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Latest Information about the Upgrade to Moodle 4.1

Latest Information about the Upgrade to Moodle 4.1

RWTHmoodle was updated to version Moodle 4.1 on March 14, 2023. On this page we inform you about the most important new features.

Introduction Videos
We present the new features after the upgrade to Moodle 4.1 in these videos for students an lecturers. They are available with German and English subtitles.

Table of Contents

  1. What does the upgrade mean for me?
  2. Trainings for teaching staff
  3. Changes in Moodle 4.1
    1. Start page
    2. Dashboard
    3. My Courses
    4. Course index
    5. Horizontal menu bar
    6. Collapse and expand topics
    7. Block drawer
    8. Activities block
    9. Turn editing on
    10. Add elements to course page and move them
    11. New activity icons and color categories
    12. Central menu bar for activities
    13. Edit activities
    14. Content change notification
    15. Course import
    16. Question bank
    17. Further changes
  4. Contact

1. What does the upgrade mean for me?

You can still access RWTHmoodle via the URL The established processes, such as applying for course rooms or booking students and lecturers into their course rooms, will also remain unchanged.

The biggest changes concern the user interface. This has been fundamentally revised and modernized in Moodle 4.1. This also changes the menu navigation in some places.

The upgrade affects all new and all existing course rooms. They remain after the upgrade, according to the course room lifecycle, and are also adapted to the new user interface. You can continue to use the course room content after the upgrade. This includes videos from the Opencast streaming server.

However, Moodle 4.1 has removed the ability to indent content on the course page, giving it a fine-grained structure:

Screenshot of indented activities from Moodle 3.11

Therefore, please check your learning spaces after the upgrade and make adjustments if necessary.

Reusing course content is also not affected by the upgrade. As before, you can use course import to transfer content from old learning spaces to new learning spaces


2. Trainings for teaching staff

Starting in March 2023, the CLS is offering additional online training sessions for teaching staff, summing up the most important changes and new features. For more information on the training sessions and an option to register please visit the Staff Development Events Database.

Please note that the currently offered trainings are in German. An English-language training can be offered additionally if required.


3. Changes in Moodle 4.1

3.1. Start page

The redesigned start page reduces the amount of information to the bare essentials and focuses on the login. In addition, a clearer distinction is made between the Login via RWTH Single Sign-On (standard login) and the Login for local accounts. The latter is only used for bridge courses and other study preparation courses.

Screenshot of new RWTHmoodle start page


3.2. Dashboard

After login you will get to the "Dashboard". Here, a few blocks of important information have been added:

  • "Timeline" shows students upcoming deadlines on a variety of activities.
  • "Recent Badges" lists for students the 10 most recent badges earned in course rooms.
  • "News" informs you about important changes to the system, such as newly introduced plugins.
  • In the "Helpful Links" you will find information about copyright and accessibility in RWTHmoodle, links to the LehrBar, to various demo course rooms and to our training offer for teaching staff.

Screenshot of the new Dashboard with some new blocks


3.3. My Courses

You can access the list of your lcourse rooms via the "My courses" tab in the top bar:

  • The list can be filtered and sorted by various criteria.
  • You can mark course rooms as favorites or remove them from the view.
  • Students can see the processing status here in relation to the activity completions. The percentage is only useful if the completions are also configured accordingly.

Screenshot of the new tab My Courses with some courses


3.4. Course index

The course page retains its tripartite structure. However, the left sidebar has changed its function. It is now a course index, listing all sections and the activities and materials they contain. For students, it also highlights in color whether an activity has already been completed:

Screenshot of the course page with opened course index (Student view)


3.5. Horizontal menu bar

The navigation elements previously located on the left have been placed in a new, centrally located and horizontal menu bar. Here managers can find course settings, participant administration, grade administration and reports. The content bank for H5P, usage statistics, the e-reserves collection, the recording calendar for Hörsaal 4.0 and other elements such as course import are grouped under "More".

Screenshot of the new horizontal menu bar (manager view)

For students, the menu bar contains entries that differ from this.


3.6. Collapse and expand topics

In the standard topics format, sections can now be collapsed and expanded, either individually or all at once:

Screenshot of expandable and collapsable topics

If you use the one-topic format, its tab structure will be preserved. It appears below the horizontal menu bar.


