This document will give you basic information on upgrades, types of upgrades, upgrade processes, and varying criteria.
Before You Begin
Iterative Versus Long-Term Upgrades
There are two main plans/pathways for Moodle upgrades. They are:
Iterative - Iterative upgrades come more often (at least once per year) and contain fewer changes and new features in each.
Long-Term (LTS) - These upgrades come less frequently, and have many new changes and features. With LTS, the iterative releases are combined in one big package.
If your organization relies on a lot of specialty plugins or custom coding, you will want to use LTS upgrade versions of Moodle. Using an LTS upgrade will allow third-party developers to update their plugins, and will save you on iterative development costs for custom code. Most academic clients of Moodle US are on the LTS upgrade path.
Your site is probably an ideal candidate for iterative upgrades if it meets the following conditions:
Has under 10k users
Is not ruled by a committee
Users seem to have less anxiety about new tools, systems, and features
Has few or no customizations
If your site meets the conditions above, then your site may be an ideal candidate for iterative upgrades. Iterative upgrades will ensure that little improvements and features are released in small batches. This upgrade process will allow users to get used to new experiences and begin using improvements at a slower and more relaxed pace.
What happens when it is time to upgrade?
To get started, you will submit a ticket to the Helpdesk. If you submit a ticket requesting an upgrade, we typically begin by making a copy of your production site (Note: this is not always the case).
Once the copy is made, we upgrade the copy. This upgraded copy is your "Test Upgrade."
We upgrade a copy of your production site so that we avoid any surprise issues when it is time for the “Live Upgrade.”
When the upgrade of the copy is complete, we let you view it. You can log in and look around, and we recommend that you test things like the gradebook, quizzes, SCORMs, and more, to make sure that they work properly. We highly recommend that you test from a student perspective, a teacher perspective, and as a site admin.
Once you are satisfied that everything looks good and is working, reply to your ticket to let us know and we will schedule your Live Upgrade for a time that suits you and your users (including evenings, weekends, etc.).
If your site has custom development, our tech team will work with you to provide timelines for code upgrades to ensure a smooth transition.
What does it cost?
In most cases, your site upgrade costs nothing if coordinated with Moodle US. However, there may be a cost associated with upgrading a site if you have custom code.
If your organization uses custom code, then some site upgrades may have a development cost involved if your custom code needs to be updated to be compatible with the new version of Moodle. These charges must be approved before development work begins, so we are not trying to surprise anyone with upgrade-associated costs.
Additionally, your organization may choose to purchase training related to the new features so that you can get the most out of any upgrade. Periodic free webinars may also be available on the Moodle Academy website for additional learning.