The Moodle Users Association is the gift that keeps on giving for the Moodleverse. Intended as an independent way to gather views and efforts from Moodle users around the world in a a more coordinated way, it has shown once again its ability to provide high-quality input about important and long-awaited features in Moodle.
This time, MUA shined with the Course Overview block. As it completely redefines the Moodle dashboard for students, this is arguably the most visible change to come with Moodle 3.3. As soon as students log into their site, a list of Activities is shown according to due date.
The Course Overview block now takes a granular look at the whole set of Activities from all courses the student is enrolled and arranges them in a way that promotes the “call to action.” It has been argued before, with backing research, that timely, personalized information could really make a difference in students outcomes. This evidence-based development will put this idea to the test by making sure students focus on the most important thing at a given time, that they always have a direction to go every time they log into their Moodle, and that each activity is dealt with.
The new Course Overview allows sorting Activities by date or grouping them by course. The display by Course shows a pie chart with the percentage of completion of the Course, as long as it has Activity Completion enabled. While the benefits for students are undeniable, a version of the block can also help teachers keep track of pending grading tasks. Moodle 3.3 allows setting a date to “grade by” for various assignments, which is then used to sort the Activities in their own Course Overview.
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