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Academic Continuity

Resources for Academic Continuity

In response to the COVID-19 situation, Ferris State University is developing resources to keep the learning experience as consistent as possible, while also keeping students and faculty safe. Below you will find a wide-range of tools, guides and information to make your transition to online learning as smooth as possible.

Stuck? Contact the eLearning team at (231) 591-2802 or [email protected]. The eLearning email will be monitored Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Campus Updates

For the latest information on the COVID-19 situation, head to our coronavirus news hub. Answers to frequently asked technology questions can be found on the IT Solution Center's FAQ.

Resources for Faculty & Staff

  •  Equipment & Software

    Taking Your Computer Home

    Through the duration of the COVID-19 disruption, ITS will support faculty taking their computers home, as long as they work with ITS. This includes both laptops and desktop machines. You must submit a ticket or call ITS at (231) 591-4822 to initiate this process.

    Temporary-Use Laptops

    The IT Solution Center has temporary laptops available for use. Please submit a work order via the Self-Service Portal or call the IT Solution Center at (231) 591-4822 and include any special software requirements you may have.

    Requests for temporary use laptops will be prioritized to faculty to assist with online instruction needs.

    VPN Instructions

    You can find full directions on connecting to the University's virtual private network on the IT how-to page.

    Webcam Checkout

    eLearning will be providing webcams for checkout. Contact eLearning at [email protected] or (231) 591-2802.

    ITS also has webcams available for checkout. Submit a ticket via the Self-Service Portal or call (231) 591-4822.

  •  Free WiFi Hotspots

    WiFi Map

    If you or your students are struggling to find WiFi, eLearning is assembling a list of places you can find it. Check out the map below or take a look at our running list. If you know of a hotspot, make sure to request that it is added to the list!

  •  Laptops for Students

    Temporary Laptops for Students

    If your students are in need of a laptop, the IT Solution Center has laptops available for them to use while the University is closed. Students should head to the Self-Service Portal (they will need to log in with their MyFSU username and password) and click on the Temporary Laptop Request icon in the top left corner.

    Laptops will be shipped to the students.

    IT Solutions Center Self-Service Portal

  •  Canvas and Blackboard

    Teaching Effectively During Times of Disruption from Stanford

    This resource from Stanford University includes information on Canvas and Zoom and provides a wealth of information on setting up and managing your course online. This document may be information overload, but it is an excellent resource.

    Ferris Online Learning Tool Guides

    We've assembled a collection of training and guides to help you succeed with online instruction. Guides on subjects including, Canvas, Calendly, Zoom, and emailing students. This will be updated continuously. 

    Hoonuit Canvas Training

    Head to Hoonuit for Canvas training for students and instructors training (MyFSU login required).

    Canvas Support Library

    Canvas has a wide-ranging library of support videos that will guide you through most questions.

    3 Online Basics

    Rhonda Kessling created this fantastic overview of three online teaching tools, Zoom, Canvas assignments, and Canvas pages.

    Focus First on Process, Not Content

    Tracy Russo's guide to focusing on the process when teaching online during the coronavirus situation.


  •  Video Instruction Support

    Zoom Training

    Zoom can be used to meet one on one or as a group. You may schedule a time for Zoom training with Ashlee Mishler or check our Tools & Guides page for help with basic operation, screen-sharing, breakout rooms, in-session polls and other features.

    Zoom also offers weekly webinars for students and instructors learning how to use their platform. You can sign up for oneon their website.

    Calendly Training

    When Calendly is integrated with Zoom, it can be used as a powerful way to make appointments and schedule live class time remotely. Schedule an appointment with Ashlee Mishler to receive an account and training.


    YouTube is a great way to share lectures and course materials with your students. Find our YouTube guides on the online learning tools page.

    3 Online Basics

    Rhonda Kessling created this fantastic overview of three online teaching tools, Zoom, Canvas assignments, and Canvas pages.

    Focus First on Process, Not Content

    Tracy Russo's guide to focusing on the process when teaching online during the coronavirus situation.


  •  Technical Support


    eLearning has developed guides for instructors and students using Canvas. Head to our Tools & Guides page to explore them.

    Zoom Training

    Zoom can be used to meet one on one or as a group. You can find Zoom help on our Tools & Guides page. You may also schedule a time for Zoom training with Ashlee Mishler.

    ITS Support

    VPN Instructions

    You can find full directions on connecting to the University's virtual private network on the IT how-to page.

    Microsoft Teams

    Teams is available for download from Microsoft. Microsoft has also provided this training document. Teams is also available through the web at

    If the University is closed, Ferris ITS will provide the following support:

    • Support for Blackboard servers
    • Remote support of required services provided by IT Solution Center
    • Support of interactive/collaboration tools including Microsoft Teams and Blue Jeans.
    • Will provide instructions to faculty regarding:
      • VPN connectivity (for both Windows and Mac devices)
      • Remote desktop connection (with on campus desktops)
    • Work with faculty to loan laptops as needed
    • Work with HR to provide training for the required IT tools.


