Why Your Moodle Site Needs To Be Upgraded To New Releases

Moodle

Moodle has announced last month it’s most stable version 3.4, which was released on Nov 3rd 2017. Since Moodle releases the new version every six months, the older versions are still operable, but Moodle does not constantly support them. If you are running a lower version, your website can encounter bugs and Moodle website might not work smoothly as previously. As a Moodle user, it is my personal recommendation for an upgradation from time to time as the newer versions offer a more stable, faster, and secure website. Here is why you should update your Moodle websites constantly as per the new updates.

Security

If you are a business owner and owing a Moodle websites for storing your confidential documents and credentials which is essential for your workplace. With older versions, as it does not offers more security over the content or your learner’s information, and so the content is compromise. Which will ultimately hamper your organization and privacy of you and your employees. To overcome such an atrocious consequences, it is essential to upgrade your Moodle website.

Netanel Rubin, researcher, and CEO of Vaultra found that by exploiting a series of minor vulnerabilities, he could chain them together to remotely execute code on Moodle server. The attacks work on almost all versions, so administrators should move to the latest version v3.2.2 to fix the problem as soon as possible.

Support

As new features come up with the latest version, developers focus more on newer bug fixes and patch release rather than to handle older version queries. Moodle will not handle any more Moodle bug fixes for the older version. As a software person, I know how much annoying it happens when a bug is there in any software system. Moodle developers work continuously on sweeping out the critical security issues and bug fixes. Let us say that you owe a Moodle site v2.6 for which support is not available anymore. Therefore, you will not be able to fix the bugs. No hope of improvement is better than a hope of improvement, which could be possible by upgrading your Moodle site from time to time as per the latest releases.

Stability

Moodle calendar

Picture Source: Moodle release calendar

Looking into the version release calendar of Moodle, a stable version is release every year, which means that Moodle Support will not be focussing on solving queries for older versions. Moodle v2.6 and below are no longer supported by security patches and bug fixes by the Moodle. So it is always advisable to get upgraded from the legacy version to a stable version (Moodle v3.3) because they come up with new features, more secure options, customisable themes, file supports, OAuth2 plugins, chats supports etc. which are lacking in legacy versions.

Migration from Moodle v2.x to v3.x

  1. You can only upgrade to Moodle 3.x from Moodle 2.7 or later versions. If upgrading from earlier versions, you must upgrade to 2.7 as a first step.
  2. Migration from MyISAM to InnoDB – if you use MySQL you must upgrade the engine to InnoDB since it has become a requirement in Moodle 3.1
  3. Site backup must be perform for Moodle software, uploaded files and database.
  4. Automatic updates deployment enablement checks for recent updates for the installed plugins and upgrade it automatically.
  5. New Moodle software installation

Problems faced during the migration from Moodle v2.x to v3.x

If you are using an older version of Moodle say v2.0 and you want to upgrade to Moodle v3.x then you have to take site backup and upgrade to version 2.2 firstly. After that, check if the site is running smoothly on the production site and then you can upgrade it to Moodle v2.7 version. Once the v2.7 upgrade is completed then only you can upgrade to the latest version of Moodle v3.x or later, which is a hectic and time lapsing procedure.

What is new in Moodle v3.0 and later release?

Version
3.0

Version
3.1

Version
3.2

Version
3.3

Version
3.4

Atto Editor to format
tables.

Competency-based
education

A new responsive theme Boost improves navigation within and
between courses.

Better
Microsoft Office and Google G-suite integrations

More efficient
user management feature helps
teacher to enrol, search, filter, bulk edit or delete learners.

 

Drag and drop
options for text, images, and markers

Assignment
grading

Easier
editing with Boost theme

Improved
dashboard with new Course overview
block

Override
activity completion

means teacher can mark as complete/incomplete manually.

Workshop submission reports

Download
assignments

Media
player improvements

by supporting on any devices and browsers with subtitle can caption support

Font
Awesome

– responsive set of icons in the core.

