for demonstration purposes, students use your website

Basic Digital Technologies

Learning Objectives

This assignment introduces fundamentally important concepts needed for this course.
You will develop a digital technology toolkit that will serve you well in your career.

After completing this assignment you will be able to:

  1. Create purposeful folder structures
  2. Create and annotate screenshots using the Snipping Tool or Snip & Sketch
  3. Perform hardware tests
  4. Connect to USB Type-C dock for using multiple external monitors, wired networking, battery charging
  5. Perform software installations and learn to use Git version control
  6. Create PDF files from multiple screenshots
  7. Experience web conferencing-authenticate, configure and log into a Zoom web conference
  8. Configure the D2L course calendar to monitor assignment due dates and install .ics calendar feed into Outlook
  9. Virtual Private Network-VPN-connect to the WSU network from off-campus using VPN technology
  10. Javascript coding-create a constants.js file to personalize your website
  11. Subscribe to curated business sources
  12. Combine PDF files
  13. Compose and send appropriate email communications
  14. Submit assignments, and check for confirming email
  15. Perform software updates

Assignment Overview

This assignment reviews basic computer concepts that you will need in this course and throughout your career.
You are expected to have a working knowledge of the following practices and utilities.
If you do not understand how to use an item, perform a Google Search, refer to the WSU Technology Knowledge Base,  ask a teaching assistant, or ask the instructor:

  1. Reboot laptop within last 24 hours (Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc, select Performance tab)
    You should reboot your laptop, at least once a day, preferably before coming to Professor Paulson's class.
  2. Microsoft Windows 10-installed with latest updates
  3. Set primary email address to Winona State University
    1. Go to the StarID self-service site
    2. Select the 'Sign in to Profile' tab
    3. Login with your StarID and password
    4. Click the 'Office 365 Contact' tab
    5. Click the 'Select New Student Contact Card' button
    6. Select the corrrect version of your Winona State email address
      1. CORRECT-->firstname.lastname
      2. DO NOT SELECT-->
  4. Install and configure the Outlook Desktop Client on your laptop.
  5. Install and configure One Drive for Business.
    Your username is:
    If you encounter problems, search online for, and install the latest version of "Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant for Office 365"
    Again, login using your
    See Tech Support in Somsen 207 if you still have problems.
  6. Log into your LinkedIn Learning account. (More info here)
  7. File Explorer-to create and modify files and folders.
  8. Libraries-to organize your work into virtual folders.
  9. Context sensitive shortcut menus are activated by right-clicking various objects in a window.
  10. Tool bars, menu bars, status bars can be turned on and off using context sensitive menus.
  11. Use of common shortcuts , these will often work even when the menu options will not-
    1. Ctrl+A to select All
    2. Ctrl+C to Copy
    3. Ctrl+V to Paste
    4. Ctrl+Z to Undo
    5. Windows+L to lock screen
    6. Windows Key
  12. Use of the help screen to learn terminology
  13. Appropriate browser/application pairings. Note these can and do change!
    1. Chrome-Google Drive, YouTube, D2L
    2. FireFox-good for privacy
    3. Edge-One Drive for Business, Office365
  14. Useful browser add-ins: Chris Pedrick's Web Developer Toolbar for FireFox
  15. Know basic HTML tags
    1. in FireFox menu select View>Page Source
    2. refer to W3Schools
  16. Validating HTML code-refer to the W3C Markup Service
  17. Using browser to print web pages as .pdf file
    1. Make sure url appears in the Header or Footer-
      see Firefox example
      see Chrome example
  18. Troubleshooting advice-at first try finding a solution yourself
    1. Learn to Google any error message before asking anyone else
    2. Refer to LinkedIn Learning
    3. Learn to use Stack Overflow
    4. Learn to use; see D2L for more info
  19. When seeking advice from teaching assistants or professor via email use proper etiquette
    1. subject line identifying course, section, assignment
    2. use accurate terminology
    3. use complete sentences and proofread
    4. provide screenshots of error messages-use the Snipping Tool

175 points
Part 1

Before proceeding complete the steps in the D2L Announcement 'Core Website Files'.
This positions the files and folders needed to begin creating your course website.

Before proceeding you MUST have OneDrive for Business (OneDrive - MNSCU) installed and configured.
Install it per the resources in the Assignment Overview.

