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Moodle 3.3 release – what’s new?

With the latest version update scheduled for Monday, we’ve taken a sneak peek at Moodle 3.3 to see what’s new ahead of the official rollout.

Once we’ve had a chance to apply the Moodle 3.3 update to our demonstration site we’ll update this post with screenshots and more in depth commentary. For now though, some key features which have caught our eye:

Course overview

The new course overview in Moodle 3.3 looks awesome! Students have two easily navigable overviews of their courses. First, a timeline view showing items sorted into Overdue, Today, This Week and This Month, with direct links to each item from the overview screen. Secondly, a Course view which displays the percentage completion of each current course, as well as options to view past and future courses. For teachers, a similar view is available, with added alerts for assignments which need grading, and direct links to grade each assignment from the over view page. All in all, a much simpler and easier to use interface for one of the core elements of Moodle.

Office integration

Moodle 3.3 now allows users to authenticate via Google Apps or Microsoft Office accounts, and allows access to files saved using these services. If you read our recent post on VLEs and Cloud Services, you’ll know how important it is for Moodle to work seamlessly with the latest generation of online office suites. This update is certainly a step in the right direction.

“Stealth Mode”

The coolest name of any feature in Moodle 3.3! Stealth Mode has been introduced in response to a longstanding “hack” which users had been deploying to tidy up courses. For some time, course authors could hide activities in dummy weeks or courses, allowing students access to extra activities without cluttering up the course page. “Stealth Mode” formalises this feature, allowing for a tidier course page and easier testing, as well as visible tags showing the hidden or unhidden status of items a a glance.

Further reading…

As usual, these highlights are just the tip of the iceberg – there’s a long list of further tweaks, patches and updates also included in Moodle 3.3. The full list of new features, bug fixes and other improvements can be found over at the Moodle site.

We’ll be testing Moodle 3.3 over the coming weeks and will be in touch with each of our clients to discuss individual upgrade schedules. If you have any questions about Moodle 3.3 in the meantime, please feel free to get in touch.

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