Are you in the mood for New Moodle 2?

Moodle is City University London’s virtual learning environment (VLE). As you may know, the ed. tech teams in schools are busy working on enhancements to Moodle. This will take advantage of exciting new functionality offered by the recently released Moodle in terms of functionality, tools and new look and feel.

What will this mean for you?

Our new Moodle site is currently being built and will be ready in July 2013 A raft of new stuff will become available that will help you make your moodle module stand out above the rest. The upgrade is being rigorously tested to ensure that we minimise any foreseeable challenges. All staff and students will receive news of Moodle 2 support through their ed. Tech teams and this is likely to start in May 2013. The system itself will not be live till July.

Can you provide some data which shows staff and student usage in Moodle?

During peak weeks, up to 14,000 users access 2,700 different modules. This academic year has seen an average of 850,000 hits a week during term time. Approximately two thirds of traffic is from students off-site. Currently, at peak times we’re on more like 1 million page views a week. Also, averaging from recent stats we have about 3200 assignments submitted a week and about 1200 quiz attempts and forum posts each week. Peter Kogan’s recent research indicates that moodle is liked by Informatics students & staff and that ‘students enjoy its use for sharing resources & broadening discussion and they appreciate it when staff go the extra mile’ The research further highlights some areas for improvement and you can read about it here.

So why have we upgraded?

There are many reasons as to why we have chosen to move to Moodle 2; many of which we will blog about regularly over the coming months. Not least, because we expect to see significant growth in use of our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) over the coming few years, as we encourage our staff and student to use it more fully and across more modules. Moodle is considered to be one of the more exciting tools for students to manage their self-directed sessions. For staff, Moodle is opening up enormous possibilities for delivering a blend of taught and self-directed delivery of the currciulum.

For most of us, Moodle will do the same things but more easily and better. For many others, it will offer some extra benefits that they have been looking for. For others, there will be the ability to easily upload and share resources with other moodle modules.

So what are the new features?

As well as upgrading the Moodle software to the latest version (2.4) we have built a new and improved MyMoodle page and also created a brand new theme which means Moodle looks much nicer and can be used more easily on tablets and mobile devices. The new MyMoodle page will make it easier for you to access your modules and get the latest updates and upcoming events. The University is currently moving to a new open source video platform (Kaltura) and this will be fully integrated into Moodle. One great feature of this will be the ability to give your students video assignments.If you want to know more about the changes Gavin Hendrick, a Moodle consultant blogs about it here.

What’s next?

We will be launching Moodle 2 at our learning at city conference in June. More details will follow soon.

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