Category Archives: Activities for Online Students

Don’t Get Held Hostage – How to Avoid a Ransomware Scam

The recent ransomware attack on a Los Angeles hospital sent a shock wave through the information security industry. (http://techcrunch.com/2016/02/17/la-hospital-servers-shut-down-by-ransomware/) Hopefully, the misfortune of Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center will serve as a warning for everyone that handles personal data, both institutions and individuals.

blog post graphic - cyber securityWhat is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a malicious form of computer hacking that locks a user out of their own computer or files. The user’s data is encrypted, and the hacker then sells the encryption key to the user, holding their data for ransom. These attacks are more sophisticated than the Nigerian prince phishing emails of the past (http://www.ic3.gov/preventiontips.aspx#item-12). A public service announcement from the FBI states that ransomware losses exceeded $18 million from April 2014 to June 2015.

Online students need to be especially careful. A ransomware hack right as a term paper is due or right before an online exam would be disastrous. And when an FBI expert advises end users to pay the ransom, (https://securityledger.com/2015/10/fbis-advice-on-cryptolocker-just-pay-the-ransom/) what is an end user supposed to do?

The good news is that protecting yourself is simple and straightforward.

Follow the basic rules when using email: don’t open or download attachments, especially from senders you don’t recognize. Dwight Robinson, Information Security Analyst at Wilmington University, also suggests that online students be careful not to open emails with embedded links, and pay attention to the fonts and also the grammatical errors in the email. Robinson says, “Invest in a good antivirus like Sophos, McAfee, Malwarebytes or Trend Micro. Invest in an external drive, so later you won’t have to pay.”

The other way to protect yourself: Backup, backup, and backup.
If you don’t have a backup routine established, now is the time to get started. Online students especially need to keep private backups, as Wilmington University online courses are periodically removed from the system (http://www.wilmu.edu/blackboard/students/studentfaq.aspx#Remove) Here are some recommendations for creating your own backup procedure:

Backup regularly. Set aside time and put the backup task onto your calendar.

Backup wisely. If you have many important documents that you edit regularly, back up the documents daily. A complete system backup can be done less frequently.

Mix up your backup technologies. A cloud backup is a great idea, but don’t stop there. Use an external hard drive, dvd, or flash drive to keep backups, too.

Mix up your backup location. If you are in a flood prone area, lose electricity on a regular basis, consider leaving a physical backup at a remote location. Backup your files to an external drive or media and leave a copy with a friend or parent.

Once you have a backup routine established, test it out. Double check that you can reboot or read the files on your backup.

Hopefully, you’ll never encounter ransomware and you’ll recognize a suspicious email when you receive one. But with a backup routine in place, you can protect your data, your time, and your hard earned money.

Dr. Mark Hufe, Wilmington University’s Director of Cyber Security, has additional tips on what you can do to protect your data, minimize vulnerabilities and ward off threats, both at work and at home.

hufescreen

Try Mindfulness

mindfulnessquoteWhat can mindfulness do for you as a student?
Mindfulness gets a lot of buzz lately, but what does it mean, really?When you are mindful, you are aware and present, focused and relaxed. For students, this quality can be especially important. If your attention is divided between family, home, work, and your studies, cultivating mindfulness can help you focus on the moment and whatever is immediately important, whether it is fixing dinner, attending a meeting at work, or preparing for a class project.

Incorporate some mindfulness practice in your life you’ll reap the benefits: improved focus, reduced stress, and increased productivity. And that’s not just talk. These benefits are measurable and have been seen in numerous scientific and medical studies.

In a study at Jefferson Medical College, medical students who participated in a mindfulness-based stress reduction seminar had significant reductions in their levels of anxiety and depression. (Steven Rosenzweig , Diane K. Reibel , Jeffrey M. Greeson , George C. Brainard & Mohammadreza Hojat (2003) Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Lowers Psychological Distress In Medical Students, Teaching and Learning in Medicine, 15:2, 88-92, DOI: 10.1207/S15328015TLM1502_03)(http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/S15328015TLM1502_03)

Another study published in the Journal of American College Health (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22686356) showed a correlation between higher levels of mindfulness and better overall health. In fact, “Dispositional mindfulness contributed to better physical health even after controlling for traditional health habits.”

So, how do you go about cultivating mindfulness?
When your mind is racing from one thing to another and you cannot focus, try this simple five senses exercise:
Close your eyes and listen to your own breath. Take 3 deep breaths. Then, consider each of your five senses.

  • What do you see?
  • What can you hear?
  • What can you feel?
  • What can you taste?
  • What can you smell?

To conclude the exercise, take a few more deep breaths. You’ll find this exercise calming and restorative, and a way to bring mindfulness into your day.

Deeper meditation practices also develop mindfulness. And it doesn’t have to be long – studies have shown that even a few minutes can have lasting effects. A quick search on YouTube will turn up guided meditation exercises of all different lengths. Or you can use a free app such as Relax Melodies or Calm to guide you in a meditation.

