AKO | LEARN Upgrade: A new version of Moodle is on the way!

Moodle 4 was created using feedback from educators and learners, and fixes many of the issues present in the current iteration of Moodle. Some of the big changes include: 

  • A new, clean layout with tabbed navigation 
  • Timeline view for learners, which shows a summary of important tasks to more easily visualise deadlines 
  • Collapsible and expandable content blocks throughout courses 
  • A course index, allowing users to quickly navigate to any section or activity in the course  
  • Smoother and easier drag-and-drop functionality for course creation 
  • Improved screen-reader accessibility options 
  • Generatable reports on a variety of topics 
  • The ability to save and reuse feedback on assessments. 

Additionally, Moodle 4 contains many other improvements for a variety of functions. If you would like to learn more, below are some videos on specific topics: 

Site navigation: Find your way around 

Moodle now hosts a visual indicator showing which content in a course has not been completed. This reduces the likelihood of a student missing an activity.  

Facilitation: Course Editing 

Editing has been streamlined with a simple ‘edit’ toggle that can be activated to manage any course content. A new feature allows course facilitators to send an optional notification to students alerting them of the addition of new course content or a substantial change to existing content.  

Quizzes: Question Bank 

The question bank has been updated with many new functions, including the ability to perform bulk actions on questions, comment on questions, and see question usage and visual statistics. 

Assessments: Assignment 

Assignments now have several new features, including a timing option and a separate section for assignment instructions.  

Activity tracking: Activity Completion 

Activities will now display any necessary student actions under a ‘to do’ header, making it easy to see what is required for course completion. Additionally, colour is used to convey activity completion, with colour indicators turning green when an activity is finished.  

While we’re looking forward to seeing all the positive changes of upgrading to Moodle 4, there is still quite a bit of work to be done before we upgrade to this new version. UC’s Moodle 4 upgrade is currently planned for December 2022. As this date grows closer, we’ll be sharing more Moodle 4 resources, hosting demonstrations and organising feedback workshops. 

If you have any unanswered questions around Moodle 4, contact the Moodle 4 transition team. We can be reached via: 

Pablo Taylor
Poutoko | Educational Technology team lead, Ohu Hoahoa Ako | Learning Design and Technology pablo.taylor@canterbury.ac.nz 

Daniel Grossman
Kairuruku Pūtere | Project Coordinator, Ako Anamata| Future Learning & Development daniel.grossman@canterbury.ac.nz 


Tips for Accessible Course Design

It is estimated that between 20-25% of students at the University have some form of visible or invisible disability (University of Canterbury, 2022). Given the number of students living with disabilities, it is essential that we create inclusive and accessible spaces at UC. One of the ways this could be done, is to focus on creating an accessible online space.  

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a longstanding framework for proactively designing accessible instructional materials across all learning environments (CAST, 2018). UDL, also known as design for all or inclusive design, consists of three guiding principles:  

  1. multiple means of presentation 
  2. action and expression, and  
  3. representation (CAST, 2018).  

These principles encourage academics to use accessible materials, delivery methods, and assessment strategies from the outset of the course. Below are a few tips you can use to make your AKO | LEARN site more inclusive and accessible to students: 

  • Have a clear, consistent and logical AKO | LEARN course layout. This includes following a consistent weekly or topic layout that will be easy for students to follow.  
  • Put key information in an easily accessible location, e.g., create a section for assessment information and assessment.  
  • Create accessible Word documents, PowerPoints and PDFs. Scanned documents cannot be processed by screen readers. Contact the library for support.   
  • Use descriptive hyperlinks when linking to a resource and avoid click here, More and Read more or adding the full hyperlink. E.g., AKO | LEARN vs. https://learn.canterbury.ac.nz/my/  
  • Use headings/paragraphs style available in AKO | LEARN. Headings allow readers to browse content by topical groups and provides context for users working through lengthy content. 


CAST. (2018). The UDL Guidelines. Retrieved from CAST: https://udlguidelines.cast.org/ 

Inclusive and Accessible Course Design. (2022). Retrieved from Victoria University of Wellington | Te Herenga Waka: https://learning.vicinnovate.ac.nz/accessible-course-design.html 

University of Canterbury. (2022). Te Ratonga Whaikaha|Student Accessibility Service. Retrieved from University of Canterbury: https://www.canterbury.ac.nz/accessibility/#