Instructional Support

The following resources will help with instructional support:



It’s essential to plan for course adjustments and communication in order to ensure a smooth transition in the learning space.

  • Adjust your expectations for students: Throughout the semester, you may need to adjust some of your expectations for students, including participation, engagement, grading, and deadlines. As you think through these changes, keep in mind the effect that a campus disruption may have on students’ ability to meet those expectations. Students may encounter additional barriers, which you should be mindful of. These include transitioning to on campus in person classroom learning, illness, limited power or internet connections, or needing to care for family members. Be ready to handle requests for extensions or accommodations equitably.
  • Some students rely on MSU’s infrastructure for internet access. Should access to campus be restricted it is possible that some students may have limited internet connectivity or be reliant on cellular networks for their internet access. Please keep this in mind. Here are two sites to help find accessible wifi hotspots:
  • Develop a robust communication plan: Clarify your expectations and course elements and communicate them to students. Tell students how they can contact you (email, office hours, Microsoft Teams, etc.), and how soon they can expect a reply from you. Consider using the D2L announcements and discussion board tools to push out course-level communications.
  • Consider realistic goals for instruction: Be realistic about what can and can not be accomplished in a particular learning environment (in person, hybrid, remote, online). If necessary, refocus the course goals on realistically attainable objectives. Clarify what your expectations are for students’ efforts with regard to reading and homework. Be clear with students what you expect of them with regard to participation and discussion.
  • Adjust your syllabus as needed: Make sure your policies are clear (attendance, participation, grading, schedule, web cam (if applicable)); consider including a brief explanation of why the policy supports student success. If necessary, adjust your syllabus during the semester. Provide as much detail as possible about changes. If you are teaching remotely, do not expect students to participate in synchronous sessions at a time other than the normal course time. Here we provide language that should be included in your syllabus.



Communicate with your students often. Be clear with them what changes are coming (if any) and what your expectations are for engagement with your course. Communication is best done with courses by using the Instructor Systems tool on the Registrar’s website, or by using the Email function of D2L.

For more info on remote communication with your students, check out this Remote Communication With Your Students Quick Guide.

Guidelines for Productive Online Conversations



Regardless of learning environment a primary concern should be assessing how well students have achieved the key learning objectives and determining what objectives are still unmet. It may be necessary to modify the nature of the assessment. Offering assessments in a remote setting requires planning given the more limited affordances of this type of learning environment.

For more info on remote assessment, check out this Remote Assessment Quick Guide.

Assessment Strategy for Remote Teaching

Keep Teaching 4: Assessment (Video)


Assignments and Activities

In-class activities and assignments can be facilitated by a variety of the tools provided at MSU. Instructions for assignments and activities can be provided most easily in text format (email, D2L file, Word document, etc.). Consider using the D2L Assignment Tool as it will collect and store individual submissions and allow students to see that they submitted the assignment.

For more info on remote assignments and activities, check out this Remote Activities and Assignments Quick Guide.

Keep Teaching 5: Assignments (Video)



Lectures can be created and offered using a combination of Office 365 (PowerPoint), Zoom, MediaSpace, and D2L. This will allow you to give and record your presentation (adding narrations to PowerPoint and local recording in Zoom) and deliver it to students (uploading video to MediaSpace and adding video content to D2L). Videos may be recorded via Zoom and then streamed to students via MSU MediaSpace and D2L.

For more info on remote lectures, check out this Remote Lectures Quick Guide.

For more information on hybrid lectures, check out this resource guide.

Keep Teaching 2: Lecture (Video)


Participation and Engagement

Note that student participation and engagement may be different in a remote teaching instance than in a face-to-face classroom. For example, in a Zoom meeting some students may not speak due to the mode of communication and/or the technology they are using to connect. We encourage you to be aware of differences in participation and engagement and to be flexible in opportunities for ways that students can participate in the course. Consider using the D2L discussion forums as a means to facilitate asynchronous engagement.

For more info on remote participation and engagement, check out this Remote Participation Quick Guide.

Keep Teaching 3: Interaction (Video)


Library Resources

Many course readings are provided at MSU as digital content or in books that students have purchased. If you have any materials that are only available as physical hard copies and which students do not already own, please contact the library in order to develop a digital strategy if applicable. 

There is a central page for services for online and off campus students and faculty. Services include mailing library books directly to you or your students, troubleshooting Libraries e-resources and databases, and help creating stable links to those resources.   

Subject specialist librarians are happy to help find library resources for your classes and to get those materials linked in D2L for your students. One of the easiest ways to provide this assistance is for you to make your subject specialist librarian an editor in your course. To find your subject librarian, please see our list at Librarians are also happy to discuss any other ways that they can support your teaching and learning needs. 

We have reference services available for students and faculty via chat, 24/7:


Hot Spots

Hot spots are available for faculty who do not have other internet options. To request a free hotspot please contact the Service Desk:

The university has secured a limited number of hot spots, only available while supplies last.


Where to go for help


COVID-19 Guidance

Based on public health guidance, MSU has created steps for students, faculty, graduate and undergraduate student instructors, and staff on what to do in various scenarios related to COVID-19 exposure, testing and confirmed cases. Please note, these protocols have changed over the past few months and likely will continue to change into the future based on federal, state and local public health guidance. Please check the Together We Will website regularly for the latest guidance.