Resources for Students

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

Connectivity Options

The University understands that not all students 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. If your instructor is using Blackboard Learn, simply go to https://blackboard.missouristate.edu and log in with your BearPass Login and Password to get started.

Training and Support

The Help Desk Service Portal and online Knowledge Base offer extended support for Blackboard Learn.

Visit the Help Desk Service Portal and Online Knowledge Base

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

Blackboard Tools

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

Web Conferencing with Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

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 students the opportunity to:

  • Participate in real-time video lectures and presentations from the mobile app or online
  • View and download record sessions
  • Attend virtual office hours with the instructor
  • Chat with other students privately or with the whole class via instant messaging
  • Participate in 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 the class or the instructor 
  • Call into sessions if you do not have access to a computer or internet

Learn more about Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

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.

  • Take tests and quizzes online
  • Submit files for assignments, including papers, presentations, spreadsheets, and other media.
  • Surveys allow for student feedback and evaluation.
  • Self and Peer Assessments allow students to participate in online peer review and evaluation as well as self reflection and evaluation.
  • My Grades allows students to track their grades in each course.

Learn more about using the assessment tools in Blackboard

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 learning.

Training and Support

Microsoft has extensive online video training. 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

Email with Outlook Online

When working remotely, email is a crucial communication tool. Students should ensure they know how to access their email and check it regularly.

The most important thing to remember is that your email address is not the same as your login username for accessing email. Students will login to email with their BearPassLogin@Login.MissouriState.edu or BearPassLogin@Live.MissouriState.edu, depending on when your account was created. See the below instructions for more information.

How to Login to Office 365 Email

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.
  • Audio conferencing for when the web and mobile apps are unavailable or inaccessible.
  • 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 students to:

  • Watch course videos shared by your instructor
  • Upload videos for course work, presentations, etc. 
  • Utilize the automated transcription/captioning feature to create accessible videos.
  • Share videos privately within Microsoft Teams or Blackboard Learn.

Learn more about 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. You can 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 - Use virtual notebooks for collaboration, individual course work, note taking, and more. OneNote can be utilized within Microsoft Teams, and Class Notebooks can be set up by an instructor and used with Blackboard Learn.

Learn more about the Office 365 Web Apps

Learn more about OneNote

Zoom

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

  • Join online class sessions and meetings
  • Call into sessions when internet is slow or inaccessible
  • Chat with other students and your instructor
  • Share tools and files
  • Participate in 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