Digital Brown Bag Event Series

Bring a lunch, join the conversation, shape the future Every other week, we get together over lunch and talk about innovative learning and teaching practices at UMass Amherst. We invite anyone interested in these topics to join us for a series of brown bag lunches. Bring your lunch, your curiosity, your opinions, and any great stories you can share about these…

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Moodle News January 2016

Reminder: Removal of Old Moodle Courses On February 15, 2016, access to Moodle courses taught up to and including Spring 2014 will be removed from Moodle at UMass Amherst. Please backup any course content you do not wish to lose, including course materials, grades and student submissions. For help, see Backup Your Moodle Course. To…

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First 5 minutes of class

The Spring 2016 semester is here, and you’re probably ready to jump into teaching. But first, you have to get your students’ attention!  Here is something that could help – take a look at this advice from The Chronicle of Higher Education: Small Changes in Teaching: The First 5 Minutes of Class: Four quick ways to shift students’ attention from life’s distractions…

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iClicker Software Update

i>clicker 7.4.6 update: If you’re using i>clicker software, please run the “Check for Update”  to download the most recent version of i>clicker 7. Staying current with the latest i>clicker release helps your classes run smoothly. The newest available release is version 7.4.6. This is an optional update, however, updating to this version ensures access to the very…

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Is Your Moodle Course Ready for Spring 2016?

With Spring 2016 classes set to begin on Tuesday, Jan. 19, we have some information to help make sure you are ready for the start of the semester: Most Moodle courses open to students on Friday, Jan. 15 Make sure your TAs have access to Moodle How to request your Spring 2016 on-campus Moodle courses…

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Getting the Most Out of Peer Instruction (with Clickers!)

Looking for a detailed guide to provoking rich, focused discussions among students in your courses, even large ones? Peter Newbury of UC San Diego has a great set of procedures and recommendations for how to use audience response tools like i>clicker to do just that. “Peer instruction is a powerful, evidence-based instructional strategy that supports…

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Moodle News November 2015

The last day of classes for Fall 2015 is Friday, Dec. 11, and final exams are on the horizon. We have some important Moodle grading and end-of-semester information for you, including: Get help with Grading in Moodle You must approve your course grades in SPIRE before midnight on Monday, Dec. 28. The instructional Media Lab will be…

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December 2015 – January 2016 Workshops

Please join us for our December 2015 – January 2016 workshops, or contact us for one-on-one appointments to learn about a variety of topics, such as: UMass Amherst IT Faculty Support Open House Instructional Innovation at UMass Amherst Presentation Design Lecture Capture Information Session (Echo360) Managing Student Video Projects User Group Photosharing: Teaching and Learning…

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Moodle News October 2015

With midterm past, and the end of the semester in sight, we want to remind you that our friendly and capable consultants in the Instructional Media Lab are available to assist you with importing exam scores, working with your Moodle Gradebook, and other seasonal Moodle activities. The Instructional Media Lab has moved The Instructional Media…

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IML Move and Moodle News September 2015

The Instructional Media Lab is Moving to the Du Bois Library The Instructional Media Lab (IML), your home base for Moodle support, is moving from Lederle Lowrise, to the W. E. B. Du Bois Library. For most of you, this will make our offices easier to get to. We look forward to seeing you in…

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Teaching Anthropology of/Through Games

hand of cards

UMass Amherst Anthropology Professor Krista Harper (blog and Twitter) recently published an excellent two–part article on her experiences teaching a Fall 2014 Commonwealth Honors College on “Anthropology of/through Games,” and on game-based pedagogy in theory and practice generally. See also: our post on Using Games to Explore and Experience Complicated Issues If you are interested…

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Moodle News August 2015

MOODLE COURSES OPEN FRIDAY, SEPT. 4 Fall’15 Moodle courses will be made available to students on Friday, Sept. 4, starting at approximately 12 p.m. If you are not ready for students to see your course, you can hide individual elements of the course, or you can wait until after the automatic release, then hide the…

