Maintenance Moodle and heiCAST from 4.9.2023 8 AM to 6.9.2023 8 PM

At the end of the summer semester 2023, the Moodle learning management system and the heiCAST video server will undergo a major update. This will enable Heidelberg University to further develop the digital learning environment for innovative teaching and learning and to prepare it for future functional extensions.

In the period from 4 September, 8:00 am to 6 September 2023, 8:00 pm, the learning management system and the video server will be unavailable due to the update. The team of the Smart Campus Solutions (SCS) service area in the University Computing Centre will make every effort to complete the maintenance work as quickly as possible. The downtime may therefore be shorter than the period indicated. In order to ensure the availability of important learning content during the maintenance work, courses can be downloaded from the platform in advance of the update.

The implementation of the latest versions of Moodle and heiCAST will be necessary to ensure the stability of both systems guaranteeing the ability to incorporate security enhancements in the future. There will be no changes to the content stored on either Moodle or heiCAST. Thus, in addition to these invisible technical adjustments, teachers and students benefit from new features such as design changes and usability improvements.

A brief summary of the changes in the new Moodle version:

  • A new design simplifies the options for creating, structuring and editing courses and content. It also makes it easier to use the learning management system with various mobile devices.
  • The functions of the dashboard are enhanced allowing the user to adapt Moodle closer to individual requirements.
  • The text editor integrated in Moodle has been extended to include functions on accessibility.  For example, images can be provided with an alternative text and the contrast between text and background colour is automatically checked for accessibility. This facilitates the use of screen readers on the learning management system.

In order to facilitate the introduction of the new features, short instructions for teachers have been created in English and German. They also explain changes to the most important functions on Moodle for students and teachers. After completion of the update, further instructions will be added on an ongoing basis.

Any questions in relation to the update, such as functionality or new features of Moodle and heiCAST, can be shared with the University Computing Centre via the IT Service.

Moodle is Heidelberg University’s central learning management system. The platform enables teachers to set up virtual classrooms to support learning activities, encouraging interaction between participants and link to video conferences. The platform can be used to organise learning content and information to actively involve students in the learning process. Self-tests, forum discussions, wikis, glossaries and other content can be used in Moodle for this purpose. General instructions on how to use the learning management system can be found on the service catalogue pages: Moodle and in the Moodle course “Anleitungen & Tipps Online-Lehre" (only in German) created for this purpose. heiCAST is the service for managing audiovisual content. Moodle and heiCAST are important parts of the digital learning environment at Heidelberg University.