CLAMP’s Moodle 2.8 and Moodle 2.9 recommendations

CLAMP is pleased to endorse Moodle 2.8.x and Moodle 2.9.x for use during the 2015-16 academic year. A significant gradebook issue that had impacted both Moodle versions, and promoted CLAMP to issue a gradebook advisory, has been resolved.

CLAMP reviewed Moodle 2.8’s new features as part of its Moodle Hack/Doc Fest events at Occidental College (Winter 2015) and the College of Holy Cross (Summer 2015). The notable addition to Moodle 2.8 is “Natural Weighting,” which is a simpler, more streamlined approach to grade aggregation. CLAMP spent considerable time reviewing “Natural Weighting” and expanded Moodle Docs’ documentation to better describe this new functionality. We also wrote documentation on the “Additional Files” feature and made a series of recommendations for course grade settings. View CLAMP’s Moodle 2.8 documentation page for a list of new and revised documents.

Moodle 2.9’s new features were also reviewed at Holy Cross. We found no major blockers or red flags for 2.9, but the consensus of the colleges in attendance was that they would be going with Moodle 2.8. The primary reason for this is that Moodle 2.8 has been out longer, and thus seen more bug-fixing point releases. View CLAMP’s Moodle 2.9 documentation page for a list of new documents.

Moodle Core has already released new versions of Moodle 2.8.x and Moodle 2.9.x. The Liberal Arts Editions (LAE) versions of Moodle 2.8.x and 2.9.x will be released on Monday, July 13, 2015.

Special Notes

The Atto Editor

We spent more time working with Moodle’s new editor, which was introduced in Moodle 2.7. We found that it worked well and its default configuration would help prevent people from inadvertently introducing accessibility issues into their courses (e.g. poor header styling, inappropriate use of tables, etc.) The new editor can be brought into feature parity with TinyMCE by enabling a number of supplemental options.

Which editor is used — TinyMCE or Atto — is a site-wide configuration setting; if schools want to continue using TinyMCE, they can. They could also default to using Atto, but allow their users to switch to using TinyMCE via their profile pages.

Read the text editor documentation on Moodle Docs.

Known Gradebook Issues

While the major 2.8/2.9 gradebook issue has been resolved, there are several outstanding bugs that CLAMP schools may want to review.

  1. MDL-50062: grade items set as extra credit when category changed to natural from weighted mean
  2. MDL-50582: Grade display outside of the gradebook reports.
  3. MDL-48634: Changing max points on an already graded item leaves grades in an inconsistent state
  4. MDL-50522: Create a feature to prevent grade changes on upgrade (for any reason)