July 2020 Moodle News

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Summer and Fall News

We’re still hard at work making improvements to Moodle, supporting instructors, and running webinars to improve your teaching technology use and experiences.

This month’s Moodle News includes information about FlexForward to Online Teaching, Support for Instructors, IDEAS Webinars Added, Request your Fall Moodle course, Request your Fall Echo360 courses, Moodle tip of the month, What’s new in Moodle, and Moodle help and resources.

Introducing FlexForward to Online Teaching

The IDEAS Team has built out the University Quality Standards: FlexForward to Online Teaching Moodle and Blackboard courses. These training courses are self-paced and meant to help you every step of the way as you transition and build out your course. Each of the 7 modules includes information, resources, and actionable steps you can take to incorporate what has been presented.

If you have any questions, please contact us at instruct@umass.edu.

Support for Instructors

Even though we’re not on campus, we’re still here to help you with your courses and teaching technology. We have 3 avenues for support, in addition to webinars we are currently running.

  • Support through email. Just reach out to instruct@umass.edu.
  • Schedule an appointment with us. Please send an email to instruct@umass.edu with a brief description of your goals/needs, and suggest a few times you are available between 9am and 4pm, Monday – Friday. We will schedule you in as soon as possible. .
  • Join our Instructor Support Zoom meeting  between 9am and 4pm Monday – Friday to meet with a staff member. Please note that wait times depend on the volume of requests.

IDEAS webinars still going!

Our webinars are still going, and we have added more dates! Our webinars are focused on helping you prepare and create engaging content for the upcoming Fall 2020 semester. We’re offering workshops on building online and accessible content, creating engaging media, and new ways to deliver lectures to your students. 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. Contact us at instruct@umass.edu.

Request your Fall Moodle Courses in SPIRE

Fall Moodle course requests are 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

Echo360 allows you to create recordings of your lectures to deliver to students. Students can access recordings to learn new content or review content to reinforce the information. The system also allows you to add interactive content and measure student engagement.

Echo360 course requests for the Fall 2020 semester are available in SPIRE. Just like Moodle, each semester you will need to request Echo360 for the courses you want to use it in.

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: Edit Dates for Multiples Activities & Resources

Did you know when you are editing your Moodle course, you can review, and change due dates, access dates, cut-off dates, etc… for multiple Activities or Resources on the same page view. The Edit dates feature can be specially useful for instructors who reuse a previous course, or other instructor who re-design/modify their courses in base of other instructor courses.

What’s new on Moodle

On Thursday, July 16th, 2020, IT released a new upgrade to Moodle.

  • Navigation tray courses: Available courses and Hidden courses will show up in chronological order from the current semester at the top. You will no longer need to scroll all they way down to find your latest Moodle course!
  • The “Add a block” block will no longer appear at the bottom of the right sidebar column. When editing is turned on, look for “Add a block” at the bottom of the Navigation tray.
  • When editing is turned on, there will now be a Move icon on all  blocks. Drag a block to a new position or click the Move icon under the block that you wish to move.

Moodle Help and Resources for Instructors

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