Michele Turre

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A New Look for Turnitin

In mid-January 2017, Turnitin in Moodle at UMass Amherst will get a new look and feel. Basic functionality will remain the same, and the Submission inbox will remain the same, but once instructors open a submission they’ll see a new, more compact interface for grading, providing feedback, and viewing originality reports. Dubbed “Turnitin Feedback Studio,”…

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Moodle News February 2016

This month’s announcements… Removal of Old Moodle Courses Moodle Course Request for Fall 2016 opens Monday, April 4 New Form for Allowing Another Instructor to Copy your Moodle Course VoiceThread Collaboration Tool Pilot Pilot New Features in Moodle February Moodle Update Honors student enrollment update Single-section course groups Box online storage integration Removal of Old…

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Digital Brown Bag Event Series

Bring a lunch, join the conversation, shape the future Every other week, we get together over lunch and talk about innovative learning and teaching practices at UMass Amherst. We invite anyone interested in these topics to join us for a series of brown bag lunches. Bring your lunch, your curiosity, your opinions, and any great stories you can share about these…

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Spring Cleanup and Moodle Updates

Spring 2015 Cleanup We recommend that you review your course and back up what you need for future reference: Download a CSV file of the gradebook and copies of any student-submitted materials (e.g., assignments or other activities) as PDFs in case you need to refer to them later. Make sure you have copies of your…

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April 2015 Moodle Updates

Need help with grading in Moodle? Grades need to be approved in SPIRE just before midnight on Tuesday, May 12. If you would like to meet with a Moodle Gradebook expert to review your gradebook before the end of the semester please contact the Instructional Media Lab at 413-545-2823, or instruct@umass.edu. Final grades from the Moodle…

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Entering Letter Grades in Moodle

Do you grade exclusively with letters and wish Moodle didn’t require you to enter numeric grade values then set them to display as letters? Did you know that there’s a new feature in Moodle that lets you enter or upload alphabetical letter grades into a manually created column in the Moodle Gradebook? This is especially…

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March 2015 Moodle Updates and Course Requests

Summer & Fall 2015 Moodle Course Requests Open Primary instructors can now request courses in SPIRE for Fall and Summer 2015 classes. It’s easy to copy a course from a previous semester into your new empty course. Any changes you make in a course before the upgrade, will not be affected by the upgrade in…

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Moodle News – February, 2015

Turnitin Downtime – Saturday, March 7 Turnitin has announced that their services are expected to be unavailable during a scheduled maintenance period on Saturday, March 7, 2015, from 10 AM to 2 PM. Instructors are encouraged to modify assignment due dates to avoid the scheduled maintenance window. Scheduled maintenance windows are the first and third…

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Removal of Old Moodle Courses

On Monday, February 9, 2015, courses taught up to and including Spring 2013 will be removed from Moodle at Umass Amherst (moodle.umass.edu). Please note that Adhoc courses and courses on open.umass.edu will not be affected. Courses are removed from the server 18 months after the end of the semester taught to make room in Moodle…

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Fall 2014 Workshops & Events

We hope your semester is off to a great start! This fall our workshops focus on screencasting and video technology, but we are available to assist you with learning other new technologies. Please join us for our Fall 2014 workshops, or contact us for one-on-one appointments to learn about a variety of topics, including: Screencasting…

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UMass Instructors- Join us for the EDUCAUSE Online Virtual Conference

Can’t get to Florida? Join us in Lederle Graduate Research Center where we’ll be projecting the EDUCAUSE online Virtual Conference in our 40-seat conference room. When: Monday, September 29 (12-4 p.m.) and Tuesday, September 30th through Thursday, October 2nd, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Where: LGRC A215. For program and session details, visit  http://www.educause.edu/annual-conference/agenda-and-program/virtual-conference-agenda This…

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Microsoft Licenses Available for UMass Amherst Faculty and Staff

Starting this summer, UMass Amherst faculty and staff can obtain licenses for popular Microsoft software and desktop operating systems for University–owned computers at no additional cost. Licenses will be available through the Microsoft Campus Agreement (MCA) for: Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus and Microsoft Office 2007 Enterprise for Windows (includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook,…

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Crowdsource Online Discussion Grading in SPARK

Creating class discussions is a strong educational technique that allows students to construct ideas and articulate thoughts with their peers.  Putting class discussions on the Web is a great way to extend course content outside of the classroom, and exposes students to online interactions– a crucial 21st century skill. However, motivating students to participate meaningfully…

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Linking to a Syllabus from SPIRE

Due to recent legislation that requires the University to make textbook and course material available to students during registration (HEOA Textbook Provision(PDF)),  a new Class Overview page has been added in SPIRE to allow instructors to publish course information (in the Schedule of Classes). The page includes an option to link to an online syllabus.…

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Recapturing Classroom Attention with Backchannel Discussions

Teachers in the networked world face many new challenges.  As Temple University’s Barry Vacker puts it, instructors may find themselves “competing with the entire Internet” as students multitask during class with laptops and cell phones.  But what if instructors could actually use the very tools that seem to be deteriorating students’ attention to increase student…

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A Journey in Digital Storytelling

This past weekend Tony and I immersed ourselves in the incredibly transformative process of digital storytelling. We rode the Amtrak down to Philadelphia, PA and stepped into a group of 8 other folks with diverse backgrounds and intentions for developing a particular style of communication. The 3-day hands-on tutorial, presented by the Center for Digital…

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