Prepare for the first week of classes

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Instructors can use the checklists included in this article to prepare for the first week of classes. Check off relevant, technology-related tasks, such as configuring your Brightspace course shells, creating Microsoft Teams sites, scheduling Zoom meetings, providing access to LinkedIn Learning content, and requesting custom student support. This article assumes general familiarity with the corresponding tools and services. If you are new to WSU or just haven't used one of these tools or services before, consult our New Faculty Guide for help with the basics.

New for Spring 2022

COVID related planning

COVID Toolkit

Unfortunately, the threat of COVID-19 is still with us this spring and all instructors teaching in-person and hybrid courses will need to take this into consideration. Please consult our toolkit for more detailed information.

Mask requirement

Effective Wednesday, August 4, 2021, all students, faculty, staff, and visitors (including contractors, service providers, vendors, suppliers, camp participants, and the general public) are required to use a cloth face covering to cover both the nose and mouth in all public indoor spaces on university campuses and properties in both Winona and Rochester, including leased facilities, transit shelters and university shuttles. This guidance applies to all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. This protocol will remain in effect until further notice. University leadership will continue to monitor the situation actively and adjust requirements as needed.

Classroom sanitizing stations

Every classroom will include a sanitizing station with wipes, hand sanitizer, cloths, sanitizing spray, and spare masks. Contact Facilities if your classroom needs more of these supplies.

Accommodating student and instructor absence

All instructors should plan for how they will handle COVID-related accommodation requests by their students as early as the first week of classes. Students may be unable to attend one or more class meetings in person because they are isolating, quarantining, or anxious about COVID. Faculty are free to decide how to manage these requests but some accommodations require prior planning and arrangements. Instructors should also consider how they would handle their own absence from the classroom if they need to isolate or quarantine. Consult the In-person COVID Toolkit for options and syllabus language.

Software updates

Ensure that you and your students are prepared to use the latest versions of the following applications. Consult the corresponding checklist below for update instructions if needed.

  • Zoom
  • Kaltura Capture
  • Respondus Lockdown Browser
  • Flipgrid
  • Airtame

D2L Brightspace

Checklist Item Description and More Information  
Request sandboxes Ask TLT to create course shells to use as master copies of your official courses. Use sandboxes to develop courses and collaborate with colleagues.
Find courses Find your current courses on the homepage. Pin and unpin courses as needed.
Merge courses Request to combine multiple sections into one, larger course. Do this before adding content or activities to the individual sections.
Check class lists Ensure students are enrolled in your courses. Brightspace class lists are refreshed against official class lists every morning.
Set start/end dates Set your course start and end dates to control when and for how long students can enter your course.
Activate courses Your students will not be able to see your course on their list in Brightspace until you activate it. You can also edit the start and end dates. More information...
Copy course components Save time by copying forward various Brightspace course components from previous courses. More information...
Add external learning tools Your students will not be able to see your course on their list in Brightspace until you activate it. You can also edit the start and end dates. More information...
Add new content and activities You can upload handouts, slides, and other course materials, add links to external websites, and develop a table of contents for your course. More information...
Activate Lockdown Browser If you copied quizzes that used Respondus Lockdown Browser (LDB) from another course, you must allow all your copied quizzes to load into the Lockdown Browser tab of the Quiz Tool in your current course. Repeat this process after copying any LDB-enabled quiz from another course.
Build grade book Create a spreadsheet in D2L for managing your course grades and presenting them to students. More information..
Manage dates Your students will not be able to see your course on their list in Brightspace until you activate it. You can also edit the start and end dates. More information...
Customize homepage If desired, you can customize your Brightspace course homepages to your specifications. This includes adding custom navigation and widgets. More information...
Post welcome announcement Add a welcome message to your course homepage using the Annoucements tool. More information...
Send welcome email Send an email to students welcoming them to the course using the Email Tool. More information...
Add assistants and tutors You can student teaching assistants to your Brightspace courses yourself. More information...

Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor

Checklist Item Description and More Information  
Remind your students to update their LDB Respondus issues new versions of LockDown Browser frequently. It is important for your students to keep their version up to date as out-of-date versions often error during quiz taking. They can download and install LDB anytime at or through a practice quiz within Brightspace. More on that below. There is additional information on LDB for your students in Respondus Monitor For Students.
Create a practice quiz Practice quizzes are an important part of using LockDown Browser. By creating a simple, no-wrong-answer quiz for LDB, your students will have a chance to ensure their LDB is properly installed before the high-stakes quiz in the class.


Checklist Item Description and More Information  
Create new meeting If you are not using your Personal Meeting, create a new meeting to use for the upcoming term. The meeting can be scheduled or open. Each meeting has a unique link and ID.
Check meeting security Review your security settings to avoid Zoom-bombing. Consider setting safeguards such as authentication, a passcode, and a waiting room. Review how to adjust security while facilitating a live meeting
Provide meeting information Provide your students with the relevant meeting information, including the meeting link, ID, password, and telephone access code.
Prepare your students Provide students with meeting links and IDs. Remind them to install/update Zoom, sign in using their StarID, and test their connection in advance.

Kaltura MediaSpace

Checklist Item Description and More Information  
Install the latest version of Kaltura Capture Kaltura periodically updates Kaltura Capture to add new features and fix known problems. It is best practice to update your version of Kaltura Capture at least at the start of each semester. There are instructions in the article called Update to a new version of Kaltura Capture.
Ensure recordings contain current information Review the recordings you intend to reuse in the new semester to ensure that all information is current and relevant to the new version of the course. You may need to rerecord some of the media. If that is the case, there is a plethora of information on the Kaltura MediaSpace page.
Provide closed captioning If your videos are not already closed captioned, you can CC them by following the instructions at Closed captioning in MediaSpace. (ADA required closed captioning, so it is best to get it done.)
Check publishing Be sure to set the publishing for any videos you intend to embed in your courses to Unlisted. See Publish a MediaSpace file for shared access for more information.

Microsoft Teams

Checklist Item Description and More Information  
Create Teams sites Open the Teams application on your computer and create as many Teams sites as needed.
Configure site settings Adjust the permissions and other settings in your Teams sites as needed.
Prepare channels Configure any channels that must be ready prior to inviting students to the Teams site.
Inform students Prior to adding your students as members, inform them that you will be using Teams, that they will be receiving an email invitation to your Teams site, and basic Teams access instructions available to them.
Add students as members Provide students with meeting links and IDs. Remind them to install/update Zoom, sign in using their StarID, and test their connection in advance. TLT can bulk upload students to Microsoft Teams sites for you. Email TLT ( for assistance.

Microsoft OneNote Class Notebook

Checklist Item Description and More Information  
Create OneNote Class Notebook OneNote Class Notebook can be created from within each of your D2L BrightSpace classes. The benefit of integrating this way is that it will use the same course name and student list that is found within your course, saving you setup time. The article Adding a OneNote Class Notebook to a Brightspace courseOneNote Class Notebook explains the entire process.
Add Additional Faculty If you have other faculty teaching with you or a TA, you might need to add them in as co-teacher. This process of adding co-teachers is found Add or remove co-teachers in OneNote Class Notebook
Discover the Class Toolbar Distributing pages, sections, or your entire content library is done through the Class Toolbar. Microsoft provides several different articles (see here) that explain why and how to use the Class Toolbar in your OneNote Class Notebooks.


Checklist Item Description and More Information  
Create Flipgrid account Faculty and students already have full access to Flipgrid as it is a Microsoft product and uses the same credentials for login as Microsoft Office 365. However, as a member of the faculty, you will want the extra permissions to create Filpgrids to share with your students. You can create an educator account (it is free) by following the instructions at Creating a Flipgrid Educator account.
Integrate Flipgrid into your course You will need to integrate the Flipgrid work into your Brightspace course. There are instructions on how to do this in the Integrating Flipgrid with Brightspace.

LinkedIn Learning

Checklist Item Description and More Information  
Activate your account Before you can use LinkedIn Learning, you will need to activate your LinkedIn Learning account. As a member of the WSU community, you have access to all of the resources of LinkedIn Learning under the university-paid site license.
Find courses that fit your need Before you can incorporate any LIL modules in your teaching, you will need to find the appropriate LinkedIn Learning Course for your classroom needs. LinkedIn Learning includes courses for beginners to experts, each set up in short videos. Select a single video or an entire course.
Adding LinkedIn Learning modules to your course Once you have found the right resources for your course, share LIL Content with a shareable link in your Brightspace course.
Collecting and sharing achievements Your students will be awarded a certificate for each course they complete. As the teacher, you can require they share that certificate with you to ensure they have completed the work. There is an instructional video on certificate sharing available on LinkedIn Learning.


