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August Newsletter

August Newsletter

by Mike Churchward -
Number of replies: 0

Welcome to August everyone. Here in Canada, this period of time is usually  the “dog days of summer”, and this year it certainly is. Where I live it's been hot and dry for several weeks. Hopefully, where you live, you’re riding out the 2020 pandemic well, staying healthy, and happy, and getting through this.

Here is your August newsletter!

August Town Halls

Our open town halls this month are:

  • 4 August 8am UTC
    Title: Open agenda
    Meeting link
    Description: The last Town Halls under the current committee will focus on the MUA end-of-year process: achievements and difficulties, MUA discussions and news, looking forward to the Annual General Meeting in September, committee nominations (why you should consider taking a step forward), committee tasks, the current project voting cycle, topics for future town halls, other matters arising.
    Moderator: Richard Samson

  • 11 August 6pm UTC
    Title: Open agenda
    Meeting link
    Description: Same as 4 August. See above.
    Moderator: Emma Richardson / Jeff Webster

Moodle 3.10 Project

The Moodle 3.10 project, Provide a built-in ‘Download all …’ routine in core and address it for a functionality for students (and more) (MDL-63270), has reached the final scope and is at the SOW/contract stage. The agreed to scope will provide all of the most important pieces of the request for inclusion into the 3.10 release.

To summarize what is/isn’t included:

  1. Both students and teachers will be able to download all file and folder resources in a course that they have access to at the time of download.

  2. Both students and teachers will be able to download the materials contained within two other core Moodle resources/activities. For this release, these two activities will be label and page.

  3. No work will be done to include student submissions, either for students or teachers. Students are expected to use portfolio features and/or activity export functions for this. No consideration is given for teachers for this function for this project.

  4. Other than the two identified extra activities/resources, no materials will be downloadable from activities as a result of this project. However, an API will exist to allow more activities the ability to code these features in as future work.

  5. Administrators can enable/disable the course materials download at a site-wide basis.

  6. Administrators can set size limits on file sizes downloaded.

  7. Download materials feature cannot be controlled at the course level. Teachers will have no control of this feature within a course.

  8. Students cannot control what materials are downloaded. The materials that are downloaded are controlled by the feature's code.

We feel this scope fits the timeframe, budget and intent well. It would have been nice to have all core activities included, but resource constraints (time and budget) would not allow it at this time. There is a proposal in the 3.11 project, to add more activities to this work. And, once the API is complete, the community could provide this work for any activities, core and contributed.

Moodle 3.11 Project

HQ has looked at the six project candidates, and provided costing and complexity estimates. As a result, three of the projects have been deemed too expensive and/or too complex at this time. The three remaining projects can now move on to the final voting stage to determine which one will be built for the 3.11 release in May 2021.

The three projects are:

  1. Default Settings for Activities and Resources Completion Criteria

  2. Add more activities to the Download All feature

  3. Roadmap UI/UX Improvements

Please go to the project page and cast your votes for the project you want. Voting closes on August 19th.

Vote for the 2020-2021 MUA committee

Our MUA is a non-profit association run by a volunteer committee of management of up to 10 members. We need members that are willing to step forward, to contribute some of their time and expertise in driving forward this key project for the future of Moodle. Please consider taking a step forward yourself. It can be an immensely rewarding experience. Not all sacrifice. You will also gain a privileged, close-up view of the Moodle community and have close contact with some of the world’s leading experts in this field.

If you are interested, put forth a nomination.

Annual General Meeting 2020

The AGM is scheduled to be held in place of the September Town Halls. Watch out for the detailed announcement coming soon. The AGM will include annual reports, motions (if any), and will start the process of hand-over to the next committee of management.

MUA discussions and involvement

The past month has seen renewed debates in our forum about the role of the MUA and the direction that Moodle should be taking in order to consolidate its leading position and remain financially viable. Catch up on those discussions in our members forum.

In response to repeated concerns expressed by the community of users over recent years, Moodle HQ wants to focus on improving UX over the coming months. MUA members are invited to get involved in this process, along with other Moodle users, by signing up on the UX project page.

We need to make sure that the MUA is well represented in this initiative, so please get involved.

And please, if you have a topic of interest, start a discussion!

MoodleMoot global online

In early July we attended the MoodleMoot global online. It was an intense week with many energetic conversations and some great presentations. Every day there was an MUA session of one sort or another. On Monday, we had a look back at some successful projects together, with some of the winning proposers and Sander Bangma. On Tuesday we talked about the future of the MUA, with Richard Samson, Michael de Raadt and Alistair Spark. The Ask Martin Anything session on Wednesday was really great. Have a look at it here, if you missed it.

The UX discussion on Friday morning was a great get-together of a lot of users and developers. We have seen a great variety of ideas!

We enjoyed the online conference. I hope you did as well!

MUA in the news

Dr. Laurie Korte, MUA committee member, interviews Ed Beck, active MUA member.

And in case you missed it, The Moodle Users Association (MUA) has fostered and funded two very significantly requested features for Moodle 3.9

And finally… 

It’s been an “interesting” year in the MUA (as everywhere). We have accomplished a lot, and have seen a lot more interest and input from our membership. Our Marketing team, lead by Thomas Korner, has done a fantastic job with our Moot presence and general all around promotion and awareness. I believe many more people are now aware of the MUA, and the important contributions we make. Our project cycles have been a bit rocky, schedule wise, but we have managed to get them into the Moodle releases on time. And they have been great projects. We also provided the first project that was built by contracted developers, opening up new avenues to more work. We have made some great efforts to develop some initiatives to help increase the ROI for our members, things we want to continue doing. Some of these should come up in the AGM, and some will be projects for the next session.

All in all, some good work, but more to do. Please remember to support and vote for your committee.