If you are not familiar with Windows File Explorer please review this LinkedIn Learning course, ' Windows 10: Organizing Files and Folders '
Remember-no spaces in file or folder names-only use 'a-Z', '0-9' and the underscore character.

Windows File Explorer will organize the files and folders needed to complete coursework.
Using OneDrive for Business provides an automated backup of these files-for this class and others.
In this class File Explorer is used-
1-To create folder structures that organize your work, such as screenshots to prove you have completed Exercises.
These items are stored on your laptop, and One Drive for Business automates the backup process to the cloud.
2-To create a local repository for your course website, which will be done in Project01.
These instructions reduce the chances of losing any class work.

Use Windows 'File Explorer' to create a specific folder structure under OneDrive - MNSCU

  1. Create a folder with this Class name
  2. Create a subfolder with this Assignment name.  The path will be: ' '

When done with the Exercise 1 and 2 screenshots, your folder will look similar to the image below, but with the appropriate class:

OneDrive structure Folder with screenshots for first two Exercises

Note: clicking an image provides larger version in separate tab

Use the Snipping Tool to make a screenshot of File Explorer, showing the Class folder containing the Formative00 subfolder just created.

(50) 1. Save the screenshot as 'Ex1' in the folder just created which has the path:
' '
The screenshot file can be .jpg, .png or other appropriate image file format.

Screenshot Ex1

Examine the top of this page, and notice that the First Name field contains MyFirstName, the Last Name field contains MyLastName, the StarID field contains MyStarID, and the Email field contains
You will enter your first name, last name and StarID into a constants.js file to personalize your website and all other assignments for this class.
This demonstrates the power of coding-to reduce errors, save time and add functionality.
Java Script and VB Script are used to automate and facilitate this course in the same manner as other software powering the web, ecommerce, everything.

Note: if you are off-campus you will need to connect to the WSU VPN per the appropriate exercise, and then map your network drives.

Once you are connected to the WSU network you can use File Explorer to navigate to different drives such as
C: which is the SSD-Solid State Drive in your laptop
R: which is your personal network storage space-but may soon be replaced by OneDrive for Business
T: which is a network drive that contains folders for any of your courses which have requested network storage (like this one)

  1. Using File Explorer, navigate to the T: drive for this class, and find the folder with your WSU network username.
  2. Inside this folder find the file named constants.js
  3. Right-click this file and 'Open With' Notepad, carefully entering your first name, last name and StarID in the places indicated.
    Be careful not to delete any punctuation marks.
  4. Save this file in the same location.
  5. Refresh your browser ( Ctrl + F5 ), and check to make sure your name appears correctly at the top of this assignment.
  6. If your first name, last name or StarID is incorrect, make sure to fix it-the proper submission of all your work in this course depends on it.
  7. If you still see 'MyFirstName' or 'default first name' instead of your first name on this page, it is time to begin troubleshooting.
  8. Once you are satisfied that your name and StarID are correct in your constants.js file, you should browse to your website Home Page and submit your attendance.
  9. Check the confirmation message to make sure all information is correct.
    Bring any error to the professor's or Teaching Assistant's attention.
    attendance email receipt
  10. Check your email to verify that you also received a confirming email.
    It will look something like this:
    attendance email receipt

Use the Snipping Tool to make a screenshot of File Explorer with the Preview Pane active, showing the constants.js file in the T: drive folder that you just updated using NotePad.
It will look like this:
personal constants file
constants.js File

(50) 1. Save the screenshot as "Ex2" in your ' ' folder.  See the next Exercise for those instructions.

It can be a .jpg, .png or other appropriate image file format.

Screenshot Ex2

Ultrabooks are being built with fewer, but increasingly functional ports.
The WSU lease models are equipped with Thunderbolt (USB Type-C) ports that can provide connections to 2 external monitors, a wired network, and power-among other things.
As a result, you can plug your laptop into a USB Type-C dock with one cable and begin to work.

Note: after plugging your laptop into the USB Type-C dock, make sure that the 'Wired' connection icon is visible in the lower right 'Task Tray'.
Wired Network Wired Network Connection
If the wired network icon does not appear when connected to a Somsen 301 USB Type-C dock, contact a TA or the professor for assistance-there is something wrong with your laptop, it may need a driver update, or more.

