Online Courses: Tools at MSU

This page includes resources for offering content online through videoconferencing/Zoom and D2L online/blended courses.  It also includes information Spartan 365 Teams to foster collaboration within a work team or group of individuals. Request Help: Specific requests for assistance (Zoom, D2L, Teams, Videos) can be make by emailing: If you aren't sure where to begin with your program, check out the following resource: Adapting a Face-to-Face Program into an Online Context.

Zoom Resources

Click on the Zoom & MediaSpace Resources button for more details or go to: Zoom/MediaSpace. Selected resources are listed below.

  • NEW ONLINE COURSE - Best Practices for Designing & Delivering Zoom Meetings & Webinars: Zoom meetings, Zoom webinars, and best practices for developing engaging virtual learning environments for your participants: REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!
  • Hosting 4-H Meetings Online Tip Sheet (4-H Leadership and Civic Engagement Team): Hosting 4-H Meetings Online.
  • NOTE: All MSU faculty/staff can hold a Zoom Meeting with up to 300 participants and a Zoom Webinar with up to 500 participants.


Click on the D2L Resources button for more details or go to: D2L Resources. Selected resources are listed below.

D2L Guest Account License Fees

Michigan State University offers participants registering for non-credit courses access to D2L using an MSU guest account. To date, MSU IT has not charged departments for D2L licenses for non-credit participants.

Beginning July 1, 2024, MSU Extension courses will be tracked by MSU IT Services and fees will be administered annually according to the following guidelines:

  • Fee-Based Non-Credit Courses: MSU Extension will be charged $2.00 per participant/course. The actual cost of the license is much more than this, however, the license fees are being subsidized by MSU IT Services. If a participant purchases two fee-based online courses, there will be a charge for each course they register for.
  • Free Non-Credit Courses: The participant fee will NOT apply to courses offered free of charge. These costs are being subsidized by MSU IT Services.

It is important to note that faculty and student use of D2L for all credit courses is not affected by this change.

In August of each year, MSU IT Services will be working with the MSU Extension Director’s Office (not individual instructors) to review MSU Extension non-credit courses, the number of participants, and to determine the appropriate fees. MSU Extension Leadership will determine how the fees will be applied to MSU Extension programs.

Changes to Existing Self-Paced Courses

To better enable MSU IT Services to track non-credit enrollments, existing courses will need to be copied into a “non-credit” course type by July 1, 2024. Below are two options for existing self-paced courses. Please note: MSU Extension support will be provided for all these options.

  1. If your course enrollment numbers are typically less than 1,500 participants per year, you may wait until June 2024 to have an MSU Extension instructional designer copy your course into the new course type. You may continue to use the new course site annually until your enrollments exceed 1,500.
  2. Some instructors may use this opportunity to begin to offer their self-paced course on an annual basis. This may be a good option for courses offering annual credits – it will allow participants to easily take the course again the following year. In this instance we would copy the course at the end of 2023.

As we lead up to this change, instructors of self-paced courses will be contacted by Gwyn Shelle regarding their current course and will be provided with course statistics, an accessibility score, and suggestions for future improvements. Please note that participants who register for courses prior to July 1, 2024, may continue to access their courses. Even though we will need to begin using the new course type, instructors do not need to close any previous courses.

Process for New Self-Paced & Cohort-Based Courses

Starting January 1, 2024, MSU Extension will have a new process when developing an online course.

  1. Contact the instructional designer below based on your Institute.
    1. AABI: Gwyn Shelle
    2. CYI: Alan Pilkenton
    3. CFEI: Megan Loughlin-Krusky
    4. HNI SNAP/EFNEP Programs: Amy Shovels
    5. HNI Non-SNAP/EFNEP Programs: Gwyn Shelle
  2. The instructional designer from your institute will complete the course request process for non-credit courses and will give instructors access to a D2L course site.
  3. The instructional designer will work with staff on developing content following pedagogical best practices and ensure content meets MSU accessibility guidelines. 

Team Resources 3

Click on the Spartan 365 Teams button for more details or go to: Spartan365 Teams. Selected resources are listed below. 

  • Spartan 365 Team for Digital Strategy: You can self-enroll in the following MSU Extension Team MSUE Digital Strategy to share ideas and questions for offering content online (webinars, online courses, blended courses, etc.).