Resources for Faculty

Missouri State University has many resources to assist with online teaching. Below are some of the resources available to faculty.

For information about making your course content accessible, please see Accessibility Resources.

Connectivity Options

The University understands that not all faculty will have access to the Internet while away from campus, but there are options for getting you connected.

The Keep Americans Connected Pledge

The FCC has asked broadband and telephone service providers and trade associations to take the Keep Americans Connected Pledge to ensure that Americans do not lose access to their broadband or telephone connectivity during this health crisis.

  • Comcast: Offering free WiFi for 60 days to low-income families and free public access to Xfinity WiFi hot-spots.
  • Charter Communications: Offering free Spectrum broadband and WiFi service for 60 days to new subscribers and free public access to their WiFi hot-spots through the end of the year. 
  • AT&T: Unlimited data to existing internet customers, and $10/month plans for low-income families.
  • Verizon: Took the Keep Americans Connected Pledge and will waive late fees, service disconnections, and overage charges through June 30, 2020.
  • T-Mobile and Sprint: Offering unlimited data to existing customers and all hotspot-capable handsets will be enabled with 20GB of hot-spot service per month through June 30, 2020. Late fees and service disconnections are also waived through June 30, 2020.

In addition to the above companies, many public libraries provide free WiFi access that extends to their parking lots and some are open for computer and Internet access.

Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn is the University's academic learning management system (LMS). Faculty can use Blackboard Learn to offer course content for online, seated, and hybrid courses.

Training and Support

Computer Services offers live, virtual training sessions as well as self-paced, video training on Blackboard Learn. Online "Ask the Experts" sessions are also available to faculty for virtual help, and the Help Desk Service Portal and online Knowledge Base offer extended support for Blackboard Learn. 

"Ask the Experts" Virtual Office Hours

Visit the Help Desk Service Portal and Online Knowledge Base

Blackboard also offers tools and support to educators for online teaching:

Blackboard Tools

Blackboard Learn offers a variety of tools and features to enhance and facilitate online learning.

Web Conferencing with Blackboard Collaborate

The University provides the use of Blackboard Collaborate, a web and video conferencing tool, to all faculty using Blackboard Learn for their courses. Blackboard Collaborate offers faculty the opportunity to:

  • Provide real-time video lectures and presentations
  • Record sessions for later viewing and downloading
  • Offer virtual office hours to students
  • Chat with students privately or with the whole class via instant messaging
  • Facilitate student breakout groups and collaboration
  • Use a whiteboard to illustrate course content and concepts
  • Share their computer screen, desktop applications, PowerPoint presentations, PDF files, and images with students 
  • Allow for a call-in option for students who do not have access to a computer or internet

Learn more about Blackboard Collaborate

Discussion Boards, Journals, Blogs, Wikis, and Student Groups

Blackboard has several built-in tools that allow for online conversations, reflection, and collaboration.

  • Discussion Boards allow for threaded conversations via forums. 
  • Journals can be used for private reflection or whole-class engagement.
  • Blogs allow students to create content to share with the class.
  • Wikis facilitate online collaboration around course content.
  • Groups allow students to use all of the above tools to collaborate on coursework and content.

Learn more about Blackboard's communication and collaboration tools

Assessment

Faculty can evaluate student work and progress directly within Blackboard Learn using the built-in assessment tools.

  • Tests can be used for informal quizzes as well as full exams.
  • Assignments allow students to submit files for review, including papers, presentations, spreadsheets, and other media.
  • Surveys allow for student feedback and evaluation.
  • Self and Peer Assessments help instructors facilitate online peer review and evaluation as well as self reflection and evaluation.
  • The Grade Center allows faculty to track and manage student grades.

Learn more about Blackboard's assessment tools

Office 365 Education

The University provides licenses for Office 365 Education to all faculty, staff, and students. This powerful suite of tools provides several options for online teaching.

Training and Support

Microsoft has extensive online video training. Computer Services also offers live, virtual training on Office 365 applications. The Help Desk Service Portal and online Knowledge Base offer extended support for Office 365 Education.

Visit the Help Desk Service Portal and Online Knowledge Base

Multi-factor Authentication (MFA)

Employees whose accounts require MFA should ensure that they have an authentication option other than their office phone number available. Good options for remote work include the Microsoft Authenticator app, text messages to a cell phone, and voice calls to a home phone. Review your authentication options to ensure that you can continue to authenticate while working remotely. If you are unable to authenticate because your second factor is not available, contact the Information Security Office at InformationSecurity@missouristate.edu or 417-836-5226.

Microsoft Teams

The Microsoft Teams application allows faculty to create online, collaborative Teams for their courses and students. Teams offers the following features:

  • Web and video conferencing via Teams meetings. Screen share, use a whiteboard, take notes, record sessions for later viewing, and more during Teams meetings.
  • Post conversations and announcements.
  • Create different Channels within the Team for different topics/purposes.
  • Share files with the Team.
  • Incorporate other Office 365 applications into the Team.

