Student at computer MSVU

Transitioning to online learning

This is a challenging time for us all. Students, if you are transitioning from on-campus classes to online courses please know that we are here to support you as you navigate this new process. If you have any questions, please contact us at online@msvu.ca.

Below is some helpful information to get you started.

Are you ready for your online class?

How Online Classes Work
Watch a short video about 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.

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.

Mount Online Learning Platform
Moodle is the Mount’s Learning Management System used in the delivery of both on-campus and online 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. Please visit Take Online Courses to learn all about Moodle and Blackboard Collaborate, the Mount’s virtual classroom platform.


IT Services and User Support for Moodle and Blackboard Collaborate

IT Services in EMF (Help Desk) is your one-stop for technical support for all campus technologies, including Moodle and Blackboard Collaborate. Contact the Help Desk for assistance with:

  • Office 365 – Accessing Office 365, SharePoint, OneDrive, Skype for Business and more
  • myMount – Passwords, email, wireless, internet, printing and more
  • Network & Communications – Telephone system, network and wireless internet support, campus computers, data storage and more
  • Web Systems – Colleague, Informer, WebAdvisor, OneWeb and more
  • Moodle and Collaborate – logging into Moodle, accessing your Moodle course sites, joining a Blackboard Collaborate session and other Moodle and Collaborate questions

Examinations

All examinations are administered by the Registrar’s Office. Note, students located more than 100 km from campus, are required to arrange an approved proctor for midterm and final examinations within the first two weeks of term. Review the Exam Information webpage to learn more, or, email exams@msvu.ca

myMount Student Portal

Use myMount to view your financial account activity/statement, access Moodle course sites, read Mount news and events, access Office 365 and more.

Course Textbooks and Materials

All course materials for online courses can be purchased from the Mount’s Online Bookstore or on-campus. The campus bookstore is located in the Rosaria Student Centre.

An online course requires you to be actively engaged, which mean you will need:

  • 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.
  • Headset with microphone. Many classes with synchronous meetings require a headset for active participation in the course.

Technology Requirements

An online course requires you to be actively engaged, which means you will need:

  • 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 including Chrome, Firefox, and Explorer. Different educational technologies may be optimized for specific browsers.
  • Headset with microphone. Many classes with synchronous meetings require a headset for active participation in the course.
  • 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 use to your in course.

Mount Online Learning Platform

Browser Issues

  • Please make sure your browser is up-to-date.
  • If updates don’t fix it, try opening the content in another browser. Some content is optimized for a particular browser.

Moodle

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 our online 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.

What is required to get started?

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

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.

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

Nearpod

Office 365

If you require further assistance navigating the Mount Online Learning Platform please reach out to our Educational Technology Specialists.

Evening and Weekend Support

Urgent requests are those that concern your ability to teach or participate in a class that same evening (after 8:00pm) or weekend. Only urgent requests will be responded to immediately, and others will be responded to the next business day.

Please email online@msvu.ca and explain if you are not able to teach or participate in a class, and your request will be responded to accordingly.