September 2020 Moodle News

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Welcome Fall 2020

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, Planned Downtimes, and Moodle help and resources.

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. We encourage you to explore these modules and content to help you as you design your Fall 2020 courses.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

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
  • Schedule an appointment with us. Please send an email to 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 on teaching technologies and course design!

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 our IDEAS Webinars 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

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 Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) uses speech to text algorithms to create an interactive transcript for your recordings. After you do a little editing for accuracy, your students will be able to study for exams, find relevant information in recordings, and even turn on Closed Captioning for your media.

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 Tips of the Month:

Instead of putting the spotlight on a single tool or setting this month, we have a few things to highlight that might help make your Moodle course run a little smoother this fall.

Did you know that…

  • You can integrate Zoom with your Moodle course? You can set up a Zoom activity in Moodle that allows your students to join meetings, see all upcoming times and dates, and even view cloud recordings of previous meetings all in the same place? Check out our Getting Started with Zoom in Moodle page for more information and instructions.
  • You can generate transcripts automatically for your recordings? Both Zoom and Echo360 can automatically generate interactive transcriptions for your recordings? These transcripts allow students to search for information in your recordings, including key terms and phrases. Automated transcriptions are not 100% accurate, but if you edit them they can be a powerful study aid for your students. For information, check out Add and Edit Transcripts in Zoom or Add and Edit Transcripts in Echo360.
  • You can create groups and groupings in Moodle? These groups and groupings allow you do things like facilitate peer-to-peer instruction in forums, or have students submit assignments in groups? For more information, check out An Overview of Groups and Groupings in Moodle.
  • You can add user and group overrides for Quizzes in Moodle? These allow you to set special options such as increased time limits, staggered start and end times, and additional time access for students, or groups of students, who need it. For more, check out Configure Special Quiz Access for Individuals or Groups.

Planned Downtimes and Maintenance

Scheduled routine maintenance windows are on Thursdays from 7:00 to 8:30 a.m. Our administrators are continuing to made improvements the Moodle system to adapt the demands on online learning. We will notify users if there are any longer planned downtimes outside of this window.

Moodle Help and Resources for Instructors

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