Moving to Moodle 2? Some things to bear in mind…

Last week I attended the first Moodle User Group London meeting at City University and sat in on an interesting breakout session with James Ballard (ULCC) as speaker. It was useful stuff and I think we all particularly enjoyed trundling around on the mobile desk/revolving chair/pod things which replaced the usual boring desks and chairs. Or was that just me? I digress.

There was much talk of the challenges of upgrading, but I thought it might be interesting to look at some of the thorny issues that turn up after the upgrade. The things that get overlooked or just slip through testing – and of course the things you would never expect in a million years. The sort of things you’d wished you’d known in advance. And I volunteered to write a blog post. So here it is.

I’m a huge fan of Moodle and there are some great things in the new version, but unfortunately a few of the bugs are verging on showstoppers. At the very least you need to be aware of them.

So here is a list of the top five issues we’ve noticed that I hope will get addressed in Moodle 2.3 or sooner. Some may not affect you, but those that do I would encourage you all to sign up to the Moodle tracker and vote for them. Incidentally I’ve just tried them all out briefly on my Macbook here in the office running the 2.2 beta so they’re still in there.

Assignment problems (two)

It’s possible for a student to apparently upload a file for an assignment and receive confirmation – yet not have actually done it. This is bound to catch out the last minute deadline student who hasn’t had time to read any guidance provided. Me basically.
Tracker entry:

In the advanced uploading of files assignment type, students can delete submitted files even when allow deleting is set to no.
Tracker entry:

Keyholder role not implemented

This was overlooked when the code was ported to 2.
Tracker entry:

Wiki doesn’t work reliably with visible groups

If you set up a wiki using visible groups (ie: they can see each other’s stuff but not edit it) the dropdown navigation that moves you from group to group doesn’t work. I devised a workaround for this but it’s not elegant.
Tracker entry:

No means to remove external blog entries

If a user registers an external blog, the entries get imported from the feed and can be displayed across Moodle. However, there is no means to remove them. The original user can unregister the blog, but the posts remain. There is no means for an admin to remove them. This could potentially be – well – embarrassing.
Tracker entry:

In the meantime, if anyone knows workarounds or that actually these have been fixed and it’s user error on my part – do say! And despite all this – Moodle retains a high awesomeness quotient.

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