Helpful
file type selector
by
listing all suggested file types support for uploading media files &
assignments on workshops.

File settings to
show the date of a file upload

Easily
restore deleted content from
Recycle bin.

Interactive
report charts

Emoji support – brighten up
communication with fun emoji characters.

Tag database
entries
in
the glossary, forum post and book chapters.

Improved filtering options

Forum posts and discussion pinning to the top option.

Discussion
locking

after a period of inactivity.

Set a “Grade by” reminder for the alert
in the course overview.

Better
Calendar Management
with new drag and drop improvements and change
events in the calendar.

Options for
editing, highlighting, hiding and deleting sections are now merge in easier section editing.

Workshop
enhancement settings
by specifying students to submit according to the
type of file formats.

Assignment
overrides

by changing the assignment deadlines for individuals and groups.

Specify
assignment file types – choose which file types student can upload for their
assignments.

Private files
storage
are
display and you can see how much space is left. In addition, you can manage
your storage limits.

 

Dashboard reset buttons

Publish as LTI tool allows remote users
to access selected courses and activities on your site.

Students
and teachers can export workshop portfolio to an external portfolio
.

Collapse comments in assignment and
feedbacks for much better readability.

Improved
global search
enables
you to search blocks and courses you are not enrolled in.

Profile reset button

Tag course activities

Select
for students in Choice

Securely
grade MS-Office or G-Suite assignment submissions.

Easier activity
navigation

“Previous” and “Next” option enables you to navigate around courses.

Plugins upgrading

Easier section editing

Rubrics grade calculations are now
allowing negative scores.

Better activity completion management

Moodle
from you mobile!
Link
is placed in the footer to encourage
users for download and use Moodle Mobile App.

Tags manager for page

Search meta
linked courses

and add them together in one-step.

Customisable
Boost theme

Drag
and drop media directly onto the course page

Inspire
Analytics Plugin
provides
a detailed and descriptive report to support learners at risk.

Upgrade key

Competency
frameworks

User
tours

Stealth
activities

allow teachers to make activities or
resources available to students but not shown on the course page.

New
filters for user tour
– Users can now filter by category, course, format
of course, tour target areas of your site.

Delete messages

Learning
plan templates

Competency
frameworks

import and export

Glossary
entries, forum posts, and book chapters
can tag for easier searching.

HTTPS Conversion

App-based choices

Enabling Global search by installing Solr.

New media player plugins – VideoJS player.

Delete multiple quiz sections at once.

OAuth2
service trusted email –
Accepting OAuth2 signup without confirmation email,
useful for the organisation who uses Gmail for its domain.

Chat support in mobile app

Assignment file
conversion

LTI 2.0
compliance

OAuth2
authentication

Manage all
tokens
enables
admin to see user tokens with information and an option to delete them.

Survey in mobile app

Enabling file system repository on your
server for FTP uploading.

Course end dates setting

Document file converters

More clear view of Site Registration.

Search courses in
mobile app

Lesson
default settings

User-friendly messaging
and notifications

Improved
MySQL supports

Database entry
tagging

Self-enrolment in mobile app

Tagging
enhancements

       ————-

Easily manage scheduled tasks

Farewell
Message Block

      ————-

Bulk download files in zipped
folder

       ————-

Learning
analytics

plugin

Peer-Assess on
the go
enables
learner to complete workshop directly through the app.

      ————-

Search all courses you have access to
and quickly find through Global search

       ————-

Complete Feedback activities

Purchase
course from the app
by integrating PayPal in mobile app for payment of
the paid courses

       ————-

Message button now next to
user’s picture.

       ————-

Disable
notification sounds in mobile app

      ————-

       ————-

Easily link to forum posts

       ————-

Search feature allows you to scan your
messages on the app

      ————-

If you are still using an older version of Moodle, then you will encounter with – no Moodle security, no bug fixes, no online support, old features, and functionality. Therefore, there must not be any delay in upgrading to the latest version of Moodle, as the software itself is being upgrade constantly with latest features.

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