October 2021 Moodle News

The Moodle cow with vampire in front of a wagon of pumpkins

Request Your Fall and Winter Moodle Courses

Request your Moodle course in SPIRE. Moodle courses are now available on Moodle in the Cloud (umass.moonami.com). 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:

Fall 2021 courses requested on or after 8/31 will need to be opened by the instructor. We have a step by step instructions to help you Make Your Moodle Course Available to Students.

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: Poll Students using Questionnaires

The Moodle Questionnaire activity allows you to ask questions or have your students respond to prompts. Questionnaires can be used to poll students after a lecture, survey students to get to know them better, check on readiness for assessments, and more. The activity can be set to award students points for posting, and even allows students to submit their questionnaires anonymously (and still get credit).

Planned Downtimes

There are no planned downtimes outside of regular maintenance windows for October 2021.

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.

New Access Requirements for Legacy Moodle begin 10/4

Starting Monday, October 4, 2021, Legacy Moodle (https://moodle.umass.edu/) will only be available via virtual private network (VPN) from off-campus. If you still need access to Legacy Moodle at that time, you will need to install and use VPN software before logging in from off-campus. VPN is not required to access Legacy Moodle on campus.

VPN adds another layer of security between computing devices and the campus network. We are making this change to ensure the integrity and resilience of the campus technology infrastructure as Legacy Moodle uses an older version of the Moodle learning management platform.
Please contact IT User Services (413) 545-9400 or it@umass.edu with questions or concerns.

Moodle Help and Resources for Instructors

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