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 entire course.

If you request a course on Sept. 4 or later, it will not be automatically released to students and it will remain hidden until you set the course to be available to students. For more on hiding or releasing courses, see: Important Settings for your Moodle Course.

 

MOODLE UPGRADED IN JUNE 2015

Moodle was upgraded on June 30 to version 2.8. The interface hasn’t changed much at all, so if you used Moodle before, you should still be able to find your way around. We have added some great new features, including interface enhancements including a new, modern Text Editor, Gradebook improvements, and more intuitive settings for creating Groups and setting up Restricted Access. For upgrade details see: Moodle 2.8 Highlights.

 

REQUEST YOUR FALL 2015 MOODLE COURSES IN SPIRE

To request Moodle for your on-campus courses (you must be listed as the primary instructor), log in to SPIRE with your NetID and password. In the Main Menu, go to Faculty Home > Moodle Course Request. You will go through a series of pages that will gather information about your course. For more, see Request a Moodle Course through SPIRE.

 

COPY A PREVIOUS MOODLE COURSE TO FALL 2015

Each semester you teach a class, you will need to request a new Moodle course (see above). Once the new, empty Moodle course shell has been created, you can use the Moodle “Import” tool to copy content from the previous course into the new course shell. For step-by-step instructions on using “Import,” see Reuse a Moodle Course Using Import.

You can import a course you taught in a previous semester, or a course belonging to another instructor if you have their permission to copy it. After you copy a previous semester’s course, be sure to update due dates, check for hidden activities, update your syllabus, etc. You will need to delete and rebuild Turnitin (legacy) assignments, and re-link OWL links to your OWL course for the new semester. Use the “Edit dates” tool to change due dates, access dates, cut-off dates, etc., for multiple activities at once. For more on the “Edit dates” tool, see Edit Dates for Multiple Activities & Resources in Moodle.

New, in Moodle 2.8, you can copy only selected items from a course you previously taught, rather than having to import the entire course.  See Reuse a Moodle Activity or Resource using Import

 

TA ACCESS TO MOODLE

Your TA must be listed in SPIRE as a “Teaching Assistant” in order to have access to your Moodle course. TAs are enrolled in your course by your Department Scheduling Representative.

By default, TAs automatically receive access to Moodle in the role of “Non-Editing Teacher,” which allows them to access course resources and activities, and read and grade student submissions. For more details on this process, including how to give a TA permission to add content to your course, see Access to Moodle for Teaching Assistants.  

 

WE’RE MOVING!

The Instructional Media Lab and UMass IT Faculty Support Staff will be moving to the 7th floor of Du Bois Library early this Fall. Stay tuned for details. In the meantime as you gear up for the new semester don’t hesitate to contact us for assistance with technologies for teaching and learning.

 

SUPPORT & TRAINING FOR INSTRUCTORS

To learn more about Moodle, you can:

If you have any questions about using Moodle for Fall 2015, please contact the Instructional Media Lab (instruct@umass.edu | 413-545-2823).