Students Staff


June 21, 2019

Moodle Upgrade

Filed under: Elearning, Moodle, [Scheduled], [Service Alert] — John Maydew @ 12:09 pm

Update 12 July 2019:

The Moodle Archive for 2018/19 is now available.

Original message:

Moodle will be unavailable from 9am July 15th until no later than 5pm July 15th while we upgrade to the latest version and perform essential system maintenance.

Along with performance improvements, bugfixes, and security patches the latest version of Moodle also introduces an improved user dashboard, group messaging, improved control over forums and accessibility improvements. The Moodle website has release notes for v3.6 and v3.7.

With this latest upgrade we will also be trialling the new updated Essex theme for Moodle, which reduces clutter on the page, makes functions for teachers more prominent to find and makes courses on the homepage easier to find. You can see a preview of the new theme on Moodle.

While the upgrade is ongoing, students who are studying for exams will be able to access their study resources by going to the Moodle Archive. We aim to add the 2018/19 archive the week before Moodle’s outage.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

January 2, 2019

[Service Alert] Potential disruption to the Software Hub

Filed under: [Scheduled], [Service Alert] — Darin Cruickshanks @ 3:52 pm

The University of Essex Software Hub [] will be having a major upgrade on Thursday 3 Jan, starting at 2pm.  It is expected that the upgrade should not take any longer than 2 hours but some users may experience some loss of service.

The upgrade is to improve the service and deliver better features.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.


The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

July 26, 2018

[Scheduled] Improvements to authentication servers

Filed under: [Scheduled] — Tags: , , — admin @ 5:15 pm

At 7:00am on Tuesday 31 July we will be making changes to some of our authentication servers (ADFS and Shibboleth). This is a continuation of our efforts to improve security and reduce the number of times users are prompted to log in.

Important note: Please be aware that this change will remove the existing ‘beige box’ login page for Shibboleth-based services (list at the bottom of this post). Instead, users will be directed to our ADFS-based login page shown below, with an address starting

ADFS log in page

Users should not experience any disruption during this change. If, after the change, you are experiencing problems logging in to the services below, you should restart your computer in the first instance and then contact the IT Help Desk if problems persist.

ADFS-based services:

  • Email ( and Microsoft Outlook)
  • FASER (
  • Box ( and Box Sync)

Shibboleth-based services (not an exhaustive list):

  • Moodle (
  • MoodleX (
  • Some library services
  • Talis (
  • (
  • Box of Broadcasts (
  • TuirningPoint

In the future we hope to add additional services to ADFS, which will ultimately reduce the number of times you are asked to log in. Services include:

  • Listen Again ( and Panopto (
  • MyEssex (
The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

June 25, 2018

Moodle 3.5 Upgrade

Filed under: Elearning, Moodle, [Resolved], [Scheduled], [Service Alert] — John Maydew @ 1:26 pm

What’s happening?

Moodle will be unavailable from 9am Wednesday 18th July while we upgrade to the latest version (3.5+), make improvements to the hosting systems and create the 2017 archive. These upgrades will affect the following systems which will be inaccessible during the upgrade:

We expect that the upgrade will be completed before 5pm Wednesday 18th July when Moodle and MoodleX will be available again. Due to the nature of some of the changes, Moodle services will be considered at risk until Wednesday 25th July. This post will be updated as work progresses.

Need access to Moodle that day?

The 2017/18 Moodle Archive will be made available early, on Friday 13th July, so that students studying for exams will still have access to their learning resources. The archive will be acessible from once it has been created.

What can I expect?

Moodle 3.5+ includes improved question tagging, updated global search and improved privacy management tools, alongside the usual bug fixes and security patches. The 3.5+ upgrade will also include changes from Moodle 3.4; for more information you can read the release notes for both versions here:

Additionally we’re making improvements to how Moodle works behind-the-scenes, which should improve Moodle’s performance overall


  • 2018-07-13
  • 2018-07-18
    • 09:00 Moodle has been taken offline. The 2017 archive is still available at the above address
    • 09:50 Issues affecting the 2017 Moodle archive have now been resolved
    • 13:38 Normal service to Moodle and MoodleX has been resumed
The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.

May 21, 2018

[Resolved] Essential M drive server maintenance

Filed under: File storage, PC Labs, [Resolved], [Scheduled], [Service Alert] — Trevor Smith @ 3:34 pm

Two of our M drive servers (isslx109 and isslx110) will be undergoing essential maintenance work on Tuesday 22nd May between the hours of 6am and 7am. This will mean that the M drives of staff and students stored on these servers will be unavailable during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and will endeavour to keep downtime to a minimum whilst this essential work is carried out.

The scheduled work was completed by 0645 and all services are now available again.

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.


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