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Coming Fall 2017: New Moodle Theme & Features

In the Fall of 2017 Moodle is going to look and feel a little different. We’re upgrading from Moodle 2.9 to 3.2, which offers improvements to current features and several new features. We’ll also be installing a new theme, changing the visual design of each of your Moodle courses.

New Moodle Theme

Why upgrade?

It’s important to keep versions of any software up-to-date for a number of reasons. Not only do updated versions offer the most recent features added by the Moodle community, but upgrades include valuable security measures that protect course content and data.

When can I expect a change?

We haven’t picked the exact date yet, but the change will take place after the end of the summer term, before the beginning of the fall term. More announcements with exact dates and training opportunities will follow. If you have any questions, thoughts or concerns, please respond to this post.

New Features

Grading Annotation

The feature we’re most excited about and something we think faculty will get a lot of use from is the grading annotation feature. When students submit documents to an assignment activity, instructors can view the document directly in the grading interface. Faculty can also drag and drop commonly used grading symbols and create their own set off frequently used, canned comments to insert into the document for students to view.

User Tours

Site administrators will be able to create user tours inside Moodle. They function as a step-by-step guide to help new users navigate through Moodle, introduce new features, highlight important information and more.

Global Search

The new global search feature allows you to search through all areas of Moodle that you have access to. For example, if you had course lecture notes in an older course, but you didn’t remember which one, you can now search through all course contents to locate them.

Recycle Bin

The recycle bin allows instructors to locate and restore Moodle course elements that might have been mistakenly deleted. Once an item is deleted, it goes into the recycle bin (like a holding place) for a period of time before it’s permanently deleted.

There’s a lot more to come. Stay tuned for updates, announcements and learning opportunities.

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4 Responses to Coming Fall 2017: New Moodle Theme & Features

  1. Avatar
    Sarah Wangler May 1, 2017 at 2:20 PM #

    Hi! I’m hopeful that there will be some opportunity for folks to preview what the new theme will look like before it goes live, from both student and faculty ends, especially those who teach online in the fall. Even if it were just a video, I think it would be helpful to have some idea what to expect.

    I say this because it’s difficult to gauge how much work it will be to re-tool course navigation instructions in course documents for online courses when I don’t know myself how the course will look or what students will need to do to find things or submit things. Is there some way for folks to be added to a 3.2 Play Area shell?

    A few other questions:
    Will META shells still be available in Moodle 3.2? Will one of the trainings that you are offering focus on the new gradebook features? Could this training be run as a webinar and recorded for those who are unable to be on campus over the summer? Will GenEd reporting be impacted at all by the new theme?

    • Avatar
      Ryan Bernstein May 1, 2017 at 4:02 PM #

      Hi Sarah,
      I’ll add your name to the short list of faculty that we’ll invite to take the new theme for a test drive before we launch. We’re actually still in the process of selecting the theme from a few promising candidates. One goal we have is to select a theme that doesn’t impact where/how faculty and students access the various elements/components of Moodle. As soon as we make our selection and make any tweaks to the code I’ll reach out to you.
      Concerning your other questions, METAs will still be available and Outcomes will be assessed the same way. We aren’t loosing any of the functions we currently have. There will be plenty of training opportunities for the new features, both face-to-face and online. I’ll also put together some video tutorials for those that prefer to learn on their own time.

  2. Avatar
    robert Weiler May 10, 2017 at 3:20 PM #

    Will any of the new themes affect how the components assignments look or are laid out? Will my course look basically the same? I teach ECO 201 and 202 online.

    • Avatar
      Ryan Bernstein May 10, 2017 at 4:39 PM #

      Hi Robert,
      The location of a few Moodle features have moved in the newest version, but essentially everything will look and feel very similar to our current Moodle site. Thanks for reading the post. Let us know if you have any questions. I’ll add your name to the list of people we’ll get feedback from before we make the change for everyone.

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