Learning Management Systems | News

Moodle 2.3 Gets New Course Interface, Improved File Management

Moodle's developers have formally released version 2.3 of the open source learning management system Moodle. The latest release includes about 50 new features for end users, including major enhancements to the course interface and file management.

Moodle is a free and open source learning management system designed for a wide range of organizations of varying sizes. It includes course management tools, tools for collaborative work, online assessments, integration with plagiarism detection software, integration with repositories and electronic portfolio software, and other features common to learning management systems. As of this writing, it's used by about 1.3 million teachers and more than 58 million users via 67,000 sites worldwide. Those users participate in some 6.2 million current courses. (Updated statistics can be found on the Moodle Stats portal at Moodle HQ.)

The new 2.3 release receives what developers categorized as "major new features" in nine different areas: file usability, repository, course pages, assignments, books, quizzes, SCORM, workshops, and update notifications.

In terms of file usability, Moodle 2.3 interfaces with a variety of services, including Google Docs, Dropbox, Amazon, Box.net, Equella, and others. New functionality allows users to reference files contained in these external services as aliases so that "when you update the file in the repository, it also updates in Moodle," according to Moodle founder Martin Dougiamas.

New interface features in 2.3 have been designed to make courses easier to create and maintain, including new drag-and-drop features and an activity chooser.

Other highlights include:

  • Complete rewrite of the Assignment module;
  • A new grading method called "marking guide," which allows instructors to enter comments on each criterion;
  • IMS Common Cartridge 1.1 export;
  • Interface improvements in the file repository;
  • Drag and drop of files onto course pages to add them as resources; and
  • Direct editing of resource and activity names within a course page.

Complete version 2.3 release notes can be found on the Moodle site.

Moodle 2.3 is available now as a free download. It requires PHP 5.3.2PHP 5.3.2 at a minimum and supports the following databases: MySQL 5.1.33, MSSQL 2005, Postgres 8.3, and Oracle 10.2. On the client side, it supports Google Chrome 11, Mozilla Firefox 4, Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, Apple Safari 5, and Opera Software's Opera 9. Additional details, requirements, and downloads can be found on the Moodle 2.3 support page.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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