The long-awaited day is finally here: Moodle 2.0 has officially been released in a production-ready version.
A HUGE congratulations to the team at Moodle and everyone who contributed toward this release. They have resisted enormous pressure to release to a timetable and instead chose to release when they felt the platform was production-ready.
With better e-portfolio support, community hubs where educators can share courses, centralised databases for file storage, new features to explore, major improvements on existing features – will everyone be ditching 1.9x faster than you can say Moodle? Errr, not quite THAT fast.
First up, it’s important to remember this is a MAJOR change to the very core of Moodle. That’s why this has been so long in coming. And what that means for administrators and course facilitators is that there is going to be some pre-preparation required.
As any gamer will tell you — major changes to software platforms mean that your favourite third party programs (plug ins and extensions) are very likely going to have issues or just not work. Moodle 2.0 is a major change to the very core of Moodle. So if you’re relying on third party plug-ins — you’ll need to investigate whether or not they’ve been keeping up.
Themes developed for 1.9 are not going to work for 2.0. So if your branding is important to you, you’re going to need to re-design your Moodle site and any course themes and/or personal themes you allow.
Admins – server-level scripting upgrades are going to be required to handle this brave new Moodle – both PHP and database platforms. And for any of you still tied to Internet Explorer 6, Moodle 2.0 isn’t supporting it.
If you have a version of Moodle older than 1.9, you are going to have to upgrade THAT first. (Of course, all existing clients of Brightcookie.com are already on 1.9+. ) Also, keep in mind that this is an X.0 release – meaning that there will most likely be a few kinks to be worked out.
For teachers and trainers there are going to be some great new features to pester your admin for – such as integration with the anti-plagarism tool Turnitin, and integration with external repositories such as Flickr, YouTube and Picassa – not to mention Google Docs, Box.net and Alfresco. Want to get more peer asessment/critical friends activities into your Moodle? Workshop has been re-written
Features like Completion (course facilitators/teachers say when an assignment or quiz is “finished”) and Conditional activities will help ensure learners are moving through their work at the right pace and new blocks will give you an instant, bird’s eye view of how everyone in your course is doing. Teacher documentation for Moodle 2.0 is here: http://docs.moodle.org/en/Moodle_2.0_release_notes
Admins, say hello to server space. No more duplication of files as file storage at the course level is a thing of the past. As the Moodle site states”files are connected to the particular bit of Moodle content that uses them. (For example, a file may belong to a file resource, a forum post or a wiki page). Access to these files is then controlled by the same rules as as that bit of Moodle, increasing security.” Admins, wrap your eyes around your documentation here: http://docs.moodle.org/en/Administrator_documentation
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider. If you haven’t put an upgrade plan together as yet – start by contacting the Brightcookie team for a M2.0 Upgrade Assessment.