Moodle: Other New Features

As we’re upgrading from Moodle 3.0 to 3.4 this year, there are a range of minor enhancements which have been introduced over that time, here are a few that you might find interesting and useful…in no particular order…

Pinned forum discussions & discussion locking

Important forum posts can now be pinned to the top of your list, making them more visible to your students. You can also now easily close forum discussions after a period of inactivity.
Find out more about Using Forums at: https://docs.moodle.org/34/en/Using_Forum, or watch the short screencast below:

Workshop enhancements

When setting up a Workshop (peer review activity), you can now specify the types of file you want students to submit or not. Students may also now delete their own submissions.
Find out more about Workshop at https://docs.moodle.org/34/en/Workshop_activity

Tag course activities

Course activities and resources may now be tagged, making it simpler to find related content. Find out more at https://docs.moodle.org/34/en/Tags

Search metalinked courses

The Course meta link makes it possible for all users enrolled in one course to be automatically enrolled in one or more other courses. You can now search for meta linked courses and add them together in one step.
See https://docs.moodle.org/34/en/Course_meta_link for more details.

Media player improvements

Moodle 3.2 focused on improving the user experience and on accessibility, this means that most popular video types display across devices and browsers with subtitle and caption support.

Interactive report charts

Interactive and responsive charts now show reports dynamically to course participants. A new modern graphing library in Moodle 3.2 has been used to overhaul all the graphs and charts to make them prettier as well as more interactive and responsive.

Assignment overrides

A tutor can now easily change assignment deadlines for individuals or groups, from the assignment settings link. Find out more about Assignments at https://docs.moodle.org/34/en/Assignment_activity, or watch the short screencast below for a quick demonstration of Assignment overrides:

Select for students in Choice

The Choice activity allows you to ask a question and set up radio buttons which learners can click to make a selection from a number of possible responses. They can choose one or more option and they can update their selection if you allow them. Choices can be useful as quick poll to stimulate thinking about a topic; to allow the class to vote on a direction for the course, or to gauge progress.
Tutors can also now make a selection on behalf of students in the Choice activity.

‘Stealth’ activities – available but not shown

An improvement on ‘orphaned sections’, links may now be made to activities which are not shown on the course page. Earlier versions of Moodle had a ‘quirk’ that allowed activities (or resources) to be hidden inside ‘extra’ weeks or topics, but still be accessible to students. These were known as ‘orphaned’ activities and allowed Moodle users to achieve particular designs for their courses.
In Moodle 3.3 onwards you can put any activity or resource into ‘stealth mode’ to achieve this same effect in a more officially-supported way. Find out more at https://docs.moodle.org/34/en/Stealth_activities, or watch the video below:

Drag and drop media

Since Moodle 3.3, you can now add sound and video files directly to your course page by dragging and dropping in the same way you can already add images. This feature gives users the choice of displaying the file as a clickable file source or as a label. Choosing the label option further improves users accessibility by displaying the media file in the media player, for students to immediately access. Watch the short video below to see how to do this:

And finally…

Emoji support 😀

Brighen up communication with fun emoji characters anywhere that text can be entered…go on…you know you want to!

Which of these new features will be most useful to you? Let us know in the comments below…
Phil

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