Set Your Watches To 3.3. Latest Moodle Release Only Days Away, Prototypes Available

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The Moodle Prototype site is brimming with updates as the time for Moodle 3.3 approaches… The update is scheduled for May. Here is a look at the features currently in the works, courtesy of the official Moodle blog.

Tip: Log in to each prototype as a manager, if available. It will enable a “Switch role to…” option to quickly check out the site as a teacher or a student.

Font Awesome

Moodle icons have become a visual trademark. I can tell a site is run by Moodle just by looking at the folder, the megaphone, or the gear. But some sites need more flexible options, with icons that provide contrast (a desirable design choice when it comes to usability), compliance to standards (such as WCAG 2.0 AAA), or just faster loading. Here is where Font Awesome comes in. Take a look at how this prototype Moodle Course replaces icons with type icons, and decide if you are ready to make the switch.

Office Integration

Try logging into this prototype with your Microsoft or Google user credentials. Then open your Private Files page and click on the drag-and-drop field to open a file picker. (This is also available from the file submission section of an assignment.) From the picker, you can link your Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive repositories. Select a file and it will allow you to make a copy or create an access-controlled link to the file.

I succeeded in logging into and accessing my Google Drive, but as of the writing of this post, I could not authenticate via Microsoft, nor access my OneDrive, an issue others have reported and seems to be in development. Access to the repository was possible, but there is no way to edit files using embedded versions of the web applications, for example.

Project Inspire

Another area in the early stages of development, Project Inspire features a “Students at risk of dropping out” model that generates individual predictions. It takes into account variables such as course access history, assignment submissions, general behavior surrounding Moodle Activities, and a series of variables classified as “cognitive depth.” While it is possible to edit the variables involved in the prediction, the algorithm itself is not open to review. Furthermore, the limited behavior from mock students does not make for a sound testing ground, a problem common among demos of plugins and services that need behavior data to provide meaningful outcomes.

My Overview Block

We recently reported on this contribution by the Moodle Users Association. Between then and now, no significant changes have been made, and the reported issues on display options remain.

Stealth Mode

By popular request, this prototype allows to make Course sections and Activities available, but invisible from the dashboard or the Navigation Bar at the left. Log in as a student and try to find a way to access “Page 3” of the “Course 1” demo. No luck? Now, without changing your role, visit this link. Unlike hidden content, that makes students unable to access it, stealth content is available, but it does not appear on screen.

Collapsible PDF Annotations

Go straight to the “grading dashboard” to check this simple, yet effective, feature. It allows you to hide annotations made to submissions to visualize the original content.

Moodle 3.3 is expected to launch in the second or third week of May, most likely on a Monday.

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Moonami LogoThis Moodle Technology related post is made possible by: Moonami a company that provides a full range of Moodle services that combine the flexibility, scalability, and power of Amazon’s world-leading cloud platform (AWS) with fanatical Moodle support. Click here to learn more.


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