MoodleNews Year In Review: Our Most Read Stories Of 2017

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MoodleNews Year In Review
"Weekview 2017" by stefanortmanns Licensed under CC-BY 3.0 Original source via 500px

Themes, updates about Moodle’s neighbors in the EdTech sphere, interoperability specifications, and the future of the LMS, as inspired in part by the end-of-year release of Moodle 3.4. These were our most popular stories in 2017:

Honorable mention:
SCORM and Moodle: A Long Relationship That May Last Forever
(April 28)

A glimpse at the history of SCORM, starting along with the need for EdTech standardization, reveals a riveting tale. It might tell us something about its current limitations in Moodle. It might also give us an idea of its future and how it will fare in the face of recent competition.

US Department of Defense, Late 90s: SCORM is Born…

 

#10:
Moodle, Beware Canvas! 20-Year Perspective In The US & Canada Higher Ed LMS Marketplace
(May 18)

Moodle would enter the playing field in 2002, but a real “Open Source” revolution would only begin to unfold at the turn of the last decade with the introduction of Moodle-based Moodlerooms by Blackboard and the beginning of Canvas’ streak (…) Canvas is not “open” in the same way Moodle is. Rather, it has an “Open Core” with full functionality under commercial licensing.

#9:
BREAKING: Moodle 3.4! Everything You Need To Know About The Latest Release Of The Best, Open Source LMS On Earth
(November 13)

The first visible result of the introspective, user-first era Moodle HQ is embarking on is the new Calendar interface. A result of the Moodle Users Association project development cycle, it offers a rejuvenated interface to keep pace with the modern calendar clients out there. Many of the features were already visible in the prototype version, only now should be more polished. But two stand out above them: The Event Manager, which displays a pop-up window to set the event’s details; and event Drag-and-drop between dates between months, or hours in the day view.

 

#8:
Apply To Become A Google Certified Innovator and More Google In Education News
(April 12)

Google Search provides fact checking feature: Available in select countries, news items that show up on search results tiles will include a “fact check” line at the bottom, specifying the organization who conducted the inspection and the outcome of the process. The release of this new feature follows an announcement from Google and the new ClaimReview tool for verifiers to feature along with the news results. The feature is supported by Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy’s Reporters Lab and the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network. Any organization can apply to join the roster, which today includes Snopes, PolitiFact, the Washington Post, and FactCheck.org.

 

#7:
All You Need To Know To Create Your Own ‘Boost’-Based Theme For Moodle 3.2 and 3.3
(March 27)

With your checklist complete, you are ready to develop on top of “Boost”. You can make any customizations through “presets”, which are lists of attributes written in CSS and its SCSS extension. In fact, if you don’t make any changes to the files, and place them in the themes folder, you just made the “Boost” theme.

 

#6:
From 3.0 to 3.2. How Moodle Changed In 2016
(January 20)

The plethora of updates shows that one year is a long time for Moodle. Its never ending evolution regularly brings new capabilities to all the platform’s users. Have a peep at the Moodle roadmap to have an idea what to expect from the platform in 2017.

 

#5:
Check Out This Moodle 3.2 Themes Spectacular
(February 17)

When seeking to engage an audience, no matter the user or student scenario, an evergreen truth is that they will eventually become accustomed to (almost) any design. As such, any advantage realized by the “shiny new object” principal has a shelf-life and every Chief Learning Officer needs to plan for a regular refresh of their LMS experience.

 

#4:
Moodle, the LRS? Getting Started With xAPI Learning Record Stores [UPDATED]
(June 8)

A challenging aspect of setting up a Learning Record Store (LRS) is the development of the xAPI layer, listing each “xAPI statement” about student behavior that an organization would like to track. xAPI lets researchers and managers develop statements as varied and detailed as they want, making it easy for a project to quickly grow in data volume and complexity, and at the risk of losing sight of the original goal. This potential toll, which appears to be the main reason for the low rates of xAPI adoption, can be avoided if the layer is built gradually. But the incipient stage and limited know-how about LRS, especially as compared to LMS and the EdTech marketplace whole, can render such incremental processes difficult, if not impossible today.

 

#3:
Curing The ‘Scroll of Death’ In Moodle
(February 21)

Ah, the “scroll of death” – that processes we’ve all been through of logging into your LMS some weeks into the academic calendar, and becoming painfully aware of how much you are spinning the mouse wheel to find the week’s content. But did you know that Moodle offers several alternatives to prevent this? At moodlefacts.nl, the Dutch blog of Moodle services provider in Belgium and The Netherlands Avetica, we found a compilation worth checking out and updating. We will also review the navigation improvements the “Boost” theme brought to Moodle 3.2 in regards to this preventable ailment on LMSs.

 

#2:
ORANGE ALERT: Update Moodle Now To Protect Your Site From This Serious Vulnerability
(March 25)

The problem began when the AJAX gateway increased the ability to change user attributes. Rubin believes that when developers first allowed AJAX to edit user data and preferences, they thought this would not include the ability to change users permissions. But this was not considered by the developers who worked on the Course Overview Block, which shows all the courses a user is enrolled and their respective roles. A function in the Block, showing you the list of roles for a user, asks for a sorting preference. But when you provide no preference and leave the space empty, the function resorts to use “legacy code”. The gap between the new and old code, Rubin points out, allows for “Object Injection”, which can significantly alter the capability of the function, beyond what was initially expected.

 

#1:
The Future Of Learning Management Systems
(January 23)

New technology has impacted few things as it has the ways we send and receive information, and subsequently, the ways in which we learn, and pass that knowledge on to others. In education and training, things are not quite as they were even a decade ago. In another decade, they will be unrecognizable from how they are right now.

Mobile LMS (Learning Management Systems) have opened a world of possibilities for both educators and employers looking to cultivate the talent that they have spent so much effort recruiting. They have offered a more personalized and thorough learning experience than could ever be achieved through traditional training methods. As we move forward, what further developments can we expect to see in learning? What does the future of LMS technology hold? We can already see some patterns in the way technology is progressing, so that we are able a few educated guesses based on current tech trends. Here are a few future trends that we can expect to see in LMS technology.


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