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Moodle 2.5 Adds Open Badges Support, Bootstrap Theme

Moodle HQ has released Moodle 2.5, a major update to the widely distributed open source learning management system.

The latest update of Moodle — which is in use at about 81,000 sites worldwide, including hundreds of K-12 schools, trade schools, colleges, and universities — adds a Bootstrap theme, allowing administrators to create layouts that automatically adapt for the device being used. According to Martin Dougiamas, founder and lead developer of Moodle, Bootstrap will eventually be the basis of all of Moodle's themes.

"Bootstrap is rapidly becoming the defacto framework for responsive design around the web, so I'm sure this will make a lot of theme designers (and users!) very happy," Dougiamas wrote in a blog post. "Moodle itself still needs further improvements to fully take advantage of this framework, and this is a very high priority for our core developers in 2.6. Our aim is to make Moodle look and perform equally well on every device, for every theme. We still support older themes and will continue to for some time, but if you are updating your theme or making a new one, then we highly encourage you to use the new Bootstrap framework."

The new version also adds support for badges, allowing teachers and institutions to award badges to users for work accomplished based on various criteria, such as completing a course or completing work within a course. Moodle badges are compatible with Mozilla's Open Badges standard and can be displayed in users' profiles or pushed out to their Open Badges backpacks. (Public backpacks can also be displayed in users' profiles.)

The update also includes a number of UI and usability enhancements, including:

  • Support for dragging and dropping media onto a course page;
  • Inline display of folders in a course page;
  • Searching enrolled users;
  • The ability to install addons from inside Moodle;
  • Transparency support int he color picker;
  • Simplified forms; and
  • Block drag and drop throughout the site.

Other new features in version 2.5 include:

  • Essay question templates;
  • Expanded PayPal currency support;
  • Option to disable self-enrollment at the course level;
  • Improvements to quiz editing;
  • Quiz auto-save option;
  • Improved LDAP support;
  • Expanded Google and Equella repository support; and
  • Various performance improvements.

Complete details and these and other new features can be found in the Moodle 2.5 release notes.

In addition, Moodle has released updates to three previous branches — 2.4.4, 2.3.7, and 2.2.10. Those updates include minor bug fixes, improvements and security updates. Among the enhancements are a fix for connecting to Dropbox and support for the MyMobile theme with CSS Optimizer. Complete details can be found in the latest release notes for those versions.

Moodle 2.5, 2.4.4, 2.3.7, and 2.2.10 are all available now. Additional details can be found on Moodle's site.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidrnagel/ .