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College of Arts and Sciences

Our Diversity is Our Strength

Online Course Support

The College of Arts and Sciences has developed this resource to assist faculty as they transition their courses online. 

Quick Start Guide to Transitioning Your Course Online

  1. Determine what learning activities you need to modify
  2. Assess which technologies you are comfortable with. Email? Blackboard? A textbook LMS?
  3. Use the chart to view recommended technologies by learning activity
  4. Review the How To guides for technologies based on the learning activity you need to modify
  5. Revise your syllabus as necessary and make available to students via Email or Blackboard
  6. Continuously communicate with your students regarding your plan of action.
Adapting Learning Activities for Online

Learning Activity

Delivery Method

Post Course Materials

Email materials to students –  Blackboard – Textbook LMS

Deliver Course Lectures

Email video/audio files to students – Blackboard Collaborate Ultra – Textbook LMS

Post and Submit Assignments

 Email and Email submissions – Blackboard – Textbook LMS

Administer Assessments

Devise Alternative Quiz & Exam Delivery Format – Blackboard

Collaborate through Group

Email – BlackboardOutlook Groups

Hold Office Hours

Phone – Email – Blackboard Collaborate Ultra


Textbook LMS – Resource Guide


How To Guides

How to Guides




Office 365 Training Center


Checking VoicemailGoogle Voice


 Blackboard Rapid Transition Guide


Guide to Connecting to the TAMUK Global Protect VPN


Tips for Taking Your Course Online/Virtual

As we transition our courses online, we have compiled some helpful tips and suggestion to help all faculty and students, regardless of their tech expertise, feel confident moving forward.

Tip #1 Do not over-complicate this transition. Utilize what you’re most comfortable with. If that’s email, focus on email. If that’s Blackboard, run with it.

EMAIL BASED: For example, you can email students an updated syllabus with readings and weekly chapter questions (or worksheets, or essays, etc.) that they will then email you. Send them PowerPoints as an attachment.  Have them send you assignments as an attachment

BLACKBOARD: Blackboard has great features like Discussion Boards and Journals that are great for holding class discussions if you don’t want to delve into the world of video. You can upload PowerPoints, your revised syllabus, great links for students to turn in essays, post quizzes, and a whole lot more. If you want to record yourself giving lectures and upload them to Blackboard, you can! DLIT is having trainings to teach the basics. There are also videos on YouTube that teach you how to do things on Blackboard.

LMS: Many publishers have online platforms and are offering them for free right now. If your textbook is published by Cengage, Pearson, or McGraw-Hill, we know they are participating in this. Students may have left their textbooks in Kingsville and might not have access to them. They might be able to access an online version for free. These LMS also have quiz options and provide other virtual learning tools. However, there can be a steep learning curve. Their tech teams can probably help you set up your course, though.

OFFICE HOURS: You can have office hours at your computer and be at your email. If you don’t want to give your personal phone number, you can also have students contact you using Google Voice (free and generates a phone number for you). You may want to use the Remind App to send students information or for office hours. It’s very easy to set up and free. WhatsApp is another great option. You can even create groups and share information. It’s also free. We also have Outlook Groups, which allows you to email and share files with group members.

Tip #2: Please be sympathetic to the needs of your students in terms of time and resources.

MEETING VIRTUALLY: With school closures happening daily, students may now be caretakers for children. They may have to share a computer or internet speed with other family members. They may not be able to meet virtually at specific times. If you want to have video-conferencing discussions, perhaps consider making them optional or provide alternatives for students who would find it a hardship.

TEXTBOOKS: As previously stated, students may not have their textbooks with them. If possible, consider using online resources, pdfs, or online textbooks.

INTERNET CAPABILITIES: Students may not have internet access, consistent internet access, or high enough internet speeds for some online activities, like video conferencing. Consider alternative options for students who might have trouble with the internet. Some LMS (like Pearson REVEL) have phone apps, which might be easier or more practical for some students to use.

