February 2023 Moodle News

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

Spring 2023 begins Monday, February 6

If you haven’t done so already, you can request your Moodle course in SPIRE. Don’t forget that each semester you will need to request Moodle for the courses you are teaching.

For step by step instructions on requesting a Moodle course, see:

If you request a Moodle course after the first day of classes, you will need to manually make your course available to students once you are ready.

The Winter session is also wrapping up. Remember that the last day of Winter classes is Friday, February 3, and grades are due Thursday, February 9 at midnight. You can upload your grades in SPIRE directly from Moodle.

Moodle Tip of the Month: Help Getting Your Course Started

Instead of putting the spotlight on a single tool or setting at the start of the semester we have a few things to highlight that might help make your Moodle course run a little smoother.

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 instruct@umass.edu
  • 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 February 2023.

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: