Early Adopters of Moodle 4 Share Experiences

Moodle 4 is now available for all Fall 2022 courses! We reached out to our DELTA Faculty Fellows, both past and present, to get their feedback on the new look and feel of Moodle 4.

Teaching Associate Professor, Bevin Maultsby, Ph.D.

Faculty Fellow Bevin Maultsby.

What do you like most about the changes in Moodle 4?

There are several useful improvements in Moodle 4.0 to help students and instructors track due dates. The main student calendar display is more informative. I really like how when instructors create assignments and quizzes, the open and close dates can display automatically with the assignment name (Under Settings, Appearance, Show activity dates). That way due dates are not hard to find.

It takes a bit of getting used to coming from older Moodle versions, but overall the navigation is much improved. The horizontal bar at the top is useful for both students and instructors, and I like the ability to expand and collapse the side menus. Once I got the hang of Moodle 4.0, I could get to items faster and with less clicking.

It’s easier for students to see what activities they have completed. Previously it was just a checkmark, but now it’s a lot more specific. Additionally there are extra little features, like the dots on the left-side menu fill in as activities are completed.

What will be the hardest part of this transition for you?

My old Moodle versions had a lot of items in each section, and I used indenting to structure the activities. It seems like Moodle 4.0 creates more vertical space than I would like, and I can’t indent items anymore. I think I will need to reorganize some of my sections so that they don’t require too much “scroll.”

Any recommendation for faculty working on their courses?

  • Definitely attend a workshop with DELTA! They have a lot of wisdom to share.
  • Whenever I edit in Moodle, I like to switch to the “Student Role” to make sure the students can see what I want them to see.
  • Make sure to show your students how to collapse all of the sections and expand them as needed —it saves a lot of space.

Teaching Associate Professor Julianne Treme, Ph.D.

Teaching Associate Professor and DELTA Faculty Fellow Julianne Treme.
Faculty Fellow Julianne Treme

What do you like most about the changes in Moodle 4?

The new Moodle version looks updated and contemporary. The icons are bigger and more like what you would see on Facebook.

The new course index is really helpful (formerly accessed through the hamburger). I like that the index can be collapsed or expanded depending on what the student/instructor wants to see. I can drag things to new places from the course index, which is huge. This would save me a lot of time. Previously, it took me a long time to move items from one section to another.

Assignments/activities now have the due date and other descriptions of the assignment available for students to see without clicking on them. This will prevent me (hopefully) from having to put this in the title of each activity.

The dashboard for students appears to be improved with easier due date trackers.  

I like that the blocks are on the right-hand-side and are easily hidden by students that don’t need that information. The turn editing on button is better and is now just a switch at the top of the page.

I am excited to create different versions of quiz questions and time the assignments like the quizzes. Now I can make sure they only open the assignment for an hour or so instead of it being unlimited until the assignment closes. I can also email students once I update content.

What will be the hardest part of this transition for you?

I still keep hitting the hamburger though to see the content. I will have to get used to that! I don’t think the transition will be that difficult. As usual, faculty need to start early to prepare their course, so they can help students navigate. They should probably do a Moodle course or watch a prerecorded video showing them how to use the new features.

Senior Lecturer Christine Cranford, Ph.D.

Faculty Fellow Christine Cranford

What do you like most about the changes in Moodle 4? 

Two changes that I am excited about will be useful for students. First, a green circle appears in the navigational panel when you have viewed an item. Second, each discussion is marked with exactly what the students need to do to complete that activity. For example, a discussion board will be marked with “To do: Start 1 discussion” and “To do: Post replies 1” for a discussion board that requires a student to post a response to the prompt and one reply to a classmate. Both of these updates will help students stay on top of classwork. 

What will be the hardest part of this transition for you?

The most difficult part of the transition will be making sure that I know how to access the Moodle areas that I used in my course and making sure that my course is clearly organized. I intend to plan more time to update my course and become familiar with navigating the new Moodle. 

Any recommendation for faculty working on their courses?

Sign up for a DELTA Moodle 4.0 workshop! Workshops will be given to introduce Moodle 4.0 and discussion updates and labs will be provided so that faculty can receive one-on-one help. 

Associate Teaching Professor Justin Post, Ph.D.

Faculty Fellow Justin Post

What do you like most about the changes in Moodle 4? 

  • The quiz question information is a really huge improvement. Being able to see where quiz questions are used, how often, etc., will make courses where the quiz banks have gotten out of hand much more manageable.  
  • The checklist activity gives a great way to keep students on track. Activity completion was already pretty great, this gives a nicer way for students to check that they’ve completed everything.
  • I think the new look and improved readability on mobile is nice.

What will be the hardest part of this transition for you?

  • Transitioning over old courses to new and making sure everything looks right. 
  • Not knowing what exactly will be affected and what won’t is a little unnerving.

Any recommendation for faculty working on their courses?

  • Start early to make sure there aren’t any big surprises.

Do you want support as you start using Moodle 4.0?

DELTA is excited to offer multiple workshops and opportunities throughout summer 2022 to support you during this exciting transition. Our Navigating Moodle 4 workshop will offer a quick walkthrough of what the Moodle 4 looks like, while our more in-depth workshop and open lab, Moving to Moodle 4 will provide you time to work learn about the new navigation and features and then work on your course in a supported environment. View our workshops calendar for May and sign up!

We are also taking our workshops on the road! If you would like to host a Moodle 4 workshop for your college or in your building, please reach out to delta-workshops@ncsu.edu to get a day and time scheduled!