Students Staff

July 2, 2021

[Service Alert] Moodle upgrade 2021

Filed under: Elearning, Moodle, [Scheduled], [Service Alert] — Tags: , , , — John Maydew @ 10:37 am


  • 07:00 The Moodle update is now underway, you will experience some connection issues
  • 08:27 Upgrade is still progressing but taking longer than anticipated, thank you for your patience
  • 09:39 We’ve hit a few hurdles, but the upgrade is still progressing
  • 10:36 Upgrade is largely complete, Moodle and Open Essex will remain “At risk” throughout the day while we monitor the situation. We are still working on creating the 2020 Moodle archive
  • 12:15 2020 Moodle archive is now available
  • 15:00 All existing grid format courses are now set to “One section per page”
  • 15:15 Changes to student enrolments have been completed

Original message

Moodle will be unavailable from 7:00am on Tuesday, 13th July until no later than 5:00pm (GMT) while we upgrade to the latest version and perform essential system maintenance. Moodle will be “At risk” throughout the day, and we advise users to avoid any critical work in Moodle during this period.

The latest version of Moodle will include performance and security improvements, along with bug fixes and new features for Moodle and its core plugins. You can find full details in the release notes for Moodle 3.10 and 3.11.

We will also be creating the 2020/21 Moodle archive and removing the 2016/17 archive.

New plugins

This upgrade will include the following new plugins:

  • Download Essay Submissions (quiz_downloadsubmissions)
    • Allows teachers to bulk download essay answers from Moodle quizzes
  • Panopto filter (filter_panopto)
    • Paste a link in your course to a video in Panopto and Moodle will automatically convert it into an embedded video, without you having to worry about embed codes
  • Word count (atto_count)
    • See word counts in the Moodle text editor
  • Coderunner question type (qtype_coderunner)
    • Pose programming questions to students who respond with blocks of code, which can be automatically checked and graded
  • Academic week availability (availability_academicweek)
    • Restrict access to activities and sections based on the current academic week

Changes to student enrolments

We’re improving how students get added to Moodle courses, to make the process more accessible to staff and much more flexible. This will make it easier to set up courses for multiple modules, provide better control over when students gain and lose access to a course, and improved group synchronisation.

We’ve trialled this method with a few courses over the last six months, during this upgrade we’ll be migrating all taught courses (linked to at least one module) to use the new enrolment method. This process will happen automatically, and you shouldn’t need to do anything.

You can find more information on how to manage student enrolments in your courses here:

Changing how courses are displayed

We’ve noticed a number of problems with the “Grid” course format, specifically when configured to open sections in a pop-up window, rather than in a separate page.

This pop-up window does not follow web accessibility standards, and may be difficult to navigate for some users who make use of assistive technologies. In addition pop-up windows have been observed causing serious performance issues in large courses, and especially courses with lots of embedded videos.

During the upgrade we will be changing all courses using the “Grid” format to not use the pop-up window, and instead open each section in a separate page. This will be done automatically, and you won’t need to do anything.

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

October 30, 2018

[Service Alert] [Resolved] Moodle

Filed under: Moodle, [Resolved], [Service Alert] — Tags: — admin @ 9:34 am

Update – 09:51:

Moodle service has now been restored. We believe the problem was caused by a runaway process and resource limits.

Original post – 09:34:

We are currently investigating an issue with Moodle that is causing slow page loads and timeouts.

This affects the following Moodle services:

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

October 22, 2018

[Service Alert][Resolved] Problems logging in to Moodle

Filed under: [Resolved], [Service Alert] — Tags: , , — admin @ 11:20 am

Update 11:25

The services below are now back up and running.

Moodle services were affected between 11:00 and 11:25. We believe this was due to a problem with authentication.

Original post, 11:20:

Users may experience problems trying to log in to our Moodle services:


We are investigating the cause of this.

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

August 2, 2013

Moodle at the Heart of Learning project

Filed under: Elearning, News — Tags: — Dan Jolly @ 12:21 pm

LTT (Learning Technology Team) are still working on moving the Course Materials Repository (CMR) to new server hardware, and establishing a Moodle archive server to store historic teaching materials. They are about to start work on better integrating the two systems. After discussion with departments, the migration to these new systems will happen after the September resits, but before the start of the new academic year (week 49/50).

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