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Infos on the upgrade to Moodle 4.3

Infos on the upgrade to Moodle 4.3


RWTHmoodle has been updated from version 4.1 to version Moodle 4.3 on May 23, 2024. The RWTHmoodle team will also make some adjustments that take into account feedback from the user surveys. On this page we inform you about the most important changes.


Table of Contents

  1. What does the update mean for me?
  2. Training courses for lecturers
  3. Overview of the most important changes
    3.1. Course page - Activity cards
    3.2. Course page - Conditions for activity completion
    3.3. Course page - Restrict access
    3.4. Course index - Display of activity icons and Text and media areas
    3.5. New text editor TinyMCE
  4. Changes for managers only
    4.1. Course page
    4.2. Grades
    4.3. Question bank
    4.4. Quiz activity - Reopen Quizzes that have never been submitted
    4.5. Assignment Activity - Reminder for missing submissions
  5. Customizations by the RWTHmoodle team
  6. Additional information

1. What does the update mean for me?

In Moodle 4.3, the user interface of the learning management software has been further revised to improve its user-friendliness. New features such as collapsible and expandable elements, enhanced search and filter functions, revised icons and more easily accessible editing options ensure less information density, a better overview and faster access to content and functions.

Most of the changes in Moodle 4.3 only affect views that are available to managers. For example, the new functions for faster editing of the Course Page and the revision of the Grades section.

Innovations in Moodle 4.3 that are visible and usable for all users of the learning platform relate in particular to the display of content on the Course Page and the new text editor TinyMCE, which replaces the previous editor Atto.

An overview of the most important changes can be found below. Under 6. Additional information you will also find videos on the changes in English.


2. Training courses for lecturers

The CLS offers two one-hour online training courses for all teaching staff at RWTH Aachen University on May 28 and 29, 2024, in which the most important adjustments and innovations will be presented. Further information on the training dates and registration can be found in the Staff Development Event Database.


3. Overview of the most important changes

3.1 Course page - Activity cards

The activity cards have been redesigned in Moodle 4.3 and take up less space on the Course page. The RWTHmoodle team already anticipated the changes in the winter semester 2023/24 and reduced the size of the icons and the inner spacing of the activity cards.


3.2 Course page - Conditions for activity completion

In Moodle 4.3, the display of completion conditions for activities has changed. Activities that can be manually marked as completed - this is also the system-defined default condition - will retain the clickable field "Mark as completed". Other completion conditions are no longer listed directly in the activity card, but are moved to a drop-down menu "To do". If several completion conditions are combined, this saves space and ensures a more uniform page layout.

Screenshot of the course page with the new designed activity completion criteria that have to be expanded

For all activities on the course page, managers will see a "Completion" drop-down menu that displays the completion conditions. If the course page is in edit mode, they can adjust the completion conditions directly via the drop-down menu.

Screenshot of the course page in edit mode with the new dropdown-menu for editing the activity completion criteria directly on the page


3.3 Course page - Restrict access

Access restrictions for an activity are now highlighted more clearly. In addition, only one restriction is displayed by default. If several restrictions are defined, these can be expanded via the "Show more" drop-down menu.

Screenshot of the course page with some access restrictions expanded

If the Course page is in edit mode, managers can adjust the access restrictions directly on the Course page via the "Edit restrictions" link.

Screenshot of the course page in edit mode with some access restrictions expanded and the manager option to edit the restrictions directly on the page


3.4 Course index - Display of activity icons and Text and media areas

The Course index now shows the title of an activity as well as its icon. This makes it easier to find elements. In addition, the Course index now also lists Text and media areas. All sections in the Course index can be expanded or collapsed via a new three-dots menu.

Screenshot of the course index with icons of activities added and a new thre-dot menu for expanding or collapsing all sections

Managers will also find a new field "Title in course index" in the settings of a Text and media area. The title defined here is displayed in the Course index. If the title is missing, the (abbreviated) content of the Text and media area will appear in the Course index instead.

