May Moodle News

Cow with flower crown with a green field background

End of the Spring 2019 Semester

We made it to the end of the semester! This month’s Moodle News includes information about Spring 2019 grades, our Summer workshops, Summer and Fall Moodle course requests, Echo360 course requests, Moodle tip of the month, What’s new in Moodle ,and Moodle help and resources.

Spring 2019 Grades are Due by Midnight, May 14

Grades need to be approved in SPIRE by Tuesday, May 14 at midnight. Final grades from the Moodle gradebook can be imported into your SPIRE grade roster any time during the grade-entry period.

For step by step instructions, see:

Preparing your Final Course Grades in Moodle
Import Grades from Moodle to SPIRE

Need help with grading in Moodle? If you would like to meet with a Moodle gradebook expert to review your gradebook before the end of the semester, please make arrangements soon! Contact the Instructional Media Lab at 413-545-2823, or

Please note Instructional Media Lab hours for the week leading up to Tuesday, May 14:

  • Monday, May 6- Thursday, May 9: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Normal hours).
  • Friday, May 10: 10:00 AM to Noon (Early closure — campus offices closed for commencement).
  • Monday, May 13 to Tuesday, May 14: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Normal hours).
  • Wednesday, May 15: 11:00 AM (Late opening—elevator testing in the W.E.B. Du Bois Library).

Summer 2019 Workshops!

Our Summer 2019 workshop session is starting! We’re offering options for working with Moodle and Echo360, creating and editing media in Camtasia, Getting started with blogs for your teaching and learning, how to use Qualtrics in the classroom and more. Check out the Instructional Innovation Events page for more information and to register.

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

Request your Summer & Fall Moodle Courses in SPIRE

Summer and Fall Moodle course requests are now available in SPIRE. Don’t forget that each semester you will need to request Moodle for the courses you are teaching.

For detailed instructions, see:

Request your Summer and Fall Echo360 Courses

Echo360 course requests for the Summer and Fall 2019 semesters are now available in SPIRE. 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: Include Empty Grades

Did you know that you have many Grade Category Options in the Moodle Gradebook? One of those options is Include empty grades. This feature may be helpful at the end of the semester.

By default Moodle is set to exclude empty grades from category and course totals. Excluding empty grades means that Moodle ignores items without grades assigned when calculating a student’s course total. This helps students see their current grade in a course. However, that requires you to add a “0” for each student who did not turn in work. If you have many items where no grade has been entered, you can set Moodle treat all empty grades a 0 instead of manually entering each one.

What’s new in Moodle?

On July 11, 2019, UMass Amherst will be upgrading to Moodle 3.5 to maintain security and accessibility requirements. Moodle 3.5 comes with an updated, mobile-friendly interface and a host of user-requested improvements. Check out our Highlights of Moodle 3.5 for more information about this upgrade.

To help instructors through this transition we will be offering a number of workshops to preview coming changes as well as hands-on workshops after the upgrade is complete. Register for the workshops on Instructional Innovation’s Event page.

Moodle Help and Resources for Instructors

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