Moodle 2 Changes and Tips

With the upgrade to Moodle 2 and the decision to self-host our own system, there are some changes between Moodle 1.9 and 2 worth noting.  The important differences are summarized below along with some helpful tips for using Moodle 2.

1.  Do not use Internet Explorer when building or editing courses in Moodle 2. A still-unresolved incompatibility with Moodle 2 interferes with edit functions.  Students can use current versions of any of the popular Web browsers: Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Safari.

2.  Advanced Forums are not available in Moodle 2.  They are proprietary to Moodlerooms, the commercial service that currently hosts Moodle for the VSC, so they are not available in our self-hosted installation of Moodle 2. This means that archives of previously used Moodle courses will be restored to Moodle 2 without Advanced Forums. Standard Moodle forums in archives should restore to Moodle 2, but like all archived forums, only the top-level post of a forum is restored, not threads within a forum. Instructors who have used Advanced Forums should plan on copying any needed posts from a current or previous Moodle course and pasting them to a separate document or directly into new discussion forums created in Moodle 2. We are looking for alternative ways to provide the functionality of Advanced Forums and will share these with faculty as soon as possible.

3.  Access to adding course content in Moodle 2 has changed slightly.  Rather than two drop-down menus for Resources and Activities, there is a single pop-up window in each course module (“Add an activity or resource”) that includes both and adds text information about most of the Resources and Activities available. The button to turn on editing remains in the same place in the upper-right corner of the main course page.

4.  The location of some controls has changed. For example, the drop-down menu allowing instructors to switch temporarily to the Student role in their courses has moved from the upper-right corner of the main course page to the Settings block in the left-hand column. Also, the Activities block, which in our current Moodle version provides direct access to all course resources, forums, and other activities, no longer appears by default in the left-hand column. It can be deployed from the “Add a Block” block that appears in the right-hand column when editing is turned on.  For help adding blocks, click here.

5.  Large courses. Archives of Moodle courses with a lot of content (e.g., graphics, PowerPoint files, large pdfs, etc.) may exceed the 512 MB limit for uploading and therefore may not restore properly. In that case, instructors should submit a Service Desk ticket to get help with the restore process.