January 2022 Moodle News

woods cover in snow background and a cow with a hat and scarf.

Wrap Up Your Semester

At the end of each semester, we recommend instructors take steps to preserve their Moodle course contents, and archive student work and grades. Moodle backup files do not include student work or grades, and can only be opened within Moodle. You should also download course content and capture student work and grades in file formats you can open on your own computer. It is important to remember that student information and grades are FERPA-protected data. Be sure to take security precautions with any course content that includes student information.

If you used Zoom and recorded lectures to the cloud, make sure you download those recordings. Remember Zoom cloud recordings are only saved on the platform for 120 days after they were recorded. You can upload those video files to Echo360 to preserve them, or keep them locally. Just like grades, recorded lectures that include student information are FERPA protected data.

Request Your Spring 2022 Moodle Course

Spring 2022 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.

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 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: Ask students a single question with the Choice activity

Did you know you can present a single question to students with a Choice activity? Even though it’s a single question it can have multiple responses as possible answers. Each student can then pick one of the given choices. Choice activities are intended for gathering information only and are not gradable. This activity can be useful as a quick survey of your class, for example to poll students on which readings they want to discuss further in class. It can also be used as a “sign up sheet” by limiting the number of students who are allowed to select each option.

Planned Downtimes

There are no planned downtimes outside of regular maintenance windows for January 2022.

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: