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Upgrade to Moodle 4.0 or not?

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Moodle HQ proudly announced the release of Moodle LMS 4.0 and an improved user experience for Moodle’s 300 million users worldwide last week. Martin Dougiamas, Moodle’s Founder and CEO says, “Our job as makers of Moodle is to ensure the platform is as easy and simple to use as possible while maintaining our commitment to open source technology and best practices in online learning.   There is no platform that compares to Moodle’s deep features, but we know that the way in which people engage with technology has radically changed with the software that now pervades our experience.  This release addresses these changes and tackles our community’s most desired enhancements so that we can empower them to do amazing things more intuitively.”

What’s new in Moodle 4.0?

Below are the key features shipped with Moodle 4.0:

  • Simplified navigation
  • An improved course page and rejuvenated dashboard
  • Open-source virtual classroom – BigBlueButton
  • Quiz and Assignment get better
  • Ongoing focus on accessibility

You can see the full new feature images here.

Should you upgrade to Moodle 4.0?

If you are an educational institution, the answer is NO. I usually recommend using Long Term Support (LTS) releases for educational institutions. As per Moodle Roadmap, the current LTS is version 3.9 (you should make sure you are always using the most latest maintenance release 3.9.x to ensure your site is secured.

Moodle HQ announced that version 3.9 support is extended until 13th November 2023. That’s about 18 months from now.

This will allow all plugins and theme developers to convert their plugins to Moodle 4.x. Besides, you don’t want to end up with unknown errors disrupting your day-to-day operations. So upgrading to the next LTS which is Moodle 4.1 will ensure you are always using the most stable version with fewer bugs.

Things to consider before upgrading Moodle 4.x

  • Do your current theme upgraded to Moodle 4.x?
  • Do all your plugins upgraded to Moodle 4.x?
  • Do your Custom integrations require code changes?
  • Review your SSO plugins
  • Do you use a custom mobile app? Can you upgrade it?

Sam’s view

While many fancies shining new features of Moodle 4.x, stability, and operation should be prioritized. Institutions should create a clear migration plan and should always use LTS releases only.

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