We will be doing some maintenance and migrations to moodle.org on Saturday June 23th, from 1500 through 2100 UTC. During this time all of Moodle.org will be unavailable.
Our Learn Moodle MOOC 3.5 Basics MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) started today, 18 June, on Learn.moodle.net and is now in progress, using Moodle 3.5.
Learn Moodle 3.5 Basics is for anyone who wants to use the Moodle learning platform for teaching, whether in a school, a university, a company or just personal interest. In this 4 week MOOC, learners will explore all the different functionalities in Moodle and also create their own quizzes, assignments, and many more.
There is still time to sign up now and explore the features of Moodle 3.5. As with our previous MOOCs, if you would like to help out in the forums, please sign up too. Any support you can give to new Moodlers will be very much appreciated.If you prefer to access the MOOC via mobile, you can also participate using our branded Learn Moodle app - available for Android or iOS.
Thanks everyone. We look forward to another great few weeks of learning with all of you.
First of all, a big thank you to those who volunteered to participate in the Course Overview survey we posted on 2 March 2018. Your feedback is incredibly helpful to guide our user research into how to improve the user experience in Moodle. We’d now like to share the results of the survey.
The survey was launched on 2 Mar 2018 and closed on 31 May 2018. The survey was posted in the Announcements and Usability forums and shared on the Moodle HQ social channels.
The survey was conducted in English. 100 people (7%) completed the survey out of a total of 1,375 participants, and 1,275 participants abandoned the survey before finishing.
A few highlights from the survey results:
64% are from the University or college sector.
64% describe their primary role as Manager or Administrator.
75% are currently using the new Course Overview block.
56% are currently using the new Timeline feature in the new Course Overview block.
When participants were asked how satisfied they are overall with the new Course Overview block:
8% responded as very satisfied.
29% responded as satisfied.
39% responded as neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
16% responded as dissatisfied.
8% responded as very dissatisfied.
A few quotes from participant comments:
”The block is massive step forwards for a student. Not so handy for a teacher..”
“The course overview block isn’t very intuitive for our students.”
“…the block is designed on an assumption that all institutions/organisations use Moodle in the same way.”
Download the Course Overview Block survey results:
In addition to completing the survey questions, we invited volunteers to sign up for 30-45 minute video-conferencing sessions with a Moodle HQ researcher. The purpose of the sessions was to observe and listen to feedback from participants while they interact with the Course Overview block in their own Moodle environments.
We were able to derive three education sector “Personas” from our interviews:
Teacher with intermediate Moodle expertise
Teacher with advanced Moodle expertise
Administrator with advanced Moodle expertise.
Names and personally identifiable information has been replaced in order to maintain participant anonymity.
Wondering What’s Next?
Do you have a unique Persona that wasn’t represented in our research that you’d like to share?
Do you or your organisation have unique use cases for Course Overview that are not represented in our findings?
Can you give voice to your students and learners in your organisation?
Continue the discussion and contribute further by taking part in our first Open Design challenge for Course Overview commencing soon.
Sign up to get notified when the Open Design challenge commences
Thanks again to those who participated. Lets us know your thoughts and feedback below.
For every release since Moodle 1.0.7 in December 2002, I've posted a release announcement here in this forum with a picture of my kids in some creative pose related to the release. We've all grown up together, and I have often called the Moodle project my third child.
Moodle is much bigger now though - there are so many people worldwide involved in our project - so I think this will be the last time I use the moodle.org release posting for this little personal vanity of mine, and we will invent new and better traditions going forward!
The last little offering at right reflects our recent work on privacy-related features in Moodle 3.5 (we originally created a much edgier image with the kids wearing Guy Fawkes masks which I liked a lot, but quite a few of the team here at Moodle HQ felt this could be misinterpreted so we canned it ). The image is not important.
Privacy, however, is extremely important.
This is a topic which I've personally given a lot of thought to over the past 20 years. There have been some who have said that privacy itself is a concept of the past (Mark Zuckerberg included) - that the future is one of full transparency. While this is a nice dream in many ways, and we do need to place a high priority on society over individuals in some cases, my experience leads me to think it's practically impossible to implement transparency in a truly equitable way, and it will always ends up with people's data being exploited in some way (Facebook just being one high-profile example). So I think we should just agree that we, all human individuals, need to have some control over what we want to be private, and what we want to be public, and that we should design our digital and non-digital worlds accordingly.
This is why so many of our software systems end up pooling data forever and just "trusting the admin" to do the right thing with it all. To do anything else is so much work that it's been very difficult for any software system to justify the investment of time and effort to rewrite systems to respect privacy properly - there is always some more pressing work to do. In Moodle, for example, even though we've been consistently working over 15 years to implement innovative systems to guide how data are shared between users in education contexts, we gave very little of that control to the end users of our system - students and educators.
This trend has all changed with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) being enforced in Europe from next week: May 25, 2018. Those mastermind geniuses in the European Union have found a way to force practically all software makers and websites worldwide to put control of data back firmly back in the hands of citizens. It affects anyone who may have EU citizens using their systems, which, given how global the internet is, basically affects everyone. This is a terrific fabulous thing, really!
