business · Integration · Open Source

Moodle changes across major upgrade 1.9 to 2.0 to 2.1 to 2.2 to 2.3

Moodle development has always been active. In recent years the changes has resulted in improved end users and teachers experience. Administration process and interface has also improved a lot.

We see most of the major upgrade from version 1.9 to 2.0. Most of these changes has been improved and refined over time up to 2.2. We continue to observer the same improvement process to continue for the upcoming release of 2.3 with few new features.

New Moodle promises for easier management for teachers, better user experience for student and many performance enhancements and additional integration for administrators. The product looks more promising and stable for large deployment in education and business use.

New features in Moodle: upgrade from 1.9 to 2.0:

Released on: 24 November 2010

Moodle 2.0 contains a lot of large new features, some completely rewritten features.

New features:

Community hub: Any user can setup a community hub, which can be public or private. Teachers on registered sites can advertise, publish their full courses to Community hubs. Users on any Moodle site can search, participate, and download courses from community hub.

Repository support: A new file repository has been introduced in Moodle 2.0. The File picker presents a standard way to access the new File bank repository system. A new file management system has been introduced, with new function and interface.

The File picker presents a standard way to access the new File bank repository system. This allows Moodle to integrate with external repositories of content. The following external repositories are supported out of the box: Alfresco, Amazon S3,, File system on Server, Flickr, Google Docs, MERLOT, Picasa, Recent Files, WebDAV servers, Wikimedia, Youtube etc.

Direct import files from your desktop or by specifying a URL is now supported. More attributes now can be added to a file, such as license and author.

Portfolio support: Modules can now export their data to external systems. Different formats are supported (currently LEAP2A, HTML, Images and Text, but others like PDF can be added). Initial plugins in 2.0 include:, Flickr, Google Docs, Mahara and Picasa.

Course completion and prerequisites: Teachers can now specify a Course completion condition standard for all students. Conditions include activity completion, or by grade, date or a number of other criteria. Teachers and students can see reports that show the progress within a course, or through a series of courses.

Cohorts: Also known as “Site-wide groups”, these are site-wide collections of users that can be enrolled into courses in one action, either manually or synchronised automatically. Finally they make group wide enrolment possible.

Web services support: New Support for standards-based web services across the entire Moodle code base, allowing the admin to expose particular functions of Moodle for use

New Blocks introduced:

Comments block – like a shoutbox, allows comments to be added to any page, My private files block – allows access to a user’s private files, Community block – keeps track of external courses one is interested in,  Course completion status block – reports on the completion status of your courses

Major improvements to existing core features:

  • Backup and restore: Completely re-written with improved interface
  • Blocks: consistent on every page
  • Blogs: comments on each blog entry, supports external blog feed
  • Enrolment plugins: major improvement handling guest accounts, multiple enrolment type, more control
  • Filters 2.0: Different filters in different courses, activities or categories.
  • HTML editor: TinyMCE, more browser support
  • Messaging: All email sent by Moodle is now treated as a message, Initial message output plugins in Moodle 2.0 include: Email, Jabber and Popups
  • My Moodle page:  More customisable, admin can design site-wide layouts for My Moodle
  • Navigation: Standard “Navigation” block on every page showing contextual links. Standard “Settings” blocks on every page shows contextual settings
  • Roles and permissions:  Simplified permission evaluation logic, improved interface
  • Improved and optimized RSS feeds, themes, translation system
  • User profile pages: Now can be customized by users with blocks, news feeds and so on.
  • Major improvements to activity modules, Lesson, question banks, quiz, SCORM, Workshop

New features in Moodle: upgrade 2.0 to 2.1:

Released on 1 July 2011

New features

New question engine: Moodle question system has been rewritten to make it much more robust and to support lots of new functionality.

