Murray State Faculty Resources for COVID-19 Instruction

Murray State College Teaching Continuity Plan - Get Ready Now

Keep Calm and Carry On (with technology!)

Because we know that supporting student and faculty morale, managing assignment loads, and scaffolding online activities are some of the key topics that educators need to keep in mind, MSC is also prepared to offer advice and suggestions regarding these issues as we prepare and plan for COVID19, in addition to tech assistance.

In the event of shifting to an online environment, you'll want to make your course(s) as “online-ready” as possible. Communicate with students early on, provide as much course content as possible and try to continue to assess student performance while being flexible. Students may or may not have quality access to the Internet or technology.

To prepare for a short-term shift to teaching a course online, instructors can still be effective and engaging for students. To accomplish this, it is helpful to think about key elements of learning as you prepare for the shift to online teaching.

  1. What are your objectives for the time you will be teaching online? What do you want your students to learn during the short-term shift to teaching online. Once you decide what you want your students to learn, you can determine the way you want to teach and what learning experiences you want to design for your students.

  2. How can you translate the learning experiences to an online environment? The sections below provide different instructional methods that support active student learning. If you need assistance contact CIDT at or

  3. After you have decided your method of teaching, you need to decide how you want to assess students’ learning and how often assessments will be assigned. Below is a section with multiple ideas for assessing students online.

  4. Communication is vital to the shift of an online environment. Online courses, even in the short term, should not be “set it and forget it.” The student should be able to contact their instructor easily to help prevent anxiety. Students should be able to contact the instructor as they work through the instructions, assignments, and assessments. Please provide students with several ways to contact you. Reply to students in a timely manner, so they are not waiting long periods of time for a response. The section over communication describes in detail ways for instructors to communicate with students.

  5. Lastly, once you’ve determined how you will conduct your courses, send an announcement to your class to let them know what the expectations are for course work during our virtual shift. Within each Blackboard Course, there is a “ Announcements” tool in which all of your enrolled students are subscribed. If an instructor posts a message using this tool, every student in the course can read the message within Blackboard and they receive a copy of the message via email.


At this time MSC is ready to provide ongoing support on all matters related to online and blended teaching. Listed below are college’s tools and platforms for online learning. The materials on this webpage provide information for technology-based solutions.

  1. Blackboard will provide a general structure for your online classroom, and should be used to communicate with students, schedule online meetings and assignments, turn in assignments and activities, etc.

  2. Vidgrid will allow instructors to record lectures and post the recordings for students to watch. Features include showing PowerPoint presentations along with video of the instructor delivering their lecture.

  3. Zoom supports synchronous or asynchronous communication sessions, such as live video class meetings, and one-on-one video conversations. Students without internet can connect to zoom conferences by phone.

  4. Voice-over PowerPoint presentations are an alternative to Vidgrid lecture capturing.

We recognize that the learning activities in courses such as performing arts, studio arts, and lab sciences that require specialized equipment will not translate easily to the online environment. We are ready to think with faculty about meaningful alternatives to such course activities, and the Dean of Instruction, division/program chair, and CIDT is also available for guidance.


Stay flexible. You may find your method of assessment doesn't easily transfer to an online modality. In this case, review the options below or contact CIDT ( or your division chair. Blackboard provides a secure place to provide assignment information and to collect student work for feedback, review, and grading.

The Blackboard Quizzes/Test activity enables an instructor to create quizzes and tests. The instructor can allow multiple quiz attempts times, with the questions shuffled or randomly selected from the question bank. A time limit may be set.

Creating a quizzes/tests:


Many applications are available to enable two-way communication. Communication can be synchronous (live, real-time, like a broadcast lecture or instant message/chat) or asynchronous (occurring over hours or days, like e-mail or discussion boards). Instructors are encouraged to have a plan for students that will communicate information in the clearest and most efficient way that works for the class such as:

  • Email

  • Use the announcements forum to contact the whole class in Blackboard (remember to select “email announcement” if you want the announcement emailed to students)

  • Set up a Zoom (video/audio) meeting or recurring Zoom office hours

  • Discussion board in Blackboard

Zoom is a video conferencing app supported by MSC It can be used for recording lectures, holding office hours or meetings, or for group or individual video or phone conferences. All MSC instructors are eligible to have a Zoom Pro account. Accounts may be set up through IT using the following link:

Get Help

We're here to help! We are available to answer questions regarding your course delivery as well as help with software issues or other questions that may arise about your course.

Contact MSC IT directly:

Contact CIDT directly by emailing or using the “How Can We Help” tab in your blackboard course.