Online Teaching Resources

  • MSU Units Offering Programming and Services for Online Teaching
  • Repositories of Online Teaching Resources at MSU
  • Repositories of Online Teaching Resources Outside of MSU
  • Free Online Workshops/Tutorials/Courses for Online Teaching at MSU
    • Summer Online Instructional Readiness Educational Experience (SOIREE) workshop (~20 hours to complete) five-day synchronous, facilitated workshop from July 13-17 or August 17-21 register here (participation is limited to 200 people on a first-come, first-served basis)

    • ASynchronous Program for Instructional Readiness (ASPIRE) workshop (~20 hours to complete) asynchronous, self-paced workshop that opens on June 15 enroll here

    • MSU’s Master of Arts in Educational Technology Mini-MOOC on Remote Teaching

    • MSU College of Education Micro-Credential in Online College Teaching - four-week, intensive cohort experience offered asynchronously with option synchronous check-ins and discussion opportunities facilitated by skilled instructors first offering begins in early July; second offering begins in early August participation by College nomination only (SOC deadline is June 24; College deadline is June 25). 100 total seats for each of two sessions.

    • Assessment Options Beyond the Exam: High-Impact Assessment Design online workshop register here. 90-minute workshop from 10:30a-12:00p on July 28, July 29, and August 19 will focus on formative assessments and alternatives to traditional exams and quizzes such as projects, posters, and reflections will also focus on technological approaches for giving feedback at scale.

    • Exam Design online workshop- register here for 90-minute workshop from 12:30p-2:00p on July 28, July 29, and August 19 will focus on resources and help with academic integrity on summative quizzes and exams will focus on writing multiple-choice and short-answer questions, creating a climate of integrity in the course, the pros and cons of video proctoring, and creating exams specifically in D2L.

    • Hybrid Teaching Primer course - builds on the online teaching skills covered in the SOIREE and ASPIRE workshops, a 6-8 hour primer for instructors of courses scheduled to be offered in a hybrid format for fall 2020, will cover hybrid pedagogy and models for hybrid courses that will help you maximize the benefits of both in-person and online modalities. Self-enroll in this workshop for the week of August 10 or the week of August 24.

  • Selected Online Exam Resources
    • a Remote Assessment Quick Guide (download here)

    • Exam Strategy for Remote Teaching (download here)

    • MSU has an institutional subscription to Respondus, a company specializing in online exam proctoring with two key services: monitor and lockdown browser

  • Free Online Workshops/Tutorials/Courses for Online Teaching Outside of MSU
    • Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD) and the ASA Section on Teaching and Learning are offering three online workshops; they are free but require pre-registration
    • August 4th workshop (agenda) from 12:50p-5:00p register here
    • August 7th workshop (agenda) from 1:00p-4:00p - first register for the Alternative Virtual Engagement Event at the workshop will be part of this event

