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Moving to Moodle 2

You may have heard that Glyndŵr University is upgrading its Virtual Learning Environment from Moodle 1.9 to Moodle 2 for 2012-13. The main reason for the move is that from summer 2012 our current version of Moodle (1.9) will no longer be supported. However, there are also many improvements that have been implemented in Moodle 2 which will help teaching, learning and assessment; Moodle 2 resolves some existing problems and introduces some new features that tutors have requested.

We have been looking at Moodle 2 in preparation for the move. Fortunately, it won’t look too different, and if you’ve already mastered using Moodle 1.9, you’ll soon pick up the basics of Moodle 2.

Here are some of the improvements or new features that we are getting excited about:

Improvements to existing features

  • Blocks – you can ‘dock’ them on a side menu, move them about more easily, and collapse and expand them
  • Blogs – you can add tags, relate them to specific activities, and register external blogs
  • HTML/ text editor – now resizeable, it’s easier to clean up text copied from elsewhere, and easier to embed media
  • Navigation – easier to navigate around the course and site as a whole, and you can expand or collapse the navigation menu
  • Portfolio – better integration with Mahara
  • Question Engine – more flexible – will be able to share questions across sites and activities
  • Quiz – can categorise questions by adding tags, and insert pictures into questions and answers. More security for class assessments by displaying students’ photos.
  • Roles and permissions – you can assign these per activity
  • Turnitin – improved integration with Turnitin for originality reports and Grademark
New features
  • Conditional activities – you can force a progressive path through materials, by making access to resources or activities dependent on criteria (dates, completion of a particular activity, or achievement of a particular grade)
  • Course completion – you will be able to track student progress with an overview of status of completion for all students
  • File picker – it will be easier to upload files to Moodle (fewer steps involved)
  • Integration with Mobile apps – access to courses from Apple and Android devices
  • Workshop – this module will allow for student self-assessment and peer assessment

We have already been updating the Moodle training documents, and you can have a look at these on the Moodle Support for Staff site on the current version of Moodle, under the new topic area Moodle 2.

We are in the process of finalising details of training sessions and workshops. However, there will be two open briefings for Glyndŵr staff and you are invited to attend one of these:

Thursday 15th March, 11am, B26

Thursday 22nd March, 11am, B26

The briefing sessions will outline the schedule for the upgrade and explain how Moodle will be integrated with central records (SITS). We look forward to seeing you there.

Please also have a look at the February 2012 Moodle Newsletter for staff.

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