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It’s Time to Upgrade to iClicker 7

We’re happy to announce that UMass Amherst i>clicker 7 software package is now available for download. This latest release integrates i>grader into i>clicker app as a Gradebook feature and provides better ease of use, improved stability and access to new and improved polling features. Downloading and using i>clicker 7 Please visit IT Support Center’s i>clicker Support…

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Moodle News and August 2015 Workshops

Moodle Upgrade On Tuesday June 30, 2015 UMass Amherst upgraded Moodle to version 2.8. This upgrade continues to make Moodle more usable and efficient. The Moodle team at UMass Amherst is especially excited to see that many of the modifications we previously added to our Moodle Gradebook have been incorporated into the official release of…

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Personalized Learning

This is video series produced by an ed tech consulting company on the buzzy but still hazily-defined topic of personalized learning in higher ed:

http://e-literate.tv/series/personalized-learning/

The series mainly consists of interviews with students, faculty, and administrators at Middlebury College, Essex County College, and Arizona State University, examining the programs and policies these institutions have adopted to provide their own brand of personalized learning. This series of video case studies has just finished up with a set of videos on UC Davis. Very interesting discussion.

Echo360 Unavailable Friday July 24, 12 a.m. – 5 a.m.

Echo360 will be unavailable on Friday, July 24, from approximately 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. EST for scheduled maintenance. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: You will not be able to log in to the Echo System Server or publish recordings during the downtime. Your students will not be able to view recordings that are hosted on the Echo…

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The Story of Your Life on Earth

It’s no secret, we love technology here at IT (well, at least most of the time). We spend our days working with tech and assisting faculty and academic support staff. Quite often we’re tasked with predicting the future of instructional tech. We give presentations and teach about the newest and most promising instructional tools, we…

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Moodle Unavailable Morning of July 18

Due to a major network modernization upgrade in our data center on Saturday, July 18, 2015, starting at 5:30 a.m. and throughout the morning, Moodle will be unavailable. If you have concerns about this maintenance or if you are having trouble accessing Moodle after the upgrade, contact IT User Services at 413-545-9400. For updates during…

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Using Games to Explore and Experience Complicated Issues

Games and game-like activities can make the process of thought visible to players, and help them explore issues and topics that are difficult to understand except through experience and interaction. This is the theory of procedural rhetoric, which “argues that games can make strong claims about how the world works—not simply through words or visuals…

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Spring Cleanup and Moodle Updates

Spring 2015 Cleanup We recommend that you review your course and back up what you need for future reference: Download a CSV file of the gradebook and copies of any student-submitted materials (e.g., assignments or other activities) as PDFs in case you need to refer to them later. Make sure you have copies of your…

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Echo360 Unavailable June 6 (8 p.m. – 12 a.m.)

Echo360 will be unavailable on Saturday, June 6, from approximately 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. EST for scheduled maintenance. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: You will not be able to log in to the Echo System Server or publish recordings during the downtime. Your students will not be able to view recordings that are hosted on…

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Summer 2015 Workshops

Please join us for our Summer 2015 workshops, or contact us for one-on-one appointments to learn about a variety of topics, including: Building a New Moodle Course Intro to Video Editing: Final Cut Pro X Intro to Video Editing: Adobe Premiere Pro Screencasting with Camtasia (Mac) “IT Under the Trees”: Instagram Screencasting with Camtasia (Windows)…

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April 2015 Moodle Updates

Need help with grading in Moodle? Grades need to be approved in SPIRE just before midnight on Tuesday, May 12. If you would like to meet with a Moodle Gradebook expert to review your gradebook before the end of the semester please contact the Instructional Media Lab at 413-545-2823, or instruct@umass.edu. Final grades from the Moodle…

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Teaching with Google Classroom

If you’re looking for a Learning Management System option for a small, intimate classroom setting, Google Classroom may be the right fit. Classroom is Google’s most recent foray into educational technology, acting as hub for all of the work you are already doing with your students using Google Docs and Google Drive. Here is a 10…

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