Association news

May newsletter

 
Picture of Richard Samson
May newsletter
by Richard Samson - Monday, 29 April 2019, 4:48 PM UTC
 

As April draws to a close, Moodle and the MUA are moving forward on all fronts.

SPECIAL MEMBERS-ONLY MEETING WITH MARTIN DOUGIAMAS

Ask me anything!The "Ask me anything" meeting was held on 29th April, at 2pm (UTC), just as this newsletter was being finalised. 

The decision, at Martin's suggestion, to make it members-only was spot-on, with about 30 people present, and many old friends and faces. 

Thanks, Martin, for your matchless enthusiasm and ongoing support of the MUA.

Non-members, to stay in the loop on all things Moodle, now is a good time to join our Association! Members who could not make it to the meeting can watch it on catch-up.

3.9 SMALL PROJECT CYCLE

The small project cycle will move into the next phase during the coming month. 18th May is the closing date for refinement of project documentation. From then till 6th June Moodle HQ will take another look at the projects and make final quotes for the work involved in each, prior to voting by MUA members in June.

3.7 AND 3.8 ADVANCED FORUMS PROJECT

The 3.7 (May release) part of the Advanced Forums project is pretty much finished now. You can preview the new functionality at qa.moodle.net. As Moodle HQ Open Source Lead, Sander Bangma, told us a few days ago, "The QA site currently has the following new forum features:

    • re-worked forum architecture to use templates
    • accessibility improvements
    • in-page creation of a new discussion
    • in-page reply
    • manual locking of discussion
    • private reply

Still in integration:

    • Starring of discussions
    • Sorting discussions"

This looks very exciting, I am sure you will agree. Bear in mind that the look and feel of Moodle Forums hasn't changed much yet, because the main design improvements are scheduled for the 3.8 release.

MAY TOWN HALLS AND MOODLE 3.7 RELEASE

Thanks as always to Moodle HQ and the Moodle community for participating in the April Town Halls, with great presentations from Bob McDonald, on the Moodle Educator Certification (MEC) roll-out, and Marlene Zentz (Montana Accessibility Interest Group - University of Montana) on the Moodle Accessibility Group. If you missed either of these sessions, members can catch up with the recordings.

As for the May Town Halls, we already have two great speakers pencilled in: Andrew Nicols, who has led on the Advanced Forums project (7th May), and Mary Cooch, long-serving pillar of the Moodle Education team (14th May). We expect them to be able to give us valuable insight into new Moodle features in Moodle 3.7, due out later in May, and beyond. We look forward to seeing you at these meetings.

PROPOSED RULE CHANGES

Rule changes have been a long time coming. We finally sent out 7 proposed rule changes on 16th April, to be decided on in a Special General Meeting. Quoting from the meeting announcement

"Date and time: 7 pm UTC, 7 May 2019. 

Without a quorum (75% of total membership voting points), the Special general meeting will be adjourned and reconvened at 7 pm UTC, 14 May 2019 (immediately after the Town Hall).

Place: Online at https://ecboces.zoom.us/j/7197759999

Resolutions will be discussed and votes will be taken online not less than 30 minutes after the start of the Special general meeting. The meeting and the voting period will close at 7 pm UTC 8 May 2019 (or 7 pm UTC 15 May 2019 if reconvened)."

We expect these rule changes to be non-controversial and get voted through on 14-15 May. If you have questions or concerns about any of these changes, do not hesitate to raise them.

MUA OUT AND ABOUT

Mike Churchward and Aurelie SoulierThe MUA was represented at the UK and Ireland 2019 MoodleMoot in Manchester, 15 - 17 April, by committee members Aurelie Soulier and Mike Churchward (on the left). Some of you will have seen them there. Visibility of the MUA in the Moodle community is a high priority for us as we seek to grow the Association. Currently, committee member Thomas Korner is leading a new marketing initiative for us, so expect to see some improvements over the coming months, in terms of the MUA website, our communications, materials and branding.

I'm sure that you are as excited as we are about all that is going on in and around Moodle. The Moodle plugins directory and Tracker continue to offer numerous enhancements, both existing and suggested, for Moodle core. This multi-layered distributed effort is the powerhouse of a well-managed open source project such as Moodle. Building on this work, the MUA helps Moodle move forward faster to enhance our favourite learning platform. 

Elsewhere in the Moodleverse, the MoodleNews site has morphed into LMSPulse. MoodleNews has been the go-to channel for well-informed independent insight into Moodle over many years, and we wish them every success as they continue their work under a new brand, with a broader frame of reference. (Of course, the official Moodle news channel is at Moodle.com.)

Moodle HQ initiatives which are still in their early days but deserve mention here are the new MoodleNet social network, the Moodle Educator Certification programme, and Moodle Workplace, all of which have featured in MUA Town Halls over recent months. Please check these possibilities out.

WINDING UP

With so much going on, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. My advice is "Don't be!" Get involved and go with the flow! These are exciting times for Moodle, and the MUA is the best way of staying in touch with the most important initiatives and supporting this great project.