iLearn is upgrading to the latest Moodle iteration in February 2019. As of 9 February, the version of iLearn you have been using for the last 2 years will look and navigate slightly differently. The changes aren’t drastic, but there is a new menu navigation tab and the way you edit, modify, navigate and maintain iLearn units will be different, so you need to get to know “how to turn on the lights in iLearn’s new house”.


With this upgrade we’re skipping 4 Moodle iterations in 1 go, so we’re very excited to bring our community the most up-to-date LMS we can deliver. Consultation with community members university-wide around major fixes, moving with the latest updates, easier navigation and the look and feel have culminated in this major upgrade.

This will affect all iLearn units, however you don’t need to worry. All iLearn units and their content will stay exactly where they are, it’s simply the façade that will experience some slight changes.

What you need to know

We’re getting a lot of the benefits of what people have been asking for in a change of LMS, but without the hassle of having to change much.

The design, colour scheme, week/module accordions and the general feel will be very similar to what you’re used to, with the major difference being that a new navigation window will now appear in the top left corner, and will be your all-purpose “Hamburger Navigation Menu” Tab.

Hamburger navigation icon image

For those who make edits in their units (Convenors, Learning Designers and other unit admins), the “Turn On Editing” button moves instinctively to underneath the “Settings” Cog in the top right corner (in line with most other apps and web functions).

New editing navigation menu image

Now is the time for all iLearn Users to get to know what will look different and the new navigation, so you don’t panic at the last minute at the start of session.

What will look different and how to navigate the new dashboard

The top 5 things you need to know about the upgrade –

1. Has anything gone?

You won’t lose anything you currently use in iLearn. This is a change in iLearn versions, not a completely new system so all the things you are familiar with will still be available. As we are just at the start of the upgrade process we will let you know if this changes.

2. What’s new – what do they do and how to use them?

The biggest change you will notice is the new layout and navigation menus. These changes have been made to make using iLearn more intuitive and improve the accessibility of the platform. There is also a new dashboard available that will make it clearer to all users when activities are due to allow for easier planning of study time for students and marking workload planning for academics.

new iLearn Dashboard

3. What will happen to my old units?

Your old units will still be available as usual, but they will also change to the new look and feel and navigation. You will be able to go back to old instances of your units if you need to retrieve any old information from them.

4. What information are students getting?

This is the first post of an continuing campaign right up until 9 February to inform all stakeholders about the changes that are coming. Students will be notified via a number of different channels to let them know of the changes. This will ramp up as we get closer to the release of the update.

5. Downtime and who it will affect

iLearn will be completely unavailable to all users from the evening of Friday the 8th of February 2019. The update will take a number of hours so iLearn will not be available for up to 24 hours. If you need access to some iLearn content during this time you will need to plan ahead and download anything you want to work on before the downtime begins.


Before the new interface goes live, step-by-step guidance notes on all the new navigation features will be published on the Staff portal.

For those who prefer face-to-face guidance, we will be running workshops and drop in clinics in the new year.

We will be informing students both now and in the new year, through email and Facebook, and will remind all community members of the changes close to the release date of 9 February.

Exceptional Track Record

You are in good hands. The Learning Technologies Team in the Learning Innovation Hub has done this type of major upgrade 4 times already and their track record is hugely successful. The team conducts fixes and upgrades constantly and you’re none the wiser, so all will go smoothly.


Our recommendation is to be prepared. Take time now to schedule a reminder notice that changes will come into effect on 9 February and give yourself enough time in February to familiarise yourself with the new navigation and features. There will be a downtime of up to 24 hours from the evening of Friday the 8th of February so plan ahead to allow for iLearn to be completely unavailable during this period.

Posted by Jeremy Hind

Jeremy is the Manager Application Services (Learning and Teaching).

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