Joule 2 December 2013 Release

Release Date: 12/26/2013 11 PM, local time of data center (ET, CET, SST)

Major Features

For more detailed information on the new features available in this release, please see the Release Brief

Upgrade to Moodle Core 2.5.3 (Joule & Power)

Requirements: Minimum browser support has not changed in this release, but IE8 will no longer be fully supported by Moodle in versions 2.6 and beyond. Please see the Moodle 2.5 Release Notes requirements section

Moodle 2.5 Major Features (Joule & Power)
  • Open Badges integration
    • Badges may be awarded manually or for course or activity completion. Users can choose to display their badges in their Moodle profile and in their Mozilla backpack.
  • Forms improvements
    • Improvements to the usability of big complex Moodle forms in general
    • Reduced size description field with collapsible editor
  • Enrollments
    • You can now search the list of users enrolled in a course
    • New option for preventing new self-enrollments in the course
    • All PayPal-supported currencies are available for use in Paypal enrollment. New PayPal enrollment setting 'Enrollment expiration action'. Restored support for PayPal enrollments.
  • Assignment activity
    • New assignment settings for handling resubmissions
    • Assignment settings page improvements
  • Quiz activity
    • Option to auto-save during quiz attempts
    • Question editing forms improvements
    • Better grading for partially correct Cloze questions with Interactive behavior
    • Defaults for when a question is previewed
    • Essay questions can have a template, so the student starts answering from the template, not a blank editor
  • Resources
    • Added book print dialogue link
    • New folder resource setting to display folder contents on the course page
    • New folder resource setting to display sub-folders expanded or collapsed
    • Option to drag and drop a media file onto the course page to create a label
    • Option to drag and drop text onto the course page to create a label
  • Course listings
    • Course listings are displayed consistently throughout the site
    • Course settings option to add images and other files to course summaries, displayed in course listings
    • Categories edit page is separated from view and does not depend any more on global editing mode
  • Drag and drop improvements
  • Drag and drop file upload progress indicator in filepicker
    • Block drag & drop now works throughout the site (not just on course pages)!
  • Forum activity
    • New forum setting 'Display word count'
  • And much more! For the full Moodle 2.5 release notes, see:
Important Differences
  • Joule reverted a name change made to the Settings block in order to reduce any confusion between semesters. The block will be renamed to the 'Administration Block' in the Summer 2014 release.
  • Bootstrap Themes will be unavailable in the Winter 2013. Joule will fully support Bootstrap based themes in Summer 2014.
  • The quiz auto-save feature will be set to 5 minutes by default.

Advanced Forum (Joule & Power)

  • Printing/Export: All posts for a forum can be printed or exported to a csv file. Furthermore the export can be refined to just a specific user, discussion or both.
  • Accessible View: Moodlerooms has added a completely accessible view of the forum to better support browsers with and without a screenreader. Improvements include a simple editor for posting (by default), a significant reduction in the amount of necessary page reloads, and significant improvements to the layout, navigation and general usability We would like to extend a special thanks to Aaron Page, Marlene Zentz and Robert Squires of the University of Montana, the National Federation of the Blind, and the Moodle Accessibility Group for their collaboration in this project.
  • Latest News Integration: We have extended the Latest News block to allow it to create Advanced Forums instead of Core Forums in newly created courses. This will provide clients with the ability to have completely accessible forums until the enhancements can be made to the Core Forums.

Joule Grader (Joule & Power)

  • Display Only User Posts: A new user preference has been added for advanced forums in Joule grader that will allow the client to display only the posts of the user they are grading without any context for the discussion.
  • Moodle 2.5 Updates: Moodle 2.5 added a new versioning system to Assignments. This system allows attempts on an Assignment to be separated out. Joule grader will be updated to support these new features.

Express (Joule & Power)

Backwards compatibility support for Express designs created in Joule 1 will be removed in Summer 2014. If your design originated in Joule 1, please ensure you have taken the steps to upgrade it in the Convert Express 1 to 2 Tutorial

Plugin Reviews and Updates (Joule & Power)

Note:  The plugins listed below will only be made available on your site by request.

New Plugins

eXplorance BPI

The Blue Portal Integrator (BPI) provides capabilities that let administrators quickly integrate Blue surveys and course evaluation functionality into the Moodle platform and configure them in ways that fit specific needs and also raises response rates for target audiences.

