August 2021 Moodle News

Moodle cow on the beach on a sunny day

Moodle in the Cloud is here!

Moodle has moved to the cloud. UMass Amherst Information Technology (IT) has made this change with the goal of improving our teaching and learning experience and expanding the reach of UMass Amherst education. Cloud-based services are available on-demand online from a cloud computing provider’s servers as opposed to on-premise IT infrastructure.
Hosted in the cloud, Moodle is more scalable, resilient, and agile. The platform can accommodate more students, courses, and web traffic, with fewer technical hiccups and service interruptions.
In short, Moodle will have a new and more durable home. For more information, please see Moodle in the Cloud 3.9 Highlights.

Request your Fall Moodle Courses

Fall 2021 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 course requests for Fall 2021 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.

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.

Once your Echo360 courses are ready, it’s easy to give students access to Echo360 recordings through Moodle.

Automatically copy your Zoom cloud recordings to Echo360

You can connect your Zoom and Echo360 accounts, and have all cloud recordings copied into Echo360. If you enable this, you can even have a recurring Zoom meeting publish directly to an Echo360 course. Unlike Zoom recordings, which are kept for 120 days, Echo360 does not have a storage limit on your recordings.

Moodle Tip of the Month: Creating a Checklist for Students

Moodle allows you to Create a Checklist activity, which is a “to do” list for students to work through and provides an easy visual representation of what has been accomplished so far. Teachers can use the Checklist to monitor progress as students complete items on the list, and students can see a progress bar showing the percentage of the items they have completed.

Planned Downtimes

Scheduled routine maintenance windows for UMass Amherst Moodle in the Cloud are Thursdays 11pm-12am (ET). Regular maintenance is a necessity for a stable, secure, and improving service. Many of these maintenance windows will not actually have the site unavailable for more than a few minutes, but it is still not advised to plan activities or set due dates during maintenance windows.

You can check the status of Moodle, Zoom, and other supported teaching technologies on the IT Services Status for Remote Teaching and Learning page.

Moodle Help and Resources for Instructors

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