Equipment Checkout

Submit this quick electronic form to request instructional technology equipment from OTLE. This includes equipment like voice amplifiers, webcams, a variety of cameras, mics, SD cards, etc. When you click on the form link, you'll see a list of available equipment. Once you submit, we'll arrange a pickup time with you as soon as we can.

Some of our equipment is available for long-term checkout (a few days to a whole semester), and some equipment is only available for short-term checkout (up to a few days).

***OTLE has a number of voice amplifiers for long-term checkout so that students can hear you through your mask. Please consider using one, as students struggle to hear through a mask even if they have only slight impairments.

 Brightspace Tools

To email, go to the Classroom tab > Classlist and then select the gray “Email Classlist” button at the top of the page.

At the bottom of the page select the blue button “Send Email." Brightspace will automatically generate an email prompt with all of your students.

Enter your message in the body; then select the blue “Send” button at the top of the page.

1. Go into the Brighspace course shell you want to import content INTO.
2. Go to your gear icon in top right and click "Import/Export/Copy Components." 
3. Select the old course you want to import content FROM.
4. DO NOT hit the blue button that says "Copy All Components" unless you want everything from that course copied in (this is time consuming to un-do). Choose the button on the right that says "Copy Select Components" if you only want some of the components imported.
5. From here, you can choose individual components from that course and import them in by clicking "Finish."

Brightspace surveys have shown time and again that students prefer the course's structure to be driven by the content area and organized in sequential modules that include all resources and linked activities that students will need for that module.

[Coming soon: a video demonstrating this] 

Try to set up your Gradebook before setting up assessment activities in Brightspace so that linking your assessments to Grade Items will be easier.

Here’s a short video about creating a Gradebook, including the merits of weighted systems vs. points systems. Contact OTLE if you need any help!

When should I use the Assignment tool?
Written assignments can enable a huge variety of assessment strategies: worksheets, reflection papers, journals, essays, research papers, etc. These can be lower-stakes assignments for formative assessment purposes, or they can be higher-stakes assignments that assess higher-order thinking and cumulative learning.

Setting up written Assignments in Brightspace
In Brightspace, you’ll need to set up a new Assignment folder for each individual graded writing activity. Here’s a comprehensive video showing how to setup an Assignment folder, how to grade and provide feedback, and what an Assignment folder looks like from the student viewpoint. Once your students submit a written Assignment to your folder, you can insert comments, edits, and other annotations directly in the submitted document in Brightspace. No downloading or uploading of files is necessary.

When should I use Quizzes?
Online Quizzes are primarily used for formative assessment: that is, helping you and the students gauge whether they are learning what they should be learning. For instance, Quizzes can test students’ basic comprehension of readings or lecture videos, or help them practice foundational knowledge.

Quiz questions in Brightspace can be created in a true/false, multiple-choice, short-answer, or written response (long answer) format. Generally true/false, multiple-choice, and short answer questions test lower-level thinking; however, they can be designed to test higher-order thinking. Here’s a Tech Snacks handout about designing higher-order thinking questions in Quizzes.

Setting up Quizzes in Brightspace
This video provides an overview of how to make Quizzes from scratch in Brightspace.

If you have quiz questions already created in a Word document that you use for paper tests and quizzes, you can convert them into Brightspace quiz questions. This question conversion tool will let you copy and paste text (with a bit of special formatting) and generate a Brightspace test bank that you can import into your courses. Read the instructions on that page carefully, and contact us if you need help.

Many textbook publishers offer pre-built quizzes and question pools, but we strongly recommend not relying on those if at all possible. Students can find virtually every publisher-created test question and answer on “study guide” websites like CourseHero, Quizlet, and Chegg. Here’s a handout we created on the topic of cheating and cheating prevention.

Admittedly, given the situation you might have no choice but to temporarily rely on publisher questions to supplement your assessments. If that’s the case, you should consider tweaking them and/or using them only for low-stakes, formative assessment and not high-value tests.

