This site is being updated (May 2024).

Some technology changes since the original site was made:

  • We are now using Moodle 4.1. This version of Moodle is a small change from Moodle 4.0 (which was a big change), but I think all of the changes are massive improvements. I'm actually really looking forward to Moodle 4.2.
  • Very few instructors are allowing students to test at home now (I am no longer allowing this), but I have kept my tips down below in the Pandemic archive.
  • For all Distance Education courses:
    • Delta testing centers are fully operational again, and I recommend you coordinate remote testing with Delta. See their very useful Instructor Portal here.
    • Submit exam requests here (and review them later). As you fill out the form, choose to have Delta arrange your proctoring for both on-campus and remote students. If your class is large, Delta wants 3-4 day windows for each exam.
    • Screenshot of what it looks like when you are submitting exam requests, as well as my recommended proctoring settings (Yes-Yes-No).
    • On your Moodle, flip on Edit Mode, then expand the right-side menu to Add a block, then select Delta Testing Services. Students on and off campus can make their appointments through this block.
    • You can also give specific students an extension here.


Table of contents

  1. Setting up your Moodle
  2. Homework Platforms
  3. WebAssign
  4. WebWork
  5. Moodle Quizzes
  6. Moodle Assignments
  7. Gradescope Assignments
  8. Scanning apps
  9. Forum options (please have one if you teach a Distance Education course)
  10. On-campus teaching/Classroom Capture
  11. Panopto (Mediasite's replacement)
  12. Zoom
  13. General resources (primarily used during the pandemic)
  14. Testing Ideas (primarily used during the pandemic)
  15. Mediasite (defunct after Spring 2022)
  16. Apps for remote "text messaging" with students (primarily used during the pandemic)


Setting up your Moodle:

We have switched to Moodle 4.1. Compared to Moodle 3.XX, the new version of Moodle will seem different at first--but you should have all of the same functionality we used to have, plus new features.

Pro-tip: keep in mind you can always see the student version of your Moodle by going to the drop-down menu in the first top-right corner of Moodle, click Switch role to... and then select Student.



Homework Platforms

Regardless of which platform you use, please have your Moodle point to it.


First, Jenn will contact you and tell you that your course is ready.

You should then integrate WebAssign with Moodle using the Cengage plugin. This needs to be done before the first day of class, and do not give students a course key!

**This link allows direct import of your grades—eliminating the need for CSV files and manual entry. I spend 5-10 minutes before the semester starts setting it up, and then I don't have to worry about WebAssign grades ever again (no more spreadsheet-crunching during final exams).**

Here are steps:

  1. New for Summer 2024+ (Moodle 4.3+): you first need to flip on the Cengage tool by going to More > LTI External Tools:

  2. Then follow the steps in this video I made showing the basic set-up: (This is an earlier version of Moodle, but the steps are the same.

If your assignments are “blank” when you do the setup, try this: go to your assignments in WebAssign, click schedule next to a random assignment, edit the schedule for this assignment (switch it to a different day), then switch it back. This act of editing seems to activate the connection between WebAssign and Moodle.

What I’ve observed is that some of the blank assignments will immediately appear back in Moodle, others may take a day. (So afterwards, wait 1-2 days and then try to do the full assignment loading into Moodle and the gradebook.)



New for Summer 2024+ (Moodle 4.3+): you first need to flip on WebWork by going to More > LTI External Tools:


Moodle quizzes:

Pros: Good for non-written homework. Many question types are automatically graded, and different levels of credit can be auto-awarded. Supports LaTeX (use slash-parentheses for inline math, or double dollar signs for centered math, do not single dollars). You can collect lengthier responses using the "Essay" question type (which also allows for uploaded files). You can control if students get multiple tries (with or without penalty) and instant feedback. Grades are automatically stored in Moodle. Significant security options for test-giving.

Cons: Really none that I can think of, except that that there are so many options/settings that it may be overwhelming at first. Obviously it's not going to be ideal for a homework set that consists of writing 4 proofs (use Moodle assignments or Gradescope for that).


Moodle Assignments: (still a bit dated, as I used Gradescope)

Pros: Good for written homework. Keeps homework collecting and returning out of your email--everything happens in Moodle. No outside program needed. Grades are automatically stored in Moodle. Fairly simple once you get the hang of it. Set-up and learning curve are easier than Gradescope.

