Moodle announcements

Moodle 3.6 release, dedicated to the late Tom Murdock

 
Martin Dougiamas
Moodle 3.6 release, dedicated to the late Tom Murdock
 

Hi everyone!

I’m very pleased to announce on behalf of our hardworking team that everything planned for Moodle 3.6 is now completed and it was released today.

From this release onwards, we plan to dedicate each release to a key contributor in the Moodle community.

For this inaugural dedication, I can not think of anyone better to recognise than Thomas J Murdock, generally known to us as simply Tom.


Tom Murdock, RIPTom Murdock was user #596 out of millions now on moodle.org, finding an affinity with our Moodle mission way back in 2002 as an early user and a teacher of English Literature at a high school. Since then, Tom has been a rock and a great friend to the Moodle project.

His contributions are too many to name, but he is especially known as the key founder (and soul) of Moodlerooms, a Moodle-focussed services company which became the largest Moodle Partner in the world and was eventually sold to Blackboard in 2012 (not by Tom).  More recently he was a key part of our management team at Moodle HQ working on our new Moodle Educator Certificate and MoodleCloud services.

Tragically, Tom Murdock passed away from heart failure on November 2 this year, aged only 48.  He is missed immensely by many of us who regarded him as not only a colleague but a close friend. 

Tom was a perfect example of a committed and effective educator who not only embraced technology but dedicated himself to improving it and integrating it wherever it made sense and stayed human.  His influence on Moodle is significant, and for this we dedicate Moodle 3.6 to him.


The  team have done an impressive job packing in a range of new headline features including:

  1. Improvements to the course overview on the dashboard:  Key improvements to the dashboard make it easier to get to where you need to be,  including better management of large numbers of courses, tools to find, sort, star and hide courses,  and new views of timeline and recently-accessed activities.

  2. Group messaging and new messaging UI: This major overhaul of messaging now allows you to enable group messaging along with greater user control over who can message you.  This is a solid step towards greater use of messaging in the learning process.

  3. Additional privacy features: The privacy features implemented in 3.5 for GDPR continue to improve including more readable exported data and better control over the purpose and retention period for different types of activities.

  4. NextCloud integration: Showing our continued support for the open source community, OAuth 2 NextCloud integration is now available.

  5. Support for Open Badges 2.0: Moodle badges now support Open Badges specification version 2.0, offering a new standard and new features such as Endorsement and multiple languages.

  6. Quiz analytical tools improvements: Thanks to the MUA, response statistics for random question pools will be displayed in a much more simpler way.

  7. File and media support for assignment feedback: In response to popular demand, this enhancement to assignments means teachers will now be able to upload media or other files as feedback to learners.

  8. Experimental context freezing feature: We’re excited to introduce this new feature, still a work-in-progress, allowing admins to make areas of Moodle read-only.

  9. Accessibility improvements: Always mindful of inclusivity, further accessibility work has been done on the Boost theme and Forum activity.

To find out more, you can watch the video below,  see the screenshots on the Moodle 3.6 New Features page or read the full technical Moodle 3.6 Release Notes, where you’ll also find information for Upgrading to Moodle 3.6 



As usual, you can get it from download.moodle.org or via your local expert Moodle Partner.

There will soon be announcements for upgrades of Moodle Apps and MoodleCloud to match this release.  Watch this feed or our official Moodle News page for more.

On behalf of the community, thanks to all the many developers at Moodle HQ and our entire Moodle Developer community including all testers, translators, documentation writers and helpers for all the answers to our wishes and the long hours of work and struggle that is involved in all good software. 

Onwards and upwards to 3.7!