• Moodle Summer Upgrade - June 2018

    On Tuesday June 26, 2018, Moodle, the University's centrally-supported Virtual Learning Environment, will be upgraded to version 3.4.

    The new version introduces a number of new features and refinements, which are outlined below with accompanying videos.

    The features include: a new 'Course Overview' block in the Dashboard, which can present deadlines and reminders to grade your assignments; ability to select what files your students can submit; collapsible inline comments when marking assignments; drag and drop media directly into the course homepage; put activities in 'stealth mode' to hide them, but be able to link to them; improvements in the Moodle calendar; manual control of the activity completion.

    We will also be upgrading our Turnitin integration to version 2, which features a new submission inbox interface and the ability to define the dates and set up rubrics when setting up the assignment.

    New Features

  • New Course Overview block

    The new course overview block enables students to check their course progress and view upcoming deadlines and allows teachers to easily see activities needing grading. A few settings need to be adjusted for activities and resources to be displayed.

    Set a 'Grade by' reminder

    When setting up a Moodle assignment, module leaders are able set a reminder to alert them in the Course Overview block in the Dashboard that assignments need grading.

    Specify assignment file types

    Module leaders can specify the types of file the students may upload to the assignment. When specifying required file types a list of suggested file types appears which makes the selection easier. Leaving the field blank will allow all file types.

    Collapsible inline comments

    Module leaders are able to expand and collapse the inline comments in a Moodle assignment, so that they don’t appear over the original text.

    User management

    The Participants page (Navigation block) and the Enrolled users page (Course Administration) have been merged and allow teachers to enrol, search, filter and bulk edit or delete learners from a new single screen.

    Manual activity completion

    You can now manually mark as complete (or incomplete) activities on behalf of learners if you use the activity completion feature in your course.

    Drag and drop media

    Module leaders can now easily add audio and video files to their courses by dragging and dropping files to the course homepage. After dropping the file, you have the option to add the file as a link or embed it with an audio/video player in the course homepage.

    Activity navigation

    New links below course activities, together with a jump-to menu now mean you can move more easily from one activity or resource to another.

    Private files storage display

    When uploading files to your Private files, you now see how much space you have used, helping you to better manage your storage limit.

    Stealth activities

    Previously in Moodle, Module leaders were able to allow activities or resources to be hidden inside “extra” weeks or topics, but still be accessible to students. These were known as “orphaned” activities and allowed Moodle users to achieve particular designs for their courses. Now you can put any activity or resource into “stealth mode” to achieve this same effect in a more officially-supported way.

    Calendar improvements

    The calendar can now display/hide category events and events can now be easily managed with drag and drop:

    • New events may be added either by clicking the button or by clicking into an empty space in the desired day in the calendar.
    • When adding, editing or deleting events, the event displays in a pop-up window.
    • Events created manually can be dragged and dropped to different dates, as can Feedback activity, Assignment activity and Choice activity events. (For activities, the dates will then change in the activity itself when dragged to a different date on the calendar.)

    Activity completion management

    Module leaders are now able to bulk edit and update activity completion settings in their course:

    • Default activity completion allows you to select one or more course activities or resources and change their default settings (usually 'manual') to a setting of your choice.
    • Bulk edit activity completion allows you to change the completion requirements of one or several existing activities in one step.
  • Changes in Turnitin

    Setting up a Turnitin Assignment 2

    Turnitin assignment settings screen in Moodle, in light grey background featured in a Safari browser window, with Brookes charcoal text on a Brookes gold background speech bubble, which shows the ability to edit the assignment dates and access the Rubric manager.

    When setting up a Turnitin Assignment 2, you have the option to select the assignment dates (start, due and post date) and access the Rubric Manager from the Moodle settings page for that assignment.

    Submission process

    Turnitin submission screen in Moodle, in light grey background featured in a Safari browser window, with Brookes charcoal text on a Brookes gold background speech bubble, which shows the ability to drag and drop files into the submission area.

    Submissions are now possible via a lightbox, where files can be dragged and dropped into the file manager area. Users are then provided with an extract of their submission and their paper id as proof that Turnitin have received their submission.

    New submission inbox

    Use the slider in the middle to compare the old and new version of Turnitin's submission inbox.

    The summary and submission screens have been combined into one Submission Inbox screen. The inbox has been separated by part, with each part navigable by tab. The part title, dates and marks available can be edited on screen without having to use a specific edit page. The bulk download options are also available within the submission inbox.

    Rubric and QuickMark manager

    Turnitin submission inbox screen in Moodle, in light grey background featured in a Safari browser window, with Brookes charcoal text on a Brookes gold background speech bubble, which shows the ability to access the Rubric and QuickMarks Manager from the blue icons on the right-hand side.

    Module Leaders now have access to Rubric Manager and QuickMark manager windows from the assignment inbox.

    PeerMark

    Turnitin submission inbox screen in Moodle, in light grey background featured in a Safari browser window, with Brookes charcoal text on a Brookes gold background speech bubble, which shows the ability to create PeerMark assignments by clicking on the green cog icon on the right-hand side.

    PeerMark is a peer review assignment tool, which allows Module Leaders to create and manage PeerMark assignments that allow students to read, review, and evaluate one or many papers submitted by their classmates. Setting up a PeerMark assignment is possible after setting up a Turnitin assignment, from within the Submission inbox and by using the PeerMark Manager (green cog icon). Turnitin provide useful guidance about how to set up PeerMark assignments.

    Extra file types

    Turnitin assignment settings screen in Moodle, in light grey background featured in a Safari browser window, with Brookes charcoal text on a Brookes gold background speech bubble, which shows the ability to enable or disable the setting for the assignment to accept any possible file type, by choosing 'Yes' or 'No'.

    Turnitin will be able to accept any file type and Module Leaders can enable or disable that setting per assignment. Selecting 'Yes' will allow students to submit any file type (even images), but Turnitin will generate an originality report only for files that contain machine-readable text. Selecting 'No' will allow students to submit only the accepted by Turnitin file types.

    Please note: No changes will be introduced in Feedback Studio with this upgrade.


    Other changes

    • Accessibility: A set of accessible icons, provided by FontAwesome, are now used across the Moodle interface (eg. menus, settings screens etc).
    • Activities and recources: The 'subpage' resource will be discontinued after the upgrade, as it is no longer supported in 3.4.
    • Quiz activity: Option has been added to delete multiple questions and question type icons are displayed in the quiz manual grading overview.
    • Database activity: The setting "Required entries" is now an activity completion condition.
    • Topic and weeks course formats: After a course is created, sections can be added and removed only from the course page (it is no longer possible to have "orphaned" activities).
    • For courses in weekly format, a new course setting allows for the course end date to be calculated automatically.