Online Ready

About Us

Distance Education support is not only for faculty who teach full ecourses; distance education support is for ALL faculty. Please do not hesitate to contact us at if you have questions or concerns. Online Learning has a new Workshops and Events page where all training that is open to the faculty will be listed. Some sessions require registration. Take a look!

Notice: Collaborate is no longer available. All Collaborate videos were deleted June 30, 2021, and faculty will need to choose between Zoom and Microsoft Teams for delivering virtual class sessions. This does not impact Blackboard or your course in any other way.

The IT Service Desk: students and faculty can contact the IT Service Desk for assistance with their internet issues or technical issues. Blackboard Help should be referred to Online Learning. Due to the heavy volume of calls the Service Desk receives, you should contact them via email at

Information Technology has a website dedicated to the types of software that are available to use: Available Software.

  • There are many resources for “cloud services” as well, meaning you can access information or this software from any location that has internet service. MU cloud services are Office 365, OneDrive with 1 TB of space for every user, OneNote, and Teams. Cloud Services
  • If you should need professional live streaming and video production, Digital Media Services can guide you on this process.
  • Information Technology also has a Service Catalog & Fees site where you can see a list of the many other IT services that are available to you.

Many faculty are concerned that online learning means more cheating in class, but multiple studies, tracking students who are taking online and face-to-face courses in the same semester have shown that students are NOT more likely to cheat online than they are face-to-face. Approximately 30% of undergraduate students admitted to some form of academic dishonesty in both types of delivery modes.

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 has been effect since 2010. Since that time, the institution is required to publish a list of all required and recommended books and other course materials for all classes offered at the institution at the time of student registration. As of August 11, 2021, no changes have been made to this federal regulation, so we cannot ask students to pay a fee for test proctoring at this point.

Suggestions for Preventing Academic Dishonesty

  • Use SafeAssign plagiarism tool on Blackboard Assignments: SafeAssign is a plagiarism prevention tool that allows you to check the originality of an assignment submission against our institutional repository of student work and internet-based sources. Students should be allowed to view their originality reports. You can have students turn in work on a rough draft by checking the “do not add to repository” option on Submission Details, where the SafeAssign option is located on the Edit Assignment Options page.
    Blackboard SafeAssign Help for Instructors
    SafeAssign information for students
  • Respondus Lockdown Browser: Software the student downloads on their personal computers. It functions as its name intends: a browser that prevents students from opening any other browser on their screen, prevents multiple tabs, or prevents access to other software. The download information for students and information on use can be found by logging into Bb and click on Tech Support on the top tab. The Assessment module contains information for Respondus.
  • Respondus LockDown Browser with Monitor:For use in conjunction with LockDown Browser, records students taking exams and requires microphone and webcam. The program will flag suspicious activity and allow the instructor to review the video to investigate the activity that caused the video to be flagged.*Both tools require students to have high-speed internet access and their own device. These tools are not meant for users who have low-bandwith, or are trying to accomplish academic tasks on a mobile device.

Creating Blackboard Assessments (Tests) Instructions

To use Respondus, you must create the Tests first.

Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor Instructions for Faculty

Tips to Keep Students from Cheating

  • If you use test banks, chances are, your questions and answers are already searchable on the internet. If you are using a new text, with new test bank questions, consider using only a portion of those questions at a time, and change them each semester.
  • If you are using the Test tool in Blackboard, consider letting us help you create test pools for each chapter. Test pools can be used to created a Test made up of random blocks. Random blocks allow you to choose how many questions and question types from each pool you want to use and how much their point value is worth.
  • Utilize various Test options like randomizing all of the questions on the test, setting a timer (never use Force Complete), or break up your testing materials into shorter tests.
  • Offer varied assessments. Students deserve more opportunities than just multiple choice tests to show that they are competent. (If you’d like pedagogical considerations, please contact the Center for Teaching and Learning.)

