Association news

April newsletter

 
Picture of Richard Samson
April newsletter
by Richard Samson - Thursday, 28 March 2019, 3:38 PM UTC
 

As we end the first quarter of 2019, our MUA is bubbling with activity on various fronts. I have summarized the highlights below.

3.9 SMALL PROJECT CYCLE

Preliminary voting resulted in the creation of a shortlist of 10 items, which now go into a two-month period (until 18th May) for refinement and completion of the documentation. In actual fact, five of the initially submitted projects were excluded on grounds of scale or feasibility, as a result of Moodle HQ's initial assessment. Thanks to HQ for this involvement, which has helped us avoid wasting effort on refining projects that would probably be vetoed later anyway. Some members expressed a view that a shortlist of 10 is still too large, considering several proposals seem to have very little support. This is an issue that the committee will take into consideration for future project proposal cycles. We certainly do not want to waste anybody's time, but we also like to have a good stock of well-documented proposals.

3.7 AND 3.8 ADVANCED FORUMS PROJECT

The Forum is a key activity in Moodle, to my knowledge far and away the most popular interaction channel on the platform. The exciting news is that Moodle HQ and MUA have now reached a final agreement on a jointly funded plan for a major forum overhaul, spanning the 3.7 and 3.8 releases, but expected to continue into 3.9. The list of planned improvements is ambitious: use of Mustache templates, better accessibility, in-page creation of discussions and replies, starring discussions, locking discussions, sorting options, private replies, enhanced look-and-feel. And that is just for 3.7. For 3.8, HQ plans to implement analytic forum reports, exports of forum content, forum grading and further UX improvements. Other items on the MUA wishlist are in the forum roadmap for 3.9. As you can see, HQ has worked hard to bring together many Tracker and MUA requests. 

Congratulations to the team and the community for this vision!

TOWN HALLS

It was a privilege to have Gry Stene and Emilio Lozano with us in the March Town Halls, giving us insights into Moodle Workplace, the new corporate training platform version of Moodle that will become available as a hosted solution through Moodle partners over the coming months.

The April Town Halls are scheduled for 2nd (8am UTC) and 9th April (6pm UTC). At the first Town Hall, we welcome Bob MacDonald, of the Moodle Educator Certification (MEC) team. MEC is set to launch any time now. (The originally planned session with Martin Dougiamas has now been rescheduled. See below.)

At the 2nd Town Hall, Marlene Zentz (Montana Accessibility Interest Group - University of Montana) will give a presentation on the ongoing work of the Moodle Accessibility Group.

We look forward to seeing you at these meetings.

SPECIAL MEETING

Martin Dougiamas 2016The planned "Ask me anything" Town Hall session with Moodle HQ founder and CEO Martin Dougiamas has morphed into an exclusive members-only meeting, which we have rescheduled for 29th April, at 2pm (UTC). This time slot is the nearest we can get to one that suits MUA members across the globe, from Australia to Europe and through to the west coast of America.

We have made this change for a variety of reasons: to facilitate American participation and also to give Martin a more select Moodle user audience, as he would prefer. And furthermore to balance our commitment to openness with the wish to provide added-value services for members. For those non-members that were excited to have the chance to talk with Martin, now would be a perfect time to join the Association!

I already published a Padlet wall to collect questions for the @moodler and I have not taken it down. We'll collect the questions there and any others that you post to us before the session. Current MUA members will be sent instructions on how to connect on 29th April.

MUA VISIBILITY

Please make contact if you are going to the UK and Ireland 2019 MoodleMoot in Manchester, 15 - 17 April 2019, where committee member Aurelie Soulier will be flying the MUA flag.

WINDING UP

News on proposed rule changes and marketing initiatives will have to wait until later in April. Watch this space!

To close with, I want to take this early opportunity to invite you to put yourself forward as a committee member later in the year (August/September). I can say from experience that it's a thoroughly rewarding way to learn more about the whole Moodleverse (look it up - the word exists!) and at the same time have the opportunity of giving something back to this wonderful community.