Moodle announcements  RSS

Martin Dougiamas
Moodle 3.3 is released!
 

Moodle 3.3 KidsI’m so happy to announce the release of Moodle 3.3 more-or-less right on time.  smile

This release contains a lot of things, but the biggest two headline features you’ll find are:

1) Course overview on dashboard

The new “course overview” block in the dashboard (a project from the MUA!) shows an overview of your courses and things that are coming up.  

This may seem like a small feature in itself, but it directly attacks the number one problem that students have expressed to us, which is “how do I know what to do next”, so this is a major improvement.  The dashboard will be truly useful as the first place you always want to look at when you come to Moodle on the web or in our mobile app.

The functionality of the course overview depends on knowledge about critical dates in Moodle activities. Because of this, a major part of this project was to improve how educators set up activity completion in their courses.  We've added new features to set the defaults for activities, as well as bulk editing of activities, making it much faster to get things set up well.

We’re happy with the first version of this new approach in this release, which was our first major project to undergo a lot of UX testing and prototyping before any code was written.  However there is already a list of things we want to do to make the dashboard look and work even better, and you will find many of these coming soon (some as soon as Moodle 3.3.1).


2) Office integrations

The other major feature is the new integrations with external office platforms like Google G-Suite and Microsoft Office365.  

We know that quite a few Moodle sites use one of these two office systems, and the integrations are targeted at making life easier to have single-sign-on, to use your document repository in Moodle, and so on.  These integrations have existed as add-on plugins for a long time, but we wanted to include them in core as part of a simpler framework, one that can truly grow over time to get better and better.

I hope to see similar integrations in the near future with open source Office solutions such as NextCloud and others.


Other new features include:

    • assignment grading improvements
    • updated, more accessible icons using FontAwesome
    • Increased multi-byte support on MySQL (which also helps emojis)
    • Stealth mode for activities
    • instant drag-and-drop of media files on course pages
    • new document conversion plugins for assignment grading UI
    • new file storage plugins for cluster and cloud sites
    • much more …  

Not least, with 3.3 you can also start experimenting with the first version of our new and very exciting analytics/AI framework, called “Inspire”.  We hope our Moodle-based analytics research community will rally around and help to develop it over the coming years into a truly helpful assistant for educators and learners.

As usual you can dig into all the Moodle 3.3 Release Notes to find out more, or head to your favourite download site to get it. 

If you are on MoodleCloud (together with 21,000 others and growing!) then you'll be upgraded within the next two weeks.

   

Before I go ... every time we do a release there's an opportunity to pause and reflect on our progress with the Moodle project.

We are in a period in history that feels more tumultuous than ever.  Inequality in wealth, power and even food is rising rapidly throughout the world, we have 65 million displaced people without homes, populations are suffering from mismanaged globalisation, global interests are fighting over control of our information and our buying habits, urgent climate change problems being ignored at highest levels, automation is decimating whole industries, healthcare quality is dropping in many parts of the world, and on and on and on.  

I am seeing some beautiful things happening in the world too, partially in reaction to all this.  People are using technology to reach out and connect, to teach, to work, to support others, to spread innovations and positive ideas around the world.  People are fighting everywhere for openness, for equality, for kindness, for honesty, for sanity and science everywhere: it’s good to see, but it’s a long road.

Information is not enough.  Access to information is not enough - all of this is out there already.  We believe the power of well-equipped educators is critical part of the solution to ANY problem, especially the big problems. 

And that’s why, we believe, stronger than ever, that our mission at Moodle is to empower educators to improve our world.   This release is but a small step on an important road towards the most amazing learning platform that the world can’t even imagine yet.

We believe absolutely that truly open source projects such as Moodle supporting our education systems are the best way to distribute innovation globally and help educators create a better-educated and more connected human population on this planet of ours, while protecting fundamental human rights as well as local language and culture.

We have much more to do, and we need your support to do it.   Donations are always welcome, but for our sustainability we prefer if you work with us:

Help us help you -  by working together we can do great things for the education community.

Thank you to the many hundreds of you who contributed directly with your time and finances towards the Moodle 3.3 release, as a developer, commentator or tester, or more indirectly by joining the Moodle Users Association, by purchasing a Branded Moodle Mobile App, by using a Moodle Partner and so on. 

We’re already onto Moodle 3.4, which will have almost no new features, we're going to devote some solid time to fixing long-standing pain points plus polishing the Boost interface and taking it to new heights.  Second stage rockets, if you will. ;)

Peace to you all and thank you for being on this journey with us.

Martin
Moodle Founder and CEO

 
Picture of Helen Foster
100% pass rate for Moodle 3.3 QA tests
 

A big thank you to all our Quality Assurance (QA) testers, as listed in the Testing credits, who helped us achieve a Moodle 3.3 test pass rate of 100% in a little over 4 weeks. Congratulations to everyone who received a Moodle tester 2017 badge for running three or more tests in the QA cycle.

Thanks also to all our 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 3.3 to be released next week!

 
Picture of Marina Glancy
Moodle 3.2.3, 3.1.6, 3.0.10 and 2.7.20 are now available
 

Moodle 3.2.3, 3.1.6, 3.0.10 and 2.7.20 are now available via the usual open download channels: https://download.moodle.org or Git.

