Students Staff
University of Essex

21 September 2012

Moodle annoyances

Filed under: Information,Moodle,Moodle 2 upgrade,Newsletter — Tags: , , — Benjamin Steeples @ 12:42 pm

The upgrade to Moodle 2 has gone almost perfectly. Since we upgraded in mid-July, there have been nearly 300,000 interactions with Moodle, and the feedback we’ve been receiving has been generally positive.

I say, ‘almost perfectly’ and ‘generally positive’, as we have encountered some minor issues since we upgraded. Although we did extensive testing over the Spring and Summer terms, these are unfortunately theĀ  ‘unknown unknowns’ that fell through the cracks and were missed. Most of these issues are minor, or have already been fixed, but there are two that are likely to persist into the Autumn term. These are:

Moodle 2 is generally slower than Moodle 1
On average, Moodle 2 is a lot slower than Moodle 1. We’ve already upgraded the Moodle servers an anticipation of this, but there are still some pages that take a painfully long time to load.
In this case, we are asking users to be a little patient with the new version. Opening new tabs or windows in order to do several Moodle tasks in parallel will only make things worse.

Internet Explorer is having problems with Moodle 2
Internet Explorer is struggling on some of the Moodle 2 pages. This mostly effects teachers, who are seeing a Slow script warning when adding users or modifying their courses. But generally, the experience for Internet Explorer users is sub-par.
In this case, we are recommended that affected users look at using an alternative web browser, such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. More information can be found at our Moodle 2 FAQ.

We are doing everything we can to try and fix these issues before the Autumn term begins. We’ve been engaging the Moodle community to raise the profile of these issues, and both of them are in the process of being fixed by MoodleHQ. We’ve been tweaking Moodle ourselves, to try and reduce the occurrence of these problems. Finally, we’ve been in discussion with an external Moodle consultant, who will be checking our Moodle installation, and will hopefully point out any optimisations that we have missed.

We’re aware that these issues are incredibly frustrating for our Moodle users, and hopefully they will be fixed soon. In the mean time, if you encounter any problems, please see our Moodle 2 FAQ or contact us.

18 September 2012

Moodle jobs for the new term!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Alex ONeill @ 9:39 am

As we’re nearly at the start of the new year (or just started for some of you) now is the perfect time to make sure your Moodle courses are in tip top shape!

Backup, reset, revamp

We recommend for most people that you backup your courses and reset them, to remove all the old student data from last year so it is fresh and clean for your new cohort of students! This won’t delete any of your materials or activities, just get rid of student information such as forum posts, quiz attempts etc.

Follow the instructions here:

Editing your courses taking a bit of time?

When updating and revamping your courses, you may notice that Moodle is acting a bit slower than normal (or very slow for some!) Unfortunately, we have discovered a few problems with a technology that the new Moodle uses called Javascript. The developers at Moodle HQ are working hard to rectify the issues, but they won’t be ready for deployment until nearer Christmas.

In the meantime, please bear with us, we are doing what we can to make things easier for you! If you really can’t handle the slowness and you are using an Internet Explorer browser, you may find it easier to download Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. Follow the instructions on those pages to download and install the browser, then login to Moodle as usual and you should see an improvement.