Why are additional monitors necessary? Some reasons:

  • Conveniently run multiple software applications on separate monitors
  • Easily copy and paste data between open applications
  • Participate in a web conference while also running other applications
  • Watch class recordings while also running other applications
  • Be able to keep Outlook open in one monitor at all times

To setup, use and disconnect an external monitor from your laptop follow the instructions below.

Multiple monitors Three monitors, outlined in red, orange and blue.

When using external monitors you can have a 'public' and 'private' display. The primary laptop display can be private, viewable only by the user. The external monitors can be public, viewed by others. This allows the user to view class notes, email, Desire2Learn information privately on their laptop. The user can publicly share a website or spreadsheet.

  1. Connect the USB-Type C cable to the appropriate port, depending on your laptop model. See the teacher or TA if you need assistance.
  2. Right click a blank area of your desktop and choose 'Display settings', the Settings dialog box will appear.
  3. Refer to the figure below and adjust the settings to position and orient your monitors correctly. You may need to click the 'Apply' button several times during this process.
    Note that:
    1. If three monitors do not appear, click the 'Detect' button.
    2. Under 'Multiple displays' all three should be set to 'Extend desktop to this display'
    3. Click the 'Identify' button to find the number of each monitor.
    4. "Monitor 1" should be your laptop display
    5. "Monitor 2 or 3" will be your external displays, and should be positioned above or to the left of your laptop.
    6. The final monitor should be postitoned and rotated as required.
  4. In the graphic, select your portrait monitor.
  5. Under 'Orientation' select 'Portrait'.
  6. Click 'Apply' in the lower right.
display settings Individual display settings

display setting controls Display Setting Controls

  1. As necessary drag the monitors into the correct physical location as depicted in the 'Select and Arrange Displays' section at the top of the Settings dialog box. Then click 'Apply' to accept the changes. You may need to repeat this procedure.
  2. To test that you have configured your monitors correctly you should be able to move the Settings dialog box between all three monitors seamlessly by clicking and dragging on the dialog box title bar. Repeat the above steps as necessary until you can do this.
  3. Close the dialog box.

Display content on all three monitors, such as websites.

(25) 3. Use the Snipping Tool in 'Full-screen Snip' Mode to make a screenshot of all three monitors.

Save the screenshot as "Ex3" in your ' ' folder.

Screenshot Ex3

PDFill combines .pdf files that you will be creating during this course into one file.
Download a copy of PDFill.exe from Professor Paulson's OneDrive - MNSCU 'ReadOnly' folder.
Double-click PDFill.exe to begin the installation process.

  1. Install PDFill, but select only "FREE PDFill PDF Tools (No Watermark)" option

After installing PDFill open the Control Panel.
In the upper right corner click the drop-down arrow and select 'Small Icons'.
Make sure you are at 'Control Panel>All Control Panel Items>Programs and Features'
Make the window big enough to view all the icons.

(25) 4. With the Snipping Tool make a screenshot of the Control Panel window showing the PDFill icon.
Use the
Yellow Highlighter Tool to  highlight the 'PDFill' software icon.

Save the screenshot as "Ex4" in your ' ' folder.

Screenshot Ex4


You will create one .pdf (portable document format) file from the screenshots taken above.

Make sure you have Windows 10 installed, and you have the option 'Microsoft Print to PDF' in the Print Dialog Box.
If not, contact a TA or the professor.
print to pdf Print dialog box

  1. Open File Explorer, navigate to your ' ' folder.
    Make sure the screenshot files are properly named (Ex1, Ex2, Ex3 , Ex4.. )
  2. Select all of the screenshots.
  3. Right Click and select 'Print' from the pop-up menu.
  4. In the bottom center of the 'Print Pictures' dialog box uncheck the box "Fit picture to frame"
  5. Click on 'Print' and save the file with the name  "Formative00_Part1.pdf" in your ' ' folder.
    Print to PDF
  6. You have created a PDF file that contains all 4 screenshots. It is viewable in your Chrome browser, or using Adbobe Acrobat Reader.
    Do not worry about the order of the screenshots, nor the rotation.

