It’s here...Moodle 3.9! And how the world has changed since we released Moodle 3.8 back in November 2019. As the world is facing significant uncertainty with the spread of COVID-19, I hope that all of you are doing well, and staying as safe and healthy as you can. I am writing this release post from the comfort of my own home, rather than from the Moodle HQ office where I would normally be. Just like many of you, the Moodle HQ team has had to resort to working from home. With nearly half of the company already working remotely, this was a fairly easy change to make and I’m acutely aware that the impact on some of you has been far more significant. We at Moodle are very fortunate indeed.
Dedicated to educators worldwide
Moodle’s mission is to empower educators to improve our world and one of the professions most impacted by the pandemic is that of the educator. Certainly, at Moodle we are noticing the impact and a shift towards online education over the past few months. Our registered sites as well as our MoodleCloud sites have grown significantly with 50,000 new sites since March 2020. We are also seeing an increased number of participants taking part in our free online courses Learn Moodle Basics and Moodle Admin Basics. It has taken an enormous effort worldwide to shift from face-to-face classes to teaching online. We, at Moodle, try to help where we can, but it is clear that none of this would be possible without the relentless input of our teachers. It has been nothing short of remarkable to witness the passion and commitment that is being delivered by educators every single day to continue the education of our kids, students, team members and colleagues. This is why we dedicate Moodle 3.9 to all the educators out there, you are truly doing a marvellous job!
It’s a team effort!
And by team I don’t just mean the Moodle HQ team - I mean the amazing group of moodlers formed by the wider Moodle community who contribute and participate in the development of each Moodle release.
Moodle 3.9 has seen over 1500 commits from more than 125 contributors in over 20 countries! That is an incredible achievement which shows that the Moodle community is a vibrant place with people who care about Moodle and support our mission. The community contributions range from participating in workshops, user research and moots, to providing patches with improvements and bug-fixes, and donating time and effort by helping us with translations, documentation and QA testing!
A warm and heartfelt thank you to our community who have continued to contribute to the Moodle project even during a time of change and uncertainty. Each and every one of you is making a difference!
So what’s new in Moodle 3.9?
The latest release of Moodle comes with a range of improvements across the board. For the full list please read our release notes. Here are some highlights of the key improvements:
- Activity chooser improvements; a new grid layout with multiple tabs, ability to search, the ability to star your most used activities and resources as well as the ability for the admin to set a list of recommended activities and resources.
- Further H5P integration; the ability to use H5P content types as a Moodle activity, with gradebook integration and activity completion, the ability to create H5P content in Moodle from the new content bank, which also allows searching and editing of H5P content types.
- More powerful filtering of course participants; the filter on the participants’ page has been updated to allow combining of multiple filter conditions with logical queries. This project is the result of collaboration; proposed and funded by the Moodle User Association (MUA), and developed by Moodle HQ.
- Course copy interface; courses can now more easily be copied from a single user interface (rather than separate backup and restore steps) for both teachers and admins. This project is the result of collaboration; proposed and funded by the Moodle User Association (MUA), and developed by Moodle Partner Catalyst and Moodle HQ.
- MoodleNet integration; a new plugin has been developed to allow educators to navigate to the forthcoming MoodleNet social network from the activity chooser. When the administrator enables the integration, educators can push content from MoodleNet to their Moodle course. The initial version of MoodleNet is expected soon and I look forward to seeing the platform grow and evolve with your support!
- Improved integration of Safe Exam Browser; Safe Exam Browser, previously an experimental setting, can now be enabled and configured from the Quiz settings. This allows a quiz to be taken in a restricted and secure environment controlled by the teacher. This is a project in collaboration with the Safe Exam Browser consortium, Moodle Partner Catalyst and supported by 8 universities in Switzerland, Austria and Germany.
- Accessibility improvements; a large number of accessibility improvements have been made for the Moodle 3.9 release. These reflect the findings from an external audit of key pages of the Moodle LMS. Where possible these changes were applied across all of Moodle and back-ported. This is part of our ongoing commitment to provide an accessible platform and continuously improve our compliance with WCAG 2.1 Level AA.
Make sure to also check out our overview video below and our new features page, which reveal some of the other wonderful new features.
Download Moodle 3.9 or reach out to one of our Moodle Partners who can help by providing Moodle services that complement the platform such as hosting or any further custom development. Updated versions of the Moodle App and MoodleCloud platform will be released over the coming weeks.
Thank you all and stay safe,