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About the Move to Moodle

Moodle is a widely-used open source learning management system (LMS), that can be used to deliver course content and host online learning activities. 

For each term you teach an on-campus class, you must request a Moodle course in SPIRE. You can request your Moodle course for an upcoming class when the pre-registration period for the semester or session opens. For more, see Request Your Moodle Course.

Note: Some on-campus courses will not be listed as eligible for Moodle in SPIRE.

For questions or help with requesting a Moodle course in SPIRE, please contact the Instructional Media Lab (413-545-2823 or

Why Moodle?

The Campus evaluated options for a new LMS after Blackboard Inc. announced that it would discontinue support for Blackboard Vista, the software behind SPARK. A committee of faculty and staff made a recommendation to the CIO and Provost in October 2010. The Provost and CIO chose Moodle because it offered more local control and the best opportunity for future growth and innovation. Details of the evaluation process and decision can be found on the Future LMS blog.

Learn How to Use Moodle

Throughout the change to Moodle, IT offered, and continues to offer workshops and one-on-one consultations to help instructors convert their courses and get started using Moodle. We also have a large collection of Moodle support articles available for self help.

Timeline for the Transition to Moodle

  • 2011 Spring
    Limited pilot of Moodle (7 classes).
  • 2011 Summer
    Content conversion and training for Fall 2011 Moodle Pilot.
  • 2011 Fall
    Pilot semester of Moodle.
  • 2012 Spring
    Moodle available for teaching (limited to 350 instructors).
  • 2012 Summer
    Content conversion and training for final exit from Blackboard Vista (SPARK).
    Moodle available for summer courses.
  • 2012 Fall
    Moodle open to all Campus courses.
    Teaching in Blackboard Vista (SPARK) by special request only.
  • 2013 Winter session and Spring
     Students and teachers are no longer able to login to Blackboard Vista (SPARK).