Learn more about Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Stream

Microsoft Stream is an internal video streaming service for University users. This application allows faculty to:

  • Upload videos for course lectures, presentations, etc. 
  • Utilize the automated transcription/captioning feature to provide accessible videos.
  • Share videos privately within Microsoft Teams or Blackboard Learn.

Learn more about Microsoft Stream

Getting Started with the Mediasite Desktop Recorder and Microsoft Stream

Office 365 Web Apps

Office 365 Education includes free downloads of the full Office suite for home use, but it also includes access to the Office web applications for Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote.

  • Word Online - This application allows you to collaborate with other users in real-time while working on documents. Easily share with other University users and incorporate them into other applications, like Microsoft Teams.
  • PowerPoint Online - Create presentations and easily capture video/audio for online lectures. Easily share with other University users and even export presentations to Microsoft Stream.
  • Excel Online - Collaborative and individual workbooks for creating spreadsheets and managing data. Easily share with other University users and incorporate them into other applications,  like Microsoft Teams.
  • OneNote Online/Class Notebook - Create virtual notebooks for collaboration, individual course work, note taking, and more. OneNote can be utilized within Microsoft Teams, and Class Notebooks can be used with Blackboard Learn.

Learn more about the Office 365 Web Apps

Learn more about OneNote

Learn more about Class Notebooks

Zoom

Zoom is a third-party web and video conferencing technology used by select University departments and units for distance learning purposes. Zoom allows faculty to:

  • Lead online class sessions and meetings
  • Chat with students
  • Share tools and files
  • Facilitate student breakout groups and collaboration
  • Use a whiteboard to illustrate course content and concepts

Training and Support

The Computer Services Help Desk is the first point of contact for Zoom support. 

Request Help with Zoom

Learn more about Zoom

Free Zoom accounts are available but offer limited features. Faculty can request a pro license for full use of Zoom.

Request a Zoom License

Mediasite

Provided by the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL), Mediasite is a tool used for recording and hosting recorded lectures and presentations. Faculty can:

  • Use the on-campus Mediasite Studio to record lectures.
  • Download and use the MyMediasite Desktop Recorder to record lectures and create presentations from anywhere.
  • Share links to Mediasite videos within Blackboard Learn.

Training and Support

Watch videos for getting started with Mediasite:

Contact David CaravellaEric Taylor, or Mike Fisher in FCTL for assistance with Mediasite. 

Learn more about Mediasite

The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL)

COVID-19 and a variety of other circumstances might require you to temporarily teach your classes through alternative methods. The FCTL can provide you with solutions and support to keep you teaching and engaging your students during this crisis.

Teaching through Alternative Methods

Contact the FCTL Instructional Designers and Staff

Update Your Voicemail Message

Faculty working remotely should update their voicemail message using the below instructions.

Message Template: 

This is [Name] of Missouri State University [department/division name]  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I am working remotely but am happy to respond to your call.  Please leave your name, number and a brief message and I’ll return your call as soon as possible. Optional:  Please note, the area code that will appear when I call is [xxx]

When dialing into the system from outside your office: 

  1. Dial 417-836-5888       
  2. Press the # key 
  3. Enter your extension 6xxxx
  4. Enter your security code
  5. Enter 3-1-3-2-2 
  6. Follow the instructions
  7. Record your message
  8. Enter 2 when you have finished recording
  9. Enter 5 to save the message

When dialing into the system from your office phone: 

  1. Dial 6-5888
  2. Enter your security code
  3. Enter 3-1-3-2-2 
  4. Follow the instructions
  5. Record your message
  6. Enter 2 when you have finished recording
  7. Enter 5 to save the message

Electronic Fax

An electronic fax service is available to MSU personnel.  With this service, sending and receiving of faxes can be accomplished exclusively through email, although other methods are also available.  This allows subscribers easy transmission and receipt of faxes electronically from the office, home, or anywhere access to email is available. 

Learn more about Electronic Fax

Avaya Softphone

The Avaya softphone is a telephone created to run on your Windows PC, instead of a physical device on your desk. It provides the ability to make & receive calls using your computer’s microphone and speakers. If you are making a call, the number appears as though it is coming from the University’s phone system. For example, the caller ID shows “Missouri State University”. To gain access to the softphone and get more information about it, please go to the Avaya Softphone page, click “Continue”, and log in with your University network login and password. The requirements to use the softphone and instructions to get access and configure it on your computer can be found there.

VPN and Remote Desktop

Faculty who need to access files shares and internal systems and applications while off campus will need to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Many faculty will not need to use the VPN for their daily work, but if you do need access please send an email to InformationSecurity@MissouriState.edu with a brief description of the academic or business reason you need access to the VPN.

Learn more about using the VPN

In addition to using the VPN, faculty might also need to use a remote desktop connection to access their work computer from off-campus. In order to do this, the work computer will need to be configured for remote access and access to the VPN is required.

Learn more about using Remote Desktop Connection with your PC