For a quick overview of meditation, take a look at the Beginner’s Guide to Meditation:

 

Mindfulness can impact your studies in a very positive way. It can reduce stress, increase focus, and improve productivity.

 

Wilmington University launched its Online Student Association

On March 11, 2013, Wilmington University launched its Online Student Association!  Since the launch, many online students have participated in introductory discussion boards, networking, idea sharing, offering support and many opportunities within the organization.  The online student association is a way for online students to communicate with each other outside of the classroom setting.  The idea has taken off and is benefiting students in many ways.  The club is open to all Wilmington University students and is a great way to connect.  Check it out!

Watch this short video to learn more about the Online Student Association!

“We are excited to open up the Online Student Association,” said Kelly Clayton, the Online Student Navigator. “It opens a new pathway for our students who are taking classes from a distance to connect with the Wilmington University community.”

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Wilmington University launched its Online Student Association

This Blackboard Organization has been created to serve as a virtual community for WU students that are taking online classes. Participants will have a chance to network with other students, faculty, and staff in a relaxed atmosphere outside of the classroom.

Watch this short video to learn more about the Online Student Association!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U91T3GIkxHc&w=560&h=315]

You can interact from a distance by participating in various online activities:
Participate in a Discussion Board. You can enter to win a $25 Visa Gift Card by participating in the discussion board of the month!
Each month, students will have the opportunity to attend an online group meeting. The purpose of this meeting is for students to ask questions, express concerns, and share ideas. This meeting will be held using Blackboard Collaborate – a webinar tool similar to Skype.
Participate in a Wiki.
Read about previous students have been selected as Student of the Block. Also, learn how to apply to be the Student of the Block for an upcoming term.

Enter the Video Contest for a Chance to Win

The Online Learning Department in collaboration with the Student Life Department, is hosting a video contest to give all Wilmington University students the opportunity to share what they like about Wilmington University campus life or online classes.

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How to Enter

Creating your own entry is simple. Just use your phone or camcorder to film a short video clip which answers one of the following questions:
  1. What 5 words would you use to describe what you like about campus life at Wilmington University?
  2. What 5 words would you use to describe what you like about online classes at Wilmington University?
When you finish recording, upload your short movie to our entry upload form at the following web page: Wilmu.edu/onlinelearning/videocontest.aspx. The deadline to submit your entry is Memorial Day which is on Monday, May 28, 2012.

Example Videos

Check out these example videos we put together for some inspiration in creating your own 5 words entry!

Campus Life Examples

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UE0JDglK778&w=560&h=315]

Online Classes Examples

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vu5Ns3xp2hM&w=560&h=315]

We look forward to having you participate in this student activity! If you have any questions or feedback, please contact Kelly Clayton at kelly.t.clayton@wilmu.edu.

Sincerely,

National Distance Learning Week ! November 8th-12th 2010

During the week of November 8-12, Wilmington University along with other schools around the nation celebrate National Distance Learning Week by showcasing their programs for current and prospective students. Read more below about Wilmington University’s endeavors to celebrate NDLW.

Wilmington University Online students were encouraged to log on to Facebook and enter the Where’s Wiley Photo Competition. Check out the submissions below and click here to find out if your favorite picture won!

Wilmington University Online students and faculty were surveyed to find out what they enjoy most about online learning or teaching. Below is a sample of their responses:

  • The flexibility of completing my work around my busy life. With online learning there is no excuse that one cannot complete their degree.
  • I learn more when I take online classes than going to school.
  • Direct, quick and fast way to learn.
  • It has flexible times and saves a lot of gas money.
  • I have met many interesting students from across the country. Students also get an opportunity to relate their experiences to the coursework.
  • The use of different technology to communicate during the semester. I really enjoyed his weekly messages to the class that he posted on YouTube.
  • I travel often for work; so online courses offer me the ability to stay in college while I advance my career.
  • Not fighting for parking on-site.

Did you know there are Wilmington University students in Hawaii? In fact, students are taking classes in 415 different zip codes across the US! Each red marker on the map below represents one of these zip codes.

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Check out this video for other interesting facts about Wilmington University Online that may surprise you.

Check out Where Wiley has been so far!

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On his way to a Caravel High School football game in Bear, Delaware!

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In front of MTV’s Jersey Shore Italian flag garage that was painted over in Seaside Heights, NJ!

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Wiley getting his feet wet in Delaware’s Rehoboth Beach!

Now it’s YOUR turn to join the fun and win cool prizes! It’s simple – just take a picture with Wiley in the photo and then post the picture on the Where’s Wiley Event Wall on the Wilmington University Online Facebook Page. There will be grand prizes for the top 3 winners and also giveaways for every online student whom submits their photo. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite photo!