Tools & Design Resources

Please select one of the options below to find resources and information on that topic. If you can’t find what you’re looking for here you can search the Online Learning SharePoint or submit a ticket and give a description of your problem or goals.

Core Tools

Our MSUM Core Tools provide the primary functionality needed for quality instruction across modalities. Integrations between our Learning Management System, and the other tools help provide a seamless way to collaborate and learn. All MSUM students, faculty, and staff are provided with an account to access these tools.

Our Learning Management System, D2L Brightspace, has served our instructors and students well for many years. In May 2021, the Minnesota State Board of Trustees provided approval to extend our existing contract with D2L until August 31, 2028. Look below for commonly accessed information regarding the use of D2L Brightspace.

Microsoft 365 is a collection of Microsoft applications in cloud-based services allowing users to access a catalog of software using any web browser on virtually any device as long as an internet connection is available. The apps can be run completely on the web with no installation or installed onto your personal computer.

  • Login to Microsoft 365 using ‘’ as your username and your StarID password. Please note: the Microsoft username uses, not

MS 365 Trainers

Microsoft 365 offers many tools to increase efficiency and collaboration. Online Learning will collaborate with various departments to analyze existing workflows. Trainers will focus on problem-solving, skill-building and the development of training materials customized to each department. If you are interested in working with Online Learning to develop training for your department or team, please email us.

Kaltura MediaSpace is a media content management system provided for faculty, students, and staff. It provides tools for users to upload, share, record, or edit video content. It also provides a place to organize and share other media content such as images and audio.

All MSUM students, faculty, and staff are provided with a license for Zoom use. The license includes cloud recording and transcription services. Users can host up to 300 participants in their Zoom rooms.

More Tools

In addition to our Core Tools, MSUM provides access to these additional tools to supplement learning and teaching both online and in person.

Respondus Lockdown Browser & Respondus Monitor are online proctoring tools available use in any D2L course. Respondus LockDown Browser prohibits students from opening new tabs or windows on their computer while taking a D2L quiz. Respondus Monitor records students while they take a D2L quiz and flags suspicious testing behavior through automated processes.

Turnitin is a plagiarism detection tool that can help improve students’ writing skills by identifying areas where they may have included unoriginal content in their writing. After submitting their writing to a Turnitin enabled D2L Assignment, Turnitin will compare their writing to article databases and other information available online. Turnitin can also run a grammar and writing mechanics check on their paper. The Similarity Report will highlight key areas in their work, showing a breakdown of matching sources.

Qualtrics is a robust survey creation tool that works well for research. Users who would like a simple survey tool for use in the classroom may prefer Microsoft Forms.

  • Login to Qualtrics using your StarID
  • If using Qualtrics for research for publication you will likely want to consult with the Institutional Review Board (IRB). IRB best practices indicate that surveys conducted for the sole purpose of feedback on a product or feedback on services provided do not need any type of IRB approval if the results of that survey will not be published. If you have any doubts or questions as to whether your research ideas would need IRB approval, please contact the IRB Chair.

Read&Write is a literacy support tool that offers help with everyday tasks like reading text out loud, understanding unfamiliar words, researching assignments and proofing written work. For more information on accessibility tools and support, visit MSUM’s Accessibility Resources website.

To install Read&Write, follow the appropriate set of instructions from this page.

Course Design Resources

Visit Online Learning's Instructional Design SharePoint site for myriad course design resources related to formative & summative assessment, course mapping, instructor presence, and more.

Find information on additional topics below.

The Office of Online Learning is committed to ensuring all learners can be successful in their academic courses by supporting the use of accessible information and technology. Making something accessible improves the learning experience for everyone, including those with disabilities. We advocate the use of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in creating course materials and activities.

Looking for help on designing an accessible syllabus?

Together with the MSUM community, we can each do our part to eliminate barriers and help our learners be successful.

If you have any questions or want to know whether your course documents are accessible create a ticket and make the subject "Accessibility".

HyFlex (Hybrid-Flexible) course design provides students an ongoing choice to attend class face-to-face, synchronously online, or asynchronously online and may be an effective way to help them balance academic pursuits with other obligations in life. As with other online or hybrid modalities, HyFlex does require some deliberate considerations in how a course is designed and taught. If you are considering a HyFlex modality to meet your students’ needs, the resources below have been developed to help you prepare for this challenge.

The Library faculty and Online Learning staff are partnering to offer an incentivized initiative for a few teaching faculty to develop or modify and OER for classroom use. Email for information on how to join this initiative or for questions pertaining to OERs.

The Online Learning Consortium (OLC) offers the OLC Quality Scorecard Suite as well as workshops and webinars to help you design and improve your courses. The Scorecard Suite provides criteria and benchmarking tools to ensure quality online learning practices in the following areas: administration of online programs, blended learning, teaching & instructional practices, and student support. You can find more information in our Course Design and Workshops, Webinars, and Courses pages.

Quality Matters (QM) offers a course evaluation rubric, an online Self-Review tool, as well as workshops and webinars to help you evaluate and improve your courses. The rubric outlines principles of effective online course design and consists of standards that address course structure and clarity, learning outcomes, and learner engagement & support. You can find more information in our Course Design and Workshops, Webinars, and Courses pages.