Keep Learning Manual

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The Keep Learning Manual is a companion guide that accompanies our Adult and Continuing Education Keep Learning website. It includes links to all the documentation referenced in that site, plus links to related articles and external resources. It is intended for students who need to take classes online temporarily and perhaps for the first time. This is a collection of step-by-step instructions that any Winona State University student can use to accomplish the most common instructional activities online quickly and easily. All of the tools referenced in this manual are available to all Winona State University students.

Your online learning toolbox

Winona State University supports a lot of tools for facilitating online learning. Assuming you already know the basics of common Microsoft Office tools like Word and PowerPoint, here are the most critical tools in your online learning toolbox:

Your networked devices

For many of you, this means your laptop. If you lease a laptop through the eWarrior Digital Life and Learning Program, you already have a device capable of accomplishing anything a Winona State University instructor would require in an online course. If you have a personally-owned computer, review our minimum technology requirements for online learning to make sure you have the device you need. Your phone may also be powerful tool for keeping in touch and handling some course tasks. There are also some very helpful phone and tablet apps that can help make learning online easier.

The Internet

Reliable access to the Internet is critical when taking online courses. While connected to the Internet using your laptop or phone, check your Internet speed using a tool like the Spectrum Speed Test. Most high speed home Internet plans provide around 7 to 50 mbps speeds for uploads and downloads. Your upload speed is typically much slower than your download speed. When accessing your Brightspace courses, you should not experience any significant lag when moving around, viewing content (download), taking quizzes (download), or posting things to assignment folders and discussion topics (upload), even at speeds that dip below 7 mbps. You might notice some lag when uploading a large file (e.g., a video or big document). Participation in Zoom meetings is also a relatively low-bandwidth activity and you can attend Zoom meetings from your phone using the Zoom mobile app. If you have any questions or concerns about your access to the Internet while taking courses online, contact the Technical Support Center (, 507-457-5240, Somsen Hall 207).


The most important tools in your toolbox are those that help you communicate with your instructors and fellow students. Maintaining your engagement in your online courses should be your top priority. Our supported email system at Winona State University is Microsoft Outlook. Most students access their Outlook mailbox online through their Microsoft Office 365 web portal. You can also use the installed version of Outlook or the Outlook mobile app. Microsoft Teams supports instant messaging.


D2L Brightspace is a suite of tools used to support online instruction. This learning management system (LMS) includes tools for organizing learning materials, communicating with students, gathering assignments, administering assessments, and posting grades. Your instructor might use some or all of these tools to deliver an engaging online learning experience. Access Brightspace using the web address, the link on the Winona State University website, or the bookmark in Chrome.


Zoom is a web conferencing tool that you can use to participate in online meetings with your instructor and other students. You can meet as an entire class, individually, or in small groups. Use your laptop's camera and microphone to communicate and share your screen with your students. You can share your screen and meetings can be recorded for later use. Zoom supports polling, voting, breakout groups, and text messaging. You can join your instructors' Zoom rooms as a participant and you can even activate your own Zoom host account to host your own meetings.


Kaltura MediaSpace is an online video storage and streaming service where you can produce, upload, and share instructional videos with your instructors. MediaSpace comes with a simple video production tool called Kaltura Capture that you can install on your laptop and use to capture audio and video input (e.g., screen, webcam). Videos uploaded to your MediaSpace account are captioned automatically. Access your MediaSpace account to activate it, upload videos, access Kaltura Capture, and share videos.


Microsoft Teams is an application that can be used to support collaboration. Some of your instructors may create a team and invite you to it. A Teams site includes a text messaging feature and is well-suited for supporting group projects and teamwork. Access Teams online or using the desktop or mobile app.

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