Digital Pedagogy Tools and Resources

D2L Brightspace

The current Learning Management System (LMS) at PSU is D2L Brightspace. If you’re new to teaching with LMS software, the learning curve may be fairly steep and we strongly recommend contacting the OAI Faculty Support Desk to schedule one-on-one training. This is particularly important if your department requires you to teach a pre-existing D2L course. If you’ve used another LMS like Canvas, Blackboard, or Moodle, you can start by exploring our D2L Essentials tutorial list.

Kaltura Media Space

Every PSU instructor and student has an account with our Kaltura streaming media server, Kaltura Media Space. This is integrated with the Kaltura Capture desktop application for screen and webcam recording. Media Space is also integrated with the PSU Zoom account, so once you activate your Media Space account by logging in at least once, all your Zoom Cloud recordings will be backed up in your Media Space area, called My Media. You can use PSU Media Space to share videos you create for any purpose allowed by copyright law. This usually does not include uploading full-length commercial media to share in online classes. For information on how to stream commercial media, see below for Library resources. To login, visit and authenticate with your Odin credentials and Duo.  We strongly recommend you use the Kaltura Media Space rather than Vimeo or YouTube. This is because KMS lets you:

  • Edit machine-generated captioning (YouTube’s auto-generated captions do not meet legal accessibility requirements, and we are not able to offer captioning of YouTube videos)
  • Have more privacy and focus (YouTube’s encourages sharing and distraction)
  • Create built in video quizzes
  • Create full-featured screencasts
  • Create multiple channels for collaboration and external projects. (YouTube allows one channel per account)

Kaltura Media Space Captioning

There are two ways to caption videos for accessibility. The tutorial on this site covers the KMS machine-generated captioning, which you can then edit and enable. You may also request service-generated captions by filling out the OAI media captioning request form. This can take several weeks depending on demand, and should be used for videos you expect to teach with more than once. A separate form must be filled out for each video due to the service-billing workflow.

Kaltura Media Capture

After activating your Media Space account you can download the Kaltura screen recording app, which allows you to capture and record audio, video from your webcam, and/or your desktop. You can upload your recordings directly to Media Space from the Kaltura Capture Library.
Kaltura MediaSpace (PSU Media Space) overview


Every instructor and student has access to the PSU Zoom account. To begin, download the Zoom Meetings desktop “client” application and sign in with your PSU Odin account. The desktop client has the full set of available features and should be updated bimonthly, since Zoom continues to add features and integrations. In addition to the tutorials on this site, Zoom has numerous video tutorials and support articles on their Help Center site. If you’re teaching in D2L, we strongly recommend scheduling your meetings in the D2L Zoom Meeting area. Students can easily find these links, along with links to recorded meetings, which are automatically posted there shortly after the session ends. Be aware that Zoom Cloud recordings are stored only for 120 days. If you will need them after that, make sure you’ve logged into your Kaltura Media Space account at least once to activate it. Zoom Cloud recordings will then automatically be backed up in your My Media area.

PSU Gmail

If you’re new faculty, make sure to begin checking your PSU Gmail account regularly at Your PSU Google account also gives you access to the full G Suite of apps for education. You can easily communicate with all the students in your courses by using an automatically-generated Google Group email address. We recommend contacting students as early as possible before each term starts with a syllabus and brief introduction.
Send an email to your classlist using Google Groups

Google G Suite for Education

All PSU faculty, students, and staff have access to the full suite of Google applications using their PSU Gmail address and Odin login credentials. This includes Google Groups, Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides. It’s advisable to use your PSU Google account for teaching-related Google materials since these are easily shared with students and colleagues. You can always share or transfer ownership with a personal Google account as needed. The Office of Information Technology (OIT) provides PSU G Suite application workshops.

