This article is a summary of “Moodle 3.3 - A New Experience”, a webinar conducted by our Director of Learning Solutions, Ben Young.
Moodle is a powerful learning management system that is widely used by academics, corporations, and non-profits throughout the world. With the recent release of Moodle 3.3, the LMS has upped its game with a remarkably improved user experience.
We’ve reviewed the new upgrade, and we’re impressed with several improvements, especially:
- Theme upgrades
- New course overview block
- User tours
- Better Font Awesome integration
Let’s take a quick tour of each of these upgrades.
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Moodle 3.3 introduces remarkable improvements for the user experience, and the new Boost theme takes advantage of each of these upgrades. Boost is the out-of-the-box theme that comes with Moodle 3.3. It’s an easy-to-use starting point that many course designers use to build custom themes.
For this latest release, Moodle’s major focus for its themes was to improve the user experience and make everything easier to access. The big changes you’ll notice include:
- Blocks. Blocks contain secondary functions or pieces of information that let you to add functionality to your courses. Moodle no longer restricts blocks to the left and right sides, and it lets you use them in new ways. Blocks are now important tools that you can add to your courses. Check out the Course Overview Block below for more details.
- Navigation. The improved “flat” navigation means less clicking and fewer expanding menus. The navigation is now tucked away in the top navigation menu area. You’ll also find the search and user menus at the top. This change gives you quick access to the dashboard, your user profile, grades, messages, and preferences.
- Messaging. New messages are indicated with an icon at the top of the interface. From there, you can open a real-time chat window, like Facebook’s messenger.
New Course Overview Block
Moodle wanted to give users an improved experience with the course overview block, so that it’s easier to access the learning you’re involved in. The course overview block in Moodle 3.3 gives you quick access and greater visibility of upcoming assignments and activities.
The new course overview changes the way people look at the dashboard and how they experience Moodle. It focuses on what you’ve done, what you need to do now, and what you will need to do in the near future.
The block has been organized to show the courses that have been completed, current courses in progress, and future courses based on upcoming enrollment dates. The course overview is displayed on a user’s dashboard and displays two tabs: Timeline and Courses.
The Timeline can be sorted by activity dates or by courses. When sorted by dates, the timeline is sectioned into chunks of time:
- Recently overdue activities
- Next 7 Days
- Next 30 Days
This provides a helpful perspective for learners so they can easily see what they need to do in the next few days. Any assignment with a due date appears in the Timeline Dates view. For instructors, it shows the assignments you have to grade.
You can also sort the timeline by courses. This view shows all of your courses, and each courses lists its own activities in a timeline. Every course displays a percentage completion, based on the number of activities that have been completed so far.
The Courses tab shows activities filtered by course, with a percentage completion icon. Learners can view current, future, and past courses.
User Tours was originally released as a plugin, but is now incorporated into the Moodle core. User Tours provide an automated guided tour of a page, tool, or course that starts when a user reaches a certain page (for example, the first time accessing a course). It’s like a quick on-the-fly training program to the system. These tours are a great way to help reduce calls to your support desk.
User tours are role-based—they can be tailored to any role in the system, although most organizations focus on instructors and learners.
A library of tours is available, which you can repurpose for your needs.
Font Awesome Integration
Moodle 3.3 also provides improved support for Font Awesome online font icon library. This integration lets you easily add icons to your courses to build more engaging, graphic-based content.
Check Out Moodle 3.3 Now
The new Moodle experience release introduces remarkable improvements in the user experience and course accessibility. Theme improvements, the course overview, and user tours make Moodle 3.3 the most usable and user-focused version of Moodle to date.
Want to see Moodle 3.3 for yourself? Check out our on-demand webinar, Moodle 3.3: A New Experience.