When should I use Discussions?
The Discussion tool in Brightspace can be used to engage students with important course concepts while also giving them an opportunity to interact with other students (and the instructor) about these topics. Discussions are typically used for formative assessment purposes and are usually graded as lower or medium stakes assignments.
There are advantages and disadvantages to using online discussion as a learning tool. Discussions in Brightspace, for instance, are not synchronous (real-time). This means that the instructor may have to work harder to facilitate timely contributions and conversational flow than they would in a live classroom. There are also advantages, however. For instance, students who are reserved in person may thrive with the opportunity to collect and organize their thoughts in writing.

Setting up Discussion Forums in Brightspace
Here’s a comprehensive video showing how to set up Discussions. You’ll also want to have your Gradebook set up before you start building discussions. 

Grading discussion activities can feel overwhelming, but it’s manageable if you use a Grading Rubric and the Gradebook. As demonstrated in the video above, OTLE has a generic Grading Rubric for Discussions that is available in all courses. You can use it as-is, make a copy and modify it to meet your needs, or create a new Grading Rubric from scratch. Feel free to contact OTLE with any questions about Rubrics.

A relatively new feature recently enabled in Brightspace is the Video Note tool. You can use Video Notes to quickly record and upload short, auto-captioned videos up to 30 minutes in Announcements, Discussions prompts, Discussion posts, Assignment prompts, and Assignment feedback area.

The Video Note tool is also enabled for students so that they have the option of recording videos and using them in their Discussion posts or Assignment submissions.

You might want to consider Video Discussions as an alternative option or supplement to written Discussion posts to allow students to see and hear each other. Here’s a tutorial video that you can share with your students to show them how it works.

 Instructional Video Creation

MSUN faculty and staff have access to both Webex and Zoom (access available by 8/29). ITS needs to activate your Webex account in order for you to host a Webex meeting. Please email to request access. 

WebEx Tutorial Videos

Below are three brief tutorial videos regarding WebEx.

The first is a step-by-step video showing you how to log into WebEx, start a meeting, share the meeting link with your students, and some of the tools you can use to administer a WebEx meeting. 

The second is a video showing your students how to join your Webex meetings. I suggest copying and pasting this video link into the Announcements section of any courses where you’ll be using WebEx for synchronous lectures or meetings.

The third is a video about sharing your WebEx recordings with your students.

Zoom Tutorial Videos 

Zoom has created a number of helpful tutorial videos here.

**If you need to videoconference students into your live classroom on campus, the following classroom technology map gives you an overview of available equipment.

If you would like to record yourself talking through a webcam, showing your computer screen, or both, OTLE recommends one of the following methods:

1. Use the free version of Screencast-o-matic. Please read these directions for getting started. This program is easy to install on your computer, and it prompts you to log into your YouTube account so that your videos upload straight to YouTube. Basic editing features are included. 

2. Alternatively, begin a Webex or Zoom "meeting" with no attendees and record it. You can use the screenshare function of Zoom/Webex to show a slideshow or a software application that you’re teaching. You can also use the annotation/whiteboard functions of Zoom/Webex to draw or work out equations. When you’re finished, download the mp4 file of your meeting and upload it to YouTube. 

***However you create your video, it is recommended that you upload the mp4 file to YouTube, make it “unlisted” and copy the video link with students so that you can share it. Unlisted means that only people who have the link can watch your video. YouTube is ideal for pre-recorded video because it autocaptions speech and lets you edit your captions. YouTube also adjusts video playback quality depending on the viewer’s internet streaming capabilities, which is often more user-friendly for students than having to download a large video file.

1. Try out OTLE’s serve-yourself video studio in the west study room on the main floor of the library. Ask a librarian to unlock the room for you. The studio has a camera set up and ready to go, and there is a whiteboard and workbench to allow you to write or do a demonstration. You just need an SD card to insert into the camera (available for long-term checkout with OTLE). Hit play on the camera and away you go! Once you’re finished, just bring your SD card back to your computer or to the video editing station in the lobby of OTLE where they can help you make quick edits and get your video uploaded to YouTube.

2. Check out one of OTLE’s cameras: regular Camcorder, GoPro, Obsbot (indoor tracking camera), Soloshot (tracking camera for outdoors).

