July 2019 Moodle News

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Big Things are Happening This Summer

The summer is here, and along with some changes. 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 Moodle 3.5 upgrade, summer workshops, Fall Moodle course requests, Echo360 course requests, Moodle tip of the month, What’s new in Moodle, and Moodle help and resources.

Moodle is Upgrading to 3.5

On July 11, 2019, UMass Amherst will upgrade Moodle to version 3.5. Moodle 3.5 comes with an updated and more mobile-friendly interface, as well as a host of user-request improvements. Check out our Moodle 3.5 Highlights page to see what’s coming, join in one of our workshops about the upgrade, or contact the Instructional Media Lab for a 1-on-1 consultation.

Summer 2019 Workshops

The summer is hitting its peak, and so are we. We still have a number of workshops on how to get comfortable and use supported technology at UMass, reinvigorate your teaching with technology, 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 Fall Moodle Courses in SPIRE

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 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: Incorporate library materials into your course

Digital library course materials include scanned book chapters and journal articles, links to electronic databases and eBooks, and links to full length or excerpted audiovisual material, and more. You can link to these materials directly in your Moodle course page by adding the Library Course Materials LTI. Students will be able to access the materials any time by logging into Moodle and clicking a single link.

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

Planned Downtime

During the Moodle 3.5 upgrade, Moodle will be unavailable to instructors and students for a significant portion of the day on Thursday, July 11, 2019.

Turnitin will be undergoing scheduled maintenance and will be unavailable to instructors and students between 11am and 9pm on Saturday, July 13, 2019.

Moodle Help and Resources for Instructors

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