SMUG members came together in Stirling to share their summer upgrade stories, over coffee and a doughnut (or two). We were fortunate to have Michael step in for a colleague to deliver an active discussion around the new features in Moodle 3.4, which lead to further discussion around some of the features in Moodle 3.5.

New Features in Moodle 3.4
Michael Aherne, Senior Applications Analyst/Developer, University of Strathclyde

The slides don’t really capture the useful information that was discussed on the day. Some highlights were (based on my shaky sugar-infused recollection):

A full list of the new features in 3.4 can be found here.

As few institutions had moved to 3.5 (only 3 in the room), there wasn’t much to be said about the new 3.5 features that were being introduced. There was a conversation about the ability to directly record audio/video in the Atto editor – on the one hand talking about the potential to offer simple audio feedback options for lecturers, and on the other concerns about where content was stored and impact that might have on the network.

We talked about Moodle Desktop, but members struggled to see the point of offering app functionality on the desktop, aside perhaps for the ability to work offline (though no-one had plans to implement this).

Next up was James who gave a very detailed explanation of the upgrade process at West College Scotland. There’s quite a bit of detail in the slides below.

Moodle Rollover @ WCS
James MacNee, Systems Development Team Leader, West College Scotland

One offer that James made during the presentation was that he has collected a lot of scripts that he would be willing to share with the community. Everything from running a wide variety of reports to Moosh operations to set up Moodle for a new academic term. If you’re interested in this, just reach out to James on the SMUG mailing list at

At the end of the day, we discussed the dates of our next meeting – perhaps towards the end of September or the beginning of October. We’ll be looking for members to step forward with ideas for presentations – though one thing we’ll definitely be covering is how environments can be locked down to deliver online assessment. So, we’ll take a look at Safe Exam Browser vs. Respondus Lockdown Browser.

Okay, so that’s about it … we look forward to seeing you at the next SMUG get-together.