Student at computer MSVU

Transitioning to online learning

Whether you’re brand new to online learning, or you have taken online courses in the past, we’re here to support you as you navigate this process. If you have any questions, please contact us at online@msvu.ca. Below you will find helpful information to prepare for your online courses in the upcoming term.

Access Moodle and Your Online Collaborate Course Rooms

Current students and faculty can view Moodle course sites and join online synchronous classes in Collaborate here – Mount Online Learning Platform.

Are you ready for your online class?

How Online Classes Work
Online courses are offered using a variety of course delivery modes. For full descriptions of all delivery modes visit Course Delivery Modes.

Mount Online Learning Platform
Moodle is the Mount’s Learning Management System used in the delivery for all courses. Blackboard Collaborate is our virtual classroom software for online classes. To practice using Blackboard Collaborate before your class begins, and to test your audio/video settings on your computer, click here.

An online course requires you to be actively engaged, which means you will benefit having the following:

  • Internet connection. We highly recommend high speed internet, particularly for courses with a synchronous meeting requirement.
  • Regular access to a computer or mobile device. Courses are designed for computers, and not all features will be optimized for use with a tablet or mobile device.
  • Access to web browsers. Chrome, Firefox and Edge. Different educational technologies may be optimized for specific browsers.
  • Headset with microphone. This is recommended but not required as it can provide a better audio experience for all in synchronous classes.
  • Mount email address. All Mount classes require that students correspond with their instructor using their Mount email address.
  • Please contact your instructor if you have specific questions about the technology (computer, audio, video, software, etc) you will need to actively participate in your courses.

What is required to get started in an online class?

  • A quiet work space
  • reliable network connection
  • PC/Mac/Tablet/Phone
  • Head-set, Webcam

Before your first online class

  • Students are encouraged to check their access to Moodle and to practice using Collaborate before classes begin each term.
  • Can you login into Moodle with your myMount username and password?
  • Does Collaborate open on your device in your chosen browser, and does the audio and video work? Test how your device and browser will work by using this Practice Collaborate Session. 

Important Dates

It is the responsibility of all students to familiarize themselves with the University’s academic regulations and policies, including add/drop dates. To review the academic calendar and important dates, go to MSVU – Academic Calendars.

Examinations
All examinations are administered by the Registrar’s Office. Review the Exam Information webpage to learn more, or, email exams@msvu.ca

myMount Student Portal
Use myMount to learn more about Moodle and Blackboard Collaborate, register for courses, view your financial account activity/statement, access Moodle course sites, read Mount news and events, access Office 365 and more.

Bookstore
The MSVU bookstore remains open virtually. Currently, students are able to order their textbooks online for either shipping or curbside pick-up. The bookstore is covering shipping up to $10 per order or sending Digital Access Codes via email. Our shipping partner, UPS, has been quick and reliable throughout the pandemic and is providing us with reasonable rates. Check the bookstore’s social media pages for updates (Facebook Instagram), or contact bookstore manager Karen Mathieu with questions: Karen.Mathieu@msvu.ca.

Ebooks and Online Articles
Online e-books and articles are available to all Mount students via the Library website as are virtual library support services (live chat & in-depth online Library research appointments). Access to the Library and its physical collections are via the EMF Communications Centre. See the Library’s guide to services and resources for an overview of what is currently operational on-campus.

More about Moodle

Moodle is the Mount’s Learning Management System and provides a place where students can access course content, submit assignments, complete activities, and communicate with their peers and their instructor.  ​​​​Moodle is used to enhance both on-campus and online courses.

All about Moodle 3.9 
Moodle was upgraded to version 3.9 on May 10, 2021!

Learn more about what is new for students with Moodle 3.9. including user-friendly scrolling. Now when we go to the bottom of a Moodle course site (sometimes a long way down), we can simply click the ‘go to top’ button to quickly navigate back to the top of the course page.

How Blackboard Collaborate Works

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra

Blackboard Collaborate is a web conferencing platform designed for use in online teaching. At MSVU, we add Blackboard Collaborate Course Rooms to all online Moodle course sites to create virtual classrooms where faculty can connect with their students synchronously online. Blackboard Collaborate is not just for online courses. All faculty can add this tool to any of their course sites and use it as their virtual classroom, virtual office hours, or even as a social space for their students.


