Revisiting Moodle 3.2’s exciting features with Moodle Partner eThink Education

Source: Revisiting Moodle 3.2’s exciting features with Moodle Partner eThink Education – Moodle.com

In December last year, Moodle HQ released Moodle 3.2 – full of many exciting and new features that were all aimed at improving the user’s experience of the learning software.

In our Moodle 3.2 release blog post we listed: “a fresh new user experience, industry-leading media player, user tours to guide learners and educators through their learning environments, and new messaging and notifications functions for better communications” as some of the ways Moodle is enhancing online education!

Now, with Moodle 3.3 about to be released in May, we want to take the time to, together with our Moodle Partner, eThink Education, to look revisit the many Moodle 3.2 features.

eThink also recently conducted a webinar on Moodle 3.2 which we can access at the end of this blog post if you prefer the watch and listen option rather than read through our summary notes below.

Boost: Moodle’s new default theme, Boost, gives administrators and teachers better navigation and improved course editing.

Boost is the fresh, new default theme for Moodle 3.2. Boost refreshes the Moodle user interface and includes improvements to navigation and course editing.

Moodle’s newest Boost default theme gives users a clean-cut and content-focussed user interface.

A menu displaying essential navigation points such as dashboard, home, courses and site administration can now be collapsed and opened via a gear icon. The new default course layout without blocks makes for smoother switching from desktop to mobile app.

All of this frees up more screen space for users who want to focus on the site content.
For administrators, they are now able to easily customise the Boost theme with custom brand colours, logo, font and much more in Moodle 3.2. With advanced settings, administrators can add SCSS and CSS code to Boost preset files, making it easy to customise the new default theme

For teachers, the new Boost theme lets teachers avoid continuous and long scrolling down the page. Teachers can also benefit from quick access to the switch roles link from the user menu.

Editing existing activities and resources is easier now because the options are accessed from the gear icon top right. There’s no need to scroll down to a side block and the page is quickly updated.

In the webinar, Todd Mathews – Director of Implementations, describes the Boost theme as “a nice, intuitive end user-friendly experience, making users want to use Moodle.”

Guide teachers and students through your Moodle site with the new user tours feature

In the webinar eThink’s Client Care Analyst, Jeremy Schweitzer, indicated that the user tours are a great way to showcase users how to navigate the new Boost theme in Moodle sites.

Creating engaging learning experiences in your learning environment is enhanced with the new user tours feature in Moodle 3.2. Administrators can now apply instructional overlays to the Moodle user interface, via the site administration menu.

These overlays can be used to:

  1. Welcome users with a custom tour of your Moodle site.
  2. Highlight key areas, showcase new features and introduce users to the new Boost default theme – creating engaging learning experiences in your learning environment is easy with this new 3.2 core feature

User tours also have the “tour filters” setting allow administrators to choose who will see the tour.

There is also the target type – a setting which determines where a user tour will be displayed on the page. In Moodle 3.2, users can choose from blocks, middle of the page, and CSS selector.

New industry-leading media player is now in Moodle 3.2

“Great enhancements to ensure responsiveness and improve accessibility” is what Claire Machia, Director of Support Services at eThink, say about the addition of video.js in Moodle 3.2.

Video.js is now the default player in new Moodle sites and also supports YouTube videos. In addition to being able to offer greater control over sound and video, the new media player has a lot of new capabilities.

When you add a media file using the media icon in the Atto editor in Moodle 3.2, you will now have many more options for its display, including:

  • the default dimensions of embedded videos,
  • whether you want to enable and disable players,
  • accessing individual player settings.
  • separate tabs for an URL
  • adding an alternative source to make sure videos work on desktop and mobile browsers
  • adding a thumbnail icon
  • uploading subtitles or captions in more than one language
  • adding an audio description, chapter titles and metadata

If Moodle users have another preferred or favourite media player, a pluggable support in Moodle 3.2 allows administrators to easily add the new video player to their site.

Enjoy new activities enhancements in Moodle 3.2

Jordan de Groot and Vanessa Royce – Client Care Analysts at eThink – outlined the many great, new capabilities within activities in Moodle 3.2, including:

Assignment

A new capability for the assignment activity in Moodle 3.2 includes the ability for teachers to override assignment dates for individual students or groups

Choice

In Moodle 3.2, teachers can now make selections for students in the Choice activity.
In the event that a student does not or have not made a selection in the choice activity, a teacher select the choice they want to have from the drop down menu.

Exporting workshop activities to portfolio

A new capability in workshop export submissions in Moodle 3.2 means students or teachers can now export workshop activities to a portfolio.

Forum discussion locking

Moodle 3.2 gives teachers and administrators the discretion to lock forum discussions, so that, if required, users will be unable to reply to them.

LTI 2 Compliance, Competency Frameworks and Moodle Mobile App

Ending the Moodle 3.2 new features webinar from eThink was Courtney Bentley, Account Executive, who started her presentation with the comment that with each release, “Moodle keeps on track with standards compliance competencies.”

Courtney then demonstrated Improvements in competency frameworks for Moodle 3.2, whereby frameworks can be exported to use in other sites and may be shared with other Moodle sites.

The webinar ended with a good demonstration of the many new features in Moodle Mobile 3.2 that makes mobile learning easier, simpler and better.

With new features such as auto-login on your mobile, ability to sign up straight from your mobile, a new “grades” link, a new assignment grading feature, messaging and notifications options and much more, Moodle continues to innovate mobile learning.

Now, there are other new features in Moodle 3.2 which is not covered in the webinar but you can read more about or watch how it works through our Moodle 3.2 screencasts. This includes:

To download Moodle 3.2: download.moodle.org or get assistance from our Moodle Partners to enhance your Moodle site.

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