Our recommended video editing software is Davinci Resolve, which is free and works for both Mac and PC. YouTube has basic editing functionality (trimming, etc.) once you've uploaded your video.

Please contact Jason Geer at or 265-3767 to check out equipment, request training or help on equipment or editing software, or ask any other recording questions.

You have a few options here depending on how high-tech or low tech you want to be. OTLE has equipment for both options available for long-term checkout.

1. Use a doc camera, which plugs into your computer on the USB port just like a webcam but faced down towards a piece of paper. You then write on the paper below it with a pen and record your screen with Screencast-o-matic or an empty Zoom/Webex classroom while you work out your equation, etc.

2. Use an electronic pen/tablet combo (i.e., Wacom tablet) and the whiteboard function in Zoom while recording your screen.

 Formative Assessment Tools ("Checking for Understanding")

Create a Google Form or a Microsoft Form, which is a basic survey tool that lets you build different types of questions quickly into a survey that students can take by just clicking on a shared link that you provide. From within the survey, you can gain a quick overview of the information that students submit. The survey results can also be quickly viewed in spreadsheet form. 

Depending on your situation, you can share the survey link in Brightspace or in a Zoom/Webex chat window (or both). It would work in a live or asynchronous scenario. Microsoft Forms surveys let you create a QR code rather than a link so that students can just point their phone camera and get direct access.

Use a Google or Microsoft Form to:
- Survey students about their technology access at the beginning of the semester
- Give a quick informal quiz to see if they are tracking with the expected learning goals
- Have students vote on which of two readings they'd prefer to read
- Get feedback about how the class is going for them so far and what might help them improve.

1. If you are ok polling students with multiple choice questions only (i.e., for a review session), Kahoot! is an ideal tool to use. Students can play online or download an app on their phone that lets them play. The colorful interface, leaderboard, and suspenseful music make it fun and interactive.

2. If you would like a more flexible polling format, PollEverywhere is ideal. It allows many different formats of answers, including open ended answers. Students can participate online or through text messaging--no smartphone needed. PollEverywhere polls can be embedded in slideshows as well.

Use a class poll to:
- Brainstorm or collect prior knowledge before a discussion
- Quiz students on their knowledge
- Ask what they understand or don't understand
- Gather opinions or observations

Tip: Call OTLE to help you do a test run before you use these tools in class.

Zoom allows virtual breakout rooms (see: tutorial video). The meeting host can choose to split the participants of the meeting into separate video groups (pre-determined or on-the-fly) and can pop in to chat with each group at any time.

Use breakout rooms to:
- Create "Think-Pair-Share" work
- Create jigsaw discussions where each group works on one piece of a larger topic and shares back
- Have students quiz each other on a topic and report back what they do and don't understand well

1.Edpuzzleis a tool that allows you to place quiz questions in the middle of videos (internet videos or your own) to ensure that students are watching the content that you're assigning. It is a helpful tool but one drawback is that it does not integrate with the Brightspace gradebook.

2. The Brightspace Quiz Tool does not allow you to embed quiz questions directly into a quiz as Edpuzzle does, BUT you can embed a video in the header at the top of a Quiz in Brightspace and place your questions in sequential order beneath it so that students can watch the video and take a comprehension quiz in the same window.

Collaboration Tools

Google Docs,Google Slides, and Google Sheets allow students (or faculty + students) to create documents and slideshows collaboratively in the cloud without sending bulky files back and forth. The owner of the document does need to have a Google/Gmail account, but collaborators can participate by simply being invited with a link.

Use a collaborative documents to:
- Compile images or ideas in one space.
- Compose a document together.
- Compose a slideshow together for a group presentation. 
- Display live group/class work during class. 

If student groups need to meet remotely with each other, there are several videoconferencing options.

1. Students have free Microsoft Teams access through their student O365 license. Teams offers a videoconferencing platform along with chat, file sharing, and other features. 

If students (or faculty) choose to use Teams, they need to log in with {NetID} as their account name and use their NetID password.

2. Students can sign up for a free basic Zoom account to host a meeting (40 minute limit).

3. Student can sign up for a free basic Discord account, which allows them to videoconference, voice chat, text chat, and collaborate in the same space.