3.7. Block drawer

The right block drawer can now also be expanded and collapsed and has its own scroll bar.

Screenshot of the block drawer with some blocks


3.8. Activities block

Gone is the option that used to be on the left sidebar to view all activities of a certain type within a course room, for example, all assignments, all quizzes, or all learning materials. However, managers can add an "Activities" block in the block drawer that shows this information. In course rooms aces created after the upgrade this block is enabled by default.

Screenshot of the activities block with the available entries


3.9. Turn editing on

To edit the course page, turn on edit mode using the switch at the top next to your name. The switch remains visible even if you scroll down the page

Edit switch in the top right corner


3.10. Add elements to course page and move them

Adding new elements and moving existing ones also becomes easier:

  • When the page is in edit mode, you can now add blocks at the top of the block bar.
  • New topics can be added or inserted after each section.
  • The button for "Add activity or material" is also larger, making it easier to find.
  • You can now easily drag and drop course content. This works both within the left sidebar and in the content area.
  • You can also move content from the content area to the sidebar and vice versa.

3.11. New activity icons and color categories

The previously available activities remain. However, they have new icons. Moreover, they are sorted by colors, which divide them into five categories:

  • Evaluation - magenta
  • Communication - green
  • Collaboration - orange
  • Material - blue
  • Administration - purple

Screenshot of the activity chooser with some of the new colored activity icons


3.12. Central menu bar for activities

Like the course page, the activities now have a central menu bar with the settings and activity-specific options:

Screenshot of the central menu bar in an example activity


3.13. Edit activities

The editing options for activities are now located behind three dots to the right of the activity title to save space. The option to indent activities is currently no longer available as described above. However, future Moodle versions will offer this option again in a different form.

Screenshot of the expanded editing menu of an example activity


3.14. Content change notification

Another new feature is the option to inform participants about changes in all activities. Managers have to activate the checkbox "Send notification of content changes" before saving changes.

The students will then receive an e-mail and a web notification by default. However, they can deactivate these notifications themselves on the settings page for system notification in their profile.

Screenshot of the content change notification option in an example activity


3.15. Course import

From now on you will find the course import under "More" in the central menu bar. Click "Course reuse" here. The drop-down menu at the top left then gives you the choice between course import, course backup or course restore:

Screenshot of the reuse course page


3.16. Question bank

There were major changes, to which RWTH Aachen University made a financial contribution, in the question bank. The options for managing the questions have been significantly expanded. The new columns in the overview reflect these options. In Moodle 4.1, you can save questions as drafts, questions are versioned, and you can comment on questions for necessary revision steps as part of a review process. Facility index and discriminative efficiency of a question are displayed directly in the overview. If some statistical parameters do not meet the standard, questions are automatically flagged for review. The overview also shows in which and how many quizzes a question is currently used.

Screenshot of the new question bank with additional columns

Further improvements of the question bank are planned for the upcoming Moodle versions, about which we will inform you in due time.


3.17. Further changes

Below are some other changes that are less important and therefore not specifically illustrated:

  • The "Label" resource has been renamed to "Text and media area". This makes it clearer that you can also use images and dynamic media in this resource.
  • The "Assignment" activity contains a new "Activity Instructions" field. Enter the instructions for what to do here.
  • For assignments with online input, there is an option for timed assignments. This limits the time students get to enter their answer.
  • In the editor, creating links has been simplified. At the point where you want to insert a link, simply click the link icon in the editor, enter the link text and address, and save the link.
  • In the participants administration, it is now easier to access the group section and other options for managing participants. The dropdown menu in the upper left corner will take you to the appropriate areas.
  • In grades, some views have also been redesigned to improve the overview and make them easier to use.
    • The single view and the user report now contain clearly visible explanatory texts and clearly highlighted buttons and drop-down menus.
    • In the user report, the individual grade categories can also be shown or hidden in order to focus only on certain grades.
    • Another new feature is the grade summary. It shows all rated activities and their average. The summary can be filtered by activity

4. Contact

If you have any questions, please contact


Further information:

last changed on 09/18/2023

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