New and exciting features are on prototypes for Moodle 3.3

April 6, 2017

If you are part of the new features forum on our community site – moodle.org – you might have seen a lot of buzz around Moodle 3.3!

You might have also heard that Moodle 3.3 major release is coming, and, as highlighted in our Releases documentation, we are looking at making the new version available second Monday of May.

As with our major releases, new features and improvements will be added to Moodle and in this blog post we are going to look at the main new features we are excited to share.

But before we go there, if you are new to Moodle and would like to find out more about the core development process for Moodle’s major and minor releases, have a read through this documentation.

As with other major releases process, we have included features based on:

  1. Voted requests from the Moodle Community.
  2. Moodle Users Association chosen project.
  3. Feedback gathered and research conducted by Moodle HQ

And now…let us introduce you the following new features and improvements currently under development for Moodle 3.3:

Font awesome to be available in Moodle 3.3

Font awesome is a popular set of icons used in many software products. The icons have increased contrast and are fully accessible, meeting the requirements for WCAG 2.0 AAA compliance. Font awesome further supports Moodle’s previous works to make all tools and features accessible to all educators, learners and users.

From a developer’s perspective, Font awesome provides a number of benefits – they load in a single request, are efficiently cached and they provide a large set of professional icons that can be used by plugin devs!

The move towards Font awesome also supports the introduction of the Boost theme in Moodle 3.2, keeping up with Moodle’s aim to improve user experience.

Want to check out the work done so far on Font awesome? You can do that in our prototype site.

Integration between Google Docs, Microsoft Office and Moodle is on its way!

Being able to integrate with some of the most popular and widely used systems, such as Microsoft Office and Google is integral to a better user experience in Moodle.

Imagine being able to log in to Moodle using the same login as your Office or Google accounts, making it easier and faster to access all your learning/education needs!

What about the ability to open your Word documents saved in your Office accounts while logged in to your Moodle site? All your files and documents accessible from one spot!

These are just some of the project specifications in this integration work. You can read more about the requirements of the project and also see the demo to date.

My overview block

The Moodle Users Association recently voted on their project for Moodle 3.3 – My overview block. This project aims to create an improved block for the dashboard so that users can have direct links to their courses, activities and much more.

Of course, an improved overview block with easier access to all the things that educators and learners need means better user experience.

Check out the overview demo today.

Project Inspire

If you were at MoodleMoot Australia 2016 in Perth last September, you would have heard the words “Project Inspire” and “Learning Analytics Tools” being mentioned a number of times.
Moodle’s Project Inspire is essentially Moodle’s Analytics Plan. The project aims to identify and validate, indicators of student, teacher and institutional engagement in educational activities.
Information from this will be used to develop learning analytics software features, which will have these functions:

  • Description of learning engagement and progress,
  • Diagnosis of learning engagement and progress,
  • Prediction of learning progress, and
  • Prescription (recommendations) for improvement of learning progress.

Moodle sites can get involved in Project Inspire and you can also view phase 1 of the prototype.

Making activities that are available but not visible on course page

This new feature is one of the most voted by our Moodle users and the community (through our Moodle tracker).

Let’s say you would like to structure courses, quizzes and other activities but you want to lead your students through the course step by step. This feature can assist with that.

Other benefits to this feature will also include:

  • Less scrolling down the page by removing “number of sections” and “orphaned activities”.
  • Educators have more control to construct an orderly way of presenting their courses.

Have a look at our demo site to see how this works!

Collapsible PDF annotation

The collapsible PDF annotation is an improvement made by one of our community member, Tony Butler, of Lancaster University.

This improvement will allow PDF comments in assignments to be collapsible so that it won’t obscure any content, also giving users the ability to add more content!

This improvement is still being worked on but check out the prototype to try it.

So there it is!!

A summary list of the new features and improvements in Moodle 3.3 coming soon!

Find out more information on our prototype site and remember to join the forum discussions for all of the latest news and to ask questions about the development of Moodle 3.3.

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