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OPEN UMass - F.A.Q. for instructors & Facilitators

OPEN UMass ( is a pilot installation of Moodle designed for use by open courses (MOOCs), and community based projects requiring enrollment of off-campus participants. Although both OPEN UMass and Moodle at UMass Amherst ( use Moodle for a Learning Management System, they are entirely separate services.

OPEN UMass is in BETA.

What courses can be hosted on

  • Courses, community projects, and working groups intended to enroll participants from outside the University, or a mix of UMass and off-campus participants, should use
  • Non-credit courses, trainings, and working groups involving on-campus users should request an Ad Hoc course on (see Ad Hoc Moodle Course F.A.Q for Instructors).
  • For-credit classes listed in SPIRE must use see Request a Moodle Course through SPIRE.

Can I request plug-ins, add-ons, or modifications to Moodle at

OPEN UMass is a "plain vanilla” installation of Moodle and does not include the many customizations UMass IT has made to We apologize but we do not currently have the resources to make modifications to OPEN UMass.

Can I copy a Moodle course from into a course on

Because different Moodle versions and plugins can cause problems importing courses, we do not recommended copying courses from Moodle at UMass Amherst onto OPEN UMass, or vice versa. For guidance copying course contents between servers, please contact the Instructional Media Lab at (413) 545-2823, or

If I include links to resources or services that require a UMass Amherst NetID login, will non-UMass Amherst users enrolled in my course be able to access them?

Off-campus users log in to OPEN UMass using a Google account rather than a UMass Amherst NetID and will not have access to campus services such as Library databases that require authentication via NetID.

How do my students/participants enroll in my course?

To participate in a course on OPEN UMass, people first need to create an account and user profile on Members of the UMass Amherst community can do this by logging in using their NetID. Those from off-campus can log in using their Google credentials.

After you have set up your course, you will create an enrollment key (a one-time password). You’ll then send the key to your students by email. To join the course, participants will log in to, click the link to your course, and enter the enrollment key you provided. See the front page of for more on creating an account and enrolling in a course.

How do I start a course on

Please complete the Open UMass course request form.