Upload your syllabus and link it to your homepage

For instructions on using the Syllabus tool in Canvas, see How do I use the Syllabus as an instructor?
The instructions below show the “Homepage 2 (minimal information with tool links)” available on Canvas Commons.

Upload your syllabus file to a module

  1. Select Modules in the course navigation.
    Modules in course navigation
  2. Select the + Module button.
    Add Module button
  3. Name the module and select the Add Module button.
    Add Module button.
  4. New modules are added to the bottom of your module list. You can drag it up using the 6-dot grid in the upper left corner.
    In a new module, you can upload files quickly by selecting the Drop files here… area. This opens your computer file directory.
  5. To add to an existing module, select the + icon to the right of the module heading.
    Add to module icon
  6. In the Add item menu, select the menu first labeled Assignments to view the full menu. Select File.
    Select files and syllabus.
  7. Your computer’s file directory will open. Select the syllabus file.
  8. Select the Add Item button to insert the syllabus file in this module.
  9. In your modules list, publish both the module and the file by selecting each empty circle to make them green check-marks.
    Published module and file.

Link your uploaded syllabus file to your home page

  1. On your home page, select the Edit button in the upper right corner.
    Home page Edit button.
  2. Scroll down in the edit window or drag it from the lower-right corner to resize.
    Editor scroll bar and resize handle.
  3. Position your cursor at the beginning or end of “Syllabus,” click and drag to highlight the word.
    Link text highlighted.
  4. In the top menubar of the editor, find the Link icon and select the “down” carat on the right. Then select Course Links.
    Link menu and Course Links item.
  5. In the Add menu, select the top menu labeled Links to open it.
  6. Select Files.
    Links menu open and Files selected.
  7. In the Files area, select the Course Files directory and find your syllabus file. Click the syllabus file once. (Double-clicking will add two links.)
    Course files and syllabus file selected.
  8. The “Syllabus” text on this page will now link directly to that file. (Alternatively, you could link to the module containing the syllabus.) Select the Home page Save button.
    Hyperlink created, Save button highlighted.
    Quicklinks on Home page.
  9. To add more quick links, repeat these steps.
    Note: for the Weekly Modules quick link, select the top module to display the full list.
    Note: to link directly to your Zoom meeting, first go to the Zoom area, select the meeting and copy the meeting URL to your clipboard. Then repeat the steps above but select External links instead of Course links. Enter the Zoom meeting URL and Save.

This article was last updated on Jan 6, 2022 @ 4:30 pm.


CircleIn is a free-to-student study app that PSU has purchased a trial account for. It allows students to collaborate remotely on coursework by sharing information and ideas. The goal of CircleIn is to foster a learning community for participating students through online brainstorming, as in a study group.

CircleIn can be used on mobile devices and has a web version for computer use. Students also earn points by helping each other, collaborating, and studying with the application. Points can be redeemed for gift cards and rewards from companies like Starbucks and Amazon.

OAI and OIT do not directly support Circlein, so to learn more about the application's features and student incentives, contact Circlein support: https://faculty.circleinapp.com/support or email support@circleinapp.com.

Circle In is sponsored by the Office of Student Success; please direct questions about how the app was selected to that office.

This article was last updated on Mar 30, 2021 @ 5:35 pm.

Create a Random Set of Quiz Questions

Back to D2L Tutorials

You can create a Pool of randomized questions to display in a quiz so each student sees a different selection. The easiest way to keep track of which questions are being randomized is to first create a Section in the Question Library containing the questions you want to draw your random Pool from. A Section works like a folder so you can organize the questions in your Library.

The best sequence is to begin by creating a Section if you don’t already have one. You’ll use this to contain your full set of possible questions.