  • Suggested Syllabus Language/Template
    Here is a sample online syllabus in a downloadable Word format:
    • Instructors should inform students in the syllabus about the alternatives planned to adapt the course for remote instruction if/when the pandemic might again force MSU into remote instruction
    • This section reinforces earlier communication on syllabus language provided by the Council of Undergraduate Education Deans (CUED)
    • The following should be included in syllabus materials and clearly communicated to students to ensure expectations are consistent:
      • Office Hours: For fall 2020, all office hours should be via computer or telephone.  No matter what the modality of the course, instructors are required to hold the number of office hours specified by their college.  Indicate the platform that office hours will be held on and how appointments can be made outside office hours.  Be explicit about communication channels and expectations (e.g., if you’ll need 24 hours to reply to student emails).  Provide both a phone number and an email address for contact as appropriate.  We suggest Zoom meetings and the use of a Zoom waiting room for office hours.
      •  Course Description: Instructors are responsible for ensuring that the content of the courses remains consistent with the course descriptions approved by the University Committee on Curriculum and the University Council.  Please ensure that all class activities are clearly directed toward the fulfillment of course objectives and that student performance is evaluated in a manner consistent with these objectives.  Please communicate that the mode of course instruction could change at any time given changes in public health guidance or changes in University operations.
      • Required Textbooks and Course Materials: Include detail such as the full title of each textbook, author, edition, ISBN, and where it can be purchased.  If a required text is available online, indicate where it can be accessed.  Specify any additional materials, including software and hardware, that students must purchase for the course.  Describe how students can access all technologies that will be used. Identify the hardware or software, if any, that is required for assessment (e.g. a webcam).  In selecting and preparing materials abide by the MSU Accessibility Policies.  For recommended texts and other readings and resources, state clearly how and where to access these materials, especially for online courses.  You can find additional instructional support here.
      • Course Schedule: This must include the date of the final examination and tentative dates of required assignments, quizzes, and tests, if applicable.  This should be arranged in a list by date or week.
      • Grading Policy: The syllabus must make clear how students will be evaluated and specifically how final grades will be determined.  This can be in the form of a detailed and complete rubric or chart.  Grade percentages must be provided so that students may understand how their final grade will be calculated.  If a grading curve is used, this must be shared, and instructors must let students know how the curve will be calculated.  Include any information about required proctoring, and particularly in an online course; this includes proctoring sites, lockdown browsers, and software requirements necessary for proctored exams or assignments.  Please include a statement to the effect that proctoring arrangements will be decided at the discretion of the instructor, or that all exams will be proctored using a specific method if that has been decided.  Note as well that proctoring arrangements are subject to change in the event of an unanticipated circumstance.
      • Staying Home or Self-Isolating when Appropriate: Include language that encourages students who need to quarantine themselves, have been sick with COVID-19 symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19, or have been potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19 to follow CDC guidance to self-isolate or stay home.  Include language that clearly states that you will make accommodations for those who must miss class due to illness or self-isolation that will not harm their performance or put them at a disadvantage in the class.
      •  Cloth Face Coverings On Campus: Cloth face coverings are required for everyone on campus.  Please include the following language in your syllabus:
        • Face coverings must be worn by everyone (including all faculty, staff, students, vendors, and visitors) indoors and outdoors while on property owned or governed by MSU and while participating in MSU-related or MSU-sponsored activities.  If you have a medical condition that may prevent you from safely wearing a face covering, you should contact MSU’s Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities to begin the accommodation process.
        • Face coverings should (a) be non-medical grade to maintain supplies for health care use, (b) fit snugly against the side of your face, (c) cover your nose and mouth, (d) be secured with ties or ear loops, and (e) allow for breathing without restriction.  Cloth face coverings should only be worn for one day at a time, and they must be properly hand washed or laundered before subsequent use.  Face coverings may vary (for example, disposable non-medical face coverings or neck gaiters are acceptable).
        • Failure to wear a face covering for those without an accommodation will result in the following: (1) A reminder of the requirement, the reason for it (to minimize spread), and a request to comply.  (2) A request to leave the classroom if no compliance.  (3) If no face covering compliance and the student refuses to leave the classroom, class will be dismissed.  (4) Should an emergency develop that you feel cannot be resolved by classroom dismissal, consider calling 911 for assistance.  Note: Calling the police should be the last resort for genuine emergencies and not used as a way to handle non-emergency conduct issues.


      If there is an incident related to face coverings in class, instructors should immediately file a report with the appropriate academic unit leader (e.g., department head, director of academic affairs, or director) and, as soon as possible, produce a written record of the facts.  For students who initially violated the requirement, but who chose to comply when addressed, consider an email or other communication to remind the student of the requirement for future classes and to engage the student in a conversation about the situation.  It will be helpful to allow the student to explain their actions in a way that might help in the future. Important information on the compact compliance can be found here.  More detail on University directives, including processes for sanctions can be found here.

  • Student-Friendly Strategies for Choosing Course Materials

    Carin Graves, MSU’s Sociology subject specialist librarian, describes several student-friendly strategies when choosing course materials:


    • Instead of using a textbook, create custom curriculum by linking to library-provided electronic resources, including e-books and chapters, journal articles, streaming video and music.


    • Seek out subject specialist librarians to help you sift through our electronic resources to identify choices appropriate for your classes or to request a possible purchase of something in electronic format that we do not yet have.



    • Consider using open educational resources (OER) and textbooks that are free for students This may be an option especially for lower level courses.  Regina Gong (, our OER librarian, is available to help you identify these.


    • If you determine that only a commercial textbook will work for your class, seek out cost and availability information. Choosing a textbook that has an affordable online rental option can make a difference for those having difficulties ordering hardcopies of books.