September 2019 Moodle News

Coy face with glasses on the front, with a classroom on the background and a books at the side.


Welcome to all instructors! The fall 2019 semester officially started. This month’s Moodle News includes information about our Fall workshops, Moodle courses open August 30th, Moodle and Echo360 course requests, Moodle tip of the month, What’s new in Moodle: Moodle upgraded to Moodle 3.5, Moodle schedule downtime, and Moodle help and resources.

Fall 2019 Workshops

Our Fall 2019 workshops are almost here! We are offering over 30 workshops this fall that goes from working with Moodle and Echo360, creating and editing media in Camtasia, Teaching with Zoom, Getting started on how to use blogs for your teaching and learning, Creating an accessible Podcast, Groups work with Google, Using Feminist Approaches in Moodle, Games and Game-Based Learning Meetup, and more. Check out our Innovation Events page to see more Workshops and 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

Moodle Courses open August 30th

Only Moodle courses that have already been requested through SPIRE will open on August 30th.  Don’t forget that each semester you will need to request Moodle for the courses you are teaching.

If you haven’t requested your Moodle course yet, see:

Request Your Fall Echo360 Courses in SPIRE

Request your Echo360 for your Fall course 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 Universal 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: Recycle bin

Did you know that Moodle now has a Recycle bin feature? The Recycle bin will store most deleted content for 7 days, and you (or your TAs) can restore deleted activities and resources to your course during that time. Restoring items will also restore the associated student data including Quiz attempts, Assignment submissions, and forum posts. After 7 days, the items will be removed permanently. To find out more about the Recycle bin see: Restore your Activities and Resources with the Recycle bin in Moodle.

What’s new in Moodle: Moodle upgraded to Moodle 3.5

UMass Amherst upgraded to Moodle 3.5 on July 11, 2019.  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 during our Fall session to cover 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 Scheduled Downtime

Moodle has a planned downtime for Saturday, October 19th from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Please plan accordingly.

Moodle Help and Resources for Instructors

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