Updated on June 29.
This release, the company claims, is “very much a community focused release.” The Moodle Users Association, code contributors from around the world, and “collaborative groups” were instrumental in some of the salient features of the release.
Much needed performance improvements are lined up along with a host of new features. Following up on the decision to keep parts of Moodle no longer open source, some of the features are improvements are only available for Pro, Premium, Branded and Moodle Partner customers.
- H5P activities available offline
- Log in through QR code (Pro and Premium Moodle App)
- Multitasking (iPad)
The 20 most used sections and activities of Moodle were subject of an “accessibility audit” covering items such as the user Dashboard and the Gradebook; and from a student, teacher and admin perspective.
- Atto, Moodle’s default text editor, now provides space to add description of visual resources for readers.
<b>tags replaced by
<it>tags replaced by
- Image description length limited and character count added; alt-text string settings improved.
- Accessible “change” event.
- Browser focus contrast adjusted.
- UI fixes for smaller viewports.
A customizable activity chooser
I love the new Activity Chooser in Moodle!!! It incorporates much, if not all, the community feedback for a better user experience. pic.twitter.com/X28RUDT7tk— Chris Kenniburg (@kennibc) June 15, 2020
A redesigned, larger pop-up makes the vast (and expandable) list of Moodle Activities more manageable. Information icons provide descriptions on the activity, pedagogical guidance on when to use it and best practices.
- Teachers can “star” activities so they appear in a “Starred” shortlist.
- Admins can create a site-wide “Recommended” activity list.
- Support for activity categories.
- Activity chooser API.
- “Resources” tab for the Book, File, Folder, IMS content package, Label, Page, and URL activities.
- Search bar.
A MUA-led project, it includes powerful selection options based on the complete user profile fields.
- Search, filter and sort by any values from the default or custom user fields, including tags and keywords, course activity and access.
- Multiple values per filter supported.
- Use ample boolean and matching criteria and any\or\not factors for the selection.
- Select some or all from the results list and perform bulk editing on selected fields, create cohorts and enrollments.
- Instant, AJAX-based enrollment of selected users. (No page reload.)
- Page performance enhancements claimed.
A long-awaited feature, simple to describe and understand but fairly complicated to accomplish, is now a reality. The ability to duplicate courses was already available in the code. The improvement adds a visual interface.
- “Course copy” option on the course settings and course administration page.
- Pop-up dialog requests new course full name and short name for new copy.
- Course copy success notification.
- Option to copy timeline data, status (visible or hidden) and teacher roles.
- Option to duplicate user data or create blank course.
Full H5P editor and library
The H5P integration in Moodle continues, with full editing capabilities built in. The 100% Free and Open Source interactivity standard, featuring dozens of activities, games and experiences, comes as another default activity in the picker, automatically connected to the Gradebook.
- Insert H5P activities in courses and connect them to the Gradebook.
- Create brand new activities from within Moodle, no plugin required.
- Download and upload activities as .h5p packages; Backup\Restore feature.
- Save H5P activities inside Moodle’s dedicated Content bank, available at the site or course level.
- Find a redesigned H5P interactivity type chooser to the look and feel of your Moodle.
- Basic global xAPI skeleton for compatible interactivity types; new xAPI statements and xAPI activity report.
- New interactivity type icons.
- Support for multiple H5P core API versions.
- Support for translations of H5P interactivity types. Strings for H5P have been added to the Moodle language packs.
- H5P content search bar. Moodle’s search API now covers H5P content.
SafeExam Browser: Controlled environment for online assessment
Through its customary plugin, Safe Exam Browser is already a staple across thousands of Moodle environments where remote assessment is a must. Now, the support is available inside Moodle.
To use activities requiring Safe Exam Browser, the device used by the student must have the Safe Exam Browser application installed.
- Enable Safe Exam Browser requirement for a given activity.
- Configure the Safe Exam Browser connection.
- Save, export and upload existing configurations.
MoodleNet, still in progress
The basic functionality of MoodleNet is there. When launching the activity picker, a link at the bottom suggests you to import content from a MoodleNet collection you have access to, from a federated MoodleNet network you’re registered in. Once you are able to log in and access the collection, the resource you wish to add should have a “Send to Moodle” option.
To use MoodleNet, a teacher must have an active account on a MoodleNet federation, which should be listed on their profile. To access a collection resource, they must have access to the collection.
Following team departures, including the scheduled end of Doug Belshaw as project manager, further changes and delays on MoodleNet’s roadmap are expected.
