Online Courses, Discussions and Posts Taking an online course is a practical part of being a college student in the 21st century. When you register for an online class, the instructor will open the BlackBoard course on the first day of class. You are responsible for logging in to the system using your netID and password. If you need help logging in or navigating the system, you can contact BlackBoard support via ualr.edu/blackboard/.
Just as faculty conduct classrooms differently, so too will you experience a wide variety of online styles. Communicate with your instructor in order to make the most of the technology, the flexible use of your time, and your quest for a degree. Be aware that discussion and interaction are a part of the learning process, so most online course instructors at UALR will require that a specific number of discussion messages be posted. Here are some hints (not rules) to help you respond and communicate effectively:
- Focus on the instructions. Be sure to follow the directions in the instructor’s prompt or syllabus closely.
- Work to respond with something that adds value to the discussion. Online does not mean easy, and you need to let your instructor know that you take the class seriously.
- Treat others with respect even when you disagree.
- Acknowledge those who respond to you just as you would in a face-to-face conversation.
- Don’t send “Me too” or “I agree” posts. Make your posts substantial and communicative.
- Include the name of the text and page number when using direct quotations from the text.
- Expand on the original topic.
- Ask a specific question, but avoid those with yes/no answers.
- Ask an open-ended question that relates to the current topic.
- Provide a story that helps to illustrate the main idea.
- Offer a different perspective to increase discussion from your classmates.
- Find an online resource relevant to the topic and include a hyperlink .
- Post early. You’ll get more response and become more engaged in conversation.
- Offer a learning method you’ve used or experienced in a different course.
- Avoid doing all of your posting at the end of the week, term, or topic deadline. You miss out on interaction and cause yourself more work.
- Provide a summary of the ideas others have posted so far. This kind of recap is good if you have joined the discussion late.
- Visit the Blackboard Student Support website was designed to assist students with information about the Blackboard system including tutorials, helpful resources, downloads, and answers to their frequently asked questions.
Test Anxiety Plan ahead to avoid stressing out over your test. Know that a first test with any instructor is always considered the worst, because students aren’t sure what to expect. It will get better. Non-Traditional students are encouraged to visit the Office of Counseling and Career Planning, SSC 119, for assistance with test anxiety. If you attend classes, stay caught up with your assignments, listen to the instructor, take part in discussion, and do the required readings, trust that you will learn and make progress through the course.
Stress/Relationship Issues Assistance in personal counseling is available to all registered students through the Office of Counseling and Career Planning Services, SSC 119 or call 501.569.3185. Areas of personal counseling include: short-term therapy dealing with depression, adjustment to college, relationship and stress issues and confidential referrals. A list of community resources for a variety of family related issues and off-campus programs are found online at arkansas.gov/dhs.
Internships The Cooperative Education Internship and Placement Office provides qualified students the opportunity to participate in work-integrated learning by gaining relevant work experience and academic credit in paid co-ops or internships. After successfully completing a co-op or internship, upon graduation, a student will be placed in a database for consideration of full time employment. 92% of Co-op graduates indicated that their Co-op experience gave them an advantage in the job market. 100% of Co-op graduates indicated they would advise degree-seeking students to participate in Co-op. For more information, please contact the Cooperative Education Internship and Placement Office, Ross Hall 417 or call 501.569.3584 .
Newsletters A lot of departments/organizations/societies have a newsletter that will keep you informed of events, opportunities, jobs and news related to your field. Check their website or ask your professor/department.
Professional Organizations Be sure to check with your college/department or Google your major for professional organizations that you can join as a student member. The benefits of belonging to a professional organization include:
- Your membership shows college professors (whom will be writing your reference letter) and potential employers that you are committed to your career goals.
- It looks great on your resume.
- The organizations professional staff is there to help you.
- Most organizations have a newsletter that you can sign up for to keep informed of the latest news in that field.
- You can get involved and serve on a committee-this is an excellent way to network with people already working in your field.
- Most organizations have partnerships with businesses so you can get discounts on workshops, travel, continuing education classes, business marketing.