e-Learning for Students
Whether you're taking face-to-face, hybrid, or online courses, you will likely work with D2L at some point. In addition, there are a number of other technologies MSUB has made available to you in support of your success. Check out this page for tips on how to be successful online.
Perform a System Check to see if your computer already has the more common technologies necessary to succeed in your courses.
Desire2Learn / Brightspace
D2L, now also known as "Brightspace", is MSUB’s learning management system. Chances are, you’ll be using D2L regularly. Students going through an orientation experience will experience D2L first-hand prior to the first day of classes.
Pulse is D2L's mobile app that helps students keep track of important updates. It brings news, deadlines, and grades together in one place so you can spend less time organizing and more time learning.
Microsoft Office 365
FREE! MSU Billings provides an Office 365 license for every staff, faculty, and student. This license includes Microsoft's suite of web-based tools such as email, calendaring, Office online apps, and Office ProPlus which is the suite of desktop software available for download on personal devices.
To download your copy of Office 365, visit https://portal.office365.com and sign in with your MSUB email address (Firstname.Lastname@msubillings.edu) and the password you use when logging into campus computers or D2L.
Webex is MSUB's virtual meeting space. Your instructors may use Webex for virtual office hours, study groups, and one-on-one tutoring assistance. Regardless of everyone's physical location, faculty and students can use Webex to communicate in real time and expand the learning community.
box is a file storage, file-sharing, and collaboration platform that provides unlimited space in the cloud! You can share with other students and your teachers. Your data is accessible on and off campus from any internet connected device. PCs, Macs, Apple iOS, and Android all support box.
View additional box tutorials provided by MSUB's Information Technology department.
Remote Computer Lab (RCL)
The MSUB Remote Computer Lab (RCL) provides remote access to an MSUB computer with many of the software applications you need to complete your studies. The RCL allows you to work on a MSUB computer whether it's from your home, residence hall room, lounge sofa, or favorite coffee shop. With access available off campus from anywhere you have an internet connection, you'll be able to use MSUB software whenever/wherever it's convenient. Software available in the Remote Computer Lab includes:
- Microsoft Office with Project and Visio
- ESRI ArcGIS
Are you considering taking online courses at MSUB? We take great pride in our online offerings and want you to be successful. This section provides you with solid considerations to start off strong.
Is online learning for you?
Complete the "Is online learning for me?" self-assessment (Takes less than 1 minute).
Online Learning Orientation
We have developed the Virtual Hive for Online Students to ensure you are well-prepared for not only D2L but the online learning environment, supported technologies to make your academic life easier, and support services no matter where you live!
If you are new to the University and/or online courses and would like to make sure you don't miss out on this very informative and self-paced orientation, please contact Bryan Grove (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details.
MSUB has created a number of VirtualHive orientations for a variety of student audiences including incoming Freshmen, online-only students, and International students. If you are an existing MSUB student, you may have already completed a VirtualHive orientation.
How do I start my course?
By default, each of your classroom and online course shells in D2L are set to be visible to you at midnight on the first day of class. The D2L login is on the eLearning home page. Read more about logging in if you are having issues. As you enter a course in D2L, read any and all announcements that point you in the right direction to get started in the course. Take a quick "click" tour to get a feel of how your professor has organized the course. If you do not see your course(s) in D2L by the morning of Day #1, your professor may have it in "draft" mode and is still putting the final touches on the course. Feel free to reach out to your professor to verify. If you do not see your course(s) in D2L by that afternoon, please contact Registration & Records.
The First Week of Class
With an online class, use this "welcome to class" period to explore your online course. Read through any and all preliminary content such as the syllabus. Peruse the Learning Modules to see what is ahead. View the Classlist to see more about your instructor and fellow students. Look at the discussion board forum postings if there are any. Participate fully in all course orientation activities required by your instructor. Make sure you understand the course requirements and expectations before you begin. Truly engaging with your course content, professor, and classmates will make the course go more smoothly.
As an online student, you may be living 1000 miles from Billings or in one of the residence halls. For those of you living on or near campus, you will obvious have access to the best of both worlds. Those of you living at a distance will still have access to the same quality services and resources.
Below is a quick overview of a few of our many quality academic support services. Once admitted to MSUB, you'll learn more about these and other available services dedicated to your academic success.
Library / Information Literacy Resources
All students have access to online resources 24—7—365!
This includes a multitude of materials available online such as:
Both the City College and the University Campus libraries are here to serve you. Online students get the best of both worlds and there are a plethora of resources for students at a distance. The University's Libraries have a large selection of academic articles, books, multimedia materials, periodicals, and more!
The MSUB Library mails library books to distance learners who only take classes online and who live outside of the Yellowstone County area. Requesting books to be mailed is easy! We pay the postage to mail the book to you and include a label with return postage so you can mail it back to us! For Billings students enrolled in online classes, your books will be held at the Library's Circulation Desk for your convenience.
Bookstore / Textbooks
Fully online students can opt to have their textbooks and supplies mailed directly to their home.
When it comes to purchasing textbooks for your online courses, you will have several options to choose from including digital textbooks for your PC, mobile, and/or cell device.
Buy New/Used - The MSUB Campus Store, will make every attempt to fill your order with the type of book (new or used) you request. Should that type be unavailable, we will substitute that type with the type we have in stock. (Note that this may cause your sales total to increase or decrease, depending on the substitution).
Rent - Textbook rentals have grown in popularity because of the savings that are offered. Renting textbooks is a great option when you need to stick to a budget. Rent your book at the start of the semester and then you have the option to purchase your book any time during the rental period. You will just pay the difference. Due to limited availability, not all books are offered as rentals but the list continues to grow.
eBook/Digital Textbooks - More and more textbook publishers are making texts available in an electronic format. Digital textbooks give you the same content as the physical printed edition, but the cost is oftentimes less and there's no heavy book to carry around. You can purchase access to these electronic versions through the Jackets & Company bookstore.
Tutoring/Writing Assistance – Academic Support Center
The Academic Support Center (ASC) offers online tutoring, an online writing lab for assistance with papers, and Montana Online Tutoring is available to MSU Billings students in math, science, writing, and more, for FREE. Online tutoring is offered throughout the week and into the evening. Tutoring hours may vary by semester. Visit the ASC Website for tutoring hours and more.
Accessibility – Disability Support Services (DSS)
If you have a disability, we can work with you to determine what barriers exist and provide accommodations such as extended time for testing, textbooks in an audio format, and other accommodations based upon disability.
We work with students with disabilities in order to make sure they have access to their classes and to the campus. A disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Most of the students who are registered with DSS have invisible disabilities such as depression, learning disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder, traumatic brain injuries, etc.. Visit the DSS Website for more information.