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Brian Neumann
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UCSF CLE Will Upgrade to Moodle 4.1

By Brian Neumann and Rebecca Frazee

The UCSF Collaborative Learning Environment (CLE) — our online teaching and learning space — will upgrade to Moodle 4.1 on July 5, 2023.

UCSF uses Moodle as its primary learning management system (LMS). At UCSF, we call it the CLE, which currently runs on Moodle version 3.11.

The upgrade to Moodle 4.1 will elevate the CLE user experience by adding new features and enhancements, and introducing a new contemporary look and feel that is fresh and intuitive. Users will notice the new tabbed navigation and overall redefined course experience, which will make it easier to create and edit courses, as well as prioritize and complete coursework.  

On this page, you can learn more about the CLE’s upcoming upgrade to Moodle 4.1, including information about where to find resources to help you prepare. 

Why are we upgrading to Moodle 4.1?

The decision to continue with Moodle comes after consideration of earlier LMS needs assessment efforts across UCSF and the upgrade to Moodle 4.1, which was informed by extensive user research (external via Moodle). 

The optimized Moodle 4.1 CLE, in addition to plug-ins and third-party tools, will help address user needs and common pain points and delight faculty, staff and learners with a modern, streamlined, and unified experience.

  • Moodle 4.1 will provide a more intuitive user experience:
    • If you’re new to Moodle, the upgrade will make learning how to use it even easier.
    • If you have been using Moodle, you don’t need to relearn the process; the upgrade will make it even easier and more intuitive for you.
  • Moodle includes security by design. In order to enjoy the latest security features on an ongoing basis, an upgrade to Moodle 4.1 is necessary.
    • Moodle consistently updates security features to prevent hacking, data loss and privacy-related issues.
  • Moodle is open-source, making it flexible and customizable.
    • Because Moodle is open-source, our team can customize and tailor the CLE to be responsive to the unique needs of various schools, courses, faculty and staff at UCSF.

In our effort toward continuous improvement, as we roll out the new CLE and suite of instructional apps and tools, we will actively gather your feedback to assess how these solutions are meeting your needs.

What does the CLE upgrade mean for me?

With the CLE upgrade to Moodle 4.1 on July 5, 2023, you will notice revisions and modernization to the user interface that improve the user experience.

How will it affect my courses?

  • You will still access all your online courses via the CLE at courses.ucsf.edu
  • Your existing courses will automatically be adapted to the new user interface.
  • Your existing course content will remain intact — no content will be deleted.
  • You can still import course activities and resources from old courses to new ones after the upgrade.
  • You can still copy courses from a course category or within a course after the upgrade.           

If you’d like to get a better understanding of what to expect:

  • Request a Moodle 4 ‘sandbox’ account to see how your existing courses will look in the new upgraded CLE. Request an account via the registration link. This may give you insight into how the course layout and design may change.

How will the CLE upgrade take effect?

There’s nothing you need to do for the upgrade to take effect. The upgrade will automatically apply to the UCSF CLE on July 5, 2023. Existing courses will automatically be adapted to the new user interface.  

Timeline: How can I prepare for the CLE upgrade to Moodle 4.1?  

The UCSF Learning Tech Group is testing the new CLE and creating user help documentation and training resources to prepare for an easy transition to the new upgraded CLE.

The following timeline is your preparation guide for the upgrade. We recommend bookmarking this page so you can refer back here to access training items as they become available: 

  • March 1, 2023—Moodle 4.1 test ‘sandbox’ environment open for users who request access. Request sandbox access so you can explore the new CLE environment and see how your courses will look and function.
  • May 16, 2023—Demo Session: Get to Know the Revamped & Improved UCSF CLE
  • June 13, 2023—Demo Session: Get to Know the Revamped & Improved UCSF CLE
  • July 5, 2023—Launch Day: CLE upgrades to Moodle 4.1.
  • July 6, 2023—Demo Session: Get to Know the Revamped & Improved UCSF CLE
  • July/August—New CLE (Moodle 4) Help Documentation Available
    • While a majority of the existing user documentation remains relevant, the LTG team is updating documentation to reflect the Moodle 4.1 CLE interface and navigation. The updated articles will be shared throughout the year and with the first wave expected in July/August.