All courses will automatically have a Moodle shell created for instructors to use. Moodle can be used for course announcements, assignments, course materials, lecture notes or PowerPoints, links to videos, quizzes, assessments/exams, direct communication with students, and forum discussions. Moodle is an accessible platform that provides 24/7 access to course materials, resources and grade information to students. If you need training on using Moodle, sign up for ongoing training or self-enroll in Moodle Basics for Faculty.

Additionally, communication and course materials can be disseminated by using:

  • UMBox for course material distribution (if not using Moodle). We do not suggest using UMBox for submitting student work or transmitting grades, as this is not a confidential means of communicating this sensitive information. Moodle is the recommended and very secure method for electronically submitting student work and posting grades.
  • Zoom for live communication with students and hosting your classes online, when needed. 


  • For a self-paced tutorial on using Moodle, self-enroll in Moodle Basics for Faculty. This tutorial covers most features of UM's version of Moodle and modules can be viewed in any order. 
  • To limit potential technical difficulties use Firefox (preferred) or Chrome as your browser 
  • Notify students that they will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open and save PDF files and a word processing program that can open and edit Word documents. The University of Montana provides Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus for free to UM Students. 
  • Review UMOnline's Moodle Resource Page.
  • To track students' attendance and activities in Moodle, check out our Moodle Report information.


  • Box is primarily a storage and sharing platform. It does not support submitting assignments or grading. Moodle will better support an online, hybrid or remote course modality.
  • Upload all course materials to one accessible location. Include syllabus, assignments, instructions and rubrics in a single folder.
  • Share the folder with students, under limited permissions.
  • Review the UM Box Support page.
  • Review the box support knowledge base for frequently asked questions and troubleshooting.


Zoom is a web-conferencing system that meets a variety of synchronous collaboration needs such as meetings, webinars and hybrid learning spaces. View the UM Zoom Solutions Center Page for more information.

PLEASE NOTE: Choosing Zoom cloud recording will process your live recordings within a few hours (this may possibly take up to 24 hours depending on length and demand) and provide faculty a shareable link to share with students.

REMINDER: Please be sure to update Zoom desktop clients. Old versions that have not been updated could pose a security risk.

Zoom is available through NetID single sign-on! Which is the same process you would use to sign into both Moodle and Cyberbear. If this is your first time, follow these 5 steps: 

  1. Review System Requirements for your PC, Mac or Linux based device to ensure you can accommodate the software properly. 
  2. Visit and select "Login", located in the upper right corner of your screen. 
  3. Enter your NetID and password. If this is your first time logging into your NetID, please review our NetID & Password Help Guide.
  4. You will now be routed to your Zoom profile, where you can set up and host meetings with Zoom!
  5. You will be prompted to download the Zoom Client once you have initiated your first meeting. Select the "Download Client" button at the bottom of your profile page.

Zoom Features:

  • Polling.
  • Virtual hand-raising.
  • Join by telephone dial-in.
  • Fullscreen and gallery view.
  • Record sessions and meetings.
  • Screen sharing and annotations.
  • Chat Window and Break-out rooms.
  • Feature-rich mobile apps for iOS and Android.
  • HD Video and Voice with dynamic voice detection.
  • Accessibility features enable users with disabilities to schedule, attend and participate in Zoom meetings.

Make sure Zoom desktop clients are updated. Old versions that have not been updated could pose a security risk.

Start Zoom session and manage Zoom recordings through your UM zoom account.

Protect the security of Zoom sessions by only sharing zoom links privately and/or setting up waiting rooms. 

Update your security features after reviewing our Mischief Prevention Chapter in our Moodle Basics for Faculty course. This addresses how to manage participants, control screen-sharing, etc. 

Use cloud recording so zoom sessions can get transcribed. Zoom cloud may experience delays in recording processing of up to 24 hours. Only record what is necessary. Do not set up an automatic recording. 

Use a microphone or headset. The audio quality is typically better than your computer’s built-in options.

Control background noise. Ask students to stay muted unless they are going to speak. Encourage the use of earbuds or headphones. Instructors also have the ability to mute all participants.

Consider using Zoom's built-in Chat feature or keeping the video feed off. This frees Internet bandwidth, allowing students to listen without worrying about their appearance.

To track students' attendance on Zoom, check out our Zoom Tracking pdf.

For synchronous (real-time) online sessions be aware that you’re often being invited into a student’s home. Please practice respect and understanding.

More tips and tricks for using Zoom can be found by self-enrolling in our Zoom Web Conferencing step-by-step guide.

Note: Tips for Using Zoom was inspired by Seattle Pacific University's Wiki Page.

Please watch this short video on Zoom, provided by Jeff Meese, UM College of Business.

Zoom does provide auto-captioning if you save a recording to the cloud. In order to enable auto-captioning for Zoom meetings and lectures save the recording to the cloud. You may also choose to save the recording on your desktop.

Once a lecture is saved to the cloud, a transcript will be created and captioning will be applied. You should receive an email message from Zoom within a few hours that your recording is now available for download, viewing, editing, and saving. We strongly recommend reviewing the recording and transcript for accuracy, as sometimes audio quality hinders this. If you need to make changes to the auto-populated transcript, please do so. The captions will automatically be updated to match.

PLEASE NOTE: Initially saving a lecture or meeting to the desktop will not develop a transcript, nor will captioning be automatically applied. For more information, please visit the Automatically Transcribe Cloud Recordings webpage.

You may also refer to UM Solutions articles on using Zoom, or the Zoom and Accessibility Article put together by ATS, for further clarification.

If you need additional Zoom support: 

  1. Look through Zoom's Extensive Support Site, for detailed guides and information.
  2. Visit the UM Zoom Solutions Center Page to review the latest updates and information.
  3. Call the IT Help Desk at (406) 243-4357 or email
  4. Contact Alex Karklins at (406) 243-5366. 
  5. Contact Nancy Clouse at (406) 243-5815, to request a training session or IT Short Course. 

Additional Zoom support and user guides: Weekly Live Zoom Training Webinars.

Top Hat

Top Hat is a student engagement system that allows instructors to ask questions, take polls, give quizzes, and get feedback from students during class. Top Hat is a bring-your-own-device system, which means that students can use any web-enabled device such as their laptop or phone to participate.  Top Hat goes far beyond the old clicker type of technology allowing you to:

  • Upload your slides, add annotations and interactive questions
  • Take attendance quickly and accurately
  • Ask questions, take polls,  give quizzes
  • Launch discussions and get real-time feedback and reports
  • Export student grades to Moodle

For documentation, including step-by-step tutorials, please visit the Top Hat website.

Creating a new account at Top Hat is as simple as going to their website and clicking on the Sign-Up button. When you enter your address and accept the terms and conditions you can log on using your NetID.

For any questions on using Top Hat or setting up a new course you can reach out to UM’s direct Top Hat support contact:

Interested in Pre-Recording A Zoom Session?

The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library are taking appointments to assist!

The Library has a One Button Studio and a Lightboard Studio available for use, along with many other services such as scanning class materials for students. If you are new to using Lightboard Studio, email to set up a training session. 

Scanning services include books, microfilms, microfiche, slides, photographs, and even some films!