How to join a Collaborate course from your PC or Mac

  • Do you have a microphone and speakers connected or built in to your device? Check that the speakers are working. (Try clicking on a YouTube video)
  • Using Google Chrome, open your Moodle course site
  • Click on the green puzzle piece
  • Click on the “Course Room” name below the black bar or click “Join Course Room” from the little menu on the right.
  • The teacher for the course will have a moderator role in the Collaborate Course Room (which includes full permissions) and students will have a “participant” role.
  • The Google Chrome browser bar will ask if you allow permissions to use audio and video. Click “allow”.
  • When you have joined, you will see a black page with a small menu in the top left and a purple tab on the bottom right. Click on the purple tab to see the chat (text) room, the attendee panel, the menu for sharing content and the settings. Click on settings to adjust your audio and video.

How to join a Collaborate course from your smart phone or tablet

  • From your tablet or phone, access the Blackboard app from the appropriate app store
  • Search for Blackboard
  • Install the Blackboard app on your mobile device
  • Ignore the prompt to put in your institution name.
  • Using Chrome or safari, login to your course site on Moodle
  • Click on the green puzzle piece that you had added to your course site.
  • Click on the “course room” or click the small circle to reveal the menu to join course room
  • The collaborate course room will use your phone or tablet’s built in microphone and speaker
  • Get Started with Collaborate for Moderators
  • Get Started with Collaborate Ultra for Participants

Collaborate Teleconference Feature

The Teaching and Learning Centre and Online Learning is launching a new feature in Collaborate Ultra for the upcoming summer terms called Collaborate Teleconference.

  • This feature will allow you to establish a dial-in audio connection to your MSVU online classes with your telephones when you are unable to maintain a consistent internet or audio connection through your home internet.
  • Please be advised that if you use this feature to join your online Collaborate session, you may incur long distance fees on your telephone bill. The number you will be dialing is a local Halifax number so depending on your long-distance calling plan, will determine if you will incur fees.

Support Chatbot Feature

Blackboard Collaborate is excited to introduce its new Chat Support feature! It has integrated a support chatbot within the Blackboard Collaborate session experience to provide faculty, students and staff a way to get immediate answers to the most common questions. This new feature is to allow you to troubleshoot common issues yourself first, and then contact online@msvu.ca after if you still need further assistance.

Here’s how it works:

  • Now, attendees can get support troubleshooting common issues while still in their session.
  • With the new access to support, attendees can troubleshoot first and contact online@msvu.ca for support after, if they still need to.
  • You can find the new Chat Support feature at the end of the My Settings panel.


Blackboard Collaborate Resources for Students

Everyone is invited to check out the new Accessing Collaborate (3:24) video in Office 365 Stream and take a test drive in Collaborate by joining this Practice Collaborate Session. The recommended browser for Collaborate is Google Chrome. It is important to practice using Collaborate and check your computer and browser settings before joining your first online class.

Join the Online Learning team in its daily Drop-in Collaborate Session (1-2pm) to ask quick questions about Moodle or Collaborate or test your Collaborate settings and equipment.

Troubleshooting tips and resources

Troubleshooting tips

  • Always use Google Chrome as your browser when using Collaborate Ultra.
  • Check your internet connection (Ethernet/hardwire is preferred over Wifi).
  • Ensure your speakers/headset are plugged in properly and not turned off.
  • Close all tabs on Chrome, “Leave” the Collaborate session, close Chrome down, then try to rejoin.
    Try restarting your computer.
  • Note: If your tablet/PC/Mac is not working properly, try downloading the Blackboard Collaborate app on your Apple or Android device.
  • If you cannot join an online class, please contact online@msvu.ca.
  • To join your session now, click the “Door icon” below to access the “Course Room” then click the “Join Course Room” link.
  • Please note that this session may be recorded.

Helpful videos

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Experience System Requirements
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra – Help for Participants
Troubleshooting steps for Chrome, Firefox and more
Get Started with Collaborate Ultra
Collaborate Ultra Student Orientation (log into myMount required for access to Stream)

New! Student Software Support Service

Harsh Jasani is the Student Software Support Assistant with the Library and Online Learning. Harsh provides a peer-to-peer support service for students and is available on a part-time basis each week to assist students with how to use applications.

Harsh is ready to receive requests from students for assistance with using Word, Excel, PowerPoint (header styles, page numbering, table of contents, charts and graphs, track changes and more); Office 365 apps such as Yammer, Stream and OneDrive; citation managers, SPSS and Minitab and more.

If you have a question and you are unsure if this is the right place, email your question and you will be redirected to the appropriate person right away if necessary.

Contact Information

In Person @ the Library
Harsh is available in person at the Library’s Front Desk on Tuesdays  from 10 am – 4 pm and again on Wednesdays from 1 pm – 7 pm.

Phone
Call or leave a voicemail for Harsh at the Library’s Front Desk – 902-457-6250

Email
You can reach Harsh via email at software.questions@msvu.ca

Microsoft Teams
Contact Harsh via email, phone, or in person to arrange an online meeting in Microsoft Teams.