The MeLT team recently undertook a review of LearningSpace and looked to gather feedback from both staff and students., we also investigated other VLE offerings available. Following this a decision has been made to continue using Moodle and to undergo a significant upgrade in June 2018. This upgrade looks to address feedback given by both staff and students andthe following development needs have been identified.
- More ways to enable discussion and collaboration
- Better mobile design
- Better overall design
- More course consistency
- Cloud integration/ easier file sharing
- Push notifications to students
- Ability to have instant messaging/group chats
In order to address some of these requirements the below changes will be coming in with the upgrade to Moodle 3.4 in June.
New improved interface
As part of the new update we will have chance to redesign the look and feel of LearningSpace, to make it more visually appealing and user friendly. The below mock-up demonstrates the intended changes.
Front Page Updates
This new interface includes a cleaner and less cluttered front page with navigation reflecting the look and feel of the Marjon Mobile app. It also utilises the new navigation menu for site wide navigation and will show students notifications and new messages from the top right hand corner.
The dashboard page from which students currently access their courses will also be getting an upgrade. This will include a timeline of upcoming events or assignments to allow them quick and easy access.
Easy Site Wide Navigation
One of the biggest improvements in the new interface will be the ability to quickly and easily navigate between courses using the Hamburger menu on the left hand-side. This menu can also be used to jump to particular sections within a specific course page.
Mobile Responsiveness/ Mobile App and Push Notifications to students
One of the biggest topics of feedback we received was about the lack of mobile responsiveness of the site.
We have decided to use a new theme following the upgrade which is natively mobile responsive and will give a much better experience when accessing the site from a mobile browser. We are also going to introduce the Moodle Mobile App. The Moodle app allows staff and students access to LearningSpace content directly from their mobile devices. It will allow users to download courses for offline viewing, send instant messages easily from within the app and receive push notifications about news forum posts, assignments and upcoming calendar events.
The upgrade to Moodle will be happening in June, however, there will some changes needed to ensure it works well going forward. All current content will be transferred over in its current format and the team will be working to make any initial interface changes needed. Once this is complete we will be advising staff on how to adjust their courses to make the most of the new upgraded interface and mobile app.
The mobile app and mobile responsive views do not display content placed in blocks. In Moodle terms blocks are areas of content placed either on the left or right hand side of the main content. As a result we will be helping and advising staff on how to modify content currently held in blocks to ensure that it is fully accessible within the mobile app.
We will be providing extensive support for staff on this change and will also be running drop-ins and workshops to help staff with the new interface and moving or adapting any existing content.