Moodle 2 this Fall

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In the Fall of 2011, Emily Carr University will be updating it’s current course management system to Moodle 2.1. This has been in development over the past 2 years and brings significant improvements to the Moodle environment.

You can read more on the Moodle 2.1 release notes, but the major new features are:

  • A whole new question engine (used by quizzes, for example), which makes questions more robust and will enable developers to create all kinds of interesting question types in the future.  Some interesting new features like Certainty-Based Marking have also been added.  Huge thanks are due to Tim Hunt and Open University for all their work on this.
  • Restoring of Moodle 1.9 backups is now possible!  Thanks to Moodlerooms for their help in some of the key parts of the core work and to the HQ team for the rest.  This was a very complex thing to build due to the many changes between 1.9 and 2.x.  Note that only course content in core modules is restored: if you use other activity modules then you need to ask (or help) the developers of those modules to add the new module restore code (thanks to the design this is not a huge task to implement).
  • Moodle 2.1 now directly supports mobile apps for some functions.  The new Moodle app for iPhone (by Moodle HQ) will be released soon (followed by an Android version later) and these require the secure web services of Moodle 2.1 or later.  In addition, there is direct support for mobile-specific Moodle Themes and automatic detection of mobile browsers.

In addition to the major software update, Lift Studios has now completed a redesign of the Moodle theme to associate it more with our main website. Many thanks to Haig Armen and his team for all their hard work and efforts with the redesign and the new blog themes for Emily Carr University.

Workshops

The Teaching and Learning Centre and the IT Department have been working on bringing you the new version of Moodle 2.1 for the Fall 2011. Many of you have already begun working with this new environment, while others are just looking into getting started or may be curious to come out and learn more about using Moodle as a learning tool for your face to face classes or your departments. Together with the new software upgrade is a new Moodle theme, designed by Haig Armen’s Lift Studios team.

The following are the workshop times and locations.

Thursday, August 25th from 9:00am to 12:00 noon
Wednesday, August 31st from 9:00am to 2:00pm

All workshops will take place in the Mac Lab 203C in the North Building.

Participants will be provided with an introductory workshop and overview of the new Moodle 2.1 features and navigation. This will also be an opportunity for attendees to bring in their course materials (preferably on a USB drive) and have direct assistance and tutorials for how to upload and organize their online materials for their fall 2011 courses.

Smaller break out groups will then be formed, to review the more advanced features of the new Moodle system, such as the

  • GradeBook
  • the new Question Bank and Quiz
  • Copy or Cloning Activities
  • Support for Mobile Devices
  • Creating direct links to Library Databases

Laura Widmer has been working on new faculty and student guides that will also be made available at this time.

Workshops and assistance will be provided by Grant Gregson, Andy An and Jody Baker (our new Online Coordinator).

If you need a new  course shell/shells for term Fall 2011 please log in  to the new course  site (http://courses2.ecuad.ca) with your ECU email’s username/password and fill in a new course shell request form at http://courses2.ecuad.ca/course/request.php . Important Note: if you need to restore your course content from a previous course shell, please remember to fill the previous course short name with the year the course was open, e.g. AHIS-200-S005-2009, SOCS-333-F090-2010 etc.  The restorable previous courses are limited to the courses which were opened from, before and including the 2011 Spring semester.

Please RSVP to tlc@ecuad.ca with your preferred workshop if you wish to attend.

Moodle 2 Tutorials are now available on Lynda.com
Faculty, please contact the Teaching and Learning Centre for login information.

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