December 2021 Moodle News

Cow bust in a room with a fireplace on in the background, and in the front layer a red mug and red bowl with popcorn

New Features in Moodle

Timed availability for forum posts – Forums in Moodle now allow you to select when posts become available, or unavailable, to students. To access the timing options, when making your forum post select Advanced options. You can use this feature including in the Announcements forum to schedule posts in advance.

Request your Winter or Spring 2022 Moodle course

Winter and Spring 2022 Moodle course requests are already available in SPIRE. 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:

Moodle courses will be hosted on Moodle in the Cloud (umass.moonami.com). Don’t forget to update any links and bookmarks accordingly.

Request your Winter and Spring Echo360 Courses

Echo360 course requests for Winter and Spring 2022 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: Insert the Same Grade for Multiple Students/Activities.

Did you know you can insert grades for multiple students or activities at the same time with the Bulk Insert option? This can make reconciling grades at the end of the semester easier by replacing grades that should be 0, or inserting baseline grades for attendance and participation quicker. The Bulk Insert option is only available in the Single View of the Moodle Gradebook.

Planned Downtimes

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

Scheduled routine maintenance windows for UMass Amherst Moodle in the Cloud areĀ 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: