Continuity of Instruction

In the event of an emergency disruption that would suspend North Dakota University System academic activities, several asynchronous and synchronous tools and services can quickly transform face-to-face classes to the digital realm. The toolsets break down into the following categories:


  • learning management system
  • communicating with students
  • collaboration tools
  • exam proctoring


The following CTS tools and services are readily available:

Learning Management System

What it is: How to:
Blackboard Learn Blackboard Learn is a Web-based learning management system that allows you to teach online. The Blackboard Learn System offers a variety of tools that help meet your pedagogical needs to increase student learning. Your course shell is likely already created and waiting for you to create content, but check with your institution’s Blackboard Administrator.

Communicating with Students inside Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Learn provides these methods for directly communicating with students:

What it is: How to:
Course Notification Dashboard Notifications are automatically triggered when events occur in courses such as items that are due. Students can specify the frequency for receiving notifications or compile their notifications into a single daily digest. In the Global Navigation menu next to your name select Settings, Edit Notifications Settings.
Announcements Announcements are customized messages created by the instructor. Choose the email option to email to students in the course. The announcement is visible (where?). Instructors can create announcements by navigating to: Control Panel, Course Tools, Announcements, Create Announcement.
Email Email messages can be sent to individual or groups of students from within the Blackboard course. To send email messages, access the Control Panel, Course Tools, and Send Email. Select from the list of options and compose the message. Files can be attached.
Course Messages Course messages are private messages between users contained within the course. Students’ email does not get utilized. To send or view a course message, access the Control Panel, Course Tools, and Course Messages.
SMS and Text-to-Voice With SMS, students can receive Blackboard text alerts to their personal phones when a Blackboard notification is triggered.

Text-to-voice reads aloud notifications and are sent by phone call. You must list a mobile phone number on your Personal Information page and subscribe to SMS and text-to-voice messages in your notification settings.

Blackboard notifications are sent for the following:

  • Assignments and Announcements are available
  • Assignments are due or past due
  • Content is available
  • Course or organization is available
  • Course message received
  • Item is due or graded
  • Tests and Surveys are available, due, or past due
  • You have unread blogs, journals, or discussions.

Synchronous Collaboration Tools

What it is: How to:
Microsoft Teams
Teams is a unified communications and collaboration platform with file sharing, instant messaging, and web conferencing capabilities. Integrates with Outlook, OneNote, SharePoint, and OneDrive. Teams Meetings supports live captions, video and transcription editing, video sharing, linking, and embedding. Teams is FERPA compliant. Access the browser-based version of Teams from Office 365. Client download recommended for full web conferencing functionality. Contact campus Help Desk to create a Teams site.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is a web conferencing tool that hosts live or asynchronous discussions. Other uses: virtual office hours, recording student presentations, and hosting guest speakers. Accessible from within Blackboard Learn course sites or contact your campus Blackboard Learn Administrator to set up a session.
MeetMe (Pexip) Browser-based web conferencing tool or as connection to an IVN class or event. MeetMe scheduling provides ad-hoc meeting capabilities OR can be scheduled. Contact your campus IVN coordinator for more information

MeetMe does not integrate with Bb Learn

IVN Interactive Video Network (IVN) provides face to face collaboration using H.323 high quality video and audio to connect two or more sites.   Desktop video and audio connections are also available. Contact your IVN Campus Coordinator for more information as this needs to be scheduled.

Asynchronous Collaboration and Presentation Tools

What it is: How to:
YuJa YuJa is a browser-based lecture capture tool that captures audio, video, and content shown on a computer screen. Recordings can also be uploaded to YuJa and shared with a class or via links. YuJa can be accessed through Blackboard Learn or used as a standalone tool. Contact your Blackboard Administrator for more information.
VoiceThread VoiceThread is an asynchronous learning tool for enhanced student engagement and online presence. VoiceThread supports media uploads, audio and video. Students can comment as well as share media. VoiceThread is available through Blackboard Learn.

Exam Proctoring

What it is: How to:
Respondus Lockdown Browser LockDown Browser is a custom browser that locks down the testing environment within Blackboard. Faculty access LockDown Browser in the Blackboard Learn Course Tools menu where they can designate the browser must be used for a specific test.

Students download LockDown Browser (LDB) onto their desktop. Before taking the test, the student launches LDB which closes all programs on their desktop, and launches Blackboard Learn in the secured environment.


Respondus LockDown Browser and YuJa Proctoring can be used in tandem to provide even more integrity of the exam process.

Library Services

Available Electronically How to Access:
Online databases Databases available to you because of your login are found here. Use your university login to access.


If you are having problems accessing the databases, please submit a help ticket to ODIN. The form can be found here.


While North Dakota universities may be closed, their libraries may still be operating in a limited capacity. Please visit your university’s home page or library page to find out the most up-to-date information.


Bismarck State College | Bismarck State College Library

Dakota College at Bottineau | Dakota College at Bottineau Library

Dickinson State University | Dickinson State University Library

Lake Region State College | Lake Region State College Library

Mayville State University | Mayville State University Library

Minot State University | Minot State University Library

North Dakota State University | North Dakota State University Library

University of North Dakota | University of North Dakota Chester Fritz Library

University of North Dakota Law School | University of North Dakota Thormodsgard Law Library

University of North Dakota Medical School | University of North Dakota SMHS Library

Valley City State University | Valley City State University Library

Williston State College | Williston State College Learning Commons