(25) 5. Upload your 'Formative00_Part1.pdf' file to the D2L 'Formative00_Part1' Assignment folder.

150 points
Part 2

Download and install Visual Studio Code to create and maintain a website, which is how you will complete course assignments.
Create a GitHub account which is used to obtain assignments and learn about version control.
Version control allows many programmers to collaborate on software development without needing to be co-located. It also allows a disciplined methodology to control this software.

  1. Get Visual Studio Code, 64-bit, Version 1.68 or later, from-VS Code Download
  2. After installing VS Code, in the bottom left press the Settings gear, and search for 'menu'.
    VS Code menu
  3. Change the 'Window: Menu Bar Visibility' setting to: visible
    This will ensure the menu is always displayed at the top of the screen.
  4. From the menu choose 'Help'
    At the bottom of the list select 'About'
    Make a screenshot of this pop-up window showing version number and other information, it will look similar to this:
    VS Code version

(25) 6. Save this screenshot as "Ex5A" in your ' ' folder.

Screenshot Ex5A

Create a GitHub account so that you will be able to obtain course assignments in the coming weeks.

  1. Open a browser to GitHub
  2. Log into GitHub and create an account, if you do not already have one.

After creating your GitHub accoumt use File Explorer to navigate to the folder ' .
Use the Snipping Tool to make a screenshot of your GitHub home page.
It will look like this: Github .
(50) 7. Save the screenshot as "Ex5B" in your ' ' folder.

Screenshot Ex5B

  1. Browse to       Click the 'Download Client' link at the bottom of the page to install the latest Zoom Client for meetings.
    Zoom Signin
  2. Click the 'Sign in' button, your username is ; password is your WSU network password
    Note: This sign in process authenticates you to the Minnstate Zoom system so that you do not show up as a 'Guest' in meetings.
    By authenticating you ensure you will get credit for Attendance when the Professor runs the Zoom Attendance report.
  3. From the D2L 'Course Info' widget click on the url for the web conference.
    eProfessor Zoom Room-
    Note: if doing this assignment outside of class time, log into your personal Zoom room.
  4. Under Settings>General, check 'Always show meeting controls'
    The meeting control toolbar will appear at the bottom of your Zoom meeting window-see screenshot in next step. Zoom Meeting Controls
  5. On the meeting controls, open the Participants and Chat windows Zoom Setup

In your Zoom account, click the 'Profile' on the left side and view your profile.
Make the window big enough to view at least the information shown below.

Zoom Profile

(25) 8. Use the Snipping Tool to make a screenshot of your profile.

Save the screenshot as "Ex6" in your ' ' folder.

Screenshot Ex6

All course assignments are listed in the D2L calendar.
You view assignment due dates in your Outlook desktop client by subscribing to the .ics calendar feed provided by D2L.

  1. Log into D2L and find this course.
    Click on 'Calendar' or 'Materials>Calendar' from the menu.
    click calendar
  2. Click on the 'Settings' icon. (also note the Subscribe icons, you will use this later)
    click settings

  3. Make sure to check 'Enable Calendar Feeds"
    check enable calendar feeds
  4. Click the Subscribe button (see Step 2) and select your course from the list, then copy the calendar feed, and paste it into Outlook.
    select course
     calendar feed

  5. Open Outlook Desktop, choose File>Account Settings>Account Settings...   When the dialog box appears choose the "Internet Calendars" tab, click "New..."  Paste the D2L calendar feed url, click "Add", use the course name as the folder name, click OK, then click close.
     calendar feed
  6. It will take several seconds to install, then your Outlook Calendar will appear with the new calendar feed for this course.
    You may need to adjust your calendar settings to view the due dates properly.
    'Week' view is shown below instead of the typical 'Work Week' view so that you can see the Saturday assignment due dates.
    outlook calendar
  7. Repeat as desired to add calendars from other D2L courses.
    You can also subscribe to calendars from your favorite sports teams, if they make the feed available.

(25) 9. After installing the D2L calendar feed for this course into your Outlook desktop client, take a screenshot of this course's calendar in Outlook using the Snipping tool.
Make sure your screenshot includes your username in the Outlook title bar.
Save the screenshot as "Ex7_OutlookCalendar" as a .gif, .png or .jpg file in the same folder location as the Exercise 1 screenshot as you will be needing it later.

