Technology and University Resources

There are many resources available to online students, from tutoring to counseling to addressing academic honesty. You are encouraged to utilize the available student and academic support services throughout the semester. 

Technology Requirements: Online students will need access to a reliable computer with high-speed internet access. To access the course site, please log into the Blackboard Learning Management System using your Blackboard username and password credentials.

 

Blackboard Help

Obtaining Blackboard Login Credentials: If you are new to Blackboard and/or are not aware of your Blackboard login credentials, follow the steps below.

In the course:

  • For Blackboard help tutorials, click the Blackboard Help Button.

  • If you have a specific Blackboard concern, please contact USCA Computer Services Help Desk. The Help Desk is located in B&E Suite 238. You may email the Help Desk, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 803-641-3391 from non-campus phones or use extension 4357 from campus phones.

  • For after-hours outages, text or call 803-265-LANN or 803-265-5266 (texts are preferred)

 

Minimal Technology Skills

If you are an online student at USC Aiken you should have access to a computer that meets the university's Laptop MINIMUM Hardware Specifications. The Office of Distance Learning recommends that online students have access to a webcam, either built in or external, and purchase a headset with noise-cancelling microphone for effective communication.

You should have or will acquire the following technology skills throughout this course:

  1. Downloading and installing software applications.

  2. Using Microsoft Office (or similar alternative software) to draft and save in multiple file formats.

  3. Copying and pasting between documents and Blackboard. To select all press and hold Ctrl (the control key) on the keyboard and then press the A on the keyboard. To copy, press and hold Ctrl and then press the C on the keyboard. To paste, press and hold down Ctrl and then press V.

  4. Communicate effectively using a webcam and microphone in synchronous interactions or create and upload multimedia content via video or social media platforms.

  5. Using Blackboard to upload files, post to discussion boards, complete tests, participate in wikis, and post blog entries (where applicable).

  6. Using a USCA supported video conferencing tools (Blackboard Collaborate, Yuja, or Adobe Connect) to participate in video conferencing sessions, view recordings, or create recordings (if applicable).

  7. Using USCA email accounts to communicate with your instructors.

 

You must also have access to and be proficient with the following software and hardware:

  • Firefox (free download) – Blackboard generally prefers this browser.

  • Chrome (free download) or Safari (free download) – These are backup browsers for Blackboard. If you cannot access something in Firefox, try Chrome or Safari before contacting your professor or USC Aiken’s Help Desk. (Note: Internet Explorer is NOT a recommended browser due to security risks and incompatibility with Blackboard.)

  • USCA Software Discounts (free Microsoft 360 download)

  • Java (free download)

  • Adobe Flash Player (free download)

  • Microsoft 365 allows access to the following software applications (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Publisher, One Note, OneDrive, and Outlook) and may be required to complete various course assignments (part of the free Microsoft 360 download). Full information and download instructions can be found on the Office 365 page of the Help Desk website.

  • Account Recommendations: Google Drive (Privacy Policy and Accessibility Statement)

  • Office Mix:  Microsoft Office Mix is an add-on to Microsoft PowerPoint. With Mix, you can create voice-over PowerPoint lectures that are self-running and contain a number of interactive items, such as embedded video, quizzes, and screencasts. Mix is an additional tab that appears on your PowerPoint ribbon. Students are afforded the use of Mix for free. The free download can be found on the Office Mix website.

  • Adobe Connect:  Access to a high-speed Internet access, Webcam, and a headset with microphone will be needed to participate in the Adobe Connect synchronous class sessions. Your professor will provide instructions on your role as a participant or presenter in the environment. Refer to the Participate and/or the Host handout for instructional use.

  • Mandatory Accessories: Webcam (built-in or external), Noise-cancelling headphones/microphone (external, not one built into your computer)

  • Respondus LockDown Browser:  The assessments in this course may require using the Respondus LockDown Browser (review any special instructions with course examinations). Respondus LockDown Browser creates a "locked" testing environment that prevents you from viewing other web pages, accessing other applications, and printing or copying the assessments. You must download and install LockDown Browser before you take any exams. The Respondus Install and User Quick Start Guide provides information on the installation and usage of Lockdown Browser. Do this now so that you are prepared for your first assessment. Additionally, you may be required to also use Respondus Monitor in which case you will need webcam and microphone capabilities to attempt an examination.