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Teaching FAQ

Question: How do I get a course online?

Our campus uses a course management system (Desire 2 Learn or D2L), also referred to as eCourseware or eLearn. The URL is Faculty can log in using their UoM UUID and password.

Every course that is offered each semester, whether it is online or not, has an eCourseware site that is created by the Advanced Learning Center (ALC) The ALC can also create a "development shell" in which you can create a course to be migrated to the live course site each semester.

For more information, please contact the ALC.


Question: Isn't there some standard information that any student who chooses an online class receives? (Browser prep, etc.)

An email is sent by the Provost's office to all enrolled students at the beginning of every emester. We also ask faculty to provide their students with information about accessing online material for their course. It is recommended to do this is through an email to the students prior to the start of the semester as well as in the News Area of the online course. Departments may also choose to provide online students with required information about the online program.

There is a student FAQ on our site that contains answers to many common questions.


Question: Do we have access to the student view of what we see in eCourseware(D2L)?

How to see the student view in eCourseware:

  • Click on the Course Home button while in a specific course.
  • Under the News Area there is a Role Switch feature. Choose the Role that you would like to see, select it and click Change Role.

This will allow you to see the course the way the student sees it. Just don't forget to change your role back!


Question: What synchronous options do we have available for real time communication?

eCourseware has a Chat tool that can be used for synchronous communication. Adobe Connect is a web-based audio service available to all faculty and students at UofM for class communications. You can use Adobe Connect to conduct audio-based sessions with your students in eCourseware classes or as stand alone meetings. Please contact the Advanced Learning Center for more information.

eCampus, in collaboration with the Advanced Learning Center and Information Technology research, instructional technologies for faculty to use in their online courses. Content needs may vary from course to course as it relates to instructional technology, and it is recommended that you contact eCampus staff to discuss potential tools before you set out to learn a new tool. We will be happy to talk with you about it!


Question: Are there any privacy concerns about using non UofM resources for teaching and learning (e.g. external wikis, blogs, media servers, etc.)

First, many of these web-based resources are easy to use and fall under the heading of Web 2.0 tools. These resources are not supported by the university. Using web-based resources in your course provides opportunity for "teachable moments": discussions about how much (or how little) information should be put on the Internet for others to see. Many students are already using these tools outside of the learning environment. Helping them understand what is appropriate content to be placed online is an important lesson. If students feel uncomfortable using their own name in an online environment, faculty have allowed students to use a pseudonym online. However, the student must tell the teacher the pseudonym. Anonymous posts inside eCourseware or in an external tool is not recommended.


Question: Where can I find Respondus?

Respondus is a 3rd party tool that integrates with many course management systems to create quizzes/tests. Properly formatted publisher test banks can also be imported into Respondus.

Quizzes/Tests can be created in eCourseware. However, if you wish to use the 3rd party tool Respondus (especially good if your test bank has already been created), then Respondus can be used to create the quiz. After the quiz is created, the file is zipped and imported into eCourseware. Step by step directions are included in Respondus. To download Respondus to your computer go to


Question: Can we have an interactive Syllabus instead of one that can just be printed?

The design of the Syllabus is up to the faculty as long as it includes the appropriate information for the student and is easy to read/understand. Some faculty have chosen to make an interactive web Syllabus where items are hyperlinked to other areas in the course. For example, Course Schedules are linked to a calendar of assignments, or Assignment Rubrics are linked to specific course rubrics.


Question: I want to use the PowerPoints and other materials provided by the publisher of the textbook I've selected. Can I do that in eCourseware?

We recognize that instructors utilize text-based PowerPoints, etc., for their courses. While we recommend customizing those to your own teaching methodologies, we know that there is an understanding between the publisher and the instructor that those PowerPoints can be used as long as the text is used. Just keep in mind that once the text is changed, the content of the course has to be reworked to remove those materials.


Question: Is there a sample online class we can review?

Because only the faculty of record and registered students are allowed access to courses, eCampus has created a sample online course for your review. Please contact eCampus at 901-678-8900 or email us for access.


Question: How can technology provide students opportunities to interact with the content?

Technology can provide opportunities for students to present their knowledge/mastery/understanding through multiple representations such as audio, video, images, concept maps, character sketches, games, simulations, etc. RSS feeds can be posted into eCourseware. It is possible to record directly to YouTube if you have a webcam and a microphone. A variety of technologies (examples listed in the Sample Course Content) are available for students to interact with the content provided in the online course.


Question: What length should video/audio content be in an online course?

Video and audio content should be "chunked" into 5 to 10 minute segments. In between the content presentation, have students interact with the presented material in some way -- through a quiz, a Discussion Board posting, a reflection, etc.


Question: How long should synchronous chats last?

Chats should last no longer than one hour, but 45 minutes is the most appropriate. It is also effective to "script" out potential questions that will be used during the Chat on a Word document in order to copy and paste the questions into the Chat tool to avoid wasting time on keying questions in.


Question: Is there an ecampus listserv in order to receive important information from eCampus about developing online?

Subscribing is easy; anyone with a email address can go to and enter the requested information. If you are already on the listserv, login at

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Last Updated: 8/3/12