Thoughts On The Current Moodle 3.2 Prototypes

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We Tried The Prototype Features For Moodle 3.2

Moodle has five prototypes available at prototype.moodle.net. Each one includes a new feature in development stage. We tested them to assess their likelihood to be admitted in Moodle 3.2, scheduled for next November.

WIRIS

Collapsible PDF Annotations

It is a seemingly small improvement to the annotation feature in the Moodle Assignment activity which allow teachers to jot and type on top of students assignments. Moodle automatically converts to PDF other text documents.

This edit, made by Tony Butler of Lancaster University, simply makes sure the annotations a teacher makes do not hide the original content.

Try it yourself here. (Log in using a teacher account).

It is an elementary feature but, as Dan Powtalski mentions in the tracker, the expand\collapse behavior seems a bit unpredictable.

If you find other issues or suggestions, go to Issue MDL-55459 in the Moodle Tracker.

LTI Improvements

Learning Tools Interoperability is a content standard Moodle and other providers are betting on. But currently the specifications set does not seem adopted thoroughly by Moodle.

Testing on the prototype page is straightforward. As it is already enabled, a demo Course and a demo Quiz can be “borrowed” into your Moodle (as long as it has LTI enrollment enabled).

The discussion on the Tracker, issue MDL-54679, veers in two ways: one is about ensuring complete compatibility with the current LTI standard as specified by the IMS Global Consortium. The other is about the additional tools Moodle could feature to make the import, export and monetization of LTI content easier. Opinions vary but there is agreement on leaving LTI functionality as lean as possible.

New, Bootstrap 4-Based Theme

On prototype.moodle.net/theme/ (log in using username admin and password test), you can see the latest development of the new theme, which bears the preliminary name “Boost”. It does not seem to be radically different from the “Canvas” theme, but it does feel less cluttered and slightly inspired by Google’s Material Design.

Be sure to use the Theme Selector (on the header) to compare with current default themes. The issue on Moodle Tracker is barren at the moment, so check every detail on “Boost carefully and report your findings!

Stealth Activities

Many moodlers keen to mystery would like to have activities only accessible through their URLs, and invisible in the section summaries. Instructors could use stealth mode to reward strudent performance and inquisitiveness.

Log in with username corresponding to your preferred role: student, manager or teacher, and use password test. As teacher or manager, you will see activities with several access criteria:

  • Available.
  • Hidden and unavailable.
  • Available but hidden (accessible through URL, like this page).
  • Available (displayed or hidden) but filtered by user criteria (such as language or location).

A lively discussion on Issue MDL-4782 has led to this Moodle Forum post and continuing thread.

New Messaging

A full, messenger-esque page, shows you a list of contacts and a chat window.

Issue MDL-54682 offers a detailed gallery of mockups, sparking contrived interactions.

The Prototypes are developed and maintained by Moodle Development. Follow their updates on on their official Twitter account of through hashtag #moodledev.


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What are your thoughts on the prototypes? Tell us in the comments below!