  •  Online Textbooks and Course Materials

    Start With FLITE

    • The catalog of online databases is a great place to search for content.
    • eLearning continues to assist faculty and departments in making digitized versions of textbooks available.
    • Faculty needing alternative electronic readings to replace or supplement print content should contact Fran Rosen for assistance at [email protected].


    Cengage is offering free unlimited subscriptions, providing you and your students with access to all Cengage ebooks and platforms.


    The online database JSTOR has expanded access until June 30, 2020. Make sure to login with your Ferris credentials.


    Jove is providing free access to JoVE Core (video textbook), JoVE Science Education (video library), and Lab Manual (designed for introductory biology lab courses).

    Project MUSE

    The online database Project MUSE has made scholarly content from many of its publishers available for free. You will need to use your MyFSU credentials to login.

    Sage Knowledge

    Access to Sage Knowledge, including Sage Video and Sage Research Methods Video, ebooks, and ereference books is available until June 28, 2020.

    University of Michigan Press

    The University of Michigan Press has opened access to its full collection of ebooks.


    Students can access many online textbooks and the APA Publication Manual through VitalSource.

    Wiley - Free Access to Courseware

    Wiley is offering free access to their courseware for the duration of the spring semester. Request access by completing the form on their website.


  •  Disabilities Services

    The Educational Counseling and Disabilities Services (ECDS) Office will remain closed through March 27, 2020. Instructors with scheduled tests, quizzes and/or exams for a registered student with approved accommodations need to arrange for alternate testing methods.

    Alternative testing options include:

    • Adjust time individually in Canvas and/or Blackboard to assist students with approved accommodations for extra time. Please refer to the eLearning team for assistance at [email protected].
    • Assist students requiring a reader through the use of:
      • Microsoft Teams - Student will need to enable Microsoft Teams for a virtual reader from ECDS. ECDS staff will need a copy of the test to read to the student.
      • Use of Kurzweil - PDF will need to be sent to [email protected] with a test transmittal for verification and time of test; ECDS will upload to Kurzweil and send information to student. Please contact ECDS for installation username and password.

    It is important to make sure course content is accessible. Consider how to best apply captioning for any lectures using available captioning software available through Canvass / Blackboard. For assistance, contact FCTL at [email protected]and (231) 591-3826.

    If you have any further questions regarding any other items, please contact the Educational Counseling and Disabilities Services Office at [email protected].


  •  Advising, Academic Support & Communication

    Main Campus Advising

    Students will receive an email through their Ferris email account with instructions for contacting their main campus advisor.

    Statewide and Online Advising

    Students enrolled online or at an off-campus location should continue to schedule advising appointments via All appointments will be conducted via phone or video conference.

    If you do not have a Calendly account, please schedule an appointment with Ashlee Mishler for account setup and training.

    Emailing Your Students

    Check out the eLearning guide to emailing students in your classes on our Tools & Guides page.


    All students will continue to have access to tutoring assistance. The process of initiating an appointment remains unchanged. Students request an appointment through TutorTrac in MyFSU and tutors will engage with students virtually.

    Writing Assistance

    Students continue to enjoy writing assistance virtually through FSU’s Writing Center. Additional information is available at the Writing Center's webpage.


  •  Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning

    The FCTL is available to assist faculty and academic programs during the COVID-19 situation with the following:

    • Designing and converting course content, learning activities, assessment and feedback, and other aspects of teaching and learning for an online setting.
    • Accessibility of course content.
    • Recording and preparing audio, video and documents.
    • Assistance with Blackboard, Canvas, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and other technology.
    • Support in creating an inclusive learning environment, including using elements of Universal Design for Learning and maintaining a positive, connected sense of community.


    Head to the FCTL webpage to learn more.

    FCTL staff are available to meet one-on-one, in groups, or virtually. Reach out them them at [email protected] or (231) 591-3826.


  •  Lab Courses

    Free Science Resources for Lab Courses

    This live document includes links to free resources.

  •  Other Resources

    Teaching in the Context of COVID-19

    This document contains wide-range of resources created by faculty from Dartmouth and CUNY for online teaching during the COVID-19 situation.

    Online Learning Consortium Resources

    The Online Learning Consortium has published a wealth of helpful information on their website regarding moving and managing courses online.

    Remote Teaching Resources

    An extensive list of the resources being offered by more than 300 colleges and universities created by staff at DePaul University.

    Focus First on Process, Not Content

    Tracy Russo's guide to focusing on the process when teaching online during the coronavirus situation.


Ferris Response to the Coronavirus

The latest news on the Ferris response to COVID-19.