In addition to a number of bug fixes and small improvements, security vulnerabilities have been discovered and fixed.  We highly recommend that you upgrade your sites as soon as possible. Upgrading should be very straightforward. As per our usual policy, admins of all registered Moodle sites will be notified of security issue details directly via email and we'll publish details more widely in a week. Other details can be found in our notes for each release:

After this release 3.1 (LTS) branch will be supported for security fixes only. Support for 3.0 and 2.7 has now ended. See releases page for more details.

Moodle 3.3 will be released next week with great new features and Moodle Users Association project - improved dashboard.


 
Picture of Helen Foster
Welcome to our GSoC 2017 student
 

Congratulations and welcome to our Google Summer of Code 2017 student, Diwakar Moturu. Diwakar will be working on the project Improve End-to-End Testing in the Moodle Mobile App over the next 3-4 months, and will be mentored by Juan Leyva.

Best wishes Diwakar and thanks to everyone who submitted project proposals.

 
Mary Cooch
Sign up for our Learn Moodle MOOC in June 2017
 
I'm pleased to announce that Moodle HQ is running another Learn Moodle MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), starting on 19 June 2017.


Teaching with Moodle: An introduction is for anybody who wants to use the Moodle learning platform for teaching, whether it be in a school, a university, a company or just personal interest. In this 4-week MOOC, learners will explore many of the features in Moodle and have the chance to create a practice course of their own.

If you're interested, please sign up here: learn.moodle.net. You'll receive an email reminder before the course begins.


Finally, many thanks to everyone who participated in our previous MOOC. Please see Teaching with Moodle MOOC January 2017: Feedback and actions for details of how we are using your feedback to improve the course for future participants.

 
Picture of Helen Foster
Upcoming MoodleMoots in Brazil (April) and Australia (September)
 

We're pleased to announce two futher MoodleMoots in 2017:

MoodleMoot Brazil 2017 is next week from 27 - 28 April 2017 in São Paulo.

To register your spot at MoodleMoot Brazil 2017, please visit moodlemoot.org/mootbr/inscricoes.

MoodleMoot Australia 2017 will be held in Sydney on 26 - 28 September 2017.

To receive updates about MoodleMoot Australia 2017, please subscribe via moodlemoot.org/mootau/news.

 
Picture of Helen Foster
Moodle 3.3 Quality Assurance testing
 

Moodle 3.3 is scheduled to be released in four weeks time, and so once again we’re running a Quality Assurance (QA) testing cycle. The list of over 550 tests includes new tests covering features and improvements in Moodle 3.3.

QA testing involves participating users trying each feature in Moodle and testing that it works in Moodle 3.3. Moodle's QA list of over 500 tests includes ones covering new features in Moodle 3.3.

If you can spare any time and would like to volunteer to help, please see the discussion Help needed with Moodle 3.3 QA testing for details of how you can be involved.

Thanks in advance for your help with our next version of Moodle!

 
Picture of Helen Foster
Upcoming US MoodleMoots in New Orleans (July) and Florida (November)
 

We're pleased to announce two upcoming MoodleMoots in the US:

MoodleMoot US 2017 – New Orleans, hosted by BbWorld, will be held at New Orleans Ernst N. Morial Convention Centre from 25 – 27 July 2017.

To register your spot at MoodleMoot US 2017 – New Orleans and submit a presentation proposal, please visit moodlemoot.org/mootus-neworleans.

MoodleMoot US 2017 – Florida, organised by Moodle HQ, will be held in November 2017 (venue and exact dates to be confirmed).

To receive updates about MoodleMoot US 2017 – Florida, please subscribe via moodlemoot.org/mootus-florida/.

 
Picture of Helen Foster
Volunteers needed for Moodle Calendar research
 

The UX team at Moodle HQ would like to invite English-speaking Moodle users to sign up for research studies that will help us plan for future Moodle Calendar product development.

Involvement in the research study will mean spending 15 to 30 minutes trying out a prototype and providing feedback. During the study we might also ask you questions about your current experience with Moodle.

For more information and to get involved, please see the discussion Seeking Volunteers for Moodle HQ Calendar Research Study.

Thank you in advance for your support!

 
Martin Dougiamas
URGENT: Please upgrade your Moodle site to the latest stable version
 

It’s come to our attention that administrators of some Moodle sites may have missed out on our usual announcements about important fixes in our most recent stable releases.

Stable point releases Moodle 3.2.2, 3.1.5, 3.0.9 and 2.7.19 were released as per our usual two-monthly schedule on Monday, 13 March 2017.

Among the improvements there are very important security fixes for serious problems which may allow users to gain privileges or change data improperly.

We strongly recommend you upgrade your Moodle site to one of the most recent stable versions as soon as you can.  Since these stable releases only fix bugs and don’t introduce new features there should be no disruption to your production sites (so please don’t put it off!).

To get the very earliest notification of these issues in future via direct email please make sure you REGISTER your site, using the Registration link in your Site Administration pages in your own Moodle site.

The same notifications are posted publicly a week later in our Security Announcements forum and in the release notes.

If you are having any trouble upgrading your site on your own please contact a Moodle Partner near you or reach out to us at Moodle HQ and we’ll be happy to find someone to help you.

Note:  If you are using our MoodleCloud service you don’t ever need to worry about these: MoodleCloud sites are always running the most recent versions of Moodle.