We've provided a list of tools in common use at NC State, which are recommended for instructors to use based on their accessibility and reliability, and due to the availability of support for these tools.

While recommended, the set of resources described below is not a comprehensive list. Other tools not listed below might also be appropriate to use in a given instructional context. The needs of instructors in different classes or different fields of study can vary widely, and there is not a “one size fits all” technology solution that meets every teaching and learning need.

Communicate with students


  • Moodle
    • Announcements forum – Every Moodle course includes an Announcements forum, within which (a) only instructors are allowed to post messages, and (b) students are automatically subscribed to receive email copies of all posted messages, and they cannot unsubscribe. 
    • Quickmail block – This block can be added to any Moodle course. It allows instructors to compose email messages directly in Moodle and send them to any members of the class. 
    • Participants list – Instructors can select one or more students and send messages to them through Moodle (along with a copy sent via email). Student email addresses can also be downloaded from the Participants list.
  • WolfWare Google Groups – WolfWare Google Groups provides a set of email lists that can be used by instructors to communicate with a class, or can be set up as a channel for students to request help from instructors and support staff. Multiple email lists can be configured within a single class, and class rosters are updated automatically when changes (adds and drops) occur. WolfWare Google Groups also allows sharing of Google Calendar events and online documents from Google Drive. 

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Distribute course materials and readings


  • Moodle Files (such as PDFs, slide presentations, or other documents) can be uploaded into a Moodle course and accessed directly by students. Links to URLs and basic HTML content are also easy to create and organize in Moodle.
  • Google Drive Materials in Google Drive (such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides) can be shared publicly or sharing can be restricted to NC State users or to specific students. When Google Drive is used in conjunction with WolfWare Google Groups, instructors can share Google content with a class roster with access permissions that are automatically updated through roster changes.
  • Course Reserves – Through the course reserves system, instructors can request to have library staff create and add physical and digital course reserves to their classes. Instructors can also directly manage their course reserves online. 
  • VitalSourceWolfpack Outfitters (NC State Bookstores) has partnered with their All-In digital course materials provider, VitalSource, and leading publishers, to launch VitalSource Helps, a program that provides free access to ebooks to all NC State students through May 25th. Students may access these materials now at If your students currently access materials through an online learning platform, there should be no disruption to their access. This program is providing supplemental access to ebook content, and does not include alternate learning materials (custom editions, course packs, courseware, etc.).

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Deliver lectures


  • Zoom The Zoom web conferencing platform is well suited for synchronous (real-time) online meetings involving small or large groups (up to 300 participants), and includes video, audio, screen sharing, text chat, and many other features. Instructors might use Zoom to deliver online lectures to an entire class, or to hold virtual office hours with a single student or a small group. Zoom meetings can be recorded for later viewing, and recordings can include automatic transcription that displays as separate text or as captions that appear along with the recorded video as it plays.
  • My Mediasite My Mediasite is a tool that instructors can use to record presentations from a personal computer, capturing video and/or audio and computer images. My Mediasite is frequently used by instructors to record their own audio narration over a set of presentation slides; the resulting recording can then be provided to students as a streaming video online. My Mediasite also allows other videos to be uploaded, thus providing instructors with a single location to store and manage video content. 

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Run lab activities

To continue your lab activities during campus disruptions, could you:

  • Video yourself (or a colleague / TA) doing an experiment, send that and resulting data to your students, and then have the students do their normal lab reports?
  • Find some sort of lab simulation on MERLOT (or in Labster, Phet, or a similar learning object repository) for your students to interact with?
  • Have students do something at home using materials they could find around their house, yard or neighborhood?
  • Livestream a lab experiment for students to watch?
  • Design questions specific to the learning outcomes that students should gain from the modified lab activity (e.g. data analysis, troubleshooting, and problem solving)?

Faculty colleagues at NC State have already developed ways to run lab activities at a distance. Here are some examples of the solutions they have created.