Checklist Item Description and More Information  
Create Qualtrics account You will not be able to utilize the WSU Qualtrics license without first creating a Qualtrics account. For additional information on attaining a Qualtrics account, refer to the Creating a Qualtrics account article.
Request account promotion A generic Qaultrics account gives you access to many of the features within Qualtrics, but it will not let you publish or share surveys with others. To do that, you will need to request that your Qualtrics account be elevated. Refer to the Qualtrics article in the Knowledge Base for instructions.
Share instructions with your students Students have equal access to Qualtrics. If you plan on your students using Qualtrics in the semester, share these instructions with them.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Checklist Item Description and More Information  
Request access to Creative Cloud Before you can use any of the Adobe Creative Cloud applications (like Acrobat or Photoshop), you will need to be granted access to the Creative Cloud suite. There is a very simple, one-button form that you must complete to get access. This only needs to be done once, so if you have had access in the past, you can skip this step. There are instructions on filling out the form in the Adobe Creative Cloud article. Granting access is often on overnight operation, so allow time for the processing to occur.
Install Adobe CC application If you have never installed the Creative Cloud application or you exchanged your old laptop for a new model, the CC app would be installed next. The Adobe Creative Cloud article also contains instructions for application installation.
Install individual Adobe applications From the Creative Cloud application, install any Adobe applications you plan to use in the semester.
Share instructions with your students Students have equal access to the Adobe Creative Cloud. If you plan on your students using any of the Adobe products in the semester, share these instructions with them.

Classroom technology

Even if you have taught in the room before, please visit your classrooms and test the devices and media you plan to use this semester. Connect your laptop to the projector, try the document camera, test the audio, play a YouTube movie, and so on. If you are teaching via Zoom, we would be happy to assist you while you practice (e.g., switch cameras, switch between audience cameras and your laptop). Note that we no longer support the use of overhead projectors or VHS tape players in classrooms. While these tools may still be found in some classrooms, we are no longer maintaining them centrally.

  • Wireless projection. Many of our classrooms have projectors that afford the wireless display of laptops and tablets, mostly using Airtame to connect to the projector. If you are interested in using this functionality, please contact TLT.
  • Smart boards and podiums. If you teach in a room with a SMART Board or SMART Podium, you will receive an email from TLT regarding the required Smart Notebook software and training. If you have any questions about SMART tools, please contact TLT.

Schedule custom student support

If you are asking your students to use technology this semester to complete a class activity (e.g., class project, group work), TLT will work with you to develop custom, course-specific student support. This could involve TLT-led workshops, online learning material, or some combination of live and online support. Contact TLT ( to discuss your student custom support needs.

Select LinkedIn Learning courses

You and all of your students have access to the entire online course library at LinkedIn Learning courses cover basic through advanced technology, graphic design, photography, and other topics. Consider using LinkedIn Learning content, either an entire course or selected instructional videos, as a required or optional learning activity for your students. Learn more about LinkedIn Learning and activate your account. Contact TLT ( to discuss how to set your class up as a group in LinkedIn Learning so that you can track your students' progress.

Request class storage

Course-specific, campus network storage space can be requested for the duration of a semester. This is one way to support the sharing of course-related files. A class store must be requested from ITS. More information...

Identify your video production needs

If you are interested in creating videos to support your courses, WSU offers several solutions for both recording classroom activities live and recording videos in a more controlled, studio environment. Instructors can use such tools as Kaltura MediaSpace, Techsmith Camtasia, iMovie, and Adobe Premiere to capture and produce video content. Videos can be published to a variety of locations for online access. TLT can assist you with everything from recording your lectures and capturing student presentations and performances for assessment purposes to giving you tips on recording lecture material in the comfort of our studio spaces or your office. Please contact TLT ( if you have any questions or need any help.

Ask for help

Contact TLT ( for assistance with any of these tasks.