Transition to #Moodle 2.0 @moodlerific

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A colleague recently wrote to ask the following:
Did you upgrade from 1.9 or did you just install 2.0 (or both)?
The answer? I've done both. The only way to move a 1.9 site to 2.0--or so I've found--is to upgrade the Moodle instance from 1.9 to 2.0, upgrading all the courses in that Moodle instance. That is, upgrade the PHP/MySQL to meet Moodle 2.0 requirements, convert MySQL databases to INNODB and then do the standard upgrade process.

Melissa at asks some great questions worth considering, and which I'll reflect on at the end of this blog entry:

  1. When to upgrade?
  2. How much training will users need?
  3. How do I go about telling users about the change that is coming?
  4. How do I make the “change” be a good thing to our users and not another hurdle and “another thing to learn”?
  5. All themes are new – should I remove all old ones?
  6. Make a pilot group for Moodle 2.0?
  7. What about modules users currently use that aren’t in Moodle 2.0?
  8. I’m not familiar with the real use of the Gradebook and Quiz – are there big differences?
  9. Where to go for help?

Stepping through it, I backed up my Moodle 1.9 instances, then transitioned the server to a new version of PHP/MySQL, made adjustments, then used phpMyAdmin to import the Moodle 1.9 instances as databases.

Once that was done, I converted all the Moodle 1.9 databases from MyISAM to INNODB, as described in the tip listed here.

Then, I wiped out the contents of the Moodle folder with all the php files that connect to the database, leaving the config.php file intact. I copied in Moodle 2.0 replacement files into the Moodle folder.

Once that was done, I accessed the Moodle admin page at http://servername/moodle/admin and began the upgrade for the Moodle instance. The upgrade converts all the courses.

That pretty much was the process.

In regards to Melissa's questions, wow, where to start? I don't have easy answers for these...I suspect that upgrading Moodle will be much easier than switching folks who have grown comfortable with Moodle 1.9 to Moodle 2.0. So, for now, allow me to share my response...I will certainly discuss these answers with my team of awesome professionals, as well as solicit feedback from the Moodle-ing teachers in my situation:

When to upgrade?
This question isn't hard to figure out the answer to in a K-12 school setting. When would upgrading be easiest, assuming complete disaster were to occur during the attempt such as a server failure and restoring from backup on a fresh machine, and least inconvenience users? The answer is Summer, 2011 during the month of June. This has already been decided upon in my setting after reflection and we've begun letting everyone know that Moodle will be inaccessible. We're also inviting folks to try out Moodle 2.0 in a sandbox with the understanding that the sandbox can't handle LARGE classes of students all at once.

How much training will users need?
Starting in July, 2011 we'll offer training on Moodle as we always do, and upgrade our professional learning materials. Fortunately, Mary Cooch's book on Moodle 2.0 - Teaching 7-14 Year olds will be out to replace the Moodle 1.9 version of that book (at least, that's what we're counting on!). For those who have to make the transition from Moodle 1.9 to 2.0, we've all reviewed 2.0 and don't think the changes are THAT drastic. But we'll offer a few classes to bridge the gap between the two Moodle versions.

How do I go about telling users about the change that is coming?
Again, I would offer any NEW classes on teaching online using Moodle 2.0 and not look back. For those that would like to see the differences between the two Moodles, offer them scaffolded sandbox professional learning opportunities so they can play. Also, make announcements reassuring folks that their Moodle 1.9 courses will be upgraded to the new version...and that no data will be lost during the upgrade, although the "look-n-feel" will change. I expect that theme development for 2.0 will be easier, so we won't lose our distinctive look.

How do I make the “change” be a good thing to our users and not another hurdle and “another thing to learn”?
Attitudes towards change and lifelong learning are something we all have control over individually. I would focus on the benefits Moodle 2.0 brings and share those via monthly Moodle webinars or video walkthroughs. We haven't done that yet, and I'm hoping that a new communication plan will get folks focused on what they can do.

All themes are new – should I remove all old ones?
If by this one means that we should throw out all the Moodle 1.9 themes, well, probably but I'd focus on maintaining a consistent look to minimize the appearance of change.

Make a pilot group for Moodle 2.0?
What a great idea! Have a small number of regular Moodlers embrace Moodle 2.0 and then have them create the short video walkthroughs or tutorials for moodle. Of course, you can't do this unless you have a sandbox running with Moodle 2.0 and that may not be possible for you until you upgrade.

What about modules users currently use that aren’t in Moodle 2.0?
There's no reason that you can't run Moodle 1.9 and 2.0 concurrently on the same server provided you have upgraded your MySQL/PHP installation. However, I'd be clear about Moodle 2.0 and the timeline for upgrades to non-standard modules/blocks in use. For example, my list of favorite Moodle blocks/modules IS the standard in my Moodle installation. I'm hoping these items will have been upgraded to work with Moodle 2.0 by June, 2011 when the transition is made.

As to other questions, it wouldn't do to try and answer all of them today, now, would it?

For now, join and participate online at MoodleMayhem @ Facebook

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


melissa said…
Great post - I will have to take a closer look at the database changes. Is this for most all upgrades?

Good to know that the sandbox idea is working for you. Are they actually using it with students? If so, how are you planning on merging those two installs, so teachers can keep those courses? (or backup/restore?)

Or is it just "throw away" sandbox and not so much a pilot type thing.

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