August 2022 Moodle News

Aerial view: a point piece of island at the left surrounded by a tight beach and light blue water. Blue sky with white cloud in the background and in the front layer at the right, the bust of a caw with purple sunglasses and a straw-hat.

Fall 2022 and Preview Week Begin Soon

Classes begin on Tuesday, September 6, 2022. And that means Preview Week is coming up soon! If you have requested a Moodle course before that date, your course will be administratively opened to students on Tuesday, August 30, 2022 at 9:00am.

Courses requested after August 30, 2022 can be opened by manually. All classes will be administratively opened for the first day of classes on September 6, 2022.

Request Your Fall 2022 Moodle Courses in SPIRE

Summer and Fall 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 ( Don’t forget to update any links and bookmarks accordingly.

Request your Echo360 Courses

Echo360 course requests for Summer and Fall 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: Getting your course ready

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 use one of our guides to help build your course no matter what stage you’re at? We have a handy guide to building a new Moodle course. There’s also a useful Course Update checklist to make sure your course is ready to teach after you reuse a Moodle course using Import. If you have questions about updating your course, please email
  • 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.
  • Did you know you can update the dates of your activities on one page? Use the Edit Dates tool to change the dates of all activities from the same page.  This can be useful if you’re importing a previous course, or if you need to make date changes while you are teaching the course. You can even filter to adjust only a specific type of activity.

Planned Downtimes

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

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: