Dear readers of the Viikon e-vinkki blog, the summer of 2012 will see upgrades of practically all learning environments administered by the eLearning Centre of Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences. The eLearning Centre will do its utmost to limit possible inconvenience for useres, but all who will be using the environments should be prepared for temporary interruptions in service.
The Linux operating system of the Moodle server, which runs Lappia Moodle, Lapin verkkokoulu Moodle and Lappia Open Moodle will be renewed in the Month of June (9 and 10 June to be exact). Any interruptions in service will affect all three Moodle installations and the Mahara installations networked with two of them.
After testing the new operating system, Lappia Moodle and Lapin verkkokoulu Moodle will be upgraded from version 1.9.+ to version 2.2.+ (or even straight to version 2.3.+) at the end of June (18 and 19 June to be exact). The move to Moodle 2 has been announced in several earlier articles in this blog (here, here, here, here and here). It will be the largest stride in terms of new functionality so far in the development of Moodle and all users should prepare themselves for it as best they can. One way to familiarise yourselves with Moodle 2 is to create an account in Lappia Open Moodle, which has been in version Moodle 2.2.+ since the beginning of this year.
The upgrade of the Moodle installations will be preceded by a rigorous clean-up operation. All courses that are without teachers will be permanently deleted! If you have lost access to some of your courses, it is very important to contact the eLearning Centre with the full title of your course(s) so that you can be returned to your course(s) before they are deleted. A circular message about this will follow (in Finnish). In addition to removing empty courses, all inactive users will be deleted from the database. If you have not been active in Moodle during the past year, you may want to log in to avoid being deleted!
The Moodle 2 upgrade may affect learning matter that you have in your courses. in certain cases links may be broken and will have to be restored. It would be therefore advisable to check your course materials in Moodle well in advance of the start of the autumn semester to ensure all works as it should. The help of the eLearning Centre can be enlisted if problems have occurred after the upgrade.
Summing up, all staff who use Moodle should prepare for the coming upgrade, to minimise the risk of surprises. Those who have planned using Moodle in summer education during the month of June should be prepared for interruptions in service and, where possible schedule their teaching around them. The exact dates and times for the upgrades will be announced among other places on the page www.etukipalvelut.fi.
The e-portfolio Mahara will be even more closely integrated with Moodle during the summer. When Moodle will be upgraded to version 2.3.+ Mahara will be upgraded to version 1.5.+ . We estimate this will be in the beginning of July. At this point two-way uploading and downloading between the environments should be possible, making Mahara a true repository for all course work carried out in Moodle and making Mahara for alumni a reality.
iLinc is due to be upgraded to version 11 during the summer of 2012. A new server will be installed for the purpose. iLinc 11 will feature an adapted interface, improved audio codec and, not in the last place, an integration with Moodle, so that users can acces iLinc directly from their Moodle courses.
Wiki and Blog
Finally, Lappia Wiki and Lappia Blog are also likely to be upgraded during the summer, July being the scheduled month, but these upgrades should not entail serious changes in functionality or any lengthy interruptions in service.
The whole system of usernames and passwords at the Lappia consortium will be overhauled during the month of July as part of the integration of the theLappia computer network into the LUC network with the networks of Lapland University and Rovaniemi UAS. This operation, which is carried out by the IT services of Lappia, will also entail interruptions in the accessibility of the learning environments administered by the eLearning Centre. These interruptions will also be announced in advance.