Here are options for virtual labs, curated by MERLOT:

Foster communication and collaboration among students


  • Moodle Forum activity The Forum activity in Moodle allows students and instructors to exchange ideas by posting comments within threaded discussions. Files such as images and media can also be included in forum posts. Instructors can choose to grade and/or rate forum posts and it is also possible to give students permission to rate each others’ posts. 
  • G Suite The various tools in Google’s G Suite are designed with collaboration in mind, and they can be useful for students who need to work together on projects. Productivity apps such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides allow shared editing of documents and other files, Drive allows file and folder sharing, and Hangouts provides easy-to-use live video and text chat for collaborators. 
  • Zoom Students can also use the Zoom web conferencing platform in a variety of collaborative ways, such as holding online group meetings, participating in online discussions in real time, or delivering online presentations. A Zoom session can include audio, video, screen sharing, text chat, and more, and Zoom meetings can be recorded for later viewing.

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Collect assignments


  • Moodle Assignment activity The Assignment activity in Moodle provides a space where students can submit work and instructors can provide feedback and assign grades. Assignments can be configured to support a wide variety of instructional needs, including group work and blind grading. Student submissions can take the form of submitted files, text entered directly into Moodle, or audio recordings. 
  • Google Docs Assignment instructions can be created using a Google Doc and shared via NC State email address. Students can also submit assignments as Google Docs by sharing back with faculty. A best practice is to have students re-assign ownership of graded work to the instructor for retention purposes.

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Assess student learning


  • Online proctoring – Instructors are strongly encouraged to consider methods of assessing student learning outcomes other than proctored exams. Online proctoring, regardless of the platform, requires all students to have a webcam and a stable internet connection. Nevertheless, NC State wishes to offer options to instructors for whom proctored exams are the only feasible way to assess student learning in their class. For exams delivered online in Moodle, student monitoring by Respondus Monitor software is available. Instructors have access to reports of anomalous student behavior noted by the software. For printed paper exams, instructors may be able to directly observe students via the Zoom video communication tool.
  • Moodle Quiz activity The Quiz activity in Moodle allows instructors to design and build quizzes that can include a wide range of question types, including multiple choice, true-false, short answer, and essay. More advanced question types with features like calculated variables and drag-and-drop images and text are also available. The Moodle gradebook records all grades, which students view online.
  • Google Forms Instructors can also create and administer surveys using Google Forms, which for some purposes can be useful as a basic assessment or quizzing tool. A link to the survey/quiz can be sent to students, and the responses can be displayed and managed in a Google sheet. 

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Content accessibility

As face to face courses migrate to online, please understand that some disability related accommodations will need to be modified. For questions about this, please contact the Disability Resource Office.

Additional Resources

  • NC State University Libraries Coronavirus Response Page: The Libraries is expanding their online services and resources in support of academic continuity. As faculty and students transition to online learning and teaching, the Libraries has created a Coronavirus Response page—a convenient reference page that links you to all their most relevant resources. This page connects you to:
    • Current Libraries hours and availability
    • How to borrow laptops, webcams, headsets, and other devices on a long-term basis
    • How to request scans of textbook chapters
    • How to request research consultations
    • How to get teaching support
    • How to deal with copyright issues in online teaching
    • Our expanded access to resources for teaching and research
    • How to renew borrowed items, and our overdue items policy

    Please check the Libraries Coronavirus Response page for frequent updates, as this is a rapidly changing situation.

  • Keep Learning: A partnership between DASA and the Graduate School, this website features strategies and resources to help your students make the transition to a virtual learning environment.
  • Academic Integrity in the Online Environment from the NC State University Office of Student Conduct

Faculty Peer Support Network

The newly created Faculty Peer Support Network is a group of NC State faculty willing and able to help other faculty with immediate needs related to developing continuity plans and moving instruction online. If you would like to find a fellow faculty member who can support you, please see a list of these faculty, their areas of support, and their contact information on this Google Sheet.

If you would like to add your name to list of faculty who are willing to be contacted, please complete a few questions at

For more information and suggestions, contact the Office of Faculty Development or DELTA’s faculty help desk at or (919) 513-7094.

Portions of the content on this website were adapted with permission from Indiana University.

Academic institutions are welcome to adapt material from this website for their own use. We ask that you include an attribution to both NC State University and Indiana University: “Portions of the content on this website were adapted from NC State University and Indiana University.” We also kindly ask that you send a link to any websites you create to