Academic Technology

Academic Technology

eBooks and Direct Digital Materials

The following are best practices for use of eBooks and Direct Digital materials, whether you are teaching online or in traditional settings:

  1. Alert students to any additional costs they will incur for these materials.
  2. Provide students with clear instructions on how to get started with eBooks and Direct Digital materials.
  3. Advise students on where to go for help, keeping the following in mind:
    • All of the access to our Direct Digital content and most of our eBooks are coordinated or sold through RedShelf (though a few in-store eBooks are supplied through VitalSource). Students having difficulty accessing their materials should first call RedShelf. They are very responsive, and unfortunately the publisher help lines are often not.
      Phone: 1-888-622-9838
      Email: help@redshelf.comVitalSource
      Live Chat Available 24/7
      Phone: 855-200-4146 (text or call available for support)
    • Students who request help with Direct Digital materials and eBooks through JIRA are invariably referred back to their instructor for assistance.

The Linking to Publisher-eBook Content provides instructions for adding or linking eBooks and Direct Digital materials to online courses. Please contact Chad Anderson with any questions you have about this process.


FlipGrid allows faculty and students engage in online discussion using short, informal video clips. We have noticed one drawback in student access of this tool, in that login is contingent on email settings at the Minnesota State system level. If you are interested in using Flipgrid in your classes, see these instructions for students on how they can ensure the email address on their record at the Minnesota State system level is correct: Confirm Microsoft O365 Email Address. This will allow you to share your Flipgrid topics with students and invite them to participate in discussions.

For information on Flipgrid, including a start-up guide for instructors, free webinars, and help center:

Kaltura MediaSpace & Capture

Mediaspace LogoMediaSpace is a cloud based web service developed by Kaltura which allows faculty, staff, and students to upload and distribute various audio and video media formats. Once a video is created in or uploaded to MediaSpace, users can copy a link or embed code to share their media in online courses and in other online forums.

Users can also:

Access MediaSpace here using your StarID and password.

Watch a video from one of our recent MediaSpace training sessions:

Access MediaSpace training resources from Kaltura’s Knowledge Center:

Do you have content that you’ve created using Kaltura CaptureSpace Light? Follow these instructions to save and transition that content to the new Kaltura Capture platform. Kaltura Express Capture is  for providing video feedback to students in online courses. See this step-by-step guide to using this tool.

Quiz Question Converter

You can convert MS Word files to an Excel CSV (Comma Separated Value) file type that can be quickly imported into the D2L Brightspace course. See Convert a Quiz from Word to Online for step-by-step instructions, or access to tool at

ReadSpeaker TextAid

ReadSpeaker TextAidReadSpeaker TextAid is a document and web reader application that is fully integrated into D2L Brightspace. With one click, users can enable to tool to read course documents and PDFs, as well as web-based content appearing both within and outside of courses.

Access ReadSpeaker TextAid within any D2L course by clicking on the tool’s icon. See for a video tutorial on how ReadSpeaker TextAid works within D2L Brightspace. You can also view or print the written instructions here.

Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor

Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor are used for proctoring exams online. Respondus offers many online training resources for faculty and students. These resources include webinars, training videos, and resources such as downloadable start-up guides. Access these resources at:

Information about data privacy:

Please contact Martin Springborg with any questions about these products, or for individual assistance. Please create a JIRA ticket to coordinate installation of Respondus LockDown browser on your college-issued computer.


Starfish provides students a central location to connect to the people and services that can help them finish what they start.  Consider it another communication and student success tool that connects students, faculty, and staff members.  Key features include:

  • alert system of kudos and flags which allows faculty to communicate with students and advisors
  • ability for faculty to set up office hours and students to reserve a time
  • ability to send individualized messages to students and/or advisors
  • ability for students to make appointments with a variety of student services offices
  • referral system to ensure students are connected to supports they need plus ability for students to ask for help
  • to do items for students to remind them to register, complete financial aid, etc.
  • success plans which are checklists tailored for certain populations like first semester students, PSEO students, etc.
  • easy access for students to a success network of advisors and counselors, faculty, accessibility, tutoring, and more

Resources can be found on the following faculty/staff portal pages, or contact Lindsey Talbot at

IHCC Invernet

DCTC Faculty & Staff Portal


Microsoft Teams is a dynamic tool that combines file sharing, web conferencing, chat, and more. Faculty are beginning to use this tool as part of their online teaching strategy, especially in those disciplines that use a cohort model. You can even use Teams to collaborate with people outside of Minnesota State. See Adding Community Members to a Microsoft Team and Community Member Joining a Microsoft Team for instructions.

Matt Boudinot, Automotive faculty at Dakota County Technical College, worked for the the Center for Teaching and Learning during the summer of 2020 to produce a series of videos on how he uses Teams to teach in his area. See his full playlist of videos on MediaSpace: For more video tutorial content from Matt Boudinot, visit his personal Microsoft Stream channel:

View Microsoft Teams tutorials on their website:


VoiceThread is a cloud-based tool that allows threaded video and voice discussion around many kinds of media, such as photos, videos, and documents. Over 50 media types can be shared via VoiceThread. It’s great for student presentations, for making lectures more participatory, and is especially helpful wherever visual representations are important.

To get started with VoiceThread, first visit the page in their help center on creating: Then see their page specifically for instructors working in D2L Brightspace:

Contact Martin Springborg for more help in incorporating VoiceThread into your classes.

Zoom Web ConferencingZoom Logo

Zoom is a web conferencing tool that can be used by faculty, staff and students. To access and use this tool, go to and login with your StarID. See these instructions for guidance in using the Zoom desktop application.

Zoom includes many features, including, but not limited to: meeting rooms for up to 300 people; microphone or telephone audio; session recording with cloud storage; screen sharing; breakout rooms and more.

For more information on Zoom security settings, see this helpful guide:

For student guidance in logging into Zoom sessions, see: Or refer them to the Zoom resources on our college website, under Technology Resources.

For information on using your own intellectual property in Zoom meetings, view the Zoom intellectual property statement provided by Minnesota State.

Zoom Help Center

To get started, see Zoom’s self-service guides at the Zoom Help Center or watch Zoom Video Tutorials.

If necessary, request assistance directly from Zoom any day and at any time, day or night – including public holidays. Technicians are available for email or live support.

If you still have questions, please contact Martin Springborg to arrange a help session or customized tutorial.