longer displayed to other students.
RATIONALE: Before the upgrade, students could see the course list for other students by visiting their profile page. We have turned that setting off, so students can no longer access this information.
VISUAL: N/A



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