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 Moodle. For details see Moodle 2.8 Highlights.

Moodle Courses Open September 4

Moodle Courses will be opened mid-day, Friday, Sept. 4, 2015.  If you are not ready for students to view the course, you can hide it. Courses requested after Sept. 3 will have to be manually made available to student.  For more see Make your Moodle Course Available to Students.

Request your Moodle Course

If you haven’t yet requested Moodle for your Fall 2015 courses, you can do so in SPIRE.

For details see  Request your Moodle Course – Overview

Respondus Upgrade

Respondus is a Windows desktop application for creating and managing quizzes. The software is available for use by members of the UMass Amherst community. Quizzes can be printed to paper or published directly to your LMS. Respondus allows the bulk import of questions from a properly formatted text document, and is especially useful for instructors who need to move Quiz activities between Moodle and Blackboard.

The new version of Respondus (4.0.5) is required to connect to Moodle at UMass Amherst. For details on how to obtain and use Respondus, see Respondus: Enhanced Quizzing

August 2015 Workshops

Please join us for our August workshops, or contact us for one-on-one appointments to learn about a variety of topics, including:

What’s New in Moodle 2.8?
08/13/2015, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM;
or 08/27/2015, 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM

Join us for a short presentation and discussion of the new and improved features of Moodle 2.8.

Building a New Moodle Course
08/18/2015, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM;
or 08/25/2015, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
In this hands-on workshop, you will learn the basics of building a course Web site using Moodle. Instructors will be introduced to basic navigation, learn how to configure course settings, and practice adding content and activities to a Moodle course. This workshop does not cover the Moodle gradebook but provides a good foundation for further exploration.
PREREQUISITE: Must be a teacher or a TA with course-designer access in Moodle.

Moodle Gradebook Clinic
08/20/2015, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM;
or 08/26/2015, 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM
This clinic is for instructors who have experience using Moodle, and plan to use the Moodle Grade Book. Attendees will have the opportunity to work on improving and refining an existing Grade Book for their Moodle course.
PREREQUISITE: Must be a teacher or a TA with a current Moodle course.

“IT Under the Trees”: Mobile Video
08/26/2015, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Learn the fundamentals of video production with an iPhone or an iPad. You will learn how to shoot high quality video, techniques for shooting interviews, and will be introduced to several mobile video editing apps. NOTE: Part of this workshop will be conducted outside.
PREREQUISITE: This event is Bring Your Own Device (and your umbrella if it’s raining).

To Register, go to Instructional Technology Workshops. Click on “August 2015″ above the calendar. If you are asked to create an account, remember to register for the workshop after that!

Did you know? Academic Computing is happy to offer workshops for departments, groups, or individual instructors and TAs on request.

Get More Help Using Moodle

Can’t make it to a Workshop?  Don’t see the workshop you’re looking for?

  • Get help with Moodle online
    UMass IT Support Center Moodle ( help pages provide detail step-by-step instructions for setting up Moodle activities and features.
  • Atomic Learning (
    While our Moodle installation has many features not covered in these basic videos, and the videos cover a few features we have not implemented here at UMass, you may still find it useful to explore this 5 minute trainings.
  • Contact the Instructional Media lab for one-on-one consultations, phone or email support, at 413-545-2823, or