Moodle 4.0 has arrived

We are proud to announce the release of Moodle LMS 4.0 and an improved user experience for Moodle’s 300 million users worldwide.   

Welcome to a new contemporary look and feel that is fresh and intuitive, with tabbed navigation and a redefined course experience that makes it easier for educators or trainers to create and edit courses and for learners to prioritise and complete course work.

Our job as makers of Moodle is to ensure the platform is as easy and simple to use as possible while maintaining our commitment to open source technology and best practices in online learning.   There is no platform that compares to Moodle’s deep features, but we know that the way in which people engage with technology has radically changed with the software that now pervades our experience.  This release addresses these changes and tackles our community’s most desired enhancements so that we can empower them to do amazing things more intuitively.

Martin Dougiamas, Moodle’s Founder and CEO

Moodle 4.0 is dedicated to Moodle’s global community of educators, trainers, developers, administrators, partners and learners who have contributed to the evolution of Moodle and our mission to empower educators to improve the world. As an open source platform, our community is one of our greatest strengths and we thank them for their contributions over the last 20 years. Over that time we have seen more than 130,000 contributions to the Moodle code base, from 897 developers across 58 countries. Thank you all!

Sander Bangma, Head of Moodle LMS

A journey with the Moodle community

The enhancements revealed in the release of Moodle 4.0 have been informed by an extensive discovery and consultation process with Moodle’s community, partners and the Moodle Users Association. 

Central to our process were our users and Moodle community, with whom we engaged throughout this release’s entire journey. We have made sure that whether you’ve been using Moodle for ten years or ten minutes, we addressed the most critical friction points but in a way that ensured current users did not need to relearn the process.

Sander Bangma, Head of Moodle LMS

Engagement with the Moodle community included a user experience benchmark study with 770 responses and a series of twelve workshops that identified the issues and prioritised them via a qualifying criteria process which rated the scale of the problem, investment of time to resolve and impact of the result.  Through ideation, prototypes and until the last phases of development, we tested and refined solutions with our end users.

Moodle has a new personality!

Moodle 4.0 introduces a new design language, visual styling and is responsive and consistent between devices. 

In addition to refining aesthetics, grouping course information together has improved teachers, trainers and learners’ ability to comprehend page content without feeling overwhelmed.

Sander Bangma, Head of Moodle LMS

Simplified navigation

The new navigation hierarchy is simplified and shows what is contextually relevant.  Access to the most commonly used items is delivered through tabbed navigation, which is consistent site-wide.  These improvements reduce cognitive load and allow educators and learners to easily find what they want, when they need it.

Responsive across devices, Moodle 4.0 brings a contemporary look and feel with a simplified navigation hierarchy.

An improved course page and rejuvenated dashboard

The course page now clearly displays the relevant information and actions required for each activity, including  the description, completion conditions and completion status, relevant activity dates such as when submissions open and close, and restrictions if applicable.  Learners can also collapse or expand sections within course pages to focus on particular pieces of content or activities.

A rejuvenated dashboard welcomes the learner and summarises important tasks within a timeline with clear call to action buttons. The dashboard includes a single view calendar of requirements that learners can import other calendars to or export. 

These enhancements allow learners to anticipate deadlines and manage their time more efficiently. The dashboard welcomes the learner and the timeline provides a summary of course deadlines and actions with new colourful activity icons.

The dashboard welcomes the learner and the timeline provides a summary of course deadlines and actions with new colourful activity icons.

New additions

A key improvement in Moodle 4.0 is the addition of a new collapsible and expandable Course Index on the course page, making it easier and quicker for students and educators to find activities and resources or track activity completion.  Educators will find it a powerful tool as they can use it to drag and reposition activities (and even whole sections) within a course, which means less time organising courses and more time teaching.

Another new expandable and collapsible component on the right-hand side of the screen enables teachers to prioritise blocks displaying course-specific updates, information and reminders.  Learners can choose to collapse or expand blocks, allowing them to reduce visual clutter and focus on the learning at hand.  

Plus, “My Courses” is a new, stand-alone dedicated page that helps educators and learners search, view and quickly navigate between all their courses.

The new Course Index on the left-hand side (shown on tablet) and Blocks on the right-hand side (shown on desktop) can be expanded or collapsed to create more efficient teaching and learning.

Open source virtual classroom – BigBlueButton

We are proud to announce that BigBlueButton has been incorporated into Moodle 4.0 as a standard feature. BigBlueButton is an open source web conferencing and virtual classroom providing real-time sharing of audio, video, chat, slides, screen sharing, a multi-user whiteboard, breakout rooms, polling and emojis.  A key tool in fostering learner engagement, the free tier BigBlueButton hosting included in Moodle LMS 4.0 offers analytics on user participation, 60 minutes and 25 users per session, moderator webcam and seven-day non-downloadable recordings.

Engage learners with BigBlueButton, the open source web conferencing and virtual classroom integrated into Moodle 4.0.

Quiz and Assignment get better 

Quiz has been made better in Moodle 4.0 via flexibility within the question bank allowing teachers to analyse the success of particular types of questions within quizzes and create differentiated versions based on assessment performance.  Plus, the introduction of time assignments allows teachers to hone learners’ focus and minimise distractions.

Ongoing focus on accessibility

Accessibility is a constant focus in the development of Moodle and our development practices are aligned with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Like Moodle LMS 3.11, Moodle 4.0 will undergo an accessibility audit against the WCAG 2.1 AA standard to achieve formal accreditation. Thanks to a project funded and proposed by the Moodle Users Association (MUA), improvements to the text editor in Moodle 4.0 make it easier for people using keyword navigation or screen readers to create and edit course content or submissions.

Other key improvements 

  • Educators and content creators now have the option to automatically send an alert to students about new or updated content via the Moodle app and email, so that students can keep up to date with new course requirements.
Learners receive alerts on their devices.
  • Moodle 4.0 takes interoperability forward with improved security, account linking and ease of use with improved LTI capabilities.  In addition to allowing learners to access external content from within a Moodle site, Moodle 4.0 can act as an LTI 1.3 Advantage host, allowing content to be provided to other sites that consume it. 
  • In order to inform teaching decisions, Report Builder, a feature of Moodle Workplace, has been incorporated into Moodle 4.0.  Managers can generate improved system-level and custom reports allowing educators to measure student progress, analyse the impact and improve learning programs.
  • In Moodle 4.0, administrators can save the configuration of their Moodle site, so that they can share it with other Moodle sites or other Moodle users.  For those who prefer to keep things simple, you can create your own Moodle flavour by turning off the functionality that your users don’t need and save the configuration for easy setup and sharing with others.
  • To help new users get started and accelerate their understanding of the platform, Moodle’s updated user tours will orient newcomers to the look and feel of Moodle and provide quick hints on key features and new functionality.

Find out more about Moodle 4.0,  watch the new Moodle 4.0 video and visit the new feature page. Or, if you require expert assistance in hosting, customisation, training or support, please contact us.

This article was originally published on moodle.com.