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This release contains a lot of things, but the biggest two headline features you’ll find are:
1) Course overview on dashboard
The new “course overview” block in the dashboard (a project from the MUA!) shows an overview of your courses and things that are coming up.
This may seem like a small feature in itself, but it directly attacks the number one problem that students have expressed to us, which is “how do I know what to do next”, so this is a major improvement. The dashboard will be truly useful as the first place you always want to look at when you come to Moodle on the web or in our mobile app.
The functionality of the course overview depends on knowledge about critical dates in Moodle activities. Because of this, a major part of this project was to improve how educators set up activity completion in their courses. We’ve added new features to set the defaults for activities, as well as bulk editing of activities, making it much faster to get things set up well.
We’re happy with the first version of this new approach in this release, which was our first major project to undergo a lot of UX testing and prototyping before any code was written. However there is already a list of things we want to do to make the dashboard look and work even better, and you will find many of these coming soon (some as soon as Moodle 3.3.1).
2) Office integrations
The other major feature is the new integrations with external office platforms like Google G-Suite and Microsoft Office365.
We know that quite a few Moodle sites use one of these two office systems, and the integrations are targeted at making life easier to have single-sign-on, to use your document repository in Moodle, and so on. These integrations have existed as add-on plugins for a long time, but we wanted to include them in core as part of a simpler framework, one that can truly grow over time to get better and better.
I hope to see similar integrations in the near future with open source Office solutions such as NextCloud and others.
Other new features include:
- assignment grading improvements
- updated, more accessible icons using FontAwesome
- Increased multi-byte support on MySQL (which also helps emojis)
- Stealth mode for activities
- instant drag-and-drop of media files on course pages
- new document conversion plugins for assignment grading UI
- new file storage plugins for cluster and cloud sites
- much more …
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