Backup recovery: Ability to restore the course contents from Moodle 1.9 backup files

Support for mobile devices

Other highlights:

  • Ability to copy (or clone) an activity
  • Ability to navigate navigation/settings menu and dock with keyboard
  • Improved plugins check/overview page
  • Upgraded TinyMCE to the latest version 3.4.2
  • User friendly block settings and help information
  • New performance setting for calculating an appropriate timeout during large cURL requests
  • Friendlier navigation for parent roles to see mentees in courses
  • Daylight saving should be calculated for users having string timezone
  • Messaging Improvements: Site administrators can now control which message delivery methods can be used for each message type. (In 2.0 students could switch off notifications. In 2.1 this can be overidden)

New features in Moodle: upgrade 2.1 to 2.2:

Release date: 5 December 2011

New features

Advanced grading methods, including Rubrics

External tool:  This allows Moodle to embed learning objects like from external website into courses in such a way that Moodle can pass user data to the tool and tool can send grades back to Moodles grade book

IMS Common Cartridge import: This is platform-independent popular standard for packaging learning content. This is now available for Moodle 2.2 and later. Exporting to CC will come in later version of Moodle

MyMobile theme: With Moodle 2.2 a standard theme in core that is custom-designed for smartphone browser screens. People using mobile browser shall access completely different layout, but one that is suitable for small touchscreens.

Gravatars: Many of you may know about gravatars (globally recognized avatars), which allows your avatar icon to automatically appear when you comment on blogs and so on anywhere in the internet. This can be integrated with your Moodle profiles

Other change highlights

  • TinyMCE editor upgraded. Safari on iPad/iPhone with iOS5 now works!
  • Conditional activities can now become available at an exact time, rather than only a date
  • A new Mobile app button ‘content’ enables all resources in a course to be downloaded for offline viewing
  • Navigation block now links to topic/weekly sections
  • Option to upload users to a cohort, add users to a cohort in bulk and other cohort improvements
  • Course listings can now optionally display course short name everywhere
  • Activity descriptions can now be displayed on course homepages
  • SCORM AICC improvements to handling of external AICC packages
  • SCORM reporting improvements including a new SCORM interactions report
  • Can choose in User policies which fields (email, idnumber, department, etc.) are included wherever lists of students are shown.


New features in Moodle: upgrade 2.2 to 2.3:

Release date: 18th June 2012 (expected)

New features:

Mostly files and file picker and file display related

  • Nicer-looking File Picker with fewer clicks
  • Images now display as true thumbnails in the file picker and file manager
  • Other files have pretty icons for most file types
  • Files view can be easily toggled between icons view, or a table view with sizes and dates, or a hierarchical list view.
  • You can now drag and drop files directly from your desktop straight into file areas!
  • File info (eg license information, sizes, dates) can be easily edited and viewed in a popup dialog
  • Files can be created as “aliases/shortcuts” of other files. This allows you to, for example, use a single file in your private files area multiple times in all your courses. If you update the original file then all the aliases will automatically update!
  • Aliases are easily identifiable in the file manager interface.
  • The most popular third-party resource module ever, Book
  • Repository improvements, improved file pickers and supports external links
  • Improvement in course pages
  • Complete re-write of assignment module
  • New marking grade
  • Quiz module:  improved handling of quiz attempt, option for forcing students to answer quiz in sequence, resume quiz from last attempted one.
  • SCORM: New graph report plugin
  • Workshop module: option to switch workshop to assessment phase after deadline, workshop deadline shows in the calendar
  • Available update notifications: Admins are sent notification of any updates available for core code and for any contributed plugins installed on the site
  • Sections can now be displayed to all users as “one section per page” (via a new course setting ‘Course layout’) with full navigation. Currently only supported by Weeks and Topics formats. (AKA death to scroll-of-death)
  • Option in file resource settings to display file size and/or type on course page (credits to Sam Marshall, The Open University)
  • Admin option for uninstalling messaging outputs and report of messaging output statuses on plugins overview page
  • Admin option to enable a CSS optimiser that analyses and refactors CSS before caching it
  • Conditional activities setting enabling teachers to restrict access to a course section using similar logic to Conditional Activities (with thanks to the University of New South Wales for funding and NetSpot for developing this feature and Sam Marshall at the OU for integrating it to core)
  • Option to add extra fonts to the TinyMCE HTML editor
  • When editing a form, a warning will be displayed if trying to navigate away with content edited

Find more on how to upgrade Moodle from 1.9 to 2.2


Read slimier blog post of Moodle changes

Moodle –new features and Changes Between version 2.4 to 2.5 (Major features)
Moodle changes across 2.3 to 2.4
Moodle overview and feature lists 2.2 and 2.3
 Moodle changes across major upgrade 1.9 to 2.0 to 2.1 to 2.2 to 2.3

Xeois Provides LMS based solution using Moodle for business and educational institutes, please visit for more information

Tag: moodle, upgrade, 1.9, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, feature enhancements, new modules, rewrite, improvement, support, integration, business


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