Screenshot of the new option "Tile in course index" in the settings of a Text and media area

3.5 New text editor TinyMCE

The text editor "TinyMCE" replaces the previous editor "Atto" as the standard editor. The structure of the TinyMCE toolbar is similar to familiar office programs and offers a toolbar for quick access as well as tabs with submenus for additional functions.

Screenshot of the new editor TinyMCE with the toolbar and tabs for additional tools

TinyMCE offers advantages when working with tables and accessibility and is altogether more powerful than Atto. However, some functions developed specifically for Atto may not yet be available. If you prefer the Atto editor, you can switch back to this editor via your personal system preferences until the next upgrade in 2025. To do this, click on your display name at the top right of the page, select "Preferences" and then "Editor preferences".

Screenshot of the personal settings area which opens when clicking on the display name in the upper right corner of the page


4. Changes for managers only

4.1 Course page

In addition to the functions already mentioned above, the course page has been given some new functions that allow you to work faster.

4.1.1 Course page - Insert new activities

Activities and materials can now be inserted directly into a section at any point. When hovering over the page, a plus sign appears between two activity cards, which you can use to insert a new activity at the desired position. This eliminates the need to scroll to the end of a section and then move the newly created activity or material within the section.

Screenshot of the course page with the new plus symbol to insert new activities into the page at any point

4.1.2 Course page - Bulk actions

The new "Bulk actions" function saves time when editing the Course page: you can now select several activities, materials or entire sections at the same time and duplicate, move, delete or adjust their availability using the action bar at the bottom of the page. The action bar scrolls with you when you navigate to and select elements distributed across the page. To start bulk actions, click on the link of the same name to the right of the course title.

Screenshot of the course page with the bulk actions option activated. The activities can be chosen via a checkbox in front of their titel. An action bar at the bottom of the page shows the possible actions, i.e. Select all, Availability, Duplicate, Move and Delete.

4.1.3 Course page - Duplicate sections

In addition to activities, sections and their content can now be easily duplicated by clicking on the corresponding function in the drop-down menu.

Screenshot of the course page with the three-dot menu of a section opened and the option to duplicate the section chosen

4.1.4 Course page - Hide activities

If the Course Page is in edit mode, you can hide activities and materials via the three-dot menu as before. However, the entry has been renamed "Availability". If an activity is hidden, i.e. not available, the status can also be changed directly on the Course Page via the "Hidden from students" label.

Screenshot of the course page with a hidden activity and the manager option to change the status directly on the course page


4.2 Grades

The user interface in the Grades section has been significantly revised and simplified. The various views now appear tidier and less cluttered with information. The functionality has also been improved.

4.2.1 Grader peport - Search function and filters

A new search function (see figure, no. 1) allows targeted searches for individual students, for example by name or matriculation number. The filter options for name initials (see figure, no. 2) are no longer visible per se, but can only be called up if necessary.

Screenshot of the grader report with the usual columns for grade items and lines for students. On top of the table there's the search field and the expandable filter for name initials. The filter is expanded.

4.2.2 Grader report - New context menu

Each grade item, i.e. each column of the report, has a new context menu (three-dot menu). This enables various actions such as editing the associated grade item, switching to the User report, adjusting the sort order, hiding or collapsing the column.

Screenshot of the grader report with the three-dot menu of a grade item expanded. It shows the options to edit the item, display the single view, sort ascending and descending, hide, lock, and collapse

Columns that are not required can be collapsed using the new three-dot menu to avoid scrolling sideways. The number and name of the collapsed columns are displayed compactly in a drop-down menu at the top right of the Grader report. The menu can also be used to expand several columns at once.

Screenshot of the grader report with the new menu for collapsed columns on the top right right. The menu is expanded and shows a search field and a list of all collapsed columns as well as a button to expand the chosen columns.

4.2.3 Grader report - Entering grades

In edit mode, you can enter grades directly into the page as before. However, the button for saving the changes is now always visible and scrolls along.

