Monday, 1 August 2011

4 - Moodle 2 is live!


Our Moodle site is now officially Moodle 2.1!

I have come back from holiday today with a new install of 2.1 available with over 475 courses up and running on it!!  

Big thanks needs to go to the excellent support and management from @clareHW Lead Moodle Administrator, and the technical support from @SDCMoodle (aka Paul Vaughan) along with members of the LTRS team for getting it all done!  They have made Moodle 2 live on our normal moodle ac address, linked it with shibboleth to authenticated login and individually restored 465 courses.  The tracking sheets (explained in previously blog posts) that have taken me hours to develop and the team hours to populate have helped to manage the process.  They tell me that:

  • 117 courses were restored from moodle 1.9  with 4 issues identified.  These are courses they won't restore.  We are not really sure why they are not working but it may be to do with  back-up size (one was 4.4gb!) and others may just be corrupt back-ups.  The next step with these is to try to restore the Moodle 2 version and then re-do any changes made since April.
  • 355 courses were restored from Moodle 2.  Only 2 issues were identified here.  One included all scorms / NLNs which we kind of expected and we can re-create that easily enough if we decide to.  The other just won't restore - it freezes during restore.  I tried to manually back-up the version on beta Moodle 2 and it freezes then as well.  Even importing the data into a new course results in a frozen page.  This one just won't work!  We are re-creating that one from scratch.  
  • There were 10 newly created courses in Moodle 2 as well.
As administrators, a few of us still have access to the beta Moodle 2 server and the 1.9 server, and we have a full back-up of the original courses off-site, which means we can access things again to check and restore if required.  However, it is not a good use of time to check them all and just restore them so any SDC staff reading this - don't expect me to go and get your course just because you didn't tell us you wanted it before the upgrade!!  We are only using these where there have been issues with the upgrade process.

What is happening this now?
First we need to fix the issues and get the 5 courses listed above working!
There are no users automatically in Moodle 2 (yey - no more students who left 4 years ago!!) but this means that no-one can really do anything in Moodle until we let them!  When teachers login for the first time their Moodle account is created.  We then need to manually add the teachers to the courses.  We are doing this by request so teachers will email me (or my staff) to request access.

There are also lots of new things to set up such as new gradebooks with specific grading, plus also some wikis to recreate for users to be able to carry on using them when they come back.

The LTRS team spent so much time helping the rest of the college staff to get ready for the upgrade they now need to develop their own courses ready for September.

What others things didn't work and need addressing?
The main issues have come from courses upgraded from Moodle 1.9:
  • They don't keep the topic headings correctly to populate the navigation and course menu so these need to be manually changed to put them into the section name box.
  • Courses don't have any enrolment methods so they can't be self-enrolled and teachers cannot be manually added.  We are amending this as we go to add teachers to the courses.
  • The blocks also did not come across so they need to be re-added to the courses.

PLUS - more training of course!  We did lots of training prior to the upgrade but many teachers will want more so we need to continue to offer introductory training as well keep up the training on new features as usual.
We are also offering a level 4 qualification to our staff (and will also be available as distance learning soon so contact me if you are interested!!).

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