The Collaborative Liberal Arts Moodle Project (CLAMP) previously had not recommended upgrading to the latest Moodle version for issues brought forth in the gradebook upgrades. Their endorsement for use in Fall 2015 of both 2.8 and 2.9 branches is due to the satisfactory resolution of a major issue that had impacted both versions which stemmed from the changes to gradebook aggregation (natural weighting).
CLAMP participants, as a result, formed an advisory group and further bolstered/expanded documentation at Moodle.org to help explain the new functionality: https://docs.moodle.org/28/en/Natural_weighting. According to their post,
CLAMP spent considerable time reviewing “Natural Weighting” and expanded Moodle Docs’ documentation to better describe this new functionality. We also wrote documentation on the “Additional Files” feature and made a series of recommendations for course grade settings. View CLAMP’s Moodle 2.8 documentation page for a list of new and revised documents.
Moodle 2.9’s new features were also reviewed at Holy Cross. We found no major blockers or red flags for 2.9, but the consensus of the colleges in attendance was that they would be going with Moodle 2.8. The primary reason for this is that Moodle 2.8 has been out longer, and thus seen more bug-fixing point releases.
CLAMP also has released Liberal Arts Editions for Moodle 2.9 branch bringing their suite of addons to the latest releases. Additional information about LAE 9.0.0 for Moodle 2.9.1 can be found here: http://www.clamp-it.org/blog/2015/07/08/new-moodle-lae-releases-for-2-7-9-2-8-7-2-9-1/