Perhaps because I like to think of myself as a constant learner, I like to keep keep my eyes open for what is happening with learning/course management systems. CMS Report has been covering Moodle since the early days of our website and I believe it to be one of the more popular open source LMS out there. Moodle 2.0 is currently under development and with an estimated release date of July 20, 2010.
Although Moodle 2.0 hasn't been officially released, the developers did reach important milestones this month with the release of Moodle 2.0 Preview 1 and Preview 2. These previews give you an idea just how all the new features and improvements are coming together for the next release of Moodle. There are a ton of new features and improvements coming to Moodle to be excited about. Below is a list of major new features we've gleamed of the Moodle 2.0 release notes.
- Community Hubs - Anybody can set up a Community Hub, which is a directory of courses for public use or for private communities. The code is implemented as separate GPL plugin for Moodle.
- Repository Support - Moodle now supports integration with external repositories of content, making it really simple to bring documents and media into Moodle via an AJAX interface that looks like a standard Open dialogue in desktop applications.
- Portfolio Support - Modules can now export their data to external systems, particularly useful for portfolios where snapshots of forums, assignments and other things in Moodle are useful to record in a journal or a portfolio of evidence
- Completion - Teachers can now specify conditions that define when any activity or course is seen as completed by a student.
- Conditional activities - Access to activities can be restricted based on certain criteria, such as dates, grade obtained, or the completion of another activity.
- 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 synchronized automatically
- Web Services Support - Support for standards-based web services across the entire Moodle code base, allowing the admin to expose particular functions of Moodle for use by: 1) Administrative systems such as HR or SIS applications and 2) Mobile clients.
- IMS Common Cartridge - Moodle can now import courses in IMS Common Cartridge format (commonly used by publishers)
- New blocks - Comments block, Private files block, Community block, and Completion block.
Moodle 2.0 Preview 2 can be dowloaded from the Moodle download server.