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Moodle 3.5 Highlights

Announcing Moodle 3.5

On Thursday, July 11, 2019, UMass Amherst will be upgrading to Moodle 3.5 to meet and maintain security and accessibility requirements. Moodle 3.5 comes with an updated, mobile-friendly interface and a host of user-requested improvements that may make your life a little easier! 

Moodle 3.5 Instructor Tour

User tour:

The first time you login into Moodle 3.5 you will be offered a User tour highlighting the key navigation features and new look of Moodle. If you skipped the tour or you want to watch it again, scroll down to the bottom of your Moodle page and select “Reset user tour on this page”.

What's new:

Look & Feel

  • The Navigation tray:
    The Navigation tray will appear on the left-hand side of your Moodle page. It is a collapsible menu that allows you to move within your course, access your gradebook, move to other available courses, and access your dashboard.
  • Header images:
    You will be able to add a custom image at the top of your Moodle course page. You can use this to make it easier to recognize your courses and add personality. 
  • Course management panel:
    On this panel you will be able to access your Moodle course settings, Course administration options, and Question bank.  You will also have access to other options including Grader report and Group options.

Activities

  • H5P - A new set of interactive activities :
    This will be a new addition to our Moodle activities. You will be able to create different types of interactive content to help enhance your students' learning experience.
  • Improvement to activities:
    • Choice activity: You will be able to preview your choice answer displays.
    • Quizzes: You will be able to specify files submitted to Essay questions.
    • Question bank: You will be able to add tags to questions, and then filter the Question bank to easily find sets of questions.
    • Workshops: You will have the option to assign participation credit to reviewers based on the number of reviews they have given, rather than calculated values based on the grades they have assigned.
  • Enhanced forums (beta):
    In addition to standard forum features, Enhanced forums (beta) will include options like private replies, switch to anonymous posting, bookmarking, and see who has posted before opening the forum. Enhanced forums (beta) will have the option to be graded using the new Enhanced grading (beta) feature (see below).

New Features

  • Enhanced forum grader (beta):
    The Enhanced grading (beta) tool will be an option for viewing and grading Enhanced forums (beta) activities in Moodle, with the options of aggregating all forum posts made by a student, giving them a collective grade. Enhanced forum grader (beta) also works with Enhanced forums (beta) set up to use groups.
  • Recycle bin:
    The Recycle bin will contain items deleted from your Moodle course. For seven days after deleting the items, you will be able to restore the items, including activities that contain student data.
  • Calendar improvements:
    New calendar feature will allow you to drag and drop the events you have created on the calendar.​​
  • Responsive Video:
    Video, whether embedded from a media service such as YouTube or uploaded to Moodle, will automatically resize to fit in the browser window on any device (You will no longer need to add the Responsive Video style).
  • Zoom video conferencing:
    Zoom integration with Moodle will allow you to schedule and start regular class meetings and access to your personal recording rooms all within your Moodle course page. Students will see a list of all scheduled meetings and be able to join them through Moodle as well. You can also track attendance and make cloud recordings of meetings available to students.

What's Different:

  • Flash files:
    In keeping with global security practices, Moodle will no longer support Flash files. Flash files can be converted to HTML5 using Adobe’s Animate software or other platforms.
  • New dashboard:
    The Dashboard will feature new layout options including course images to make it easier to find courses and content. 
  • New icons:
    Icons for activities and resources will be updated to be clearer and easier to identify. 
  • Turn editing on button:
    The Turn editing on button will now be a green icon and will be located to the top center of the page along with a Course management button. 
  • No more Quick settings block:
    The Quick settings block will no longer be available. The same settings will be available in the new Course management panel. 
  • Improved Navigation within Activities:
    You will be able to navigate easily between activities using the navigation bar at the bottom of each activity page. 
  • Improved External tool (LTI) capabilities:
    The External Tool will be able to interface with Third Party tools using newer industry-standard protocols. 

We are here to help!

To help instructors through this transition we will be offering several workshops throughout the Summer 2019 session to preview coming changes as well as hands-on workshops after the upgrade is complete. Register for the workshops on Instructional Innovation’s Event page.

If you have questions about the upgrade or need help setting up Moodle courses, you can contact the Instructional Media Lab at 413-545-2823 or instruct@umass.edu. In addition to Support Center articles and workshops, we offer one-on-one consultations by appointment.