Blooming wattle

Recent improvements in Wattle

Approximately every month, Wattle goes through a release cycle to implement minor upgrades. Many of these are security updates, behind-the-scenes fixes, or small improvements you generally wouldn’t notice except that things work just a little better.  

Whenever possible, the ITS teams also implement requested improvements. Below are a few you may like to watch out for.

Tiles Course Format

The recently installed Tiles format allows you to display the topics and activities in a course as a matrix of tiles, rather than the familiar list of headings. Here is an example of a list of topics in a Wattle course:

This is the same course using the Tiles format: 

An animation illustrates a tile expanding to display the contents of that section: 

You can upload your own images for the tiles or choose from the colours and icons provided. Student progress can be shown if you’re using the completion tracking tools. To try this in your own sandpit (before applying it to your real course, of course), go to the Cog menu (top right) > Edit Settings > Course format > Tiles. For more details, see the related guides in the Wattle Manual: 

Tiles Format  

  • Set Tiles Format and options  
  • Choose Icons for Tiles  
  • Choose Images for Tiles.

Quiz settings – defaults set for exams 

The defaults for the Wattle Quiz activity have been changed so that when you create a new quiz, it will begin with the options most frequently chosen for exams. All the other settings are still available for you to choose from as you create your quiz. There are no changes to existing quizzes or to copies of quizzes (e.g. created during course roll-over). 

Gradebook export for SAS 

A new export format has been added to the Wattle Gradebook to make it easier to extract results from Wattle and upload them to SAS. We have interviewed all the Colleges to understand how this process happens each semester and we have a few more minor changes to implement. If you would like to be part of this conversation, please contact

Elsewhere on Wattle 

This feature has been available for a while now, and you may have used it without really noticing. If you go to upload a file in Wattle, and you don’t use the drag-and-drop option, you’ll see that the File Picker now includes the Elsewhere on Wattle option, allowing you to reuse a file already uploaded to any of your other courses. 

On the Horizon 

Wattle is based on the open-source software, Moodle. The ANU Wattle platform is currently running on Moodle version 3.9. The Moodle community is in the process of releasing a major upgrade to Moodle version 4.0, which will introduce much smoother and more modern navigation throughout the environment. See details for Moodle 4.0 here. Depending on when version 4.0 is released, if it proves to be stable, we hope to upgrade Wattle in the next year or so. 

February 2022

Jenny Edwards, Learning Environments, Centre for Learning and Teaching