Moodle upgrade Thursday, July 2, 2020

Moodle will be upgraded from version 3.5 to 3.7 Thursday July 2 between 5:00 and 7:00 AM. Moodle will be unavailable during this time.

There are no major user interface changes, mostly just new features and functions and optimization for mobile devices.

Important changes

  • Forums start with a quick and simple text input box without formatting options.  To access formatting options click "Advanced."  Since most forum posts are plain text, this reduces the time to reply. Showing the location of the Advanced button Forum availability settings

  • Forums now have a Due Date and a Cut-off date.

  • The My Courses list will now show only 5 courses.  This works better on mobile devices, and more than 25% of uses are on mobile devices now.  (Note that we recommend instructors use a desktop, not a mobile device, for working in your courses.)

  • The College has adopted a system called Proctorio to support Academic Integrity during online tests.  It is integrated into Moodle and has many features and options to prevent cheating. It requires Chrome on a PC or Mac, and doesn’t work on any mobile devices-- it will say so right up front.  Remember that Chrome is the recommended browser for all SMC online properties.     Here is the basic how-to article.

Less Important Changes & Reminders

  • The Participants page is more useful now.  It displays, and allows you to change, roles and groups.

Screen shot showing the placement of the Word Count button.

  • The text editor now has a button to show the current word count.  It autosaves drafts every 60 seconds, and "Draft saved" appears briefly underneath the edit box.

  • The new Dates report puts your assignment and activity due dates all on one page.  This facilitates changing the lot in one go after you've imported from a previous course.  Course home page -> Menu -> Reports -> Dates

  • For faculty, the SMC Roster report shows your students' ID photos (if they have one) in order to help learn students' faces more quickly.   Course home page -> Menu -> Reports -> SMC Roster
  • Turnitin has the option to allow students to re-submit their papers depending on the setting in Report Generation Speed.
  • Gradebook default aggregation is Natural, which allows your Moodle gradebook to be either percentage-based or points-based or combination thereof.  Just be sure to make sure the gradebook matches the syllabus.

  • By default, point grades will have no decimal points.  Instead of the grade page being cluttered with “.00” everywhere, the percentages and points will show as whole numbers, for example, “92%.”  Here's how to change it.