Moodle 3.3 Improvements that Empower Educators in their Online Classrooms
Moodle’s mission is to empower educators to improve the world and the many features in Moodle 3.3 have been designed to give teachers better control over their learning environments while improving communications between educators and students. One highlight is that it’s now much easier to use Google G-Suite or Microsoft Office in conjunction with Moodle.
Moodle Founder and CEO, Dr Martin Dougiamas, says: “I’m very happy to see the next step in Moodle’s evolution. Our team at Moodle HQ has worked hard to bring together a variety of things in this release that our community has been asking for and helping to develop.”
The list of key new features and improvements in this release that benefit our Moodle users include:
- A new course overview block (voted and funded by the Moodle Users Association) which improves the dashboard by clearly displaying course progress and providing a timeline of upcoming activities that need attention.
- Moodle’s integration with Google G-Suite and Microsoft Office means easier, faster access to all of the tools that teachers and students need, and the ability to open documents from other systems while on your Moodle site. One login account to access multiple and many more accounts – one of Moodle’s key objectives to improve users online learning experiences.
- Getting more control and faster updating option in activities completion will allow teachers to make their courses clearer for their students and also make the course overview in the dashboard shows the full progress of their studies/work.
- Teachers now have more control over the types of files that students submit in assignments – either in any readable types or specified according to your assignment submission requirements.This new feature can help make grading and assignment management much easier.
- The use of the popular Font Awesome project as icons in Moodle 3.3 means higher contract and improved accessibility for those with poor vision. It also means icons will great at any size and on any screen resolution. All of these benefits will improve the performance and efficiency when showing your Moodle pages.
- Online communications in Moodle is enhanced through more support for emoji characters that make Moodle work more naturally for a wider variety of languages, such as Japanese, Chinese and Korean. The increased support for emoji characters now also means you can use it everywhere that text can be entered, such as forum posts and of course messaging both on the web and in our Moodle Mobile App!
- Teachers can now put activities into stealth mode so that they are not shown on the course page, but remain usable by students. This new feature will give teachers the option to achieve particular designs for their courses.
- Annotating assignments is now enhanced in Moodle 3.3 with the possibility of collapsing and expanding comments. This feature gives teachers the option of writing comprehensive feedback on assignments that can be collapsed so it won’t block over the original text. This then makes reading feedback easier for students.
- Upload media files faster and easier by dragging & dropping directly onto course pages in the same way you can already add images. This feature improvement also gives you the choice of displaying the file as a clickable file source or as a label for students to access immediately.
- Tag more of what you want to save and see in Moodle through the ability to now tag forum posts and also glossary entries! Teachers are now also able to tag book chapters.
In addition to these key main features, other improvements that users, especially administrators and developers, can enjoy in Moodle 3.3 include:
- Plugins for document conversion, including the Google drive document converter is now available. The plugins make it easier to install and configure the “Annotate PDF” feature for assignments
- Plugin for learning analytics – Project Inspire
- Better integrations with cloud storage filesystems
- Administrators can now run scheduled tasks from the web UI
As with every release, the long list of new features and improvements in Moodle 3.3 along with many other fixes are only made possible through many, countless hours of consultation, collaboration and development from our dedicated team of core developers at Moodle HQ, as well as hundreds of key developers and other contributors throughout our global Moodle community.