Association news

February Newsletter

February Newsletter

by Mike Churchward -
Number of replies: 0

Happy Groundhog Day on February 2nd, to our North American members! For those who don’t know what this is, on February 2, we Canadians, and Americans living in northern climates, put the responsibility of the forecast of spring onto the shoulders of a rodent known as the “groundhog”. If on that day, the groundhog sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If it doesn’t, then there will be an early spring. Here’s hoping for a cloudy February 2nd.

February Town Halls

Our open town halls this month are:

  • 4 February 8am UTC
    Meeting link
    Guest speaker: Jeremy Hopkins, Coventry University
    Topic: 2 local projects in development. Flexible format course theme.
    Peerwork plugin.

Moderators: Richard Samson 

  • 11 February 2020, 6pm UTC
    Meeting link
    Topic: TBA
    Moderators: Emma Richardson, Jeff Webster

Moodle 3.9 Project

The Participants Page: Combining Filters project’s SOW has been signed and work has begun.

The Course Copy User Interface project, has not yet been given the green light, but it is closer. HQ is in the process of contracting an outside developer, to deliver the technical work. This project will be a three way collaboration between the MUA, HQ and the developer. Details should be finalized very soon.
Using this development technique, utilizing approved outside developers, could lead to many more successful projects developed in the same way, and allow the MUA to provide more projects at a faster pace.

In general, we are going to strive to improve visibility into the progress of these projects throughout the entire lifecycle. We want frequent updates and releases to ensure it meets what the membership wants. Also, we will be asking for help from the membership, to review and provide feedback so we can approve the projects’ progress. Look for more information and calls to action.

Moodle 4.0 Projects

The project for Moodle 4.0 has been voted in and the winner is…
Provide a built-in ‘Download all …’ routine in core and address it for a functionality for students (and more)”. This project will now enter the scoping phase with HQ, and our goal is to keep this one precisely on schedule.

This project won with 64,815 votes. Second place was “Focus on the Grading Workflows for Instructors” with 37,699 votes. Go to the project cycle course to see the final voting numbers. We had an 84% voter turnout. Let’s keep shooting for 100%!

Moodle 4.1 Projects

The new project cycle has begun, and it is time to submit your new project ideas, or push your previous ones further up the list. Let’s get those project suggestions in. There’s only a month left; proposals are due by February 28th.

Organizational Update

The committee has been transitioning all of its workflows and tasks to Teamwork. Over the last several weeks, Alexander Bias has been busy creating workflows for our cyclical tasks, with the goal of simplifying all things repetitive. While it has put an initial burden on all of the committee members, the end game is to free up more of the committee’s time to work on new ideas and strategies. So many great ideas are flowing in from the members, that we really want to be able to spend the time in those areas.

Website Upgrade

We should see a new site live very soon. We’ll announce it as we have more details.

And finally… The Roadmap

Among the membership, among the committee and with HQ there has been a lot of conversation about how we can drive the roadmap, and use our MUA funding and other resources to make the roadmap happen. The first problem is one that HQ has been promising - providing that roadmap for public consumption.

In the second Town Hall in January, there was some significant discussion around this. Elizabeth Dalton from HQ presented that the roadmap is a top priority of HQ right now. I also heard this from Martin Dougiamas at the Global Moot. At this point, we are looking to see something very soon (dare I say by end of February?).

When this happens, it will be to our advantage as the MUA, to involve ourselves deeply: provide feedback, provide criticism, provide user stories and to see how our needs and projects can align with Moodle’s future. I look forward to productive discussions on Moodle’s future.