  1. Navigate to Activities > Quizzes.
  2. Select Question Library from the top three tabs
  3. Select New > Section.
  4. Name and save the Section. You can check the “Hide section title from learners” checkbox unless you want students to be aware of a specific category of questions.
  5. If the questions you need are not yet in your Question Library, select Import > Browse Existing Questions or Upload to select a CSV file (template is provided). Note: If you will import from a Quiz, be sure to notice the Source: menu on the right, where you select the quiz you want to import from.
  6. If the questions you want to randomize are already in the Library, select each question checkbox, click “Move” and then select the new Section folder icon.
  7. Click Done Editing Questions to return to your Manage Quizzes list.
  8. On the Manage Quizzes page, click the down-arrow after the name of the quiz where you want to create a randomized question pool. Select Edit.
  9. Click Add/Edit Questions.
  10. From the New button, click Question Pool.
  11. Enter a Question Pool Title, the Number of Questions to Select, and the Points per Question.
  12. Click Browse Question Library and select the checkbox for the Section you created for this Pool (you can also simply select questions from your Library).
  13. Click Import. You will now see the full set of questions on the left and the randomly selected questions on the right. To refresh this random selection, click the circular arrows icon in the top right corner. When you are satisfied with the selection, click the Save button.

Watch how to create a quiz with a random set of questions.

This article was last updated on Aug 6, 2021 @ 4:12 pm.

Digital Pedagogy Tools and Resources

D2L Brightspace

D2L Brightspace is PSU's learning management system, used for online, hybrid, or web-enhanced teaching. Zoom is integrated, so meetings and recordings are available to students in your Brightspace course. For best usability, organize your materials and assignments in weekly modules.

In Winter term 2022 PSU will transition to Instructure's Canvas LMS. If you’re new to teaching with LMS software, the Brightspace learning curve may be fairly steep. If your department requires you to teach a pre-existing D2L course, consider contacting the OAI Faculty Support Desk to schedule one-on-one training. If you’ve used another LMS like Canvas, Blackboard, or Moodle, you can start by exploring our D2L Essentials tutorial list. Those new to online teaching may want to use Google Classroom, which has basic LMS features, until Canvas becomes available.

Kaltura Media Space

Media Space is where you can upload, create, and edit video and audio resources. Your Zoom recordings are also backed up there. A Kaltura desktop application is available for webcam or screen recordings. Multimedia production support is available by request from OAI.

Every PSU instructor and student has a Media Space account. Once you've logged in at media.pdx.edu, all your Zoom Cloud recordings will be backed up in your My Media list. The Kaltura Capture application is available in the "Add New" menu. You can use Media Space to share videos as 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, contact the Library. Consider using Kaltura Media Space rather than Vimeo or YouTube, because KMS lets you:

  • Create and edit machine-generated captioning
  • 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


Zoom is PSUs videoconferencing platform. All PSU faculty, staff, and students have an account. It's important to download and use the Zoom desktop "client," since browser access offers limited features.

To begin, download the Zoom Meetings desktop “client” application and sign in with your PSU Odin account. The desktop client should be updated bimonthly, since Zoom continues to add features. In addition to the tutorials on this site, Zoom has numerous video tutorials and support articles on their Help Center site. 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

PSU uses Google G Suite for Education, which includes Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, and more. Your PSU Gmail is a primary communication tool for instructors, staff and students so please check it regularly.

You can easily communicate with all the students in your courses by using an automatically-generated Google Group email address. Consider 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)

Hangouts are available for staff and student meetings. We encourage teaching with Zoom, because it's integrated with D2L and 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 classroom.google.com 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: portlandstate.qualtrics.com.

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). Access them 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.

Hypothes.is 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 hypothes.is 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 five minutes) 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 and Classroom Support

Publishing and Research Support

Requesting and Borrowing Materials

Create an Alumni Account

Back to PebblePad Tutorials

All PSU active account users can create a free PebblePad Alumni account before they separate from PSU. This is a self-service process completed within PebblePad. To make an alumni account, take the following steps before you lose access to your PSU accounts.

  1. Log into pebblepad.pdx.edu with your PSU ODIN credentials.
  2. Click in the top left “burger menu” icon with 3 vertical lines.
  3. From the left slide out menu click Additional Settings.
  4. From the exposed menu click Free Alumni Accounts.
  5. A new browser window will appear with a pop up box in the middle.
  6. Click Continue in the pop up box to make it got away.
  7. Fill out the form using a personal email address and password.
  8. Click Continue.
  9. Choose your subject expertise and career destination (optional).
  10. Read the Terms and Conditions then click the check box.
  11. Then click Continue.
  12. A confirmation screen will display the information you entered.
  13. After verifying that it is correct click Confirm.
  14. You will be presented with a completion screen.
  15. Bookmark the login URL for your alumni account before logging in.

See PebblePad support documentation for additional detail.

This article was last updated on Aug 9, 2021 @ 9:34 am.