December 18, 2013

Moodlerooms Semi-Annual Upgrade December 26

System will be down from 11 p.m. Thursday night until 8 AM, Friday, December 27.

The Office of Integrated Technologies has begun planning the semi-annual upgrade to Moodlerooms, the college's new learning management system. As with prior system upgrades, OIT will take Moodlerooms offline over-night. The upgrade will begin at 11 PM, December 26 and is expected to be completed by 8 AM on December 27. The upgrade includes features that are part of the core Moodle 2.5.3 release and Joule, Moodleroom’s proprietary system. For a complete list of system changes in the December 2013 Moodlerooms release can be found in this knowledge base article in the Technology Help Desk and Support Services web site.

New Features and Fixes

In anticipation of the start of the January 2014 term, a number of fixes and new features will be implemented.

System Time-out Warning: Two improvements have been implemented to help users save their work before the system's automatic 90 minute time limit that results in lost work when there is no user activity when using the HTML editor, messaging, quickmail, grading or taking quizzes.

  • New Notification: OIT will implement an on-screen message to Moodlerooms users that will appear ten minutes before the automatic 90 minute time limit. The message reminds users to save their work and reload the web page in which they are working. It also provides step-by-step instructions for saving written work and quizzes. This notification was developed by OIT and is the direct result of user feedback obtained through support tickets and knowledge sharing areas.
  • Auto Save for Quizzes: As part of the Moodle 2.5.3 release, student work on each quiz will be automatically saved after 5 minutes.

Moodle Forms: Many forms used throughout the system have been simplified. Most notably, the HTML editor in many forms has been minimized, requiring the user to click on a link to display the full editor, if needed. Areas of forms that do not contain required fields will appear collapsed.

Assignment Resubmissions: Student submissions are now versioned, and instructors can open assignments to allow students to resubmit work.

Advanced Forums: Moodlerooms will implement two new enhancements.

  • Improved Accessibility: Working with the University of Montana and the National Federation for the Blind, Moodlerooms has created a new display option for advanced forums that is more accessible to users with visual disabilities. These improvements are consistent with EASI’s (Equal Access to Software & Information) requirements for accessible forum design and enable the use of screen readers.
  • Printing and Exporting of Discussions: This new feature allows users to export and print posts from a specific discussion thread or user from advanced forums as a csv, plain text or in printable format.

Joule Grader Option Coming In January

Moodleroom’s Joule Grader is a set of customized, enhanced features that go beyond the basic features found in the native Moodle Grading Report. Joule Grader allows instructors to quickly navigate to gradable activities, where they can filter using student names. This is accomplished through the use of two separate panes or work areas where instructors can view, grade, and download student assignments. Joule Grader also supports the grading of advanced forums using a rubric, and the use of other advanced grading methods. Students will also have access to the Joule Grader to view their grades. Stay tuned for a information on a new Joule Grader Quick Start Guide and self-paced tutorial in late December.