Microsoft Resources for Teaching with Office 365

Microsoft Resources for Teaching with Office 365

As more schools begin to make the transition to distance learning and online classrooms, we want to help. Microsoft has created resources, training, and how-to guides that we hope will help educators and their classrooms make this transition.

To help support you during this time, we’ve created a support page for O365 with the information Microsoft has provided.

Microsoft Education is committed to helping all teachers, students, and staff stay engaged and focused on learning. Creating an online classroom is an important step in moving to a remote learning experience. Free for schools, Microsoft Teams, provides a secure online classroom that brings together classroom management features, collaborative workspaces like OneNote Class Notebook, and virtual face-to-face connections in a single digital hub that keeps students engaged.

Information included are Microsoft’s top resources on distance learningWeb Pages with tools to connect remotely, Microsoft Teams quick start guide for EDU (PDF). Webinars designed for educators, Blog posts, and Free Training, 

 These resources have been provided by the Microsoft Corporation and are included in this post for the convenience of WCU faculty who want to use Office 365 to facilitate online learning.


Getting Started with Microsoft Teams for Education

Getting Started with Microsoft Teams for Education

A series of free, live, online training classes designed to get you up and running quickly

Microsoft is excited to host a series of free, live, online training classes designed to get you up and running with Teams. If you’re a faculty, admin, IT Pro, or student, you’ll find a class that’s right for you. Join us to see Teams in action, get your questions answered, and interact with our live instructors. For more training opportunities, including on-demand versions of live training, check out our on-demand end-user training.

Click a session below to sign up:

Say hello to Microsoft Teams: What is Microsoft Teams? Join us for this 30-minute orientation to discover what Teams is and how it can work for you.
Run effective meetings with Teams: Learn how you can leverage Teams for your pre, during, and post meetings experience.


Best Practices in Honors Contracts Discussed by WCU Faculty and Students

Honors Update

Thinking about new ways of engaging students in Honors Contract projects this semester?  Listen in on a panel discussion in which faculty members from a variety of different departments and disciplines talk with Honors students about what makes a great honors project.  Students and faculty members share ideas about what works and doesn’t work, and they discuss ideas for projects and directions that motivate students.  The students and faculty also discuss aims, objectives, and expectations for Honors projects in lower level as compared to higher level courses.  Practical aspects of initiating and developing the project are also discussed in terms of best practices.  Faculty and students discuss their ideas of what an ideal honors project looks like and what the key elements and outcomes of that project involve.  The panel wraps up as students and faculty give examples and talk about the mentoring that happens throughout the semester in guiding an honors project to success.

Watch the video here:

We hope that you will enjoy this student-faculty conversation and get some good ideas and inspiration as we start the semester.  Many thanks to our student and faculty participants!  Special thanks to Colin Townsend from The Honors College for moderating the panel.

Amethyst Hall, senior, majoring in Computer Information Systems
Rylan Paye, junior, majoring in Mechanical Engineering
Anna Haggy, senior, majoring in Environmental Health and Political Science
Eli Hatley, senior, majoring in Emergency Medical Care

Robert Adams, School of Engineering and Technology
Kelly Tracy, School of Teaching and Learning
Jeanne Dulworth, Department of Social Work
Rob Ferguson, Department of History
Colin Wasamund, Stage and Screen
Lori Oxford, Department of Modern Languages

Reminder that Honors Contracts are due no later than the fourth Friday of the semester.  This semester that will be Friday, February 7. Remember to access Honors Contracts in MyWCU. (see image)
Need help with Honors Contracts? Contact us at or 227-7383.

2020 landing page changes in Blackboard courses

All courses in Spring 2020 will have an abbreviated framework. If there is no content or no content has been copied from a previous course instructors will notice less items listed in the left menu and the course landing page will default to the “Announcements”

The landing page can be changed by doing the following steps in the course.

1.On the left side navigation, select “Customization” then “Teaching Style




2. Change the Entry Point to another page containing content such as “Start Here”





SiTL 2019 recap

On December 2, about a dozen faculty from across the university joined the Coulter Faculty Commons team for a SiTL appreciation lunch. In case you haven’t seen the acronym before, SiTL stands for the Summer Institute for Teaching and Learning, which is hosted every year the first or second week after finals end in May. Faculty attend this gathering to learn about new teaching methods, tackle changing technology, and get help with course design/redesign for the upcoming year.

It’s a good time to bring all your ideas questions from the semester into a lively community of growing scholars, teachers, and experts in learning, technology, and research. 

The SiTL experience includes a variety of sessions along with opportunities for networking or solo working on ideas you want to implement in your own teaching. Depending on your needs and interests, you can choose from a variety of short sessions, or join a more in-depth training that extends over several days of the event. Faculty feedback indicates a value for the option and variety, but also notes the benefit of a more focused track, which allows space in between sessions to reflect and apply what you’ve been learning.  

Last year the summer institute included a focused track on Team Based Learning (TBL), which was hosted by a cross-disciplinary team of faculty from physical therapy, nursing, nutrition, parks and rec, and social work. At the end of three days, faculty were excited and equipped to bring this model to their fall courses. 

More important than what happens at SiTL, though, is what happens afterward. The stories faculty told at the lunch meeting about student engagement and performance are the reason the CFC hosts this event for faculty every year. Some of the faculty who implemented Team Based Learning after this event are seeing the highest levels of student engagement in twenty years!  

Next month, we will share more details on Team Based Learning and how it has transformed the teaching experience for at least two faculty members at WCU. Meanwhile, if you’re curious about what’s in store for SiTL 2020, visit our event page from 2019 to get an idea of what will be on offer and then be sure you are subscribed to our newsletter for the latest updates and details. More information will be coming soon.