As QA Testing has started on the Moodle 2.3 release I thought it is time to look forward to some the headline features and changes! It is expected that Moodle 2.3 should be released Mid-June (18th).
Its been a long road, but the truly excellent Book resource module has now become core. Cue Fanfare!
The Book module provides an easy way to create multi-page resources with a book-like format and navigation. This is to HTML pages, as Folders is to a File. I did a review of this last May which is a good overview for those who have not used it before.
Drag and drop upload
This will really save a lot of time to those having to add a bunch of lecture notes or other files quickly into a Moodle course. Users can now drag them from their desktop and just pop them into the course. There is also an “experimental” setting of dragging in text and links into the course page. This is not fully consistent yet hence experimental. But it is cool 🙂
Section per page
As I blogged about this a few weeks back there is a new course setting to determine whether the whole course is displayed on one page or split over several pages on a section by section basis with navigation links provided back/forth to next sections. Very handy for those who struggled with long courses.
Where before there were two drop downs in edit mode, to add a resource or an activity now there is a very simple link +Add an activity or resource this brings up a slick activity chooser so you can select what you want from it simply. I love this so have included an image below ->
When you have uploaded a file or created a resource and want to change the Name (which is the text that appears on the course page) now there is a simple slick option that allows you to edit without having to edit the activity itself. A good time saver!
File Size & Type
One thing I often recommend in training is that if a large file is provided on the course page that it is good practice and helpful to students to know how big it is before they download. This is especially if they are downloading over the phone network where it may cost them for data. So now these are two tick boxes in a file resource which will automatically add the size for you and the file type in text as in below image
Changes to Assignment
I blogged about this recently too, with some videos -> check them out here. This is a full re-write of the assignment module so that there will be one instead of four but that you can configure it to have any of the aspects from there others. Long term this also makes it easier to add new sub-types via plugins.!
There is two nice changes to the quiz module. The one I think which will be really welcomed is an option for the teacher to force students to answer the quiz in the defined order. Another aspect of this is that the quiz remembers what page the student was on when they resume. Very helpful!
There are a number of improvements which include phase shifting and calendar deadlines. There is an option to make the workshop phase shift automatically(think assignment phases rather than quantum). So now after the submission deadline, it will swap into the next phase and allocate the submissions to people for assessment. Very nice! Also the submission deadlines are now appearing in the calendar.
Now it will be much easier for admins to know they need to go update a plugin they are using. There is a notification on the overview page if a newer version of a plugin is available in the Moodle plugin database. This should really help keep the installation up to date.
A long-awaited feature is here! If the repository supports it you can now add an alias/shortcut to a file so that the file does not need to be copied into Moodle, just linked (but served securely through Moodle rather than just a redirect to the repository). This will be a great help to those who want the file used in many places and easily updated! Currently Equella, Filesystem, private user files, coursefiles and box.net repositories are enabled. Really cool, very useful, w00t!
I left this feature to last in this blog cos well I may just go on a bit here. In short, this is just a super wonderful excellent fantastic marvelous superb terrific cool groovy and very attractive upgrade of the File picker. The user interface has been significantly improved in look and usability. It is hard to explain so I will let it speak for itself.
The first image is a shot of the file picker on the add file resource page which also includes the ability to drag files into the file space from your desktop.
For the draft release notes check out http://docs.moodle.org/dev/Moodle_2.3_release_notes