Best practices: Using new administrative features in Joule's winter 2012 release

Joule’s 2012 Winter release included both updates to Joule and core Moodle™ 2.3.3. In today’s blog I’d like to share some of the most vital additions and deletions.

Added module permissions

In previous Moodle™ versions administrators could only choose whether or not a specific user role could or could not add resources or activities in courses. With the new set of permissions administrators can now prohibit specific roles from adding a certain module or modules. So maybe you want Managers to add Surveys on the site but you don’t any other role to. With the new “/survey:addinstance” permission you can leave it on “Allow” for Managers but change it to “Prevent” for Teachers. For a complete listing of the new permissions click here.

AJAX settings

Prior to Moodle™ 2.3 whether or not a user was able to use advanced web features was based on two settings. For one AJAX and JavaScript had to be properly enabled (Settings > Site administration > Appearance > AJAX and Javascript). The second location was the users’ individual profile setting called AJAX and JavaScript that had to be set to “Yes use advanced web features”. Now there is no longer an AJAX setting option in User profiles. This is because Moodle™ has AJAX on for all users and is committed to creating accessible interfaces in the system. In addition drag and drop capabilities in Moodle™ are no longer dependant on AJAX functionality being enabled in the User profile.

Course default settings: Layout options

There is a new course default setting for Course layout found at Settings > Site administration > Courses > Course default settings. This setting applies only to the core Moodle™ Weekly and Topic course formats. If you change this setting from the default of "Show all sections on one page" to “Show all sections on one page” then in courses only one topic will show per page with previous and next links. Leaving this setting on the default of “Show all sections on one page” is suggested since this is the layout that teachers are accustomed to using. If teachers want to show only one section per page they can change it.

Assignment 2.3

The new Assignment 2.3 module has its own set of plug-ins that will need to be enabled if you want your faculty to be able to use them. To configure these plugins navigate to Settings > Site administration > Plugins > Assignment plugins. Please note that this area will only appear if you are using Moodle™ 2.3+ and you've enabled the Assignment module in Settings > Site administration > Plugins > Activity modules > Manage activities. These plug-ins include:

  • Submission plug-ins: How do you want your students to be able to submit work? Submission plug-ins include the option for file upload submissions online text submissions and comments on submissions.
  • Feedback plug-ins: How do you want to be able to provide your students with feedback on their work? Feedback plug-ins include the option for leaving feedback comments and returning a file with feedback to the student. block

Joule now offers a seamless integration between the platform and Moodle™. With the block users can view a dynamic list of internships available on the site as well as search for internship opportunities from within the Joule environment using the Internships block. This block includes Single Sign-on functionality that allows for automated user account provisioning and logon into utilizing the Web service.

Site users can use the block to:

  • Obtain career preparation and find opportunities.
  • Give prospective employers a way to reach them.
  • Sign on (SSO) automatically when they navigate to


~Laura Lea



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