We ourselves have spent millions of real currency in recent times working on this issue here at Moodle HQ, and I can only imagine the billions that have been spent worldwide. But just improving our software is not enough. As some famous person once said: it's not what you have but how you use it.
If you are using Moodle, and you have any of your servers or your users in the EU, then just upgrading to a recent version is not enough. We have built new tools in Moodle 3.5 that make your job easier: but you are still 100% responsible for ensuring that your installation is GDPR-compliant. You need to define your policies, you need to define your processes, and give people roles to support those. A good place to start is in our GDPR docs or by speaking to one of our local Moodle Partners.
What else is new in Moodle 3.5, you may ask? Well, a surprising amount, considering the GDPR focus!
- Features to improve privacy control for users
- Audio and video recording direct into any text in Moodle
- Image-based listing for courses in the dashboard
- Question bank searching using tags
- Global search without installing additional software
- New badge criteria
- Cohort themes
- Support for IMS LTI Advantage!
- much much more
Thank you so much to all the team at Moodle HQ who I know have worked incredibly hard on this release ... not just what you see but for all the problems that you have now blissfully avoided because they were fixed early on. I also want to thank the full list of 120 developers who directly worked on this release, as well as the hundreds more who helped indirectly in all the other ways you do. Thank you.
It's a very exciting time for Moodle as we are refactoring how we work, starting new products, hiring a lot more people, expanding our Barcelona office, and much much more, but we'll be posting a lot more about all that on our main Moodle news site so follow that!
I know I'll also be seeing many of you at our upcoming MoodleMoots and Moodle Parties around the world.
Best regards to you all, and best wishes for the improvement of educational quality in all your Moodle projects!
P.S. Definitely Laurel, not Yanny.
Next to our new major release of Moodle 3.5 we have also released Moodle 3.4.3, 3.3.6, 3.2.9 and 3.1.12. These are now available for download via https://download.moodle.org or Git.
GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation that comes into effect in the EU on 25 May 2018, has been a big focus of our development for the past 6 months. Moodle 3.4.3 and 3.3.6 include support for the latest version of the GDPR plugins that assist Moodle sites to become GDPR compliant. The Policy plugin and the Data Privacy plugin are available for download from the plugin database. Note that the GDPR plugins are incorporated in the standard distribution for Moodle 3.5.Moodle 3.4.3 and 3.3.6 also include a number of bug fixes and small improvements. All released minor versions include important fixes for security vulnerabilities. We highly recommend that you upgrade your sites as soon as possible. Upgrading should be very straightforward.
Administrators of all registered Moodle sites will receive an email with details of the security fixes and we'll publish these more widely next week.
The release notes for each version can be found here:
- Moodle 3.4.3 release notes
- Moodle 3.3.6 release notes
- Moodle 3.2.9 release notes
- Moodle 3.1.12 release notes
Version 3.2.9 is the last version of Moodle 3.2 with security fixes. Hence, it is highly recommended to upgrade to 3.3.6, 3.4.3 or 3.5. Please see the releases page for more details.
Open Source Development Coordinator, Moodle HQ
A big thank you to all our Quality Assurance (QA) testers, as listed in the Testing credits, who helped us achieve a Moodle 3.5 test pass rate of 100% in just 3 weeks. Congratulations to everyone who received a Moodle tester 2018 badge for running three or more tests in the QA cycle.
Thanks also to all our core developers, who helped with fixing bugs identified through testing, so that tests could be reset and run again as quickly as possible. Thus we are all ready for Moodle 3.5 to be released!
We are inviting developers to attend a Moodle DevJam in Barcelona where we are planning to help instruct developers on how to make their plugins Mobile App and Privacy API compatible. This two day workshop event will take place on the 25 & 26 June.
Please, see the Moodle DevJam in Barcelona discussion for details.
Have you seen our MoodleNet project?
To inform an upcoming design sprint, we need educators of all kinds to fill in a short survey. As an incentive, we're offering prizes of two Amazon e-vouchers, and credit for the Moodle online store!
Click here: http://bit.ly/moodlenet-survey
Note: the survey is anonymous, but if you enter your email address at the end, you're in with a chance of winning.
As reported in our Moodle statistics, the number of registered Moodle sites has now topped 100,000!
To help celebrate this milestone, please share how you use Moodle by posting a message or video in the Lounge forum thread Moodle has 100,000 registered sites: how do you use yours? or on social media using the hashtag #MoodleLove.
If your Moodle site is not yet registered, you can do so via the Registration page in the Site administration, then you'll receive security alert notifications plus other benefits as listed in the Site registration guide.
Moodle 3.5 is scheduled for release on Monday 14 May 2018, and so once again we’re running a Quality Assurance (QA) testing cycle. The list of over 560 tests includes tests covering new features and improvements in Moodle 3.5.
If you can spare any time and would like to volunteer to help, please see the discussion Help needed with Moodle 3.5 QA testing for details of how you can be involved.
Thanks in advance for your help with our next version of Moodle!