I'm very pleased to announce the release of Moodle 2.2 (just a few days later than our strictly planned schedule because of a particularly tricky last-minute bug with blocks that took us into the weekend).
For a full description of Moodle 2.2 start at the Moodle 2.2 release notes, but here are some of the headline features:
- Rubrics - You can design and use rubrics to grade things in Moodle. Rubrics are actually the first plugin of a new 'Advanced Grading' plugin type: we expect developers will develop many other advanced grading interfaces and integrations. This feature was developed by David Mudrak and Marina Glancy at Moodle HQ as the first stage in a lot of grading improvements that we have planned.
- External tools - The IMS LTI standard is a simple but promising way for e-learning tools to interoperate. Our support of this standard allows us to embed learning objects (or full-blown tools like forums) from other web sites into courses so that Moodle can pass user data to the tool, and the tool can send grades back to Moodle's gradebook. This gives both teachers and developers an unprecedented amount of freedom. This feature was originally developed as a Basic LTI module by Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, then improved and extended to IMS LTI 1.1 by Moodlerooms, with lots of support and suggestions from Chuck Severance of IMS and Eloy Lafuente of the Moodle HQ team.
- Common Cartridge - IMS Common Cartridge is a standard for packaging learning content (courses) in a platform-independent way. For example it is used by publishers to publish simple courses to go with their textbooks, in a way that works on a variety of Learning Management Systems. Moodle did have support for importing CC packages in Moodle 1.9, and thanks to the work primarily by Darko Miletic at Moodlerooms, this is now available for Moodle 2.2 and later. Exporting to CC will come in 2.3.
- Mymobile theme - Moodle 2.1 introduced the ability to select different themes for different devices, and now with 2.2 we have a standard theme in core that is custom-designed for smartphone browser screens. This means that when users visit your Moodle site on a small screen they'll see a completely different layout, but one that is suitable for small touchscreens. Big thanks to John Stabinger for his great work on this theme.
There are many many other smaller improvements too, including new features for our mobile app that allow it to download whole courses for offline use (coming soon to an App store near you), but as I said, see the Release Notes for details.
Thanks again to all the developers involved in fixing things large and small in Moodle 2.2 (roughly 100 developers and many more testers). Every feature in Moodle takes a coordinated effort from users, developers, reviewers, integrators and testers, and they are all reflected in the final result.
The HQ team are now focussed on implementing bug fixes for our stable branches until the end of the year, before we start work on a variety of projects to improve moodle.org and of course, exciting things in Moodle 2.3 (due in June next year)!