Source: New Features of Moodle 3.1 that Make it the Favorite of Learning Experts
Ashok Kumar K
Moodle, the open source Learning Management System (LMS) released its latest version – 3.1 – in May 2016. The latest version includes unique, user-requested features such as competency-based learning, assignment grading, easy retrieval of deleted files, enhanced tagging, improved course editing, and more. Forums, workshops, and lesson activities provide unique learning experiences for learners.
Watch this video for an overview of the features of Moodle 3.1.
Now, let’s get into the details of new features in Moodle’s latest version.
1. Competency Framework
Moodle 3.1 supports the Competency Based Education (CBE) framework. Competency is the expertise of a learner in certain a subject or skill. Competency or Skill-based learning is the new training approach corporate organizations are using widely to improve learners’ skills. You can create competency frameworks to evaluate learners. The plug-in in the new version helps import and export competency frameworks using a Comma Separated Value (CSV) file.
2. Remote Access to Selected Courses
The ‘Publish as LTI‘ tool in Moodle 3.1 allows your remote users to access selected courses and activities on your LMS. Grades are sent back to the remote system. LTI tool,an enrollment plug-in, works together with the LTI authentication plug-in to allow remote learners on a different site to access courses and other learning activities.
3. Speed up Course Creation
You can hasten course creation with the ‘easy edit option‘ in Moodle 3.1. Now it’s easy to change section titles without leaving the page. The course home page has four blocks – Navigation, Administration, Course Sections, and Side Blocks. To edit a course section, turn on the edit option; wherever you find the pencil icon, you can name the sections or titles as per your requirement. You can also edit the description and other settings from the edit menu option.
4. Learning Plan Templates
As a training manager, you can build Learning Plan Templates (LPT) for individual learners or even specific learning groups. You can design the learning plan templates based on competency frameworks. An LPT can define a set of competencies to be assigned to a particular learning group. Sometimes, it’s difficult to create an individual learning plan for each user and update periodically, where learners are in thousands. Learning plan templates come to your rescue in these situations. You only need to update the learning plan template based on the competencies of the learners and the changes will apply to all learners in that competency group.
5. Global Search
The global search option in Moodle 3.1 enables your learners or workforce to search across the LMS using the keywords they know to find the relevant resource for the moment of need, instead of scrolling through all the available learning resources. For example, a learner can search the course for particular lecture notes taught in an Instructor-led training (ILT) session or trainers can search for subject-related activities. The search option is not confined to a searching for courses and activities, but also checks forum posts, searches chapters in a particular course, glossary entries, and wiki pages.
6. Tagging Enhancements
In the latest version of Moodle, Tags are combined and grouped into collections. This distinguishes standard tags from other custom tags. Tagging ensures your search is easy across the LMS. Tag collections are sets of tags for different sections. Let’s say, the standard collection of tags can be used for tagging courses. You can create a separate tag collection as per learner interests, and tags for blogs. When learners click a tag, the tag page displays the resources within that collection. When you click on the tag collection, it will display the list of tags in that set, information on the tag creators, the number of uses, last modified time, and flags.
7. Bulk Downloads of Resources
The bulk downloads feature makes it easy for learners to download multiple resources at a time in a zipped folder. It helps when the required resources are many and downloading one after the other is a tedious task. Providing all related resources in a folder makes learners’ lives much better than dumping or providing an exhaustive list of files spread all over the LMS. It occupies less space on the course home page and extends the learning offline too.
8. Improved Messaging & Forums
The Messaging option in Moodle 3.1 allows learners to communicate with other learners in the group more efficiently. The Message button beside the learner’s picture makes it easier to send messages. The Permalink feature in forums allows learners to share forum posts easily. Learners can set forum preferences, track read and unread forum posts. Adding images, audio, videos files to forum posts is possible. Learners can also reply to the forum posts via their e-mails without logging into the LMS.
9. Easy Retrieval of Deleted Files
The new Recycle Bin has been requested by users. You can easily restore deleted content, files, or courses. This feature makes trainers worry-free. When the created courses, learning plans, or any other information is deleted accidentally, you can restore them by going to the new recycle bin. Your content is safe in Moodle LMS 3.1.
We believe all these new features extend a great support to you as a training manager and make your life much easier. Provide enhanced learning experiences to your employees with these noteworthy features of Moodle LMS 3.1.