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”→
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. —>
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.
Dr. Adriana Lopez provides an overview of the Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at UA Little Rock.
The UA Little Rock Bachelor of Arts in Sociology is a completely online program that focuses on the study of our behavior as social beings. The B.A. in Sociology program develops and deepens a student’s understanding of social factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, education, and social class.
“Sociology is this fascinating way of looking at society from different perspectives,” said Adriana Lopez, associate professor of sociology at UA Little Rock. “What sociology is going to teach our students is most of the concerns we worry about are shared by a lot of people.”
The 120-hour online program promotes the knowledge of key social factors and research design through courses such as minority groups, environmental sociology, and women in changing society.
Ramirez said the goal of the program is to teach students how to understand social structures, research methods, and the implementation of social policies.
“What we try to do in the sociology program is to get students to think about their place in society and how society shapes their options, likes, and attitudes,” Lopez said.
Because the B.A in Sociology degree covers a wide range of topics within the humanities, earning a sociology degree can be an advantage in numerous industries. Students who have earned a sociology degree are often well-positioned to pursue a career in human service administration, counseling, public office, or education.
Lopez explained sociology is a far-reaching and varying field that interacts with other disciplines like anthropology, political science, philosophy, and psychology, providing students a wide range of professional possibilities.
For more information on the B.A. in Sociology online program email: Kxlewis@ualr.edu
The UA Little Rock University Writing Center (UWC) now offers online assistance to all UA Little Rock students. As a unit of the Department of Rhetoric and Writing, the primary goal of the UWC is to help students develop strategies for meeting their writing challenges.
Success in an online program depends on a variety of skills, not least of which is the ability to write a solid academic paper. The UA Little Rock University Writing Center (UWC) recognizes this and now offer free online consulting designed to help students at any stage of the writing process.
As a unit of the Department of Rhetoric and Writing, the primary goal of the UWC is to help students develop strategies for meeting their writing challenges. The UWC consultants generally look over projects and provide suggestions to help identify patterns of error in grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
“Our philosophy is we don’t work on individual writing papers or individual assignments,” said Earnest Cox, director of the UWC. “We instead try to help students become more efficient, more effective writers.”
UA Little Rock Online students of any discipline can now receive assistance through the UWC’s Online Writing Lab (OWL).
“What students will do is fill out a google form that would include submitting the paper being reviewed,” Cox said. “Students can expect feedback within 3 days of submitting their paper.”
“We really just try to have a resource so that if you have any problems with your writing in class or if you’re working on something like a resume, we have some materials that can help you with that,” Cox said.
For more information about the UWC call 501-569-8343 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Kent Layton provides an overview of the Master of Education in Reading for more information call 501-569-3267
In today’s classroom setting, a teacher dealing with language barriers, developmental barriers, and mental health barriers involving students, may find themselves wondering how to address the fundamental skill of reading.
Students can choose from one of two-degree plans that lead to the M.Ed. in Reading; the reading specialist licensure and the reading generalist. According to Layton, students who take the reading generalist route “don’t have to take the courses necessary for the reading specialist.”
Layton further explained while licensing as a teacher is not a requirement for entry into the program, it is important to have access to schools and children.
“In our program, you do have to work with children. And at times you have to work in the schools in order to complete the assignments we have for our program,” Layton said.
The M.Ed. in Reading program meets CAEP, NCATE, and Arkansas Department of Education standards and is nationally recognized and accredited by the International Literacy Association (ILA).
If you are a student preparing for a math test or need tutoring to improve an overall grade, the UA Little Rock Mathematics Assistance Center (MAC) may be able to help. Located in rooms 409 and 478 of the Engineering Technology Applied Sciences (ETAS) building, the MAC is a place for students to study, do homework, or receive help from one of the tutors on staff.
In the past, the MAC has primarily offered students face-to-face assistance. However, after a trial run during the fall 2019 semester, the MAC now offers online assistance to students as well.
“We just started that this semester,” said Denise LeGrand, MAC Coordinator. “If students go to Blackboard and search for the ‘math assistance’ organization, they can go in there and we [assist] through Collaborate.”