Cons: Sometimes students submit work which is too large or small, or upside down. You must grade individual homeworks all-at-once, not problem-by-problem. (If you want to grade problem-by-problem, use Gradescope).


Gradescope Assignments:

("log in with Google" + unity log in, we are not on the "school credentials" list)

Pros: Good for written homework and written tests. Keeps homework collecting and returning out of your email--everything happens in Gradescope. Assignments can be synced with Moodle (for links and grade storage). You can grade problems one-at-a-time, and it's ideal for assigning different problems to different graders. Also ideal for homework done in groups. Standardized rubric (e.g. for point deductions) automatically updates everyone's score each time you change it (visit the external website below for more perks). You can set time limits on assignments--good for tests.

Cons: Outside program, so the initial set-up takes a bit of time. For Online Assignment (currently in beta mode), you can't mark directly on papers--comments go in a box on the side. [For Homework/Problem Set, you can mark directly on papers.] In general Gradescope works best if you are comfortable assessing the work on the screen--this is a con if you would prefer to download files and grade outside of the program (in that case, use Moodle assignments).



Scanning apps: (external links)


Forum options

Graduate instructors of Distance Education courses must have a forum where students can interact with each other and ask questions. Here are some options:

  • Moodle Announcement Forum: DE instructors please use this to send messages to your class (instead of email). It creates an archive of your messages. Pro tip: at the bottom of your message, click Advanced. Expand the Display period, and select a date/time for "Display start" -- this is when your message will get sent. I like to set up messages for both Monday and Friday to start and conclude each week.
  • General Moodle Forum (default option): Please see this overview from Kenyon College.
  • Piazza is a great external option for a forum, I use this a lot. It handles conversations and math very nicely. You can also use the private messaging feature to replace direct emails from students.
  • Yellowdig: a new type of forum which grades students on participation. I prefer this (both for me and for the students) in large, distance education courses. Here is an overview of the set-up.


On-campus teaching/Classroom Capture:




Pros: "NCSU brand" -- our official video hosting. Provides analytics--who watched what, and for how long. Keeps students' place if they leave and come back, and students can easily adjust the speed of the lecture. Allows pretty good editing (better than Mediasite). You can create direct links from Moodle to individual videos, or entire catalogs. Video audience can be restricted or open. You can easily make an individual video or an entire folder downloadable (or not) for the students. Provides auto-captions.

If you are using Classroom Capture, they will create a catalog for your recordings where your classroom recordings will be automatically stored. You can then send the catalog link to the students (and post it on Moodle). You will not need to worry about individual recordings--everything is taken care of.




Everything below pertains more to online teaching from 2020-2021...


General resources: (for switching online, mainly used during the Pandemic)


Testing Ideas (mainly during the Pandemic):



We no longer use this! If you are searching for old Mediasite videos, they should have been transferred to Panopto.

Soon NCSU is switching to Panopto (see above). So while you can keep using Mediasite, be aware that there will soon be a shift (plan for it). The university plans to transfer everyone's videos, but it will take awhile and the services will exist concurrently for a couple of semesters. Mediasite (and videos on it) will be deactivated by the end of Spring 2022.

Cons: Goes down once or twice a semester. Does not allow for advanced editing--you cannot splice video together, nor cut/paste. Does not currently auto-caption (like YouTube). May compress videos to be a bit blurry (particularly if you record with Mediasite Desktop Recorder).

If you are using Classroom Capture, they will create a catalog for your recordings where your classroom recordings will be automatically stored. You can then send the catalog link to the students (and post it on Moodle). You will not need to worry about individual recordings--everything is taken care of.


Some ideas for remote messaging with students (e.g. receiving questions from remote students during live classroom lecture):

Disclaimer: I have not tried any of these. If they work for you or you have other ideas, let me know...

  • Zoom chat
  • Panopto chat
  • GroupMe (can create a group chat, or receive direct messages. I have used this in a neighborhood game group, it's like a group text)
  • WhatsApp (text messaging without phone numbers)
  • Padlet (there is a free version... participants post and respond to questions which appear like speech bubbles on a big page, can open in the classroom computer)