Moodle and Panopto changes, summer 2021

22 July 2021
By Wiebke Kuhn, Carly Born and Dann Hurlbert

Over the summer, ITS is going to make some changes to Moodle. Please read on for what these changes mean to you.

Sunday, August 1:

Deleting old Moodle courses

On August 1, we are going to delete Moodle courses from the 2015/16 academic year. Please take a moment to review what courses you taught during that year and consider if you need to download any information from these courses or if you need to create a backup of one of these courses as you may teach it in the future. 

Reminder on how to create a course backup.  

Since we moved to one Moodle server to improve reliability and feature consistency, this annual clean-up is necessary to keep the Moodle server fit.

Select any of the images below to see a larger version of the image.

Monday, August 2:

Upgrading to Moodle 3.9

On August 2 in the morning, we will upgrade Moodle to version 3.9. Some of the features this new version gives us are:

Activity chooser in Moodle
Activity Chooser in Moodle

Activity Chooser
The new version creates an easier, more visible path to choosing tools in Moodle.  

H5P with content bank and grading
H5P is a relatively intuitive way to create interactive content for your Moodle course. Existing H5P activities will be transitioned to this new content bank.

Screenshot of the hide grader option in Moodle
Hide grader identity in Moodle

Participants page filters
These improved filters allow for filtering through multiple conditions.

Hide Grader identity in Moodle Assignment: This may be particularly relevant if you have multiple graders in your course.

Safe exam browser with templates
While we are all aware of the challenges with online exam proctoring, occasionally it may make sense to use this kind of tool.

Accessibility/Usability improvements:  

Moodle micro-skills tutorials screenshot
New clearer outline on selections
  • easier to add alternate language to images and to see clicked-on content; 
  • “Go to Top” link available in some themes;
  • selected items now have a clearer outline, making it easier to know that an item was selected.

Here is an overview of the new Moodle 3.9 features

Additional Moodle updates

We are introducing some additional minor tweaks to Moodle to make your life easier and the environment more equitable.

Order of quiz question choices:  Currently, the quiz question choices are set up alphabetically. We are changing the order to raise the most common question choices to the top of the list: Multiple choice, Essay, Matching, Short Answer, and True/False are at the top of the list, with remaining question types alphabetically further down the list.

New Theme options:  We are adding some additional themes to increase ways for Moodle content to be displayed.  Some of the feedback we have received from you suggested that more options will be helpful. To see these themes, go into your Course Settings in Moodle and find the Appearance tab. Under Force Theme (Do not force is the default), you will find additional options. We are working on clearer guidance on how and when to use these themes.

Click on the images below to see a larger preview of the Moove, Rebel and Fordson themes. Click the text below an image to see a full-size preview.

Old course format depreciated:  We need to delete the Grid course format. While it has been available for many years, it now is more clearly out of ADA compliance. Any courses that use the Grid theme will automatically be moved to the Weekly theme. Please consider shifting the theme to Tile as it resembles most closely the look and feel of the Grid theme.

New Course Formats:  We are planning to add two new course formats to provide more choices in displaying your courses. 

Kickstart is a plugin that will help us build template courses for faculty to choose when setting up a course. It also provides guidance for both instructors and students on how to set up and use the page.

Edwiser is another new course format that gives students a clean and clear interface to your course.

Panopto Recorder Update

Panopto forced an update on July 15th that will require your Panopto recorder software to be upgraded. Panopto for Windows will need to be upgraded to version 9.0.2 or above. Panopto for Mac will need to be upgraded to version 10.1.0 or above. For Panopto users, the next time you use Panopto, you may be prompted to Download Now. Feel free to do so and upgrade.

Discover more information about the Panopto Recorder update.

Panopto Sharing Update

Sharing options in Panopto
Screenshot of sharing options in Panopto

Panopto has implemented a few changes to their web interface. Most notably is the look of the sharing tool. The video owner will still be able to give individual users or groups access, but the owner may first want to click “Change” and choose what level of permissions to grant, before copying the link or embed code.  

Screenshot of setting restrictions in Panopto
Screenshot of restriction options in Panopto

Also, videos remain Restricted by Default. Public (unlisted) remains a good way to share the link broadly—without having it become available to everyone via the “Everything” folder.]

Discover more information about the Panopto Sharing update.

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