Updated Plugins

  • Attendance version 2013070301
  • Certificate version 2013102300
  • Course Merchant version 2013101600
  • Drag-and-Drop Question Type version 2013062411
  • LightboxGallery version 2013051300
  • Luminis Message Broker version 2013080202
  • Kaltura Video Package version 2013071801
  • MoodleTxt version 2013112901
  • Questionnaire version 2013120200
  • Turnitin Direct version 2012120408

Bug Fixes and Minor Enhancements (Joule & Power)

Product Bug/Enhancement Resolution
Accessibility Tabbing in course outcome sets page navigates to two invisible links Fixed
Accessibility Screen reader wrongly announcing Define rubric page Outcomes Fixed a bug where JAWS was incorrectly announcing Select Outcome link as a button
Accessibility User unable to delete associated Course or activity Outcomes using keyboard Fixed focus when navigating to delete icon using keyboard
Accessibility Site wide Outcome sets and nested outcomes are keyboard inaccessible Improved tabbing ability
Accessibility Select Outcomes link in an activity is Keyboard inaccessible Improved tabbing ability
Conduit Conduit schema updates for Moodle 2.5 The Course "completionstartonenrol" field has been removed
External Tool Add institution role for site admins in LTI Site admins now pass the institution and system role for administrators in LTI
Course Converters Bulk Course Restores break in 1.9 > 2.X Course Converter when Moodle backup > Joule's Moodle version Fixed
Data Collectors Errors in Collect Cron Crash Cron Process Improved graceful error handling to the grade data collection cron
Express White on White Feedback Files in Assignments Fixed this issue affecting Drop Shadow based templates and designs in Express
Express Cannot Use Custom Colors with Express Templates Fixed an issue affecting Express in Moodle 2.5
Express Drag and Drop not working with Minimal based designs Fixed an issue affecting Express in Moodle 2.5
Express Old Express Design with Header and Footer Files Breaks after Winter 2013 Upgrade Fixed an issue affecting backwards compatibility support in Moodle 2.5. This backwards compatibility support will be removed in Summer 2014 - please see Express important note above.
Joule Gradebook Joule gradebook not displaying in course Fixed an issue with Joule Gradebook when a gradebook category is set to gradetype: None
Joule Gradebook Feedback text editor is cut off in Joule Grader The text in the Feedback editor continues to fit within the allotted space when the grading pane space is reduced

Late Additions (Joule & Power)

Plugin Reviews and Updates

Note: The plugins listed below will only be made available on your site by request.

Plugin Updates

The plugins listed below will only be made available on your site by request.

  • Adobe Connect version 2013022702
  • Blackboard Collaborate version 2013080201
  • Blackboard IM version 2013072201
  • Blackboard Wimba version 2013082601
  • Quickmail version 2013062611

Bug Fixes and Minor Enhancements (Joule & Power)


The Google Apps integration has changed slightly because of the change of encryption method for user passwords. Users must log into Joule first after user creation or password changes for their password to synchronize with Google Apps. Existing users are unaffected unless they change their passwords

Product Bug/Enhancement Resolution
Advanced Forums Issues around focus When opening a thread, the viewport is scrolled to the top of the thread, and 'aria-expanded' was added to assist screenreaders.
Advanced Forums Provider an easier method for switching to the accessible view using a screenreader Added a link for screenreaders only to assist in switching to the Accessible view
Conduit Conduit Web Service Returns Success for Enrollment That Failed Added a warning for enrollment records created via Conduit web services when either the matching User, Course or Role has not yet been created
Course Converters Course Converters should truncate answer text appropriately Question answers are truncated to 255 characters on conversion
Folder View Manager Role Cannot use Drag and Drop Within Folder View Course Fixed
Flexpage Cannot Hide Activities in Flexpage Fixed
Google Apps Integration Optimize Google Apps Integration performance Significantly improved the performance of user sync's between Joule and Google Apps. In addition, fixed support for synchronization of user passwords.
Joule Gradebook Allow suspended users to be hidden in Joule Gradebook Added parity with the new Moodle Gradebook feature in 2.5
Joule Reports Clicking on calendar icon collapses filter menu Fixed an issue with calendar usage in Joule Reports
Moodle Core Missing context path results in deletion of all site contexts Fixed a critical issue that could cause massive data loss in very rare cases. See MDL-43367 for more information.