No active MoodleNet federations are known with the exception of the main moodle.net network, which is available by invite only at the time of writing.
- Ability to import MoodleNet hosted content into Moodle. It appears only URL import (create link) is available at this time.
- Log into a MoodleNet instance from within Moodle.
- Option to disable MoodleNet integration as admin.
Quiz and Questions ‘polished’
- Drag-and-drop to add images to questions.
- Manual grading options can be saved as user preferences.
- Variable (no longer hard-coded) maximum file size on images.
- GIFT format supports question tagging.
- Require password to access and submit Quiz answers.
- Support for Open Badges 2.1.
- Admins can now manage users badge backpacks.
- Mozilla Backpack (deprecated version of Open Badges) no longer supported.
- Banner ads now may appear on Moodle asking for donations. It appears the ads will only appear to admins upon successful install and upgrade of the site, and can be disabled for now.
- User Tours show up according to user time values (creation date, first login date or last login date).
- Improved Book navigation.
- Course Forums Summary.
- Bulk delete files in personal repository.
- Better file conversion error handling.
- HTML image pasting supported in Atto.
- Change text direction in Atto.
- Support for URLs with Internationalized Domain Names (IDN).
- Better behaving Workshop collapsed\expanded sections.
- “Go to top” button.
- “Duplicate grade items” option.
- Smoother font rendering.
- Redesigned calendar subscription dialog.
- Date formats in export reports allow to sort or otherwise manipulate date data.
- Increase of explanatory advice, warnings and alerts.
- LTI 1.3 compatibility increases.
- Persistent “Feedback” link.
- EU Cookie Law popups upgraded.
Our Apps Team are getting ready to release the #Moodle 3.9 App soon, and that means there are new strings to be translated!— Moodle (@moodle) June 16, 2020
Get involved in translating the latest App version into your language & help us empower educators and learners worldwide. https://t.co/IqsRW2hO36 pic.twitter.com/30Pr1utez6
New Moodle app features are expected within weeks after the Moodle 3.9 release.
- Edit default session timeout interface.
- New LTI handling capabilities.
- Licence management interface.
- Per-task concurrency limits.
- Anonymous events reporting.
- Simplified and expanded automated backups options.
- Usability improvements to scheduled tasks panel.
- Automate personal data delete or export approvals.
What you need to get Moodle 3.9
Requirements and configurations vary, but historical data provided by Moodle Partner Nephila Web could offer an idea as to the resources required for an optimal server configuration.
Minimum specs recommended by the Moodle, regardless of volume.
- Storage: 5GB of baseline storage.
- CPU: 2GHz dual-core processor, virtual or physical (Recommended).
- Memory: 1GB RAM per core, ideally 2GB for virtual CPUs. If you have a little extra budget and want to beef up your Moodle performance, RAM is the way to go.
Add these to the baseline according to the number of concurrent users, that is the number of users active in Moodle at a given time.
- Storage: 200MB per active user should be a minimum. Students from subjects that involve large file sizes could benefit from having more available space.
- CPU: Additional 2GHz dual-core processor for every 100 concurrent users.
- Memory: 1GB RAM per core, 2GB for vCPUs
- Bandwidth: 100MB monthly upload and download (each) for every 100 users should be a minimum. Add more for intensive usage, like video streaming. (Note that it is more cost-effective to integrate a video platform rather than storing video directly on the Moodle database at almost every scale.)
Server and client software
- A recent Linux or Windows operating system. Nephila Web recommends the latest version of Ubuntu.
- Apache HTTP Server (Recommended) or NGINX.
- PHP 7.2.0 minimum. PHP 7.3 and 7.4 series are supported too. The PHP
mbstringlibrary is required.
- Upgrades from earlier versions are only possible for Moodle 3.5 and newer.
- A database engine. Either MySQL (Recommended, minimum version 5.6), PostgreSQL (9.5), MariaDB (10.2.29), Microsoft SQL Server (2012) or Oracle (11.2).
For end users
- A modern desktop or mobile browser. These include Mozilla Firefox (Recommended), Chrome or Chromium, Safari and Edge.
- For web access on desktop or mobile, a minimum 1GHz processor, 1GB RAM and 500Mb of available storage space.
- For mobile users through the Moodle Apps and Moodle Branded Apps, minimum Android 4.4 (although reports indicate constant issues in Android below 5) and iOS 8.
Resources & References
- Complete Moodle 3.9 release notes
- Moodle 3.9 New Features highlights
Looking into installing Moodle yourself! Awesome! Here’s a full breakdown by Nephila Web Technology.