Tag Archives: Moodle 3.6 new features

Moodle Upgrade – The new Dashboard

For aesthetic purpose only: Image with text saying 'Moodle Upgrade' and a stylized picture of a calendar displaying July.

Moodle at UAL will be upgraded this July and will bring with it several new features and a new look and feel. One significant change is the new Dashboard. This replaces the ‘My Courses’ page The Dashboard presents information that is unique to each user and provides improved ways of listing and navigating between Moodle sites. Below is a brief overview summarizing the main features of the Dashboard or you may prefer to watch or listen to this video.

(Please note: You need to be logged into your UAL MS Office 365 to view.)

Recently Accessed Courses 

This block, located at the top of the Dashboard, displays the sites that you have accessed most recently.

Course Overview 

Located beneath Recently Accessed Courses is a list of all your sites, presented in the familiar heirachy. In the new version of Moodle you can change how your sites are displayed and have several options to choose from, including a more visual ‘Card view‘.

Moodle assigns a default patterned image for each ‘Site Card’ on the Dashboard. This image is also used as a banner image on your Moodle site. You can replace this default image with one that is more representative of your course providing students with a nice visual link between the dashboard and their course site.

Some users have a lot of sites listed on their dashboard. To help you find and locate important sites, or ones you frequent often, you can mark them with a star, hide sites, or filter sites by different criteria.

The Navagation (Nav) Drawer 

The Nav Drawer is the menu that occupies the left hand side of the screen. It can be opened and closed by clicking on the ‘burger’ icon at the top-left. The Nav drawer contains navigation links that vary depending on your location in Moodle, and provides a convenient way to hop between and within your Moodle sites.  

Timeline and Recently Accessed Files 

The Timeline block can be really helpful to students as it will show any forthcoming activities or deadlines.

The Recently Accessed files provides a history of resources you have recently opened making it easier for you to find them again. Clicking on any items listed in these block will take you directly to the associated Moodle site.

Editing your Moodle site

To edit the content or settings within your Moodle site, select the Gear menu near the top-right.

These are just some of the key changes to Moodle that will arive after the imminent upgrade. In the future, further features may be added as part of our planned maintenance and upgrade schedule. 

Moodle Upgrade – What you need to know

For aesthetic purpose only: Image with text saying 'Moodle Upgrade' and a stylized picture of a calendar displaying July.

We will soon be starting the work to upgrade Moodle. This work is part of our regular planned maintenance work essential for maintaining the stability and security of the platform.  

This upgrade also brings a host of new features for Moodle users. We have collaborated extensively with key contacts in the colleges to consider how best to implement these to enhance the experience for our students and staff. Over the coming weeks, we will be providing more information about these improvements via Canvas, the Big Picture and updates on the Digital Learning News blog. 

Click on the image below to watch a brief trailer about some of the new features
(You need to be logged into MS Office 365 to view)

The main highlights include: 

  • An enhanced dashboard with options to display your sites as the current hierarchy view, or in a more visual ‘card’ layout 
  • The ability to filter, or star sites to help prioritise the time you spend in Moodle 
  • Simplified navigation within and between sites 
  • Improved aesthetic of a Moodle site via a custom site header image
  • New ways to alert students to important dates and events and tasks.  

Furthermore, we have improved the accessibility of Moodle. Not only will this improve how Moodle works on mobile devices, it also means we are compliant with the new accessibility legislation.  

To carry out the upgrade we will need to take Moodle out of service. We understand the inconvenience this causes and will strive to keep the disruption to a minimum. Please take note of the following key dates

  • Monday 15th July – approx 5.00 pm: Moodle taken out of service. 
  • Tuesday 16th July – Upgrade work commences. Moodle out of service 
  • Wednesday 17th July  approx mid-day – Testing by DL team. Moodle will be available but *at risk*. We advise that Moodle is only used as Read Only. 
  • Thursday 18th July – Monitoring and Testing – Moodle will be available but *at risk*. We advise that Moodle is only used as Read Only
  • Friday 19th July – Moodle fully available and back in service 

*At risk* – The DL Team carry out testing and monitor the success of the upgrade on the live environment. If critical issues arise during this time that we are unable to resolve, we reserve the right to revert the upgrade to the current version of Moodle. Any changes made to Moodle sites during the *at risk period* will be lost. For this reason, we strongly advise that users do not make any significant changes to their course sites during this time.