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Teaching Remotely During A Disruption

Facilitating Online Learning with Moodle

Moodle is the College's learning management system, or LMS. Every Mount Holyoke course is issued a course shell in Moodle. In the event that you have students in your class participating remotely, or are asked to deliver your course online rather than face-to-face, we recommend you use Moodle for the following:

  • Sharing academic content - additional readings, web resources, prerecorded lectures when appropriate.
  • Assigning, collecting, and grading assignments.
  • Asynchronous discussion - either as supplement to or in place of live class sessions.

Adding Academic Content to Moodle

Uploading Files

Please review our page on "Adding Files and Folders" in the Moodle Help Guide. You may also wish to make a folder in Google Drive, and share a link to that folder with your class.

Adding Audio and Video

You may find it helpful to create short pieces of audio or video content to reinforce key pieces of information for your students. These can be as straightforward as a smartphone recording, or using Zoom to record yourself in a meeting with no other participants. We recommend you keep these brief and pair them with written content when possible. Upload this content to your course shell the way you would any other file.

If you have created a set of slides that you would like to turn into a video for your students, have a look at the instructions for doing so with PowerPoint (preferred) and Google Slides.

If you find that your multimedia files are too large to upload to Moodle, please use the YouTube channel that comes with your MHC Google account, and create "unlisted" videos you can embed directly into your course. Moodle allows uploads of up to 100MB per single file, and has no limitation on the number of such files you can upload. 

Course Reserves

If you need to add additional e-reserves or streaming video to a current course, please contact LITS to place those reserves as soon as possible. In times of campus disruption, copyright law does allow LITS to scan larger quantities of material, but availability is dependent on staff time. If a remote work policy goes into effect, LITS staff will be unable to add additional readings or copyrighted video to your Moodle site. Please plan ahead.

Creating Interactive Content

If you would like to use Moodle's interactive tools to add opportunities for students to engage with written or visual content, there are a number of things you can do with H5P, a toolkit of interactive options we have built into all course shells. One option we would recommend considering, especially if you create prerecorded content or use videos from across the web, is the Interactive Video tool, which allows you to set a video to pause at specific times and pose questions or share additional resources with anyone who views it. If you want your students to pause and check their understanding, this is an excellent tool.

H5P interactives are often not available to students relying on the mobile app, so please use them judiciously.

Using Moodle for Assessment

If you aren't yet using Moodle to collect assignments and provide feedback to students, please know that doing so is generally very straightforward. To get started, visit An Overview of Assignments in Moodle (UMass). Need help figuring out which type of Assignment best meets your needs? Start with Using Assignment.

When students submit assignments, you can provide feedback in a variety of ways, including audio and video. Audio and video feedback may be easier for you to provide to students in an emergency situation, as it can be recorded quickly.

If you would like to use Moodle to deliver quizzes you might otherwise deliver in person, know that Moodle treats quiz assessments as being made up of two separate-but-related components - a bank of questions (which can be reused), and a specific quiz instance. Check out the complete guide to creating quizzes.

The Moodle Gradebook is a feature-rich tool. Click here to view our gradebook guide.

Tracking Student Engagement

When transitioning to remote learning, and especially when adopting asynchronous tools, it can be challenging to measure or quantify student engagement in your course. Moodle provides several built-in reporting options that may prove useful during this time.

To get a quick snapshot of student activity, view your list of course Participants; you'll be able to see when each student last logged in.

To see your reporting tools, please click on the gear icon towards the top right of your course page, and choose "More..."; then scroll down to the Reports section of the course administration page. 

Of the options available to you, you are most likely to find the Course participation report helpful. It allows you to break down student engagement by a particular activity you've added to your course. If you'd like to examine student engagement on a granular level, you can have a look at the Logs, and if you want overall activity, try Activity report for a general sense of all that's been happening in your course.

For more information, please check out Use Reports to Track Student Activity in Moodle (UMass).

Moodle Mobile App

We have enabled all users to access Mount Holyoke’s Moodle site via the official Moodle mobile app. In a rapidly changing crisis situation, we highly recommend that students with smartphones download the app and practice logging in, before they leave campus for any sustained period of time. Download the app here.

When you first start up the app, it will ask you to enter the URL of your Moodle site.  You should enter "moodle.mtholyoke.edu".

The app can be used by both students and instructors, but is designed primarily for use by students. Not all Moodle features will work the same way in the mobile app -- see the link below for more information.

Help with Moodle

Need help with Moodle? A variety of tools are at your disposal. These include:

MHC Accessibility Barriers Form