At Wilmington University, ensuring that online students have the technical resources they need to be successful is a priority. We’ve instituted a number of support programs targeted toward technical support of our students, including:
And all matriculating students, online or on campus, with less than 15 credits must take FYE – First Year Experience, a seminar designed to introduce students to college level expectations and experiences. Kelly Clayton, Online Student Navigator at Wilmington University, says, “Part of FYE’s goal is to give the student an overview of the technology tools they need for success in Wilmington University’s online programs.”
Clayton says most tech questions that she fields are simple issues regarding web browsers and problems within specific courses, such as assignment submissions.
Students who need help with Microsoft software applications can visit Wilmington University’s Student Success Center – online. If you need to brush up on your Excel, PowerPoint or Word skills, you can view a video tutorial or check their calendar for online workshops: http://www.wilmu.edu/ssc/workandsems.aspx
Students needing technical support for Blackboard, WebCampus, email, or other technology systems, please contact The University Information Center (UIC):
Bring Your Own Device(BYOD) is an industry and educational buzz phrase that’s been getting a lot of attention lately. Businesses and educational institutions have modified their rigid technological requirements in favor of a more relaxed acceptance of employees and students using their own technology in the workplace and classroom.
For online students, using your own technology is nothing new. And students that choose to attend classes completely online must rely completely on their own ability to manage technology.
Faced with a dizzying array of technology tools, laptops to desktops, tablets and smartphones, how do online students decide which tools will work best for them?
Sometimes students don’t make any new choices, but simply use their home computing system without investing or changing technology when they enroll in an online course. And that’s fine.
Wilmington University’s recommendations for students interested in online education are very basic:
convenient internet access
online research capability
computing skills that include proficiency with Microsoft products, including Word and PowerPoint
Wilmington University also recommends the use of certain internet browsers.
For the student interested in buying new devices or software, your status as a Wilmington University student entitles you to educational discounts at Dell, Apple, and JourneyEd. Com. You can find student purchasing information on this page.
Is BYOD liberating or nerve wracking? When you are buying technology, do you consider your needs as an online student?
How do you take notes these days? Can you type faster than you can write with pen and paper? If you’re using your laptop to type notes during lectures or meetings, you may want to rethink that practice. The Chronicle of Higher Education (http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/taking-notes-by-hand-benefits-recall-researchers-find/51411) recently reported on a new study of note taking practices. This study shows that students have a much higher rate of knowledge retention and comprehension when handwriting notes rather than typing.
“When I type notes, I find that I’m not really listening and comprehending the information. It seems it goes in one ear and out the other while transcribing what the speaker is saying,” said Adam Voyton, Instructional Technology Project Specialist at Wilmington University’s Educational Technology Department.
There’s a scientific basis for Voyton’s impression. An experiment conducted by Jean-Luc Velay at the University of Marseille (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110119095458.htm) demonstrated that the brain uses different areas when writing longhand as opposed to typing. Writing by hand engages the sensorimotor memory part of our brain that helps us recognize letters.
The report in the Chronicle of Higher Education states that even though note taking on a computer results in more detailed transcribed notes, long hand note takers have more conceptual understanding of the material, and in some cases, even more factual recall.
But fans of technology shouldn’t despair. Instead of a pencil, why not break out a stylus pen and take notes on a tablet? You’ll have the best of both worlds – the advantage of notes taken electronically combined with the higher brain retentive action of long hand writing.
How Do You Develop Online Learning Skills? Adult learners are finding the convenience and flexibility of online learning a match for their learning goals and busy lifestyles. This study was developed to provide perspective and to identify useful strategies that online learners can utilize for their online courses.
Develop a time-management strategy
Make the most of online discussions
Put knowledge to work through collaborations
Make questions useful to your learning
Communicate the instruction techniques that work
Make connections with fellow students
These techniques can promote a rich learning experience for students and provide a foundation for them to develop the necessary skills to succeed.
At the start of the summer semester of 2011, we upgraded the Blackboard system to version 9.1. Below is a list of currently known issues relevant to students. Click here if you would like to see the complete list.
Issues with Internet Explorer 8 and Blackboard
Using Internet Explorer 8 with Blackboard will cause problems for students attempting to submit tests or use the file upload feature. To avoid these issues it is suggested to use Mozilla Firefox http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/ie.html or change to the “compatibility mode” in IE8 (Tools > compatibility mode” in IE8 (Tools > Compatibility View Settings > Check ‘Display all websites in Compatibility View’ > Close. You will need to close IE8 and reopen the browser before the change takes effect.)
Copy and Paste
Copy and pasting text from Word to a Bb text editor or discussion post causes formatting problems in Blackboard.
Blackboard offers a Paste from Word Mash Up Tool. Click this link for the video tutorial.
Removed from version 9
Faculty should use assignment manager for file uploads.
External links – now called URL
URL link may not open for students in IE.
Please use the Option, “Open in New Window”
System errors occur when trying to access submitted assignments
Some columns defaulted back to NO CATEGORY. Once the category is changed to assignment, etc., the submitted assignments are accessible.
Can’t view column information
Quick Column Information – can access in Internet Explorer but not Firefox.
System error occurs when trying to access certain areas of Grade Center
Change the ordering of one column temporarily to force a re-organization of Grade Center. Sometimes this will resolve an issue causing a system error.
Removed from version 9
Faculty can encourage the use of a blog , if an avatar is added under personal information then a photo is shared in blog.
Tools – Course Menu
Tool not available in course menu
The “tools” area was removed after upgrade (was in lower box below course menu in version 8). Faculty can make a Tools menu item for courses prior to SU 2011. All current and future courses will have the tools area as a default option in the snapshot course.
YouTube Mashup tool
If you choose to pick the Embed Video player option, Firefox will not display video properly
Keep the default “thumbnail view” for the YouTube player option.
Imagine a system that collects information about students in order to make useful suggestions regarding course schedules, instructors, and services. Here are a few examples of how this system could benefit students:
New Students receives a link to the online orientation
A student with a high GPA receives a link to the honors program; a student with low grades will be pointed to tutoring services.
Based on the pattern of classes you’ve taken in the past, a class schedule will be created – already screened for prerequisites. They also don’t have a time conflict with when a work schedule.
There is a recently developed technology system called Sherpa which does just this. With more information about students, the suggestions could get more specific. What do you think about this type of technology? Is it a great new convenience or is data mining student information inappropriate?
Should Facebook be integrated into classroom instruction? Does it improve communication between students and instructors? On the hand, is it too much of an intrusion into students’ personal and social lives for educators to be using it as an educational method? Is it just too much of a distraction from learning? Gain a broader perspective of this topic by reading this article on 100 Ways You Should Be Using Facebook in Your Classroom.
The Wilmington University Online Facebook Page is dedicated to helping students establish an interactive presence on Facebook by engaging with their campus community. We want to hear from you, so please use this page as a forum. Below are two of the topics in higher education being discussed now on the page, share your opinions by writing on the page’s wall!
Wimba Pronto is the only instant collaboration system specifically designed to advance and promote learning. It enables registered users to instantly connect with classmates and instructors by working with the institution’s Learning Management System to automatically populate a list of that user’s courses and classmates. Use it to whiteboard with study groups, ask an instructor a question or video chat with classmates or colleagues.
How to download Wimba
Login to Blackboard
Click on one of your courses
Under the Tools menu, click Communication
Scroll down and click the Wimba Pronto link
Follow the directions on the sign up page. Once complete, you can use Pronto at any time.
This blog is for Wilmington University students. It has information on student services, academic resources, and tips to help students achieve their educational goals.