Screenshot Ex7


You will create one .pdf (portable document format) file from the three screenshots (Ex5, Ex6, Ex7).

  1. Open File Explorer, navigate to your ' ' folder.
    make sure the screenshot files are properly named(Ex5, Ex6, Ex7.. )  
  2. Select all of the screenshots.
  3. Right Click and select 'Print' from the pop-up menu.
  4. In the bottom center of the 'Print Pictures' dialog box uncheck the box "Fit picture to frame"
  5. Click on 'Print' and save the file with the name  "Formative00_Part2.pdf" in your ' ' folder.
    Print to PDF
  6. You have created a PDF file that contains all 3 screenshots. It is viewable in your Chrome browser, or using Adbobe Acrobat Reader. Do not worry about the order of the screenshots, nor the rotation.

(25) 10. Upload your 'Formative00_Part2.pdf' file to the D2L 'Formative00_Part2' Assignment folder.

225 points
Part 3

This MUST be done while you are off-campus, or in Somsen 301 using the USB-C dock with the network patch cable designated as 'HBC VPN', which is located at station 17.
If your laptop is wired to the WSU network or connected to the WSU wireless network (Warrior or Wazoo) it will not be able to connect to the VPN.
First read (and later refer to) these instructions on connecting to the WSU VPN:
Note: For additional assistance, and if the above hyperlink does not work, search the WSU website for "Cisco VPN"

The following instructions are for use when in Somsen 301.

  1. Turn off your Wi-Fi on your laptop.
  2. Connect to the HBC VPN USB Type-C 3.1 cable that attaches to the HP dock
  3. Wait a few seconds, do a Google search to check your IP address.
  4. Click the Windows button, type "Cisco AnyConnect" and press enter to bring up the login dialog box.
  5. Click the 'Connect' button, in the Username box enter your StarID, enter your WSU network password, and click 'OK': 
    VPN login
  6. After a few seconds the dialog box will minimize and an icon will appear in the Task Tray. 
    dialog box
    Double click it to open the dialog box. Then click the 'gear' in the lower left to show the Statistics. 
    export stats
  7. Click the 'Export Stats...' button, save the file 'test.txt' in the folder '
  8. Open test.txt and print it as a pdf file named Ex8.pdf
    It will look like this:
    vpn stats

(25) 11. Make sure to print the Cisco VPN Statistics file as 'Ex8.pdf'' and save it in the folder ' '

Print PDF file Ex8

To succeed in this course, and in your career, it is essential that your computer (hardware and software) is functioning correctly.
In this exercise you will perform a hardware check. At the end of Formative00, Part 3 you are advised to update your software.
Before you perform a hardware check, make sure to connect your laptop to a power supply and restart it, applying any updates.

  1. After your computer has restarted, click Start, type in HP PC Hardware
    Note: if not found, or to install latest version, visit this website to download: HP Hardware Diagnostics
  2. Press Enter
  3. Select 'System Tests', 'System Fast Test', then click 'Run Once'
  4. A series of tests will check your hardware performance.
    If any test fails, go to tech support in Somsen 207 for assistance in resolving the problem.

HP PC diagnostics HP PC Hardware application interface

Note- other in-depth testing and computer information is available using the HP Support Assistant.

Do not forget to check Software Center (Start, type 'Software Center') for the latest Windows and other updates.

(25) 12. Use the Snipping Tool to make a screenshot of the 'HP PC Hardware Diagnostics Window' showing that your laptop 'Passed' ALL tests.
Save the screenshot as "Ex9" in your ' ' folder.
It can be either a .jpg or .png file.

Screenshot Ex9


To keep informed, you are strongly encouraged to read the many magazines available to you at no charge through Flipster.
Through the Krueger Library, you have access to online versions of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Flipster magazines.

Instructions are below.  If you have questions, please contact the Krueger Library.


New York Times:

1) Click on this link:

2) From the list choose   “New York Times (Institutional Subscription)”

3) For your username, use your Then choose a password and indicate that you are “Student”. Choose your graduation year.

4) You may also have access to the NYT app through WSU Apps.

*To subscribe, you must sign up on campus.*

(25) 13. After subscriping to the New York Times, login and take a screenshot of the current edition's home page using the Snipping tool.

