January 2019 Moodle News!

The Moodle cow in front of a fireworks display

New Year, New Tech!

Happy New Year to all our instructors! This Moodle News includes information about Winter Session Workshops, Fall 2018 Grades Due, Requesting Moodle Courses, Requesting Echo360 Courses, Moodle Tip of the Month, What’s New in Moodle, and Moodle Help and Resources.

Winter Session Faculty Support Workshops Announced

If your New Year’s resolutions include incorporating new technology in your course, or redesigning your course materials, join us for our Winter 2019 workshops! We’re here to help support instructors get comfortable with teaching technology, learn new ways to use technology to engage students, and make course content accessible to all students. Join us to learn about what’s new, and how to reinvigorate familiar technology in your teaching.

Can’t decide which workshops to take? Have questions? Contact the Instructional Media Lab for help in deciding which workshops are right for you. Call us at 413-545-2823 or email instruct@umass.edu

Fall 2018 Grades Due January 2, 2019

Fall 2018 semester grades are due in SPIRE by 12pm, noon, on January 2, 2019. You can import your grades from Moodle directly into SPIRE with the click of a button. Don’t forget to approve the grades you import!

Request Your Moodle Course in SPIRE

Moodle course requests are open for Spring 2019. Don’t forget that each semester you will need to request Moodle for the courses you are teaching. Once your new Moodle course is ready, you can start adding content or import content from previous courses you’ve taught. Spring Moodle courses will open automatically for students on Monday, January 21, 2019.

For details, see:

Request Your Echo360 Courses in SPIRE

You can request your Echo360 courses in SPIRE for Spring 2019. Just like Moodle, each semester you will need to request Echo360 for the courses you want to use it in. While making your request you can specify that you’d like to:

  • Automatically record in-person class meetings in Classrooms Equipped with Lecture Capture.
  • Re-use recordings from a previous semester.
  • Create screencasts and record custom lessons for students to watch outside of class with Echo360 Personal Capture.

For step by step instructions, see Request Lecture Capture. Once your Echo360 courses are ready, it’s easy to give students access to Echo360 recordings through Moodle.

Moodle Tip of the Month: Manage backups of your Moodle course

Moodle courses at UMass are available for instructors for 18 months after the end of the semester in which they were taught. You can preserve your course content and archive student work and material in a few easy steps. You can create and download a Moodle backup file for your course. Once you have it downloaded you can store it on UMass Box or on your local machine.

Because Moodle (.mbz) backup files cannot be opened outside of Moodle, and do not include student submissions or grades, at the end of every semester, you should also download course content and capture student work and grades in file formats you can open on your own computer.

What’s new in Moodle?

UMass Amherst IT is planning to keep Moodle at UMass Amherst and Open UMass on Moodle version 3.1 for the 2018-19 academic year.

We may periodically add features and will perform security updates during our regularly scheduled update window (Thursday mornings), but no major upgrade is planned at this time.

Moodle Help and Resources for Instructors

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