Coming This Spring: Moodle Has A New Home for Summer and Fall Courses

Campus in spring

In support of flexible learning at UMass Amherst, an upgraded, cloud-based version of Moodle, one of the campus learning management systems, will be available for summer and fall university courses.

UMass Amherst Information Technology (IT) is making this change with the goal of improving the teaching and learning experience and expanding the reach of UMass Amherst education. 

Moving Moodle to the cloud means that the infrastructure for Moodle will no longer be on campus for courses starting in summer 2021. Cloud-based services are available on-demand online from a cloud computing provider's servers as opposed to on-premise IT infrastructure.

Hosted in the cloud, Moodle becomes more scalable, resilient, and agile. The platform can accommodate more students, courses, and web traffic, with fewer technical hiccups and service interruptions. 

In short, Moodle will have a new and more durable home.

Upgraded Moodle Highlights 

The new version of Moodle comes with several enhancements for students and instructors, including:

  • A searchable, sortable list of course participants, a FERPA-compliant way that allows students to communicate with others in their class.   
  • Optimized forums, including a full grading interface, the ability to send private replies to students, lock discussions, inline posts & replies, and forum summary reports. 
  • Ability to “favorite” courses, activity types, and discussions.
  • Friendlier presentation of grading and statistics
  • And much more...  

Starting April 5, instructors teaching summer courses can access the upgraded Moodle at https://umass.moonami.com. Students enrolled in the first summer session can see their Moodle courses starting May 10. 

What do these changes mean for students and instructors?

  • The current version of Moodle remains available for spring 2021 and past semesters as well as current ad-hoc courses. Both versions of Moodle will run concurrently, but no course will be offered in both versions. 
  • Upcoming summer and fall 2021 courses will be hosted in the upgraded version of Moodle. Students and instructors will access their summer or fall Moodle course(s) at https://umass.moonami.com
  • Instructors can request their summer 2021 Moodle courses starting April 5, 2021 and fall 2021 courses later this spring (date to be announced soon). Ad-hoc courses will also be available in the new Moodle.  
  • For fall 2021 courses, instructors will be able to request to have their course content moved automatically from the old version of Moodle to the new. 
  • For summer 2021 courses, instructors will back up their courses and restore the course backup manually. Step-by-step instructions will be provided. 

More information will follow, including what’s new and different in the new Moodle. For questions, please contact the Instructional Design, Engagement, & Support (IDEAS) group at instruct@umass.edu.

Service changes and transitions are an essential step in UMass Amherst’s continuous digital transformation. We are committed to modernizing the campus technology infrastructure with unified, cost-effective enterprise platforms that ensure a positive experience, increase functionality and security, and make efficient use of campus technology resources.