Between school, work, family and social obligations, finding time to get everything done can be a challenge. This is especially true for students taking online courses that have a lot of work-at-your-own-pace assignments. However, with a time-management plan this doesn’t have to be an obstacle. The following tips can help you develop a basic strategy for completing your online courses (and other tasks!), reduce stress and work more efficiently.
Whether someone has taken many online classes or none, everyone has different opinions about them. For example, one person may believe online classes are easier than traditional classes, while another may find them more challenging. This article addresses 5 common myths about online classes.
1. You don’t need to have any experience with computers to take an online class.
While you don’t have to be a computer expert to take an online class, you will need to have a basic knowledge of computers. If you are considering taking a class online, first ask yourself the following questions:
Are you comfortable using a computer on a daily basis?
Do you have regular, reliable access to a computer? How about to an alternate computer should something happen to your primary?
If you have any questions regarding our online degree or certificate programs, please use our contact form to email us or call (501) 569-3003 and leave a voice message. We will look into your inquiry and start responding to messages in the order they were received when we return to campus Jan. 2.
Meanwhile, we encourage you to explore our website (including our FAQs) for more information about UA Little Rock Online programs.
By now, you’re probably at least familiar with the concept of “online courses.” However, you may be wondering “How do I access my online courses, and who’s going to help me if I have a problem?”
Blackboard is UA Little Rock’s online learning management system where students can access their course work, such as assignments, media, tests, and grades. You can also communicate with your classmates and instructors through the Blackboard interface via discussions, messaging, and video collaboration.
Blackboard’s technology accommodates a variety of learning environments. While students who take classes on campus may use Blackboard as a digital extension of their classroom, for fully online students, Blackboard is the classroom.
One example of how online students can have an engaging classroom experience without ever stepping foot on campus is through Blackboard Collaborate. Collaborate allows you to engage in real-time discussions with your classmates and instructors using a chat-room format with webcams, microphones, and screen-sharing, creating a face-to-face experience as if you were in a physical classroom together.
Because the technology is potentially new to many students, UA Little Rock offers Blackboard Student Support to assist those who may struggle with accessing or navigating their online courses. Some of the resources offered through UA Little Rock’s Blackboard Student Support include: Continue reading “Blackboard Student Support”→
A group of students at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock are participating in a project that will help bring veteran stories to a new generation.
The Veterans History Project is a program of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center where the first hand, oral histories of veterans, along with pictures or artifacts, are collected and preserved. The project relies on veteran volunteers to contribute their stories.
Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., visited UALR on March 23 to talk with students, faculty, and veterans about the importance of the project. —>
“In the past, as a child, we used to breathe better. We didn’t worry about the future. We stayed in the present—playing and enjoying life. So, maybe it’s time to go back.” – Cai Carvalhaes
We’re halfway through the semester, and this time of the year can often be stressful for students. Luckily, there’s a way to defuse some of that tension and anxiety through UALR’s “Mindfulness Group.”
You may be asking, “What is mindfulness?” The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.”
At the beginning of every semester, there’s always one thing that students have to do – buy books. Luckily, the UA Little Rock Bookstore has everything students need, from books and supplies to university apparel.
The UA Little Rock Bookstore is owned and operated by Barnes & Noble and has been active on campus for 20 years. Bookstore manager Brenda Thomas has been working at the campus bookstore for 15 of those years, and she said that the UA Little Rock Bookstore’s purpose is to take care of a student’s book-related needs—whether that student is on or off campus. Continue reading “UA Little Rock Bookstore”→
The Office of Veterans Affairs has made it its mission to help military veterans and their eligible dependents achieve academic success at UALR. Accredited by the Veterans Administration, the UALR Veterans Affairs office assists military students and dependents with the enrollment process and files the necessary paperwork to ensure that they receive their educational benefits.
Kathy Oliverio, the director of Military Student Success at UALR, said that the UALR Veterans Affairs office essentially works with the student veteran to make sure their tuition is paid.
“Our Veterans Affairs office is the go-to place for anyone who is on the VA educational benefits. Any veteran will go there, and it will be the starting point for them to get their educational benefits to start, and then to continue, and to be certified,” Oliverio said. “In essence, they’re the money folks. They’re the people who allow our veterans to actually have their education paid for.”
The UALR Veterans Affairs office also serves as an ambassador between the veteran student and UALR administration, offering support in special situations that may require individual adjustments.
Oliverio — a veteran herself, having served 20 years in the United States Air Force — said that she works closely with veteran students in her role as well.
“I look out for the veteran on the academic side of the house. I make sure that the veteran, once they get to UALR, and sometimes even prior to, that they graduate, that they stay in school, that they get any help that they need — whether it’s tutoring or guidance as far as what classes they take,” she said. “I advise veteran students. Sometimes, they just like to talk to another veteran.”
Oliverio noted that the needs of the online veteran student are no different than those who attend the physical campus in Little Rock, and the university is committed to helping its veteran students no matter where they complete their studies. “A lot of our online students are active-duty, Air Force military,” Oliverio said. The online classes benefit active-duty military, because there are occasions when a student will be unable to complete face-to-face classes due to military obligations.
In fact, UALR currently has active-duty military students in Korea, the United Kingdom, and scattered throughout the U.S., according to Oliverio.
