Friday, August 11, 2017

Top 5 Things To Know about Moodle 3.1

It may not be obvious at first glance, but we have upgraded our Moodle software and the new version 3.1 comes with some enhancements we think you’ll find handy. Most of these are improvements that make managing a course site easier for faculty, but a few apply to all Moodle users, students and faculty alike. Here are a few highlights.

1- Assignments - especially their grading and feedback:

There’s been a significant overhaul of the assignment tool in Moodle, which will save you steps in reading and commenting on submitted assignments. You can now download selected assignments rather than all or one-at-a-time. You can also do substantial comments and grading, even of submitted Word or PDF documents, right within the Moodle interface. We recommend this short video showing the key features of the revamped Assignment tool.

2- Global Search of Moodle:

Beginning this fall, you will now have the ability to search all your Moodle courses at once. You’ll see a small magnifying glass icon and search box next to your name at the top right of your screen. When you enter search terms there (and apply any filters you like on the next screen), it will search all of your Moodle courses and show you a list of resulting matches. It’s handy for jumping to a specific item you remember, or for pulling together a list of items from different courses.

3- A Recycle Bin:

Faculty: Ever deleted something from your Moodle course and then said “oops”? Now you have a safety net! At the bottom of the Course Administration block you will see a Recycle Bin. Anything you’ve deleted will remain in the Recycle Bin for 7 days and can be restored to your course with just a click.

4- Forum enhancements:

There are a couple of new features available in the Forum activity, one for faculty and one for everyone. Faculty can now “pin” a particular post to the top of a discussion. And all users will now find a permalink function on every post, making it easy to give a link directly to that item. Check out this 90 second video to get a quick look at these Forum features.

5- Other Small Enhancements:

A few smaller, but still handy new functions.

  • Easier Section Editing -- faculty can now change section headings right on the Moodle course page screen. With editing turned on, just click the pencil icon next to the section heading and type in your change. It will immediately change in the course navigation block as well.
  • Bulk Download of Folders -- when resources such as readings, lecture powerpoints, image files, etc., have been grouped into a folder, you now have the option to download the whole folder at once, rather than each individual file.

What's the best way to get quick answers on Moodle questions? Take a look at our Moodle help site.  A lot of the basics are covered there! Or if you prefer, you can always send a question to Research & Instructional Support (ris-d @mtholyoke.edu) or to your specific RIS Liaison.