Moodle - Differences Between v 2.6 and v 2.9


UW-Madison has adopted Canvas as its single, centrally supported learning management system. As of 6/1/2018, support for Desire2Learn (D2L) and most Moodle courses has been discontinued. Access to those courses has permanently ended. However, certain Moodle courses that are part of the Adanced Quizzing Content Functional Gaps project are still available on Moodle. Those courses are located on the Moodle Extension site.

This article will highlight the new features of Moodle v 2.9 and what you can expect to be different from the Moodle v 2.6, which is currently the version run at UW-Madison.

New Features of Moodle 2.9

For a quick guide highlighting the biggest new features with screenshots, visit the Moodle 2.7 New Features Page, Moodle 2.8 New Features Page, and the Moodle 2.9 New Features Page. For details on how to access the new Moodle 2.9 server see New Upgrade Strategy for UW-Madison Moodle Sites.

Gradebook Improvements

  • New scrolling feature allows horizontally and vertically scrolling.
  • New single view allows view either all grades of one student or a single grade item for all students.
  • Accessed from " Course>Grade administration>Grade history", new Grade History Report can be used to track specific students, graders and grade items. It is also possible to view only revised grades and to download the data in various format (e.g. csv, Excel/Libre Office spreadsheet)
  • New natural weighting method combines grades with a clearer interface and supports Extra credit, excluded grades and hidden grades.

User Interface Improvements
  • User Menu allows quick access to personal pages like My profile and My home
  • New modern appearance with improved responsiveness
  • New text editor, Atto, with Drag and Drop capabilities for images
  • New mathematical equation editor that allows complex symbols without needing Java
  • Text autosave - automatically saves text as you type until you publish/submit text
  • My private files - allows users to email private files as an attachment while saving these attachments until they're used
  • Enhanced Conditional activities to allow more streamlined restrictions and nested restrictions
  • Easily access server files from any course that you are enrolled in
  • Activity results can now be displayed as a block
  • Graded activities can now have a set "Grade to pass"
  • Course sections can now be deleted
  • Keyholders can now be given access information for self-enrolled courses
Dashboard (formerly My home)
  • My grades displays from all courses in the same server that a user is enrolled in
  • Profile page gives quick links to blog entries, forum posts, badges and more
  • Messages on profile page allows sending messages in pop-up window
  • Can now view all active sessions to check if you've logged out on other devices
  • Preferences page allows profile editing, updating forum notifications and more all on one page
Forum activity
  • New "Like" rating can be implemented as a single scale item similar to social media
  • Subscription to individual discussions and get email copies of only the replies you need
  • Links allow better navigation from previous to next thread
  • Ability to reply to forum post via email even with attachments
  • Easily post to all groups in a forum
Assignment activity
  • Control when to notify students of feedback via a checkbox
  • Setting a word limit and the ability to directly edit and comment on online assignments
  • New filtering features to track student submissions
  • Instructors can now be assigned permissions to delete/edit student submissions
  • Instructors can now attach files for students using "Additional Files" (e.g. example submissions, rubrics)
Choice activity
  • Ability to select more than one choice

Quiz activity

  • Updated Question bank that allows for users to more easily duplicate and move questions
  • Updated "Edit Quiz" screen that is more accessible and allows adding/managing questions more easily
  • Section headings now available 
  • Now possible to require that a particular question be answered before a subsequent one may be accessed
  • More professional display for responses and feedback 
  • Groups are now supported
  • User and group overrides now available
  • Improved essay grading interface
  • New completion condition - "Require time spent"


  • Display user pictures 
  • Embedded imaged and attached files can now be imported

For more technical and in depth information about the new features coming in Moodle 2.9, visit the Moodle 2.7 Release Notes Pag,Moodle 2.8 Release Notes Page, and Moodle 2.9 Release Notes Page.

Keywords:update, courses, new, class, online, 2.9   Doc ID:40149
Owner:Erica H.Group:Moodle
Created:2014-05-20 10:05 CSTUpdated:2018-03-05 16:56 CST
Feedback:  2   2