Association news

July newsletter

 
Picture of Richard Samson
July newsletter
by Richard Samson - Sunday, 30 June 2019, 8:28 PM UTC
 

This is your MUA July newsletter. I am writing this in an airport in Europe, where another academic year has already slipped by and we are moving into summer activities. In other parts of the world, many of you are enjoying mid-year holidays. For all of us, it is a time of change, for looking back and forwards. Let's do it!

Projects for Moodle 3.7

As you know, the Moodle Advanced forum project (Part 1) was released as part of Moodle 3.7 at the end of May. But has anybody tried it out in production yet? We welcome any feedback on early experiences in our forums. We are all keen for news, I am sure. At my own workplace we will be up and running in 3.7 in a few weeks' time. Exciting times!

Projects for Moodle 3.8

Meanwhile further forum enhancements are already in preparation for Moodle 3.8 (due out in November 2019). The specification for this work includes:

  • Analytic reports of student activity
  • Exporting forum content
  • Grading forums
  • Forum redesign: look-and-feel

If you want to follow this work more closely, or be involved in testing, please get in touch with our MUA project proposal lead Thom Rawson (thomw@moodleassociation.org).

Further improvements to the forum activity are envisaged for Moodle 3.9 as an HQ initiative, including:

  • Emotes
  • Marking a post as "Substantive"
  • Posting anonymously (or “User disguises” - MDL-1071)

Let's hope this work gets picked up too!

3.9 project proposal votes are in!

26th June was the end of the voting period for the 3.9 cycle (due out in May 2020 or possibly before then). This was a small project cycle with the chance for us to implement more than one project. Here are the results for the top three items:

  • Course Copy User Interface - 40560 votes
  • Participants page: Combining filters - 40375 votes
  • ChemJax Filter V2: Moodle Association of Japan Best Innovations Winner - 2017&2018 - 29100 votes

The committee will now decide how many of these projects we can afford and start the process of negotiating a contract with Moodle HQ. Watch this space!
Congratulations to all members who participated in this voting round. The turnout was over 90%. Not too shabby!

Moodle 4.0 project proposal cycle

Doesn't that sound like a major release? With your project ideas, we can help to make it so!

The new proposal cycle will be set in motion during the month of July. We'll send full details of the calendar to members over the coming days and encourage you to send in your project ideas.

July Town Halls - all are welcome (non-members too)

Our July Town Halls will focus on the teacher and user experience. Our speakers will be Moodle practitioners, rather than HQ experts, this time. This is the schedule:

Town Hall 1

  • Tuesday 2nd July, 8am UTC
  • Place: Online at https://ecboces.zoom.us/j/7197759999
  • Part 1 With Thom Rawson, Moodle Association of Japan
    Thom will be telling us about his experiences with the Moodle Database activity, and taking questions and comments.
  • Part 2 "Beauty and the Beast" sharing. Each participant should be ready to tell about two aspects of Moodle, one that they love (beauty) and one that they don't (beast). Please come with something to share!

Town Hall 2

  • Tuesday 9th July, 6pm UTC
  • Place: Online at https://ecboces.zoom.us/j/7197759999
  • With Natacha Brassard, Teaching Support, University of Montréal
    Natacha will be telling us about her experiences with teachers new to Moodle and give us some ideas about how to get them up and running (and happy)!
  • Part 2 "Beauty and the Beast" sharing. Each participant should be ready to tell about two aspects of Moodle, one that they love (beauty) and one that they don't (beast). Please come with something to share!

What more can I say? Please join us! I hope you will. This kind of session has great potential.

Out and about

MUA-CSUCYour MUA committee constantly seeks to maintain MUA visibility around the world. As already announced, and with the support of Moodle HQ, we are preparing a range of initiatives to improve our marketing. As this goes forward, we are maintaining our presence at ongoing Moodle events, in particular MoodleMoots.

Last Thursday I gave a short presentation on the MUA to leaders of Catalan universities. In Catalonia and in Spain in general Moodle is the dominant higher education LMS, way ahead of other platforms. But so far only three universities have taken the plunge to become members of our association. This has to change!

This week, committee member Orzu Kamolova will be in Melbourne for MoodleMoot Australia, 1 - 3 July. You can catch her session on the MUA at 11.50am on 2 July. I wish I could be there! I'm sure that Orzu will do a great job.

Also on 1 July, committee member Aurelie Soulier will be presenting the MUA at the #Mahoodle19 in Gloucester, UK. (Mahoodle is the popular name for a Moodle-Mahara integration, combining our favourite LMS with the powerful Mahara portfolio platform.)

And committee member Luiggi Sansonetti (interview on moodle.com) is one of the main organisers of MoodleMoot Francophone 2019 in Rennes, France, 3 - 5 July. Catch him there if you can!

Later in the year we look forward to meeting up with many old friends and new at the MoodleMoot Global in Barcelona, 18 - 20 November.

A word to the wise. All these events generate a great amount of useful, well-informed material. Even if you can't make it in person to any of the sessions, it is well worth following up on the publications afterwards. 

At all these events and other meetings, our MUA members will be delighted to tell you about the association, why you should join if you haven't already, and how you can get involved in our exciting activities to shape the future of Moodle.

Other ongoing activities

On other matters, we have been working with Moodle HQ to set up a Higher Education Working Group, including various MUA experts. We look forward to following up on this initiative.

We are also in discussions with HQ to finalise a new system for maintaining and updating the MUA website.

We hope to have visible results by the next newsletter.

The coming months

The MUA is predominantly a northern hemisphere organisation, not by design but by circumstance, and the months of July and August are summer holidays for most of our members. Nonetheless, MUA activities are set to continue without interruption! And the coming months are busy ones, with Town Halls each month as usual, a new project proposal cycle, voting for the next committee and our AGM.

This message is already long enough and the full details of all these events are of interest only to members. We will send out the schedule to active members in a few days' time.

It just remains for me to wish all Moodlers an excellent and fruitful July.