Moodle 2.0, the long awaited next generation of Moodle was released on the 24th of November to much aclaim. In this blog post I am going to have a quick look at some of the main features in Moodle 2.0.
New File Picker
File management has undergone major changes in Moodle2. Evidence of this can be found with the new file picker. The new File picker is much more intuitive than that from Moodle1.x. The new file picker makes it much easier to embed media into your moodle courses such as external videos and podcasts. A screenshot of the new file picker is below.
Once you have chosen a file, Moodle2.0 gives you the option to change the name of the file, the author of the file or even to specify copyright information for the file. This is illustrated in the screenshot below.
Conditional activities allows the teacher to define conditions so that access to an activity is not available to learners until the conditional criteria become true, e.g. a grade is reached in another activity or another activity(ies) are complete. Activities conditional statements can be chained together to enable progressive disclosure of learning content.
Conditional activities also encompass a great new feature called time release. This allows the instructor to release content at a certain point in time.
MoodleMan has created a great video describing how to define conditional activities.
The quiz engine has seen a complete overhaul for Moodle2.0, improvements include:
- Improvements to quiz navigation
- Facility to allow learners to flag questions
- Quiz report enhancements
- Question tagging and improved searching of the question bank
Below is an image of the new question bank search box:
Moodle 2.0 can be integrated with a variety of content repositories that you might be using to store Learning content. It is now also possible to integrate Web2.0 repositories into Moodle. Plugins that are ready now to be used with 2.0 include: Alfresco, Amazon S3, Box.net, server file systems, Flickr, Google Docs, MERLOT, Picasa, Recent Files, WebDAV servers, Wikimedia, Youtube. Many more plugins are expected very soon.
Blocks are a great way to customize your course. Moodle2.0 has extended the types of blocks it has available to the teacher.
- Comment blocks – great for getting feedback from students
- Private files block – allows access to user’s private files
- Community block – this block allows the student to keep track of external courses that student is interested in
- Course completion block – reports the completion status of the course
Moodle modules can now easily export data to external systems. This is useful to record learning activities in forums, assignments etc. into journals or portfolio systems. Formats currently supported include LEAP2a, HTML, Images, Text, PDF. Plugins are currently available for Box.net, Flickr, Google docs, Mahara and Picasa.
Course Completion and prerequisites
This is one of the most exciting and most requested feature for Moodle2.0. Teachers can now specify course completion conditional statements for students taking a given course. Conditions include completion of a given activity, a grade in a quiz or a pre-defined date. The course completion can also be used to set as a pre-requisites on other courses that should not be started until a specified course is complete.
UsingMoodle have an excellent YouTube video describing how to define course completion.
Students can now be divided up into cohorts which are not restricted to an individual course, they are site wide. This allows for the definition of classes independent of courses.
Web Service Support
Moodle2.0 provides support for standards-based web services. This allows particular Moodle functions to be exposed for use by external systems such as HR systems, SIS applications or mobile clients. Accessing Moodle using webservices uses the a high level of security with a detailed token system and complete control over what functions are exposed as a service.
Moodle has seen BIG improvements with Moodle2.0. Here at Enovation Solutions we are really excited about the new version of Moodle! As a Learning Management System (LMS), Moodle2.0, now offers a more pedagogically complete learning experience.
What I have looked at here is just a snapshop of the improvements to Moodle with the release of 2.0. If you want to find out more have a look at the release notes – http://docs.moodle.org/en/Moodle_2.0_release_notes or why not contact us and we can give you a guided tour.