Best Practices Online and Blended or Hybrid Students Department of Distance Learning

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Best Practices

Online and Blended or Hybrid Students Department of Distance Learning I. Course Technology Login and Password

 24-hours after you register you may use your student username and password to access campus technology. You should ensure your username and password are both working 24 hours after you register. You may do this by completing Step II below and logging into Blackboard and your Southark Student Email.

 Username

 FFFLLL####

 First three letters of the first name,

 First three letters of the last name,

 Last four digits of their student ID number.

 Password

 8-digits and 2 letters,

 Date of birth in MMDDYYYY format

 First letter of their first & last name (uppercase)

 Student Id Number

 9-digits

 Once you have been admitted into South Arkansas Community College as a student, you may obtain your Student ID number by calling the

Admissions & Enrollment Services Office at (870) 864-7195.

II. Login to the following campus technology websites using your username and password.

 Blackboard


 SouthArk student email


 Campus Connect



III. SouthArk Student Email

 Use your SouthArk email account to communicate with any SouthArk student, staff member, instructor, and/or department.

 Don’t use personal email accounts (i.e. aol, gmail, and/or yahoo) to conduct any school business.

 Check your SouthArk email daily on a regular basis to ensure you receive critical and time-sensitive information regarding your status as a student.

 It is a good idea to forward your SouthArk student email to your mobile devices so that you may check your SouthArk student email daily on a regular basis. Mobile device set- up instructions follow.

o Mobile Device Email Set-Up Settings

 Username: southark/ffflll####

 Password: MMDDYYYYFL

 Email:

 Domain: southark

 Server:

 SSL: On or Enabled IV. Computer Literacy

 You should be able to create and save Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel files.

 You need to view, download, and send email attachments.

 You must navigate to websites and course resources using a variety of internet browsers.

 It is essential that you know how to download and upload files using an internet browser.

 **You must be comfortable reading large paragraphs of text on the computer.

 It is recommended you be able to type a minimum of 48 words per minute.

V. Technical Issues

 If you are having any technical difficulty with Blackboard, you may contact the Aelearn help-desk to resolve your issues. You may contact Aelearn, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or call or chat with technical support Monday through Friday during the hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. A link to the Aelearn help desk can be found on the website.

 In the event that you are unable to access your campus technology accounts you may send a help request by email to Emails are answered in the order that they are received. All technical issues related to Blackboard should be

reported to the Aelearn help desk and not using the email above.

 Navigate to the website for any reported outages or scheduled

maintenance windows that may prevent you from accessing Blackboard.


VI. Computer Maintenance

**South Arkansas Community College does not provide students with technical support for their personal computers or laptops. It is a student’s responsibility to keep his or her

computer or laptop in working order.

 Perform Windows updates regularly.

 Use a personal computer or laptop that is less than three years old.

 A reliable and high-speed internet connection is required. No dial-up connections.

 Your personal computer must have word processing software.

 Your computer should be protected using anti-virus software.

 64 bit windows operating system

 4 to 8 GB of RAM.

 At least 500 GB harddrive.

 DVD writer. (Many texts or lab manuals will come with resources on cd/dvds that students have to access for class).

 At least 4 usb ports.

 No tablets and chromebooks.

 You must navigate to the website at least twice a month and click the “Check My Browser” link to ensure the Internet Browser you are using is compatible with Blackboard and other campus technology. Once the “Check My

Browser” link is clicked, verify that the following settings on your computer have a status of “Good.”

 *Browser Type

 Cookies enabled

 *JavaScript enabled

 Screen size

 *Flash plug-in

 Acrobat plug-in

 *Java plug-in

 *Popups enabled

*If the status is not good or green on these particular settings, it is highly likely you will experience problems with campus technologies.

VII. Practices or Habits of Successful Distance Learners

 Practice good time management.

 Manage your course assignments, activities and readings without persistent reminders and guidance from the instructor.

 Complete coursework in a self-paced, timely manner.


 Do not procrastinate or put off your work or assignments in the event of technology outages or software glitches.

 Keep track of course assignment and activities using a course calendar.

 Create and establish a regular study schedule to help you stay disciplined in meeting all course requirements. A sample study schedule follows:

 Check email at 8 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

 Login to Blackboard daily 5:30 p.m.

 Participate in online discussion from 12 to 1 p.m.

 Reading days: MWF from 8 to 10 p.m.

 Assignments: Tues/Thurs/Sat from 8 to 10 p.m.

 Keep yourself motivated.

 Work on online courses every day and share your study schedule with your support network.

 Create easily visible reminders of your academic and career goals.

 Develop a support network to hold you accountable.

 Reward yourself for getting the job done.

 Practice self-discipline.

 Review and study course syllabi and clear up any vague information early on or at the start of the semester.

 Share study and work schedule with friends, loved ones or your support network.

 Choose ideal study areas, free from distractions.

 Communicate Your Needs.

 Be honest about any unfamiliarity with technology, tools or directions.

 Develop a peer support group with other online students.

 Seek resources to help develop your technology, study or time management skills.

 Ask questions of your peers and instructors right away if you are confused or need help.

 Stay in regular contact with your instructor, classmates and institution.

 Interact with your classmates as much as possible.

 Check SouthArk email, course discussion and course announcements



 Work on reading and writing skills.

 You will be required to read and write a great deal in an online course.

 You must be comfortable reading electronic documents or large paragraphs of text on the computer.

 You should have good typing skills to succeed in an online, hybrid or blended course.

 Practice good netiquette or online communication.

 Avoid writing messages and discussion posts in ALL CAPS as it can give the impression you are shouting.

 Avoid personal attacks, otherwise known as "flaming." If you read a message that you do not like, do not respond right away and discuss with your instructor on how to resolve the situation.

 If you disagree with a fellow student, describe your perspective clearly and politely rather than primarily criticizing his or her comments.

 Avoid any personal criticism or potentially offensive language.

Avoid using acronyms or “text” chat.

 Practice persistence.

 Push through the challenges and frustrations.

 Develop the ability to tolerate technical problems or software glitches.

 Adhere to your study schedule.

 Protecting your work.

 Keep a copy of work submitted in case of technology glitches.

 Save your computer work on a regular basis.

Follow an instructor’s directions exactly when submitting online assignments.



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