Are you ready for it? I have to say that I was not ready, basically because I had put off some programming stuff based on the notion that I needed to “wait until Moodle 1.9 was released to move forward.” Doh! But, other than little personal kick in the pants (that I needed), all I can say: about time! It’s good that they did wait to release this version (it’s been nearly a year since 1.8). They went through the longest Beta testing in Moodle history and even had a bug-a-thon to get the glitches out. So that should lead to a pretty slick, nice new version of their product.
I say “should” because Moodle is so popular that I can’t download the new version off of their overloaded download servers!
But here are the new features that Moodle highlighted in their release announcement (all of which sound pretty sweet):
- The Moodle gradebook is all new – designed from the ground up to support expansion and integration with other systems.
- For all you pedagogo-philes out there, they added integrated support for outcomes. What this means is that learning goals can be tied to individual courses and activities and can be graded.
- Moodle code has been review and tweaked to obtain a “huge” increase in performance. This will apparently be most noticeable on large sites.
- One word: tagging! They made tagging core to the programming. Users, blogs, courses, and even external sites can now be easily linked together through simple tags. They mention sites like Flickr and YouTube, so I can’t wait to test drive this one.
I also have to note that test banks can be shared across a Moodle installation (nice) and they have created a single-sign on e-Portfolio integration with the Mahara open-source e-Portfolio program (sweet). You can read a full list of release notes on the Moodle site.
Matt is currently an Instructional Designer II at Orbis Education and a Part-Time Instructor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Previously he worked as a Learning Innovation Researcher with the UT Arlington LINK Research Lab. His work focuses on learning theory, Heutagogy, and learner agency. Matt holds a Ph.D. in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas, a Master of Education in Educational Technology from UT Brownsville, and a Bachelors of Science in Education from Baylor University. His research interests include instructional design, learning pathways, sociocultural theory, heutagogy, virtual reality, and open networked learning. He has a background in instructional design and teaching at both the secondary and university levels and has been an active blogger and conference presenter. He also enjoys networking and collaborative efforts involving faculty, students, administration, and anyone involved in the education process.