It feels like 2021 has only just started, but here we are in May already! That also means we bring you another Moodle release. Moodle 3.11 is out now! With COVID-19 still firmly present around the world, our thoughts go out to all those in the most affected countries.
Online education remains more critical than ever and that’s why I’m pleased to announce Moodle 3.11. Just like the 3.10 release, Moodle 3.11 is considered an interim version, with development for Moodle 4.0 occuring in parallel. There is plenty of reason to upgrade though, with numerous very nice improvements!
Dedicated to thenetwork
Moodle Partners have supported the Moodle project since 2004 by providing expertise in hosting, customisation, support and training in Moodle. Our Partner network consists of over 100 organisations worldwide who work together with their customers to deliver a solution that is tailored to each organisation’s unique needs. Without them, Moodle would not have the same global impact it has today. The Moodle Partner network is a crucial part of the broader Moodle ecosystem. They facilitate the development of high quality learning environments worldwide. We dedicate the Moodle 3.11 release to the Moodle Partner network in recognition of their contribution to the Moodle project and to thank them for their long-standing commitment!
This release has again been made possible with the contributions of the wider Moodle Community. With over 1,100 commits from more than 100 developers, there have been contributions from 21 countries in the Moodle 3.11 release!
In addition to code contributions you have helped us by running QA tests, providing translations and writing documentation. Many of you are also continuing to take part in our research for Moodle 4.0, with user testing and providing feedback on the designs.
As an open source project we thrive on your participation and contributions, which benefit not only the Moodle community, but all Moodle users out there! On behalf of all of them, I warmly thank you for your efforts in supporting and improving Moodle.
New in Moodle 3.11
We have some great improvements in Moodle 3.11. Below I highlight some of the key ones:
- Improved activity completion; students can now quickly see what they need to do to complete the course and by when. This improvement was originally scheduled for Moodle 4.0, but through collaboration with and funding from the Moodle User Association (MUA), we have been able to deliver this in Moodle 3.11. By clearly displaying the activity due date information and the completion requirements, both on the course page and inside the activity, it is now easier than ever for students to understand what to do next.
- Accessibility Toolkit; Moodle has partnered with Brickfield Education Labs to further improve the accessibility of the Moodle platform. Included in 3.11 is the Starter level of the Accessibility Toolkit developed by Brickfield. This toolkit enables teachers and course creators to check the content of their course for common accessibility issues. After identifying the accessibility concerns the toolkit provides direct links to areas that need improving. A heatmap overlay on the course page clearly visualises the key areas to focus on first.
- Open Badges v2.1 (Badge Connect API); Moodle 3.11 now supports Open Badges v2.1. As part of this Moodle implements the Badge Connect API which provides a standardised authorisation service that allows users to easily access and exchange badges from and to their backpacks.
- Quiz improvements; there are a number of nice quiz improvements, including: support for plagiarism checking and word counts (minimum and maximum) in essay questions, question settings are now retained as user preferences to save educators time in creating questions, and a number of UI improvements.
- H5P improvements; administrators now have the option to disable specific content types, content creators can keep their H5P package unlisted while they are working on it, and it is now possible to check the number of times a particular H5P package has been used on the site.
- Other nice improvements include the ability to change audio and video playback speed in the media player and support for shared drives in the Google Drive repository.
How can I get Moodle 3.11?
Find Moodle 3.11 on our download page or, if you are looking for additional Moodle services such as hosting or further custom development, reach out to one of our Moodle Partners. As always, we will release updated versions of the Moodle App, MoodleCloud and Moodle Workplace platforms over the coming weeks.
Coming in Moodle 4.0
Together with the community we are working hard towards Moodle 4.0, where the focus is on improving the user experience. We want to delight our users and to inform these improvements we have conducted surveys, workshops and are continuously iterating our designs during user testing. A big thank you to all who have participated so far!
Recently, we have seen some changes in our UX team members with Candice Diemer departing. I’m very pleased to let everyone know that Rafael Lechugo has taken over as lead UX designer for this project. Rafael has extensive Moodle experience and is the Moodle Workplace UX lead. We’ve been able to hit the ground running as we push forward with this important project.
Moodle 4.0’s UX work will target improving of:
- the navigation for all users
- course creation and editing
- the student course experience
- onboarding for new users
See below for a current work-in-progress UX prototype illustrating the updated horizontal navigation using tabs, a new course index, and an onboarding hint for new users to edit the course.
In addition we are working to include a number of smaller UX wins and plan to introduce a Moodle UI component library to make it easier for the community to extend Moodle using consistent UI elements.
Other exciting work already in progress for the 4.0 release includes the integration of Moodle Workplace’s report builder into Moodle LMS. This will be the start of providing a more comprehensive and more complete reporting solution in Moodle LMS.
The integration of the BigBlueButton plugin is also underway for Moodle 4.0. This well-known open source video conferencing solution will be a welcome addition in this time of increased online learning. Another important improvement will be adding support for Moodle LMS as an LTI 1.3 Advantage provider. This will allow Moodle to host LTI activities in compliance with the latest specifications of IMS Global.
Stay tuned as we push ahead on the road to Moodle 4.0!