Moodle 4.0, which will be released in November 2021, is all about harnessing the power of User Experience (UX) to transform Moodle LMS. The journey to Moodle 4.0 has depended on engagement with the Moodle community – students, teachers, administrators, developers, partners and the Moodle Users Association.
After carrying out a benchmark, Moodle HQ decided to focus on 4 priority areas that would define the projects for the Moodle 4.0 roadmap:
- educators ability to create, duplicate, reuse and move course content;
- students capacity to easily navigate the interfaces;
- quiz and assignment set up and workflow; and
- fragmented gradebook workflows.
In this article, we want to give you a sneak preview of the new navigation, which is a foundation piece on the road to Moodle 4.0.
Moodle has a new personality!
The Moodle team has designed a clean, fresh and contemporary interface. Alongside the rejuvenation of Moodle’s look and feel, the navigation has been reorganised to allow a more intuitive user experience with the primary navigation now being horizontal.
Experienced Moodlers will recognise many of the menu items, however there’s a new addition to the default menu called “My Courses” to help educators and learners manage their courses. The default Course Overview page provides search and organisation functionality and has been moved from the Dashboard so that the dedicated dashboard space can be used for important dashboard tasks such as, “What do I need to do next?” and “How should I manage my time better?” It will allow the course page to be dedicated to helping users search, navigate, find and organise courses. The primary menu will still be customizable so that menu items can be added as additional items or dropdown categories. A new secondary menu sits under the primary navigation components. As an example, the Course Page layout includes a secondary navigation piece that mirrors the design features and functionality of the primary navigation. The Settings menu items have been elevated to allow educators easy access to input and edit administrative detail about their course. Due to limitations of a fixed width column format, there is an overflow button called “More” to allow users to navigate to lower prioritised menu items.
Another new icon component is located on the right-hand side of the interface. When this button is clicked, Blocks relevant to the page become visible. Both the Course Index and Blocks icons can be revealed together, or users can toggle between them to reveal them one at a time. By navigating to components or activities via the Course Index, the blocks that the component or activity relies upon is automatically opened. At the same time, the course index closes, which provides a clean and intuitive experience for learners.
The student experience has also been enhanced via improvements to the Course Completion components. A Moodle Users Association-supported project, this feature will also be delivered in Moodle 3.11 scheduled for release in May 2021. As a learner navigates through a course page, they can view due dates or submission open and close dates against activities if the feature is enabled on the course. Another new feature is the inclusion of Badges that allow learners to visually see what the completion requirements for an activity are and whether they have progressed them. The badges are automatically updated when the learner completes a required action.
The UX navigation improvements are mirrored across desktop, tablet and mobile. With hamburger menus that slide out to the full screen, users can easily locate and access both primary and secondary menu items via the mobile interface. These new features are the first of many to be announced so stay tuned for more!