Association news

November newsletter

 
Picture of Richard Samson
November newsletter
by Richard Samson - Wednesday, 31 October 2018, 4:40 PM UTC
 

This my summary of MUA news at the turn of the month.

Initiatives at MUA

October has been a busy month for the new committee, with many ideas about what steps the Moodle Users Association should be taking in the near and mid term. As well as keeping abreast of ongoing tasks and commitments, we have prioritised some areas for working groups within the committee to focus on, with a view to improving our performance and becoming a stronger voice within the Moodle community.

Three areas (so far) have been earmarked for action: 

If you wish to contribute to any of these areas with your own ideas, please contact the group lead concerned.

3.6 projects and November Town Halls

I apologise in advance for the detail of this section, but it cannot be helped.

Regarding the project cycle, which is the heart of MUA activity, we have two projects slated for inclusion in Moodle 3.6, due to be released in just a few weeks' time. The first of these is "Fix analytical tools for random quiz questions" (https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MUA-33). We are confident that this will be a success. The second is "Course overview block in Dashboard" (https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-61384). 

As you can see from the Tracker address above, the "Course Overview block in Dashboard" project is not, strictly speaking, an MUA project. It would normally become an MUA project, in line with our standard routine, for inclusion in Moodle 3.7. However, since there is so much overlap between the Moodle HQ project for 3.6 and the MUA project for 3.7, the MUA project would no longer be appropriate in 3.7. Moodle HQ has therefore invited the MUA to financially support their 3.6 project as a kind of early release of the MUA project.

The MUA committee believes that this is appropriate, providing that the improved functionality of the MUA project is sufficiently covered in the 3.6 release.

The original project proposers have already given their approval and in one of the October Town Hall meetings we saw an encouraging mock-up of the 3.6 Course overview project. But we need more information before taking this path.

In the November Town Halls we will be shown working demos of the 3.6 Course overview project. As you know, the Town Halls are to be held at 8am UTC on 6 November (suiting some time zones) and at 6pm UTC on 13 November (suiting other time zones). HQ leads on this work will show us their work:

  • 6 November: Ryan Wyllie
  • 13 November: Bas Brands

The MUA committee will not definitively approve our participation in this 3.6 project until we have seen the Town Hall demos and are convinced that sufficient functionality from our original 3.7 project is indeed included. 

So, if you have an opinion about these things, and want to check how MUA funds are being spent, make sure you get along to one of the November Town Halls (https://ecboces.zoom.us/j/7197759999) and take a view.

3.7 MUA projects

If the Course overview work is indeed considered finished, that will leave MUA without a project for inclusion in Moodle 3.7 (May 2019). We might therefore wish to see our second-placed project implemented instead. This would be the "Ability to set activity dates based on course start/end date or enrollment date" project (https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-61190). Moodle HQ are going to estimate this project in the near future so this may be a good option for us, though once again it would be outside the established MUA calendar. 

So, watch this space! Can the MUA contribute to 3.7? If so, will it be by funding further "Course overview" improvements or by picking up another project instead?

3.8 MUA projects

Meanwhile, the normal MUA project cycle continues. Right now, we are in the project consolidation phase for proposals for inclusion in Moodle 3.8 (November 2019) and we will be voting on these projects in December. I will say more about this in the next newsletter.  

Moodle Core Road Map

An important Moodle HQ initiative is to put into place the organisational changes necessary for a clearer 24-month road map of core developments and to share this with strategic partners such as the Moodle Users Association. This should enhance MUA collaboration, helping us easily identify good projects for each cycle, and lead to easier dovetailing of MUA and HQ priorities.

MoodleMoots

This past month the MUA has presented at the MoodleMoot Africa 2018 and the MoodleMoot United States 2018. Check out our slide presentation.

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That is quite enough from me, I think. If I have made mistakes or omissions above, please get in touch and point them out.

These are exciting times for Moodle and the MUA. We hope that together we can rise to the challenges.