Moodle will be updated to version 3.2 on 27 June 2017. This blog post reports on the findings from our evaluation. We are using the findings to inform our work for the annual Moodle update.
Identifying the pain points
In term 1, LEaD and ERES gathered staff and student experiences of Moodle and Turnitin to feed into development and support for the annual Moodle update on 27 June and the Turnitin update on 25 July.
We worked with City Interaction Lab to evaluate our current version of Moodle and the new theme and assessment features of Moodle 3.2. To get a better understanding of the challenges and what works well in online assignments, we also ran Focus Groups with staff.
From our evaluation we identified six priority findings, to be delivered in two phases. Phase 1 will be delivered in June 2017 and phase 2 will be investigated for the update to Moodle 3.4 in June 2018.
The table below outlines the priority findings for phase 1 and some of the areas of work planned to address the issues raised.
Assessment and Feedback needs to be more prominent, discoverable and visible for students.
Investigate possibility of developing a City specific Grader Report Plugin to increase discoverability of feedback.
Course Officers need a flexible assignment tool to manage the different processes and requirements around assessments. Lecturers need the flexibility to mark offline or to annotate assignments online with an easy to use interface.
Evaluate how the new marking interface of Turnitin Feedback Studio meets marking and feedback requirements and develop guidance and workshops for staff on how to use this effectively.
Switch off new PDF Annotator Function in Moodle 3.2 as the interface is not intuitive or easy to use.
Switch on new feature in Moodle 3.2 for lecturers to select which assignments they want to download for offline viewing.
Online assessment system needs to be easy and intuitive for staff to use and should provide warning messages when key functions are changed.
Investigate if it is possible to make it more obvious to Lecturers and Course Officers when grades and feedback in Moodle assignments are visible to students.
Enable the new interface for the assignment grading screen. This displays the name of the student at the top of the page and allows lecturers to filter and quickly move between students to grade.
Moodle should have a contemporary, engaging and user-friendly design, including navigation.
Evaluate if the Moodle Mobile App can support students in accessing and engaging with Moodle flexibly.
Explore if the Global Search feature can provide quick access to module content. Note: This feature will be evaluated to ensure it doesn’t negatively impact on performance.
The new Moodle theme, Boost, was evaluated by users. Staff identified a number of issues with the navigation in the new theme which required more clicks to complete basic tasks e.g. Turn editing on. For this reason Boost will not be switched on for Moodle 3.2.
Provide a consistent user experience for students in modules through the use of City Course Format. Collapsed topics were perceived as a well-structured layout by students. Communicate with Schools about the results of evaluation and how City Course Format can meet requirements for well-structured modules.
More on this in phase 2.
The My Moodle page should be user-friendly and personalised to the user.
Implement minor changes to layout and language used on My Moodle page.
Provide more contextualised help for users in Moodle e.g. create a Turnitin user agreement User Tour on the Turnitin assignment and remove this information from the My Moodle page.
Interested in finding out more?
During April and May, we will be posting more information on new features and improvements in Moodle 3.2. You can subscribe to this blog to keep up-to-date with what’s new.