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Find Assistance For Your Course

"Two heads are better than one" as the old adage goes. Likewise, many of the most successful educational endeavors are collaborative efforts. You don't have to work alone and you need not reinvent the wheel; there are resources available to help you prepare for success as an instructor. Here is a list of offices and their corresponding services/resources that can assist you with your teaching and research needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I turn my face-to-face course into an online course?

In general, your curriculum will require some redesign in order to take advantage of the unique online learning environment. The degree to which course materials and resources will need to be redesigned will vary according to the type and complexity of the course. See the "Course Design 101" section on the menu for help preparing your course materials. Additionally, personalized assistance is available from the Office of Teaching and Learning; we have staff that can work directly with you to prepare your materials.

How do I know that my students are understanding the material? How do I know my students are participating?

In general, many of the same principles of engaging student interaction and monitoring learning that instructors rely upon in the traditional classroom are also true online. Provide opportunities, and even require that students submit evidence of their participation (either through live chat or discussion board posts or even through written work) and provide multiple forms of assessment (quizzes, projects, reflection papers or essays). For detailed information, the following portions of this site are especially recommended:

How do I assess my students?

In general, many of the same principles of engaging student interaction and monitoring learning that instructors rely upon in the traditional classroom are also true online. Provide opportunities, and even require that students submit evidence of their participation (either through live chat or discussion board posts or even through written work) and provide multiple forms of assessment (quizzes, projects, reflection papers or essays). For detailed information, the following portions of this site are especially recommended:

Also, don't forget to check out the "Grading & Reporting" section under "Course Maintenance" for information about reporting grades and performance to the University.

How do students get access to my class in Blackboard? How are they notified?

Your students will automatically be added to your Blackboard roster when they register for your course through Campus Connection. Please note that students who add your course after the registration period of the course term may not automatically be added to your Blackboard roster. As the Instructor, you are advised to periodically compare your Campus Connection course roster to your Blackboard roster and adjust student permissions and/or remove students who have dropped.

Where can I find help in writing multiple choice questions for an exam?

Vanderbilt University's Center for Teaching has a great resource for creating multiple choice test questions.

How do I report grades to the University?

Complete information about NDSU grading policies, deadlines and procedures can be found in the "Course Maintenance" section of this site.

How do students evaluate my course? Where do I get a copy of the course evaluation for my course site in Blackboard?

Complete information about evaluation policies and procedures for courses can be found in the "Course Maintenance" section of this site.


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NDSU Office of Teaching and Learning

Phone: 701-231-7015 (local); 1-800-726-1724 (toll-free)


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NDSU Bookstore

Books and course materials are essential to our practice, so NDSU OTL and the NDSU Bookstore have put together a short video regarding how to order books and materials for the classes you are teaching.  We have also included some valuable tips below. 

The designated provider of course material information for NDSU students. By law, the NDSU Bookstore is required to provide information on the courses offered and what materials will be used. Faculty must submit a list of all textbooks and materials required for their course, even if no textbooks are required. Course material expenses can be reduced for students when books and materials requests are turned in at least 8 weeks prior to the start of the semester.

Tip 1: Reserve books at least eight weeks prior to the start of the semester.
Reserving your books/materials well in advance of the upcoming semester allows the NDSU Bookstore time to watch for the best deals on your books/materials. Those savings are passed on to students taking your class.

Tip 2: If you are short on time, use the Quick Adoption Form.
The Quick Adoption Form gives you the option to quickly enter your book/material information. However, you may want to choose the Faculty Login Adoption System, which remembers your textbook and material requests from previous semesters.  

Tip 3: Notify the NDSU Bookstore if you DO NOT require any books/materials for your class.
Notifying the NDSU Bookstore that you are not using any books/materials is easy.  Complete the Quick Adoption Form and check the "No Text Required" box. The bonus is you eliminate unneccesary emails requesting your textbook reservations.

Services available through the NDSU Bookstore include:

Phone: 1-800-428-8309 (toll-free) or 701-231-7761

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NDSU Center for Writers

Provides free, one-on-one writing consultations for NDSU faculty, staff, and students who seek to improve their writing skills.

Services offered include the following:

  • Provides a list of editors-for-hire for longer personal projects (ex. novels).
  • Brainstorm topics and locate relevant information,
  • Focus, develop, and organize ideas,
  • Create an appropriate voice for your audience and purpose,
  • Apply effective grammar and punctuation guidelines, and
  • Access and apply online documentation help.

Resources for teaching of writing include the following:

Phone: 701-231-7927


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NDSU Disability Services

Find information about ethical and legal implications for college instructors, and also practical tips for a proactive approach to preparing and delivering course curriculum, information, and materials in the Youtube era.

