Twice a year, in May and November, I have the privilege of announcing the latest major Moodle release that bundles up all the work from Moodle HQ and the whole community over the previous six months.
Today we are releasing Moodle 2.8, the best version of Moodle we’ve ever produced and a very solid step along our roadmap into the future.
This version brings significant improvements to the gradebook, forums, analytics and usability in many areas to empower teachers and improve functionality for everyone across all devices.
Some of these many features, such as forum discussion subscription, come from highly-voted user requests in the Moodle Tracker. Others build upon recent features in Moodle 2.7, such as the new Event Monitoring tool which watches live events and looks for patterns so it can notify you about them. One feature which is particularly good for accessibility is the new ability to reply to forum post notifications directly from your email client.
Of particular note in this release are the grading-related improvements which make up the bulk of the changes. This recent work began with community surveys and a gradebook workshop in LA earlier this year with enthusiastic representatives from institutions such as Luther College, University of Minnesota, Louisiana State University, San Francisco State University, University of California and Calpoly, as well as Canberra University in Australia and some Moodle Partners. This workshop brought together many of the people who have been extending and modifying Moodle’s gradebook in their own installations. By the end of the two-day workshop we had a consensus and a rough specification for the core developers at Moodle HQ to work with. On behalf of the community, I thank the entire group for their efforts in this project, and especially Bob Puffer and Mark McKay for continuing to work closely with Moodle HQ all year to help our developers through the very difficult development process. We came a long way and there’s more coming in 2.9!
This kind of community process is to become a hallmark of Moodle development, so look out for workshops to “Design the next Moodle” at some of the Moodlemoots from next year onwards.