Currently Marshall keeps live course sections active in Blackboard for 18 months, and keeps the archived files for 24 months. Due to the increasing cost of storage, faculty cannot directly upload audio/video files into their Blackboard course. Each course starts the term with 1 GB of storage space. If you receive an error message that you are unable to upload files, contact with your course CRN and we can increase the storage on a course-by-course basis.

It is imperative that you have a Development course for each course you use Blackboard resources for, and that you keep that Development course current. We do not archive Development courses, so when it’s time for us to archive your previously live course sections, having the current content in a Development section will ensure you do not lose access to any content. You should be updating and preparing materials for the upcoming semester in Development courses.

View more information, and the archiving schedule on the Course Archiving page.

All information regarding help for students can be found on the Student Resources page for Blackboard on our website. The Student Resources page provides information about how to get started with Blackboard, how to login, how to access help tools, how to navigate inside courses, and contact information should issues arise.

Students can also use the Blackboard Learn Help website for students. The website is searchable based on tools and keywords. There are many video tutorials that go along with the instructions. Blackboard Help and Tutorial links are also available to every student, in every course, under the Technical Help area of the course menu.

Quality Matters is training that is required for all faculty who teach Distance Education courses, and training must be completed within a year of beginning to teach online. In normal circumstances, faculty are required to be trained in Quality Matters prior to teaching any distance education course; however, new faculty who are unable to complete training prior to the start of the term will be given a grace period of two semesters to complete QM training certification.

Please email QM Coordinator ( for information on training opportunities.

Information Technology’s Teaching Options site explains teaching options for sharing information with your students. In some cases, you and your students may need VPN access to access tools that are available on Marshall computers, but are not readily available on personal computers. Please remind students that all correspondence regarding course work and grades must be done using their Marshall email accounts, not their personal accounts, such as Gmail. The same goes for instructors; you must use your Marshall email when it comes to matters regarding coursework and students.

Information Technology’s “How do I…?” site for students and faculty

Computer and Browser Considerations

Computer and Browser Requirements

Blackboard does not work efficiently with all devices and browsers. This page will give you the recommended specifications for a computer and the link to the Blackboard Browser Checker. We recommend users to NOT access and complete all graded activities through a tablet or mobile device. Users should also use updated Google Chrome or Firefox, and in most cases, updated Edge Chromium is also acceptable.

Access to Tech Equipment

Webcams may be available to check-out at the Drinko Circulation Desk (3 hour time limit) and at the IT Service Desk (also in Drinko). Users may also ask the IT Service Desk for laptops, tablets, and assistance with internet service. Equipment is limited.

Additional software, downloads, and VPN are not needed for access to Blackboard.

There are 3 main offices that can help you navigate remote, virtual, or online learning: Center for Teaching & Learning, Office of Information Technology, and the office of Online Learning.

  • The mission of the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) is to empower faculty in their teaching and research by cultivating a campus culture that values pedagogical, disciplinary, and program-based inquiry in support of student learning. More specifically, CTL provides opportunities for faculty to develop and engage with the instruments of teaching and learning (e.g., curricula and pedagogy) and the processes of teaching and learning (e.g., data-driven teaching strategies, reflective and metacognitive practices).
  • The main page of the Information Technology page highlights resources for “Keep Learning,” “Keep Teaching,” and to “Keep Working.” The site also provides direct access to information about Office 365 products, Microsoft Teams, LinkIn Learning, and OneDrive access. If you need assistance with a classroom on campus, contact Information Technology.
  • Online Learning employs 4 instructional designers to assist with over 700 faculty, but that should not discourage you from contacting us for Blackboard assistance! The designers are invested in online learning and can adapt trainings for all levels of learners. We can assist with uploading course content, copying courses, and Blackboard issues from faculty and students.

Having Trouble with Blackboard?

Contact the IT Service Desk

Call the Design Center


Contact a Designer

Bookings Link

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