March 2016 Moodle News and Events

Moodle Course Requests for Summer & Fall 2016

Moodle course request for Summer and Fall 2016 opens in SPIRE on Monday, April 4. For detailed instructions on requesting a Moodle course please see: How to Request a Moodle Course in SPIRE.

Reminder: How to Reuse a Previous Moodle Course

When course requests get underway, the Instructional Media Lab gets lots of calls and emails asking how to reuse a Moodle course taught in a previous semester.  For your own courses, this is a self-serve undertaking: First, request your new (empty) Moodle course, then, in the Admin block of your new course, click Import and search for the course you would like to reuse.  You can import all activities and resources, or just selected items. For details see: Reuse a Moodle Course using “Import”

New Form to Allow Another Instructor to Copy your Moodle Course

UMass Amherst considers the course content you have created to be your intellectual property. If you wish to to authorize UMass Amherst IT to grant another instructor access to your Moodle course content, please complete the form to Allow Another Instructor to Copy Your Moodle Course.

The new form provides guidance for you to clearly communicate with your colleague about the specific rights you are granting them for your original materials (time limits, permission to transfer course content to another institution, citation for your original materials, etc.), what content in the course is not yours, and whether you have received permission to use it, or if you are relying on fair use.

Moodle Turnitin (Legacy) Activities Discontinued

Last Spring, we upgraded our Turnitin service to “Turnitin 2” which runs on an distinct server from “Turnitin (legacy).” Since then, instructors have only been able to create new Turnitin assignments using the new service, but could copy legacy assignments forward.

As of this week, Turnitin (Legacy) assignments can no longer be duplicated or copied into a new course using the Import command. Turnitin (Legacy) assignments will have to be manually recreated in upcoming courses. For more, see Turnitin’s help page on creating a Turnitin assignment.


  • In courses from previous semesters (including Spring 2016), any Turnitin (Legacy) activities you may have used will remain available to you for grading matters or for students with incompletes until the course reaches its normal 18-month life and the course is removed from Moodle.
  • This change only affects Turnitin (legacy) activities. Turnitin assignments created since May 2015, are unaffected by the change and can be duplicated or carried forward using the course Import tool.

July Moodle Upgrade

In the first week of July, 2016, between Summer Sessions, Moodle at UMass Amherst will be upgraded to version 3.0. Overall, this upgrade will not result in significant changes to the user interface or loss of functionality. During the upgrade window, Moodle will be unavailable. Additional communications to follow.

March Moodle Update

Changes in Moodle made in March 2016 include:

  • Bug fixes to display of column averages and graphs in the Grader Report;
  • Questionnaire results no longer list Moodle “managers” as non-respondents;
  • Download of “Offline Grading” CSV now works consistently on all browsers.

Note: Feature development is on hold while our Moodle team prepares for June upgrade. Only bugs with no workarounds, and security updates will be added to Moodle between now and July.

Instructional Technology Workshops & Events

Digital Brown Bag Series

Bring a lunch, join the conversation, shape the future. Upcoming topics include:

  •  Data Visualization (Friday, April 1),
  • Lecture Capture (Friday, April 15),
  • Grading with Writing Improvement Tools (Friday, April 29),
  • Technology Successes and Challenges: 2015-16 Academic Year Wrapup (Friday, May 13).

For details and link to registration see  Digital Brown Bag Event Series.

Instructional Services Fair

Are you thinking about a class that you’re working on for the fall? Have questions about teaching you’ve always wanted to ask someone? The Instructional Services Fair will offer a one-stop opportunity to ask questions, discover solutions you may not have expected, and forge new connections. Come talk to instructional specialists from the UMass Amherst Libraries, Information Technology, The Institute for Teaching Excellence & Faculty Development, the Writing Program and Writing Center, Continuing and Professional Education, and the Learning Resource Center. Tuesday, May 3. Event Registration

Innovate@ Symposia

The Innovate@ team invites all full-time UMass Amherst faculty to apply to our inaugural Innovate@ Symposia—four-day workshops designed to put new technologies in the hands of faculty as we explore as a group how to push the limits of the traditional classroom through instructional innovations.
The first symposium will be May 16-19 and the second will be June 6-9. Space is limited to 15 faculty per symposium. For details and link to apply, see Innovate@ Symposium

Help and Resources for Instructors

To learn more about Moodle or to get help with instructional technologies, you can:

  •  Contact the Instructional Media Lab ( | 413-545-2823) with a question, or to set up a time for a one-on-one consultation.