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“Flu-Proofing” a Course: Where do you start?

As stories related to H1N1 continue to appear in places as varied as our own Technician and in Inside Higher Education, the possibility of social distancing(at worst) or students (or you) missing more class than usual due to the flu (at best), may come to mind.  The flu may take a week, or more, to resolve, and to help you and your students navigate the flu and your class simultaneously, perhaps you are trying to think of ways to ensure your students can receive course materials, submit assignments, and participate in class discussions if they can’t come to class but are feeling better. Maybe you are even considering using web-based tools as an avenue to support your class.If you have not used web-based tools to support your course before, you may feel overwhelmed.  How can you even start, you might ask?  A suggestion – start with the simplest tools available, use only one or two tools until you are comfortable, and then, as your comfort level increases, add to your online toolkit.

Putting Files Online

Let’s say you want to just get a few things online (i.e. a PowerPoint presentation, a PDF file, a Word doc, etc.), and very quickly.  Let’s assume you want to upload your files in a technically easy way. And because you are planning on some students not being able to participate “in real time,” let’s assume you are thinking that an online forum, or other easy to use web-based tools, might work nicely, too.  To accomplish this, consider using Moodle – the Learning Management System (LMS) that will be used as part of the next iteration of WolfWare, NC State’s homegrown LMS.  To get a Moodle course section, go to, and login using your Unity ID and password.  Once you have your course section, use the following resources to immediately get started in Moodle:

Holding Online Meetings

Another option that you might want is a synchronous (real-time) discussion via chat or via a headset that allows for a conversation with all of your students at one time, independent of place.  If this type of conversation meets your needs, consider learning about Elluminate, our synchronous online conferencing tool.  To create an Elluminate session for your course, you will first need a moderator account, which you can obtain by filling out the form at: Once you have your account, use the following resources to immediately get started using Elluminate:

Delivering Online Lectures

Finally, another option that you might want is a way to deliver your lecture, without you having to come to campus to record it.  One tool that might meet your needs quickly is LecShare Pro, which allows you to add voice narration to your PowerPoint presentations.  You can then save this presentation, and share it with your students by uploading it as a file to Moodle.  LecShare Pro is available for purchase ($20 for NCSU users) at (To get the
discount, enter “ncsu” for the Login Name and “1357908642” for the password). Once you have a copy of LecShare Pro, use the following resources to immediately get started:

*Note:  If you prefer to use the free version of LecShare, which transforms MS PowerPoint files into Web pages or Word documents but does not do the audio narration,

We hope that these tools will help you get started, and we will be providing some additional posts with other suggestions for using various technologies to “flu-proof” your course.

A special thanks to our colleagues at Duke University, who provided the idea for these postings and who gave us permission to modify/utilize their materials for our own campus.