Tip #3 Don’t be afraid to get creative and/or simplify. There are a lot of resources and high tech options for going online. You don’t have to use them. You may not be able to continue your class as you would like and have to make compromises.

As undesirable as it might be, you might have to change your format and content during this crisis. For example, consider taking a lecture and breaking the content into discussion questions that they can use readings, slides, research to answer. Students can email you answers, use the Discussion Board feature on Blackboard, participate in a video conferencing discussion.

Tip #4 If you teach a class that has an interpreter, transcriptionist, or any other resource designed to assist a student with an accommodation, please contact Disability Resource Center. For additional advice on designing an accessible online course, please read this article.

Publishers and Textbook LMS Available for Free During COVID-19

Students may not have their textbooks with them or may have been relying on books on reserve in the library. You may also wish to use content or LMS available online. Several publishers are providing free access to their journals, books, textbooks, and LMS for the rest of the semester. Here is a list of these publishers and a link to their website.


McGraw Hill       


Cambridge University Press




Accessing your Campus PC from Home

You may wish to be able to access your Campus PC from your home PC. Here are the instructions for setting up your VPN.


Connecting to the TAMUK Global Protect VPN

IMPORTANT: Read these instructions completely before leaving campus and trying to connect from home The TAMUK VPN Portal will allow you to connect back to your on campus PC from a remote location using a remote PC or Laptop. This document describes how to download, install, and connect to the TAMUK VPN using the Global Protect VPN Client. Note that the connection CANNOT be established from any device that is connected to the TAMUK Network and can only successfully connect from off campus.

Additionally, note that TAMUK VPN access is integrated with DUO. As a TAMUK Employee, you should already have DUO operational and be familiar with using it. You will need to have your DUO Authentication Notifier (Cell phone, Land line, etc) in order to connect to the VPN Portal. The following describes the process for installing on the Global Protect VPN Client on your Windows based PC or Laptop. Instructions for installing Ona Mac PC or Laptop are at the end of this document.

Installing the Global Protect Client for Windows

The VPN Client piece is called the “Global Protect Agent” and it can be installed from either on campus or off campus to your remote PC or laptop. Note that the client needs to be installed on something other than your TAMUK Office PC. Your TAMUK Office PC will be the “what” you are connecting to once you connect from off campus.

Installation Permissions needed for setting up Global Protect on a TAMUK owned Laptop

  1. If you have TAMUK Viewfinity installed you should have no problems doing the installation.
  2. If you do not have TAMUK Viewfinity installed then you will need to contact the ITS Help Desk so that someone can assist you with the installation.

Installation Permissions needed to setting up a personal Laptop or PC

If you are installing on your personal Laptop or PC you should have all the permissions you need to complete the installation.

To access your voicemail on Cisco phones while off-campus:

  • Dial: 361-593-2825
  • Next, press the star key (*)
  • Enter your member ID - your 4 digit extension
  • Enter your password 

Helpful Links


10 Strategies to Support Students

So You Want to Temporarily Teach Online

Going Online in a Hurry:: What to Do and Where to Start

Videoconferencing Alternatives

Teaching Remotely at Boise State: A Guide for Faculty

Biology Teaching in the Time of COVID-19: How to Transfer to Online Learning

Best Practices for Asynchronous Online Discussions

How to Get Students to Read

Learn to Teach with Social Networks


Best Practices When Moving Online in a Hurry


Vital Source

Online Teaching Resources & Tools

Crash Course Video Library

Recording Your Screen in PowerPoint

Open Culture

Creative Capital – Art Resources

Labster (for STEM labs)

JoVE (for STEM labs)


McGraw Hill       


How to Use Google Voice (a phone number that isn’t your personal number)

Online White Board

Locate Broadband

Experimental Humanities Resources

How to Use Zoom

Merlot Resources

Free Content for Courses