Faculty and staff may find the following links to be useful resources in working with students who have a disability:

Phone: 701-231-8463; ND Relay 800-366-6888


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NDSU Graduate Center for Writers

Helps graduate students, as well as faculty and staff, to become more successful writers. Our consultants are expert writers who have extensive experience reading and reviewing a wide range of literature by writers at all levels of proficiency.

Services offered include the following:

Resources provided include the following:

Phone: 701-231-5264


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NDSU Instructional Services

Supports instructors in effective and innovative use of technology in the learning environment. Instructional services provides support and training for:

Phone: 231-8685, Option 1

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NDSU Libraries - Faculty Information

Supports the teaching and learning of the NDSU community by providing resources and services to all students, faculty and staff. Subject librarians are available for each discipline to help you, provide instruction for your courses using NDSU resources, and to work directly with students.

Services provided include the following:

Interlibrary Loan 701-231-8885
Circulation Desk 701-231-8888
Reference Desk (local) 701-231-9746


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NDSU Office of Institutional Research and Analysis

This office is a reliable source for authoritative information about the institution to serve both academic and administrative functions.

Resources provided include the following:

Phone: 701-231-8262


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NDSU Registration and Records - Faculty Information

Offers educational support services and provides information regarding institutional academic policies and procedures to faculty, staff, and students.

Resources provided include the following:

Phone: 701-231-7981; 1-800-608-6378 (toll-free)


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Heard about podcasting and wondering what it is all about? Wondering if you should include it in your course website? Well, search no further! If you are offering a face-to-face or online course through NDSU, we can provide all the support and resources you will need to successfully include podcasting in your course.

Background Knowledge
  • What is podcasting?
    Personal On Demand (broad) CASTING. In non-technical terms, podcasting is the "broadcasting" of an audio or video file (like an "episode" of sound or a movie clip) via the Internet.
  • Why would I want to use it for my class?
    Imagine if you could deliver mini-lectures to your class, integrated with your Blackboard course website AND also include a feature that automatically notified your students every time a new lecture was available. Podcasting makes that possible.
  • Aren't podcasts just for people who own iPods?
    No. While the word podcasting first became popularized by users of iPods, in truth, anyone can listen to a podcast as long as they have software or a device (a computer or mobile player) that can play an podcast files. This file type is recognized by PC and Mac computer software (freely available for use) including iTunes.
  • What else should I know?
    Podcasting support and hosting is available to instructors teaching courses at NDSU. We provide comprehensive technical support, production and hosting. NDSU offers several studios that are fully equipped for creating high quality audio narrations, and the Office of Teaching and Learning can help you synchronize your narration to your PowerPoint slides.
The Basic Steps

There are five basic steps for creating and including a podcast in your course.

  • Step 1: Prepare your presentation. You may use PowerPoint slides, as you might use in your classroom, or develop a script for audio recording. If you choose to use PowerPoint slides, we do recommend that you still consider creating a script or at least a comprehensive set of notes. Recording studios are unlike classrooms, and sometimes the technology can seem a bit overwhelming. Solid presentation notes or a script can help provide the confidence needed to successfully record narration in an unfamiliar environment. Notes or a script also help reduce the amount of editing that is required after recording. We also recommend that you review your presentation slides for any content that is protected by copyright law. Because podcasts are digitally distributed, presentation slides cannot contain any images or other content that would violate copyright laws. Please contact us for assistance with formatting or graphic design if you need further assistance.
  • Step 2: Contact NDSU ITS to schedule an appointment to record in one of their studios.
  • Step 3: Send us an electronic copy of your PowerPoint slides, if you are using any. We pre-produce them in a format that is suited for use in a video podcast. We do request a minimum of three business days to process your slides.
  • Step 4: Record your presentation. We invite you to dress comfortably and to bring a beverage on the day of your recording appointment. A typical recording session lasts 1 - 2 hours per episode. As you become more comfortable and familiar with the recording process, expect studio session length to decrease.
  • Step 5: Post-production. We will provide assistance to prepare your podcast recording for distribution, including final editing, music selection, and publishing the podcast to our server. You will also receive assistance in publishing a link to your Blackboard course shell so that students can access your podcast episodes.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
How do I include my PowerPoint slides? Using Apple's Garage Band software, we are able to created enhanced podcasts that feature both your audio recording (narration) and synchronized display of your PowerPoint slides.

Can I synchronize my audio and PowerPoint slides? Yes, your students can view the presentation slides and hear your narration, presented in a synchronized video format.

