Friday, August 28, 2015

New features in Moodle 2.8

Moodle was upgraded to version 2.8 in May 2015, and there are some great new features in it that we think you’ll like. For starters, you’ll find that the look and feel of Moodle has changed. The icons are a little different, and this new theme resizes very nicely for narrower screens. You can see how it resizes by making your web browser window more narrow; you’ll see things on the page move around to display best for different widths. The theme also works better with assistive technologies (for example, screen readers and magnifiers) used on campus.

Another new thing is the text editor interface. You will see this interface when you edit the heading of a section of your course, add a description of an activity, or write an answer to a quiz question, and other places where text needs to be edited. The first button in the controls for the text editor expands the controls to show the rest of the buttons. Here’s what the controls look like when collapsed and when expanded:

The new interface also autosaves your work, which is something we know many of you have been wishing for. If you accidentally close your browser or leave the page without saving, it will save your work for you until you come back.

There is also a new menu in the user interface that shows up under your name when you are logged in:

Note that the “messages” part only contains system announcements within Moodle; it isn’t linked to email and if a user is not logged in to Moodle they will not see a notification that they have a message until the next time they are logged in.

There have also been improvements made to the Moodle Gradebook in this new version.  One change is that the student names column in the Grader Report is now frozen so that you will continue to see their names even as you scroll far to the right - easier to keep track of who’s grades you are viewing!  Also, there is a new grade aggregation scheme called Natural Weighting  that makes the adding up and weighting of student grades easier and more flexible. If you are interested in using Natural Weighting in your Gradebook, ask your LITS Liaison for a quick introduction!