With the Chancellor’s announcement on fall planning we will all begin the process of redesigning courses for the fall semester. The Center for Teaching and Learning, IDEAS, IT, and the Libraries have worked together to provide resources and support for faculty and instructors in planning, designing, and teaching their fall classes. These resources as well as a centralized help request form are now available on the University Quality Standards: FlexForward to Online Teaching central web portal.
We encourage faculty to begin the process of fall class preparation by first visiting the University University Quality Standards: FlexForward to Online Teaching portal and reviewing the University Quality Standards for Online Course Design, the resources available to support you in designing and developing your courses and the ongoing support services. If you have any need for immediate assistance please complete the help request form.
The first step in moving to fully online teaching is designing your course through considering what learning outcomes are important, the types of assessments and assignments that will be included  as well as the ways you can engage your students will help you in planning how to develop your Moodle/Blackboard course sites. Now is also a good time to think about the various Library resources (including eReserves) and/or classroom access that might support your course instruction.

  • All faculty and instructors will be enrolled in the University Quality Course Design: FlexForward to Online Teaching Moodle course that will guide and support them in developing their fully online courses. If faculty need access to Moodle course would like to use the Blackboard version of the course please email your request to
  • The academic calendar has been changed. Classes will begin on August 24th and end on November 20th with final exams held remotely after Thanksgiving.
  • All courses are now identified in SPIRE as Fully Remote or, if essential face-to-face with assigned classrooms. All courses, including those identified as Fully Remote continue to have scheduled class sessions. For online courses synchronous class sessions should be scheduled according to the SPIRE class schedules.
  • eCampus, our University bookstore, will continue to provide required course materials and textbooks to our students. Please enter your course materials through the eCampus FAST Adoption Tool by July 15th to ensure that the materials are delivered to your students by the start of fall classes. 
  • If you will need access to a classroom to prepare your course please complete a help request.


The Quality Online Course Design Help request form is monitored jointly by CTL, IDEAS, IT and Libraries. Faculty and instructors may request help through this help request or may access help services through any of the individual units.

The Center for Teaching & Learning is available to provide assistance in designing your course, revising your syllabus, and discussing specific teaching strategies. Please sign up for an for individual consultation, email us at


The Instructional Design, Engagement and Support group and the Instructional Media Lab consultants have joined together to support Faculty and Instructors with developing the best and most flexible online versions of their course(s). We offer both individual or departmental instructional design and instructional technology consultations. Email us at or drop-in to our Zoom support room (available 9am-4pm M-F).


UMass Amherst Information Technology (IT) continues to offer numerous technologies designed for teaching, learning, and working remotely. For updated information on the tools, platforms, and services available to you, including tech support and recent technology news, see  

More information will be available later this summer. You can email us at with any technology questions or issues you are experiencing.


The Libraries are available to consult on finding library resources that align with course needs, developing tailored instruction sessions that enhance students’ research skills, and providing instruction sessions on the use of library databases and effective academic research strategies.  We can also place materials on course reserves and embedded in Blackboard/Moodle.  Contact your departmental liaison or Ask Us! to get started. 

Please let us know if we can help,

Claire Hamilton, Associate Provost and Director Center for Teaching and Learning
Heather Sharpes-Smith, Executive Director of Online Educational Technology/Instructional Design, Engagement and Support
Leslie Button, Associate Dean for Research & Learning, UMass Amherst Libraries
Matthew Dalton, Chief Information Security Officer and Director of Instructional Innovation 
University of Massachusetts Amherst
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