What if I want to do video? For most lecture content, full-motion video is generally less instructionally significant. However, for certain kinds of information or demonstration purposes video provides a higher quality learning experience. Please contact us to discuss your needs. We have resources for creating video content.
Podcast Instructions for Students

Your instructor may include podcasting as a way to deliver course lectures, guest speakers or other course information to you. Instructors can use audio or video podcasts. We recommend using iTunes to access and view podcasts.

If you have not already done so, we recommend that you download and install iTunes. It is available free from Apple:

Once you have intalled iTunes (or your favorite m4a or video podcast player) use these steps to access episodes:

  1. Please visit the podcast link that your instructor provides on Blackboard.
  2. Select the link on the right hand side of the screen, "Subscribe in iTunes."
  3. The first episode will automatically begin to download in iTunes. (If iTunes wasn't already running on your computer, it should launch).
  4. Once the first episode has completed downloading, select "Podcasts" from the left-hand side menu on the iTunes window.
  5. Select the abbreviated course title for your course from the menu in the center of the screen. Next to the title, you should see a little triangle. Select the triangle so that the menu drops down.
  6. You will see additional episodes listed, followed by a "Get" button for each. Select the corresponding "Get" button to download an episode.
  7. To view the slides in full screen view, select the "Show item artwork button" (lower left hand corner of iTunes player) and then double-click the podcast title that appears. You can stretch or size the podcast screen to suit your viewing preferences.


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Adobe Captivate

Captivate is software that is produced by Adobe, Inc. Captivate can be used to create simulations, software demonstrations and scenario-based training without advanced programming or multimedia development expertise that enables anyone to create powerful and engaging simulations, software demonstrations, and scenario-based training without programming knowledge or multimedia skills. Based on the Flash platform, Adobe Captivate generates content in Flash format, without requiring users to learn Flash. Captivate was originally called RoboDemo and was produced by the eHelp Corporation until the company was acquired by Macromedia, Inc.

Adobe Captivate is available from ITS for license to NDSU faculty. Contact ITS for more information.

Adobe maintains an extensive website for supporting its software products. Information specific to Captivate can be found at

Tutorial User Guide - Using Adobe Captivate to Create a Narrated PowerPoint Presentation

This guide will provide step-by-step instructions for using Adobe Captivate to convert a PowerPoint presentation into a narrated presentation suited for use with online courses. Click here to download the guide.


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From the words of the official website,, "Wikipedia is a multilingual, Web-based free-content encyclopedia project. The name is a portmanteau of the words wiki and encyclopedia. Wikipedia is written collaboratively by volunteers, allowing most articles to be changed by almost anyone with access to the Web site. Its main servers are in Tampa, Florida, with additional servers in Amsterdam and Seoul."

Wikipedia is powered by a wiki. "A wiki is a type of website that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove and otherwise edit and change" the information and content that is contained within the website. A wiki is a powerful tool for collaborative authoring.

The tidbit icon.Tidbit:
Some educators use Wikipedia as part of the course activity and assign students individually or in groups to author new pages to expand Wikipedia's library of subject matter, or edit an existing page for accuracy.
Where to find Wikipedia?

Wikipedia can be found online at Access to the pages of Wikipedia is free. Registration is required for those who wish to participate in any authoring activity. Registration is also free.

The tidbit icon.Tidbit:
Wikipedia is a controversial resource. It is one of the most popular information sources online, and ranks as one of the most visited websites on the Internet. Wikipedia has been criticized as an unreliable source of information due to the publicly authored basis of information generation and its reliance upon consensus as a policing mechanism. Proponents of the site have defended the overall quality of Wikipedia as comparable to other long-standing encyclopedic works. Some instructors choose to bar Wikipedia as an information resource for use with course assignments. It is reasonable to expect that students will access Wikipedia, unless such expectations are clearly communicated. In either case, it is appropriate to recommend and provide students with guidance regarding the use and critical evaluation of information sources and the proper methods for citing referenced works.


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The Geek Glossary

Learn to speak like a techno-guru! Several links to various technical glossaries, written in accessible English. These links have been reviewed. Please contact us if you find that one is no longer working.

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IDEA - Improving Learning in Higher Education
The IDEA organization describes itself as "a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving learning in higher education. Through our research, we provide teaching and learning resources for faculty and leaders, which we make available to all of higher education in fulfillment of our mission." Go to the IDEA website to find research and resources related to instruction and learning.




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Office of Teaching and Learning
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7015
Campus address: Family Life Center (FLC) 314
Mailing address: Dept 2020 PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-2020

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 6, 2017 1:12:00 PM