Moodle 3.5 is scheduled to be released the second Monday of May. It will be the next Long Term Support (LTS), which means it will enjoy 36 months of security updates rather than the traditional 18. Moodle 3.5 sits squarely in the middle of a refocusing of Moodle’s development to keep a higher focus on the user, which started with Moodle 3.4 and could continue beyond Moodle 3.6. This “usability era” of Moodle could see fewer new features in exchange for a better experience on the existing ones.
Here are the main areas where Moodlers are about to see the largest improvements:
- Data Protection. In order to offer European users compliance for the new GDPR rules, Moodle 3.5 will offer additional functionality for recording and managing permission consent and information requests and compliance, two of the main issues regulated by the new body. It is, according to the official Moodle blog, the first priority in the development front.
- MUA’s Question Bank Management project. The ability to automatically create random quizzes based on tags added to questions, along with statistical information on question performance, are some of the new features coming courtesy of the Moodle Users Association and the 2017 January – June edition of its crowdfunded Project Development Cycle.
- Full Bootstrap 4 support. The popular framework for modern websites continues to evolve for the delight of users, and a few headaches for developers, as its backwards compatibility is famously irregular. The current default look of Moodle, courtesy of the “Boost” theme, will upgrade from the “Alpha 4” version of the framework, on which it is originally based.
- Messaging enhancements. Not only are a better layout and faster performance expected, but the abilities associated with messaging might be incorporated into plugins that enhance the default functions.
In addition to these, previous news has announced a complete rebuilding from scratch of the Moodle Mobile and Moodle Desktop apps, which will make them more modern and faster (thanks to the use of the mobile development framework Ionic 3).