The much anticipated Moodle 2.3 has been released.
It’s a nice mix of improved usability, functionality, new and enhanced features.
Here’s a shortlist of the major features:
A more attractive file picker with less clicks. Images display as true thumbnails and most other file formats have icons. Files can be viewed in icon, table or hierarchical list view. Drag and drop files into the Moodle files area directly from your desktop. File can be created as an alias (or shortcut) to another file, this enables you to use a single file multiple times throughout your courses – to update the original automatically updates the aliases.
If supported by the repository plugin, it is possible to make an alias to a file in an external repository. If the file is updated externally, the change is reflected in Moodle. By default, 2.3 supports this feature for private files, server files, file system, box.net and EQUELLA. The server files repository is now available for database, forum and glossary activities. The repository plugin can now use its own search and browse interface on the right pane of the file picker.
Course page improvements
The ‘scroll of death’ is officially dead. Instead of displaying one big list of all sections (with activities and resources) on a single course page, courses can now be set to display sections i.e. topics or weeks on individual pages. Drag and drop functionality for blocks makes a welcome come back. On a related note, files can be drag-dropped from your computer to a course page and they get added as resources. Better still, there is now an optional setting for adding resources and activities to a course via the ‘Activity chooser’ popup. The chooser is more intuitive, informative and can be set in preference to the ‘Add a resource’ and ‘Add an activity’ drop menus.
Assignment, quiz, SCORM and workshop module improvements
The assignment activity has been rewritten and thankfully streamlines what was formerly four different assignment types into one that is highly configurable. The advanced grading method introduces the ‘Marking guide’, where a teacher comments per criterion and mark to a maximum. In case you missed it, the ‘Rubrics’ grading method was added in 2.1.
The quiz activity has more robust handling of attempts not submitted by a specified date and time. There is now an option to force students to answer questions in a strict order and the quiz remembers where to resume an attempt.
The SCORM activity has a new graphical report which displays the percentage obtained against the number of participants. Also, a SCORM package drag-dropped on the course page now becomes a SCORM activity.
The workshop activity has a new option to automatically switch to assessment phase and allocate submissions for assessment after deadline. Much like assignments, workshop submission deadlines now display in the calendar, too.
By popular demand, this third-party plugin has found its way into Moodle core. Book makes it easy to create multi-page resources containing text and multimedia with a book-like format. The book may contain chapters and has an inbuilt table of contents and navigation.
Administrators can view available updates to their moodle installation, both core and contributed plugins at any stage and also be notified of available updates.
Minimum requirements are as follows:
- Browser: Firefox 4, Internet Explorer 8, Safari 5, Chrome 11, Opera 9;
- Database: MySQL 5.1.33, Postgres 8.3, MSSQL 2005 or Oracle 10.2;
- PHP: 5.3.2
Also note, if upgrading from an earlier Moodle version, you must first upgrade to 2.2.
Visit the Moodle 2.3 release notes page to view the full list of improvements, bug fixes and security patches.