Moodle 3.2 Highlights Video Playlist, Deconstructed

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In this post, I’ve deconstructed the entire video highlights playlist that was published by Moodle HQ in conjunction with the recent release of Moodle 3.2.

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Moodle 3.2 Overview

The introduction to this playlist (see video at the top of this post) reminds of the role Moodle has played for more than a decade in classrooms around the globe. It lists the features coming with Moodle 3.2, to “refresh” both the “user experience” and the perception of Moodle for all their kinds of users.
 
The core of the renovation is “Boost”, the new theme. It is the first Moodle theme to enable the enhancements of the Bootstrap version 4. This popular framework makes for a snappier navigation which enables actions common on modern sites, such as quickly replying a message or getting a real-time notification.
This overview briefly shows features covered in detail by individual videos, including User Tours, Media Players, Charts, Competency Frameworks and updates to existing features and activities.
It ends with a message of gratitude to the worldwide community of contributors and testers to which Moodle HQ owes this “next step in performance and usability.

Boost for Administrators in Moodle 3.2

Busy administrators with no time to watch the full playlist can safely take this one. The many improvements in responsiveness and simpler layout extend to administrative settings. They are easier to find and their menus are uniform across sections and activities. A tab-based organization makes customization, including basic branding and CSS editing, more intuitive.

Boost for Teachers in Moodle 3.2

“Boost” promotes a more focused experiences. Blocks lose prominence on the screen so students know what their immediate task is; and so teachers should design activities with “Zen” in mind: one action at a time. Creation and editing of content is straightforward, taking place right on the content page, which updates more quickly after any edit.

User Tours in Moodle 3.2

This feature may sound familiar for many, and this is because user tours were available as plugins for previous versions of Moodle. This time they inhabit Moodle and are easy to create and edit. It was a response to a common request for a walkthrough to users and will likely save thousands of classroom hours showing every area, section and feature of Moodle. Lots of layout options are available as well as presets, and users can reactivate them at any time from a link at the bottom of any page in Moodle.

Messages and Notifications in Moodle 3.2

It is worth mentioning that the origin of the Bootstrap framework is related to the modern look of social media sites. Users today expect automatic notifications when a friend messages them or a critical update to content is up. They can interact through a pop-up snippet or on a dedicated messaging page. User profiles include messaging options.

Media Players in Moodle 3.2

Adding audio files and video to Moodle became almost impossible to improve. In any content creation page, a multimedia icon opens a menu to upload or add a URL for a video or audio file. The Video.js framework takes care of everything, supporting several file extensions; but many visualization options are available for content creators, including subtitles and captions. If for some reason users would not prefer the speed and intuitiveness of Video.js, older options from previous versions can be chosen as default on the settings.

Improved Graphs in Moodle 3.2

Despite the focus on usability, an increase area of development in Moodle is Analytics. To whet teachers’ appetites, automatic charts illustrate students’ behavior and performance, individually and as a group. All the data can also be visualized as a table and exported to a spreadsheet file.

Competency Frameworks in Moodle 3.2

Another already available feature, Competencies are much easier to extend across institutional courses by authorities, and teachers can implement them and link them to their courses’ sections and activities with easy, dedicated pages. For teachers not mandated to uphold an institutional framework, but still interested in following common standards, they can adopt a Competency Framework at Moodle.net/competencies.

Discussion Locking in Moodle 3.2

A forum moderator enjoys more control over the conversation by locking some of them, directing all to the current ones. Locking can be manual or scheduled.

Choice Responses by Teachers in Moodle 3.2

Teachers can expedite group choice and selection by making choices on behalf of them. This also allows as soft penalty for missing deadlines by giving late responders special assignments.

Assignment Overrides in Moodle 3.2

Teachers can decide that special circumstances merit extension of deadlines for assignments. It can be changes individually or as a whole. In a season like this one this little feature could feel like a blessing for students.

Workshop Portfolio Export in Moodle 3.2

A Moodle course can allow students to export and publish class outcomes to their personal portfolios. It is an excellent way to make students feel their work matters, and also a display of a teacher’s care and style. It also serves as a way to introduce evidence-based learning in a classroom or organization.


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