Save the screenshot as "Ex10" in your ' ' folder.

Screenshot Ex10NYT

Wall Street Journal

1) Click on this link: Wall Street Journal and search for 'Wall Street Journal', follow the instructions.

2) Enter your StarID and the password associated with your StarID

3) Follow the instructions and fill out the subscription form

4) Users with an existing account have the option to connect to the institutional subscription at the bottom of the “Create Account” page.

5) Repeat these steps every 180 days.

You may also have access to the WSJ app through WSU Apps.


(25) 14. After subscribing to the Wall Street Journal, login and take a screenshot of the front page using the Snipping tool.

Save the screenshot as "Ex10WSJ" in your ' ' folder.

Screenshot Ex10WSJ

The Krueger Library now has access to many popular titles (Business Week, Fast Company, Time, Newsweek, Entrepreneur and many more) on your laptop or iPad!  To learn how to access these, please consult this library guide.


(25) 15. After accessing Flipster, open the latest issue of Wired magazine and take a screenshot of the cover using the Snipping tool.

Save the screenshot as "Ex10Flip" in your ' ' folder.

Screenshot Ex10Flip


You will be creating one .pdf (portable document format) file from the screenshots that you have taken, and the pdf that you have printed from the VPN log file.

  1. Open File Explorer, make sure the screenshot files are properly named(Ex9, Ex10NYT, Ex10WSJ, Ex10Flip)
  2. Select all of the screenshots to be combined.
  3. Right Click and select 'Print' from the pop-up menu.
  4. In the bottom center of the 'Print Pictures' dialog box uncheck the box "Fit picture to frame"
  5. See the howtogeek article for more options.
  6. Click on 'Print' and save the file with the name  "ScreenShots.pdf" in your ' ' folder.
    Print to PDF
  7. You have created a PDF file that contains all screenshots. It is viewable in your Chrome browser, or using Adbobe Acrobat Reader. Do not worry about the order of the screenshots, nor the rotation.
  8. Use PDFill (installed in Exercise 4) to merge the ScreenShots.pdf file with the Ex8.pdf file created in Exercise 8.
    Save this combined file as 'Formative00_Part3.pdf' in your ' ' folder.

(25) 16. Upload your 'Formative00_Part3.pdf' file to the D2L 'Formative00_Part3' Assignment folder.

Composing and sending clear, professional emails is an important skill to learn and master for your career.
Google 'composing effective emails' and read some of the tips provided, such as these 10 tips found at the Seton Hill website.

For this Exercise

and send a professional email to Professor Paulson stating that you have completed Exercise 11 of Assignment Formative00. 

Professional email

Make sure to:

  1. Use the skills you learned to edit the email.
  2. Ensure the email has a professional tone.
  3. Proofread the email, check your grammar and correct any typographic errors.
  4. Do not change the email subject line!

(25) 17. When your email is ready, click the Send button.

After sending the email check your Outlook account to confirm that you have received a copy of this email.
If you did not receive a confirming email, something is wrong, and you need to troubleshoot and resolve the problem.

Most assignments require you to submit your name, course information and answer's to Professor Paulson's web database.
Doing this allows you and the professor to view a summary of your answers after you have created your website in the next few classes.

(50) 18. Press the 'SUBMIT' button below, and read the instructions on the confirmation page.
Make sure to verify that you also received the confirmation email. If not, it is time to begin troubleshooting.

After completing the submission process, return to this page to complete the software update exercise below.


This last exercise must be done with a connection to the WSU campus network.
That means either being physically on campus, or from off-campus, first establish a VPN connection and 'Click to Map Network Drives', as done above.
It is important to keep your laptop software and drivers up to date to minimize computer problems.
Before beginning, connect your laptop to a power supply, restart it, applying any updates.

  1. Click the 'Start' button, type 'Install a program from the network', press the 'Enter' key and from the list of programs select 'Update HP Drivers and Firmware'
    installing HPIA Installing HPIA

  2. After installation, run the program-it will update your computer bios, drivers and firmware.  Then reboot.  Depending on how much updating is required, this could take some time (more than 30 minutes).
    Note: if the process has not completed after 90 minutes, please restart your laptop.
  3. It is a good idea to repeat this process at the start of every semester.