Latest News and Updates
eClass (Moodle) 4.1: Coming December 21, 2023
We’re excited to announce that eClass will be upgraded from Moodle 3.11 to Moodle 4.1! The changes that are coming to eClass will provide a modern, up-to-date teaching and learning experience for users of our learning management system. There will also be new features that will benefit both students and instructors.
When will the upgrade take place and how long will eClass be unavailable?
The upgrade will take place on Thursday, December 21, 2023. This date was carefully chosen to minimize disruption to active courses with respect to all academic populations and calendars.
We estimate that eClass will be unavailable beginning at 4:00AM EST and proceed through the morning, with access being reinstated by midday.
We will be sending additional reminders about the upgrade via MSMC email and eClass-based notifications 1 week before and 1 day before.
Please plan ahead accordingly.
What changes can I look forward to?
In addition to an enhanced look and feel across the site, the following features or improvements will be introduced with this upgrade:
- Redesigned Home Page The eClass home page is completely redesigned with a cleaner, simpler layout, allowing you to navigate to your courses with ease.
- “My Courses” Search Bar The “My Courses” menu on the eClass homepage now has a search function, allowing you to quickly locate courses by keyword or course code.
- New Course Index Menu The new eClass will include a more functional course index menu, located on the left side of each course. The course index displays course tabs and their contents in a listed fashion. Clicking on an item from the course index will bring you to that location in the course. In addition:
- Users with editing abilities in eClass courses or sites can easily drag/drop items across course tabs within the course index menu.
- If activity completion settings are enabled in a course, students will be able to easily identify which items have been viewed or completed in a course right within the course index.
- Communication Enhancements Faculty can select an option to notify students when something has been changed or updated in the course.
- Improved Student Grade Report Students are now able to collapse categories in their grade reports to allow for a more focused view.
- Additional gradebook improvements will be coming to Moodle 4.2, which will be introduced to eClass in May 2024.
Want to see a sneak peek? Please view this brief video:
Is this eClass upgrade necessary?
Yes! The changes that are coming are vital to maintaining a healthy and vibrant learning management system for teaching and learning at the College. Our current theme is out of date in 3 primary ways:
- Security and Stability: The current version of Moodle (eClass) we are using (3.11) will no longer be supported by our hosting provider after December 2023. Our new version (4.1) will come with a host of security updates, and will be more compatible with future versions of Moodle.
- Compatibility: Aspects of the current eClass theme were designed for previous versions of Moodle (eClass) and are no longer being maintained.
- Changes in the field: The ways in which we teach and learn are constantly changing, and this update will help us leverage new capabilities and functionality in virtual learning environments.
What features will no longer be available in the upgraded version of eClass?
- The “Ratings” method of grading forums has been discontinued. Faculty who previously relied on this method of grading forums should use “Whole Forum Grading.”
- The Pearson MyLab and Mastering integration, which some faculty may use in conjunction with Pearson publisher materials, is not currently compatible with our new version of Moodle (eClass). Pearson plans to introduce a compatible integration with Moodle 4.1 sometime in winter 2024. Please plan accordingly.
How will this upgrade affect my courses?
All existing courses and content will be updated on December 21. After the update, instructors may need to address minor changes in the styling of course elements (such as text color and font size choices), due to the new look of the site. Students do not need to take any additional action.
Do I need training?
Because this update is not going to change the core functionality and workflow that you are used to in eClass, we don’t anticipate that students and instructors will need any formal training to acclimate to the new eClass environment.
An announcement will be made in January with more details about training/workshop events for Faculty. Faculty are also welcome to make an appointment with a staff member at any time.
Lastly, we will be updating all of our video resources and eClass documentation to reflect the new theme. These will be available on our website and YouTube channel following the update.
More questions about the upgrade?
Please email us at email@example.com.
Welcome back Faculty and Students! Here are some quick reminders as you prepare for the Fall 2023 semester:
|Faculty should maintain an eClass presence for their course(s), even if you’ll be teaching in-person. Minimally, you should post your syllabus, contact information and/or methods, and construct a gradebook in the course to regularly keep students up to date with their progress. Remember to make your eClass course and gradebook visible for students by the course start date.
|If you do not see your eClass by the course start date, please contact your instructor to find when they may be planning to open the course.
|Faculty teaching at MSMC for the first time this Fall are required to complete eClass Basics for Faculty, as self-paced training located in the Getting Started area of the eClass homepage. This training can be followed up with the eClass Advanced training for faculty, or a one-on-one consultation appointment with our team.
|Want to become more familiar with the eClass? Participate in eClass Basics for Students, a self-paced training located in the Getting Started area of the eClass homepage.
|For faculty who have been in the The Training To Teach Online (TTOL) (required workshop to become certified to teach hybrid or online courses at MSMC): be sure to complete the workshop before your course begins.
|If you are taking a fully online course for the first time, please complete the required Online Student Orientation Tutorial (OLSOT). A hold alert will be placed on your Portal homepage if you are required to participate. This alert will include a link to the tutorial. You must complete this in order for the hold to be removed.
Any questions? Please contact us at DigitalLearning@msmc.edu!
The focus of this brief survey is to collect feedback on the recent improvements to eClass, which were implemented on May 19, 2022. Your feedback will also assist us in understanding what the community would like to see in our learning management system (LMS) in the future.
Please click here to begin the survey. It should take you no more than 2-3 minutes to complete.
Your feedback is highly valued and we appreciate your time and participation in advance.