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).

Book Module
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.

Adding Activities
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 ->

activity_chooser

Quick Edit
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!

quick_edit

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

file-sizetypeChanges 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.!

Quiz changes
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!

Workshop changes
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.

Module updates
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.

Repository Changes
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!

Add File
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.

file-picker-2
These three images are the new improved look for when selecting files with icons, list details or tree navigation:

file-picker-icons
file-picker-list
file-picker-tree
This image shows the easy 1 click editing of the file meta data (love this):
file-picker-meta-data
Managing the user privates files area now uses the same cool interface.

For the draft release notes check out http://docs.moodle.org/dev/Moodle_2.3_release_notes

9 Comments for this entry

  • Frankie Kam says:

    It’s getting better and better. Way to go for Moodle. Attaboy!!! Can’t wait for Moodle 2.x+++.

  • I’m a new Moodle user and have only just got the basics under my belt but one of the things that I wanted when designing my first course was the section by section option so it will be a great help for me as my learners are at the lower levels and new to ICT/elearning and hopefully this will make it easier for them to learn how to navigate and find where they left off.

  • alfian says:

    Can hardly wait for the next version. Great stuff

  • mel says:

    hi Gavin

    What moodle desperately needs is a search box for files. If you want to share files this is pretty much a neccessity as the file picker is very unhelful for finding files. The dialog box itself cant be maximised and you can only see a small amount of files, and in tree view, which is the easiest way to drill down, on a well resourced course, you cant really see past the first lot of resources. So I think this will discourage sharing, because people will get fed up trying to find a file and just upload another copy instead.

    I understand the difficulty of searching on a system above your own account if you are not an admin. Would it be possible to impliment a public storage area, like the public folder on osx and put uploaded files into there so people could search that?

    Cheers
    Mel

  • ghenrick says:

    Hi Mel,

    I gotta agree.

    Having a search tab for server files would be really great (perhaps a nice auto-complete one..).
    Wonder if someone has scope it out on a tracker issue if not perhaps you can start one?

    G

  • ghenrick says:

    http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-23296 is a tracker item to vote for I think!

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