Screenshot of the grader report in edit mode to enter grades directly into the page. At the bottom there's the new action bar to save the changes.

4.2.4 Gradebook setup

You can collapse and expand grade categories that are not required using the arrow icons (see figure, no. 1). This improves the overview in course rooms with many grade items and grade categories.

The icons in the new "Status" column (see figure, no. 2) indicate whether a grade item or a grade category is hidden or locked. Text labels also show the aggregation type and other current settings that have been made for the respective grade category.

The context menu for actions is now displayed as a three-dot menu (see figure, no. 3) and therefore takes up less space visually.

Screenshot of the gradebook setup with collapsible and expandable grade categories, the new status column with "natural" and "mean of grades" as example labels, and with the three-dot manu for actions on the items and categories opened

Grade categories and grade items can be added or edited without leaving the page. A window opens in which you can make the desired entries. Meanwhile, the original page and its content remain visible in the background.

Screenshot of the gradebook setup with the menu for adding grade items or grade categories opened. The menu is in the upper right corner of the page


4.3 Question bank

An improved filter function (see figure, no. 1) with the three criteria "Category", "Show hidden questions" and "Tag" (see figure, no. 2 and 3) allows you to search for and filter out specific questions. The example image shows a filter set for questions with a certain category and a tag "RWTH". The new layout has also been aligned with other areas in Moodle to provide a more consistent user experience.

Screenshot of the question bank. In the upper area, the filter with the filter options Category, Show hidden questions and Tag, which can be combined using “and”. In the lower area, a filtered question with the tag label matching the filter

You can also customize the display of the Question Bank to your own needs by dragging and dropping columns, removing them or changing their size.

Screenshot of the question bank in edit mode. The bank displays two questions and various columns. In the middle of the page you can see two options for moving columns, one using drag & drop and one for moving to the left or right.

4.4 Quiz activity - Reopen Quizzes that have never been submitted

Under "Results", you can now reset the quiz attemps of students with the status "Never submitted" to the status "In progress" and thus reopen them. This status can occur if the option "Attempts must be submitted before time expires, or they are not counted" has been selected in the quit settings under "Time". If students do not submit an attempt within the allotted time, the attempt is considered not submitted and will not be graded.

Screenshot of the quiz results. The status column contains a new button "Reopen" for attempts that have the status "Never submitted".

4.5 Assignment Activity - Reminder for missing submissions

Under "Submissions" you can send a message to several students at once, for example to remind them of a missing submission. Select the students in the list and click on "Send a message" in the "With selection" drop-down menu below the submission list. You can then write the message in the new window and send it.

Screenshot of the assignment submission page with two students selected. At the bottom of the page the dropdown action menu "With selected..." is opened and the option "Send message" is chosen


5. Customizations by the RWTHmoodle team

In addition to the upgrade to Moodle 4.3, the RWTHmoodle team has made further adjustments in response to feedback from user surveys and support.

As mentioned above, the RWTHmoodle team has already anticipated the smaller icons and activity cards of Moodle 4.3 in the winter semester 2023/24. The course page thus shows more information at a glance and requires less scrolling.

In addition, a few weeks ago the “My courses” page became the landing page after logging into the system. This fulfills users' wish to get to their own courses more quickly after logging in instead of being directed to the dashboard first. In return, the information on “New activities” and access to the student course evaluations (EvaSys) are now only available on the dashboard.

The performance of the system has also been noticeably improved in some areas to enable faster work. The list of participants and the submission list for assignments now load significantly faster than before.

Over the next few weeks, we will also be preparing the help materials for the system in a more target group-specific way and making them available in a new separate tab next to the dashboard and My Courses, together with news about changes to RWTHmoodle. This will make the information easier to find.

Translated with (free version)


6. Additional information

On the Moodle community pages you will find additional information on the new features in Moodle. Please note, however, that not all functions of Moodle are used in RWTHmoodle and that the appearance of the software may differ in certain areas.


Further reading:

last changed on 05/24/2024

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