June 2019 Moodle News

Aerial view: a point piece of island at the left surrounded by a tight beach and light blue water. Blue sky with white cloud in the background and in the front layer at the right, the bust of a caw with purple sunglasses and a straw-hat.

Summer Session is here!

The summer is here, and so is Summer Session 1. Even if you’re not teaching over the summer, now is a great time to think about your teaching goals and how to achieve them for the Fall 2019 semester. This month’s Moodle News includes information about 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.

Summer 2019 Workshops!

Our Summer 2019 workshop session are going strong! 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 instruct@umass.edu

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 in SPIRE

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: Make Your Images Accessible

The beginning of the summer is a great time to think about strategies to design your next Moodle course. Accessibility of your Moodle course content, including images, is important for making sure all your students have the chance to experience your course, participate, learn, and succeed. When you are adding images in Moodle, you can add alt text, which describes the image, to make it accessible to students who use screen readers. You can also check for A Guide to Building a New Course in Moodle for more tips on how to build your Moodle courses.

What’s new in Moodle?

UMass Amherst will be upgrading to Moodle 3.5 on July 11, 2019. Moodle will be unavailable to instructors and students for a significant portion of the day. Please update any due dates in advance. 

Moodle 3.5 comes with a new look and feel which is optimized for increased accessibility and ease of use a wide range of screens (laptops, desktops, tablets, and phones). Along with the interface changes, there are new activities and tools to help your teaching. See all the changes on our Moodle 3.5 Highlights page.

We have a number of workshops to preview the changes and learn more about the upgrade. Please see the Instructional Innovation Events page to find out more about workshops and sign up. We also have 1-on-1 consultations available.

If you have questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact:

The Instructional Media Lab
Monday-Friday 10am -4pm

Moodle Planned Downtime

In preparation for the Moodle 3.5 upgrade, Moodle will be down for scheduled maintenance during the following times:

  • Thursday, June 20, 2019 from 7am until 9am.
  • Thursday, June 27, 2019 from 7am until 9am.

Moodle will unavailable to instructors and students during the downtimes.

Moodle Help and Resources for Instructors

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