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Start of Semester Preparations: Faculty Guide

Essential and recommended actions for faculty during course preparation to make sure all library materials, technology and support are in place for the start of the semester.

Essential course preparation steps with LITS

Welcome, faculty! Here you will find essential steps to take ahead of the semester to be sure you have all the technology, library materials, and support you’ll need from LITS.

Share course materials list for course reserves

Let LITS know the course materials your students will need to access by submitting required materials in my.mtholyoke, and placing a reserves request for additional materials. LITS provides student access to course material by:

  • Purchasing e-book versions of required books for courses
  • Purchasing print copies of books when needed
  • Licensing streaming video content
  • Scanning portions of books or articles for Moodle

LITS attempts to make all course materials accessible to students in any class, but sometimes there are challenges. The more advanced notice we have the more you will know about course material availability from the library. We ask that faculty submit reserve requests 4 weeks before the beginning of each semester. If you submit requests after the beginning of the semester, please allow at least 7 days before assigning the material.

Request needed technology for teaching

Make sure you have the software you need in place in your teaching space, and accessible to your students. Find out what software LITS provides and supports on the software page.

If you need software already owned or provided by the College installed in a classroom or lab location, or on your MHC computer, please use the request software installation form. You and your students can also use this form to request access to certain academic software titles (e.g. STATA, SPSS, Matlab, and Mathematica) on personal computers.   

If you plan to purchase or install new software, even if you or your department will fund it or it is free, please fill out the software purchase form, which will enter your request into the software purchase workflow which includes accessibility and compatibility review.

Schedule LITS class visits and faculty consultations

LITS librarians, instructional technologists, and archivists are available

  • for consultations to help support your course planning and teaching
  • to meet with classes during the semester. Reach out early for plenty of time to plan and schedule class visits while availability is most open

Archives and Special Collections:
Learn more about class visits to the archives, and using archives and special collections materials in your teaching with Archives and Special Collections

Educational Technology
Schedule an appointment with an instructional technologist
Learn more about instructional technology support, tools, and class instruction with Educational Technology

Research Services
Schedule an appointment with a research and instruction librarian
Learn more about class research services and library instruction classes with Research Services

Prepare your Moodle course site

1. Back up older course sites

Moodle courses are retained for 3 years, in accordance with the College's Course Retention Policy. Aged course content is deleted each summer. At the end of each semester, be sure to save what you want for future use. If you wish to retain an entire course, including its structure, we recommend you make a course backup file. If you wish to retain individual files or folders for later access, please download instructor files for that course.

2. Prepare your course sites in Moodle

A course site is generated for each course listed in Colleague. You will automatically receive access to your Moodle course site when the Registrar officially adds you as the instructor of that course in Colleague. If you are unable to find your course sites for upcoming terms, please double-check the Course Overview box on the front page after you log into Moodle, and use the drop-down menu at the top left of that box to view Future courses. 

Course sites only become "current", and accessible from the left-hand navigation menu, on the first day of classes.

For more information about how to organize your course in Moodle, check out the Get Started section of the Moodle Help Guide.

3. Reach out to Educational Technology for Moodle support, or to design an assignment that makes use of technology

The Ed Tech team offers e-mail support during business hours. Please allow one business day for a response to your question, though they are often answered much more quickly. They are also available for one-on-one appointments, either virtually or in person.

4. Make your course visible when you are ready to share it with students

It's your decision and responsibility to make your Moodle course site accessible to your students. When you're ready to share your course site with the class, there's just one quick step to take to make it happen: Make Your Course Visible To Students.

Copyright and faculty responsibility

LITS offers resources and guidance on copyright, but in practice each individual member of the community is responsible for abiding by copyright laws. For faculty, this includes materials shared with students via Moodle or any other means. Faculty are individually liable for any copyright violation. Be sure to:

  • Only copy and distribute materials which fall under fair use (usually 10% or less of a work) or with permission or a license
  • Only direct students to legal means of obtaining course materials, such as in textbooks or through the LITS website
  • Follow the license agreement of any individual licenses, such as streaming video subscriptions

Learn more about Copyright and academic material on the LITS Copyright Guide.

Popular Streaming Services

Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and other common streaming platforms only offer individual subscriptions, and do not offer subscriptions to libraries or institutions. When an individual signs up for Netflix or another streaming subscription, they sign an agreement. It is a violation of most individual subscription agreements to share login information and content with others, so it would be unlawful for LITS to have an individual subscription and share that login information with the MHC community.

A limited number of Netflix original educational documentaries are available for one-time educational screenings. See the Netflix website for more information.

LITS has access to many other streaming platforms. If you find a title on a platform that offers only individual subscriptions, please let us know. We can work with you to find possible alternative solutions.

MHC Accessibility Barriers Form