“Online is perfect for them,” Oliverio said. “No matter where they go in the world, they can access everything they need to do.”
For more information about the services UALR offers its military students, please visit the Veteran Student Success site at ualr.edu/military.
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has been ranked among “The Best Online Colleges in Arkansas” by TheBestSchools.org.
Ranked at #2, UALR is recognized by the site for its extensive degree selection, its study abroad programs, and its variety of online degrees, such as master’s degrees in criminal justice and education.
TheBestSchools.org staff made its decision for best online colleges in Arkansas “based on the quality of their programs, types of courses and degrees offered, faculty strengths, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation, including a strong reputation for online degree programs,” according to the website.
The site has several lists that include the best colleges and degree programs, the best tuition-free colleges, and the best entry-level jobs. It also provides student resources, including school accreditation information and a college and university cost index.
College is often more about honing one’s skills than producing a final result. For the past 35 years, the University Writing Center at UALR has provided support for students who wish to improve their academic writing abilities and, as a result, produce more well-written compositions.
The Writing Center staff work with students across all majors and are committed to providing quality feedback to help students improve the clarity of their writing.
Dr. Allison Holland, director of the University Writing Center, said that the goal of the Writing Center isn’t to edit or fix a student’s work; the goal is to provide guidance to students, so they can eventually work on their own.
“You work with the writer not the paper, and a lot of people say, ‘You fixed my paper for me.’ And the answer is: there is no fixing of a paper,” Holland said. “To you this is one paper among many papers you might write over the course of your career as a student. We want to think about this as one of a progression of things that you will do.” Continue reading “University Writing Center”→
“The failing is not on the part of the student with the disability,” Reed Claiborne, an access consultant with the Disability Resource Center, said. “The failing would be on not providing accessibility.”
The Disability Resource Center (DRC) is one of the many resources available to UALR students both on campus and at a distance. The DRC works with faculty and students to make sure facilities and resources are accessible to students who need them. Continue reading “Disability Resource Center”→
The Ottenheimer Library website is among many online resources available for UALR students. Not only can you search for materials from the Ottenheimer Library online, but you can also find articles and materials through a number of academic databases, research guides and journals organized by subject matter, and reserved course materials. Additionally, the Ottenheimer Library offers several services at a distance that many students may not know about. Continue reading “Ottenheimer Library”→
Harvard Professor Discusses Experimental Course Design in Clinton School Lecture
“The Internet is changing education. What are universities going to do about it?”
Harry Lewis, the Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, posed this question in his Jan. 12 lecture, “Reinventing the Classroom, Rethinking Education,” at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.
Lewis’s lecture focused on the advent of the Internet and its effect on typical lecture halls at universities across the United States.
Lewis asserted that access to the Internet has lessened the need for teachers, because more frequently people are using the Internet as their primary resource for learning. This practice negates the “hydraulic model” for education, which describes how an instructor takes information from its source and transmits it to his or her students, Lewis said. Continue reading “‘Reinventing the Classroom’”→
Preparing for final exams can be stressful for any student, but it doesn’t have to be. These practical study tips will help you get through even the toughest exams calmly and confidently every time.
Choose a time and place
In today’s world, distractions are easy to come by. If you want to make the most of your study time, first you need to schedule some time for studying. You’ll want to choose a time when you’re most alert and least distracted. If this is in the morning, try waking up an hour earlier to study before school or work. If it’s in the evening, make sure to pick a time when you’re not too tired or have other responsibilities to worry about.
Once you’ve determined the best time to study, find a quiet place where you won’t be distracted, such as a home office, library or coffee shop. If silence is too distracting to you, try listening to white noise (like a fan) or soothing instrumental music. Avoid TV and social media websites, and silence and put away your cell phone. Continue reading “Top 5 tips to prepare for finals”→
A variety of free resources are available at UALR to help students succeed in their courses, such as the Ottenheimer Library and Online Writing Lab. However, one of the most significant resources students have is often overlooked and underutilized—professors.
Developing professional relationships with your professors can be beneficial in more ways than just academic. Aside from gaining valuable academic advice related to your coursework, most professors regularly interact with other individuals in their field or industry. Having an amicable relationship with your professors can lead to opportunities both inside and outside the academic realm. Continue reading “Professors: A student’s greatest resource for success”→
Have regular, reliable access to a computer and Internet service.
You should have at least one back-up computer—either personal or borrowed—in the event your primary computer goes down.
Additionally, you need to have a reliable way to access the Internet. It is strongly recommended that you use a wired broadband connection to access Blackboard, especially when taking exams or submitting assignments.
The Blackboard Student Support staff strongly advises against using wireless Internet cards that plug into your USB port. Every semester, there are students whose grades suffer because their wireless Internet cards lost connection during a crucial moment (e.g. during an exam or while they were uploading an assignment). With that said,…
Back-up your work.
Anything can happen. To avoid losing important assignments, projects, and portfolios, you should make it a habit to frequently back-up your work on something other than your computer’s hard drive. Keep a flash drive or external hard drive handy, and plug it in while you work on your assignments. You can save your latest versions there when you reach stopping points. If you want access to your work wherever you go, working in Google Drive is a reliable solution. —>