Google Meet (Hangouts)

As an alternative to Zoom, you may schedule course video meetings in Google. This is not advised if you’re teaching in D2L, however, since Zoom meetings scheduled from D2L are easily accessed by students.
Google Meet information (PSU)
Google Hangouts Meet Learning Center (Google Support)

Google Forms

These can be used to survey your students, gather feedback on learning, let students peer- or self-review, and evaluate their course experience. Most users find Google forms easier to use than D2L surveys, but they lack the sophistication and reporting options of Qualtrics. How to Create Google Forms (Google Support)

Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a virtual classroom that utilizes Google Groups, Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides. This is not directly supported by OAI but there are myriad online resources since it’s used widely by K-12 teachers. To access Classroom, go to and sign in with your Odin account credentials.
Google Classroom overview information (PSU)
Classroom Help (Google Support)


PebblePad is an online portfolio platform that lets students document skills, learning, and creativity. PSU students, staff, and faculty have automatic access to PebblePad as through their Odin account. You can use customizable templates to create portfolio pages and workbooks. Instructors can add PebblePad to D2L courses, assign projects and provide feedback. PebblePad is also a popular option for faculty developing promotion and tenure files. In addtion to the tutorials on this site you can learn more at PebblePad Help.


Qualtrics is a survey application with many ways to capture, analyze, and share survey data. You can sign in to use it here:
Tutorials: Create surveys with Google Forms or Qualtrics (PSU)

Microsoft Office

All PSU faculty, staff and students have access to Microsoft Office applications (including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel) by following the directions on the Microsoft Office at PSU page. After leaving PSU, students have a grace period of one year, and employees have a grace period of 24 hours, until their Microsoft account and the Microsoft Office suite is disabled.

Using non-supported applications for teaching

As stewards of PSU’s digital learning environment, OAI is always exploring new teaching and learning platforms and apps. We take a risk-minimization approach to accessibility, with the goal of full inclusivity. You’re welcome to use additional digital tools you feel are effective for teaching, but should make sure to check with your Department and the Disability Resource Center. Software that has not been piloted and adopted campus-wide is not supported by help-desk staff, so you’ll need to troubleshoot on your own. is a social annotation platform that allows users to annotate web content. Annotations can be saved as private, shared to a group, or shared publicly. Faculty can use to drive critical annotation and discussion of digital content and encourage collaborative critical reading practices. You may contact OAI to install it for use within D2L, but help desk staff are not trained to support it.

Flipgrid is a video-based discussion platform. It allows students to create short (up to 5 minute) video posts and share them in a threaded discussion forum. Video discussions can help online students feel connected to their classmates.

Pressbooks is e-book production software. It enables the presentation, sharing, discovery, and manipulation of longer form texts.  It also has a database of collected works to let readers discover other publications by the same author. Contact OAI to get an account, but remember that help desk staff are not trained to support it.

Voicethread lets students record audio, share images, videos, and other content as an alternative to text-only discussion. Students can add annotations and comments for multimedia interactivity. Teachers can enhance lessons with media and/or audio for language-related or UDL needs. Voicethread requires a license to use, and individual instructor licenses are available for purchase.

Know of a platform we should explore? Contact OAI with suggestions!

OIT Links and Resources

Free software available for PSU-owned computers

A range of software can be installed on PSU-owned computers using the Self-service software page. You can find a list of available software at Free software for PSU-owned computers. Self-service software cannot be accessed from PSU lab or personally owned computers.

Additional free software is available via PSU’s RemoteApp for Enterprise Applications. There are also research computing resources available through OIT. Visit the Research Computing website for comprehensive information about the systems, software, and services available.

OIT also provides a handy A-Z list of Services, including links to platform and software documentation, and an Employee Guide to Working Remotely.

Library Resources and Equipment

The PSU Library offers a wide range of teaching resources, including subject-area research guides, electronic reserves creation, audiovisual media streaming databases, and equipment borrowing. Below is a list of links from their Faculty Services page.

Teaching & Classroom Support

Publishing & Research Support

Requesting & Borrowing Materials