While an appointment is not necessary for on-campus assistance, LeGrand suggests online students make an appointment to give tutors a “heads-up” on the problem they are needing help with.
Dr. Bennie Prince, program coordinator, explained an 18-hour minor program of study is required as part of the 120-hour online degree.
“Currently, the School of Counseling, Human Performance and Rehabilitation offers two fully online undergraduate minors,” Prince said. “We offer health science and sport management.”
According to Prince, the health science minor is designed for students interested in health education and the sport management minor is designed for students who are interested in sports facility management, sports industry, and sports marketing.
One course Prince highlights within the program is Cultural Competence in Health Education. The course is designed to increase a student’s understanding and knowledge about individuals and groups of people as it relates to policies, practices, and attitudes. Prince said the course focuses on culturally appropriate communication, health literacy, minority health disparities and effective strategies in planning, implementing, and evaluating culturally appropriate health education programs.
“The overall objective was to design a course that includes cross-cultural differences,” Prince said.
As American classrooms become increasingly diverse, cultural competence is a key factor in enabling educators to be effective with students from cultures other than their own, according to Prince.
“Cultural Competence is a course that many of the other departments have now started referring their students take,” Prince said.
“Many of the positions in the healthcare industry require knowledge of wellness programs, smoking cessation, and stress management techniques,” Prince said.
Coupled with a minor in sports management or health and exercise science, Prince explained how students can obtain a practical, well-rounded education through her program.
“Students can use the health education side so they’re advocating for health,” Prince said. “Then they’ve got the background in health and exercise science for a career in sports facility management, sports industry, and sports marketing.”
According to Prince, changes in healthcare insurance have been instrumental in the growth of health education.
“With all of the highlight being on improving your health and advocating health programs, it has put a focus on our B.S. in health education and promotion program,” Prince said.
While the health and promotion degree ensures students will be prepared as health professionals, the goal is for students to view themselves as more than just health care professionals.
“We’re community advocates,” Prince said. “And we want our students in our classes to know they share a common bond in supporting health advocacy in the community.
The online degree program is also designed to assist the entry-level health educator in taking the National Health Education Credentialing examination.
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 conferencing.
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 Ultra. Collaborate Ultra allows you to engage in real-time discussions with your classmates and instructors using a chatroom format with webcams, microphones, and screen-sharing, creating a face-to-face experience as if you were in a physical classroom together. The sessions may be recorded and downloaded for future reference as well.
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”→
“Say you have somebody who is blind or low visioned. If they can’t see the text, then it’s not accessible,” said Reed Claiborne, Director of the UA Little Rock DRC. “We try to focus on what the barriers are, versus what a student’s diagnoses are.”
Having been with the department for 12 years, Claiborne explains the focus of the department has shifted to reframing disability. Reframing in this context involves shifting the focus toward the design of the environment and the removal of barriers that prevent accessibility, according to Claiborne.
“By and large, the people that come to this office look like you and me; they just have hidden disabilities,” Claiborne said. “Whether a student is blind, low visioned, or temporarily having issues with vision, our job is to ensure the document is formatted properly for everyone with vision problems.”
In the DRC, the idea of reframing disability begins with the faculty.
“If an instructor has made sure materials are in an accessible format online, everyone will have access to the document regardless of their disability,” Claiborne said.
Many of the services offered in the DRC pertain to not only students but faculty members as well. The DRC will assist faculty members with captioning videos, braille materials, and converting books to audio or digital format.
All of the services and accommodations provided by the UA Little Rock DRC fall under the concept of “universal design.” Claiborne explains universal design as making sure preparation of curriculum, materials, and environments are accessible by not just a few, but all that need it. For example, automatic door openers benefit individuals using walkers and wheelchairs, as well as people carrying groceries or babies.
DRC Looking Ahead
As UA Little Rock’s enrollment of people with disabilities increases, the DRC is dedicated to furthering the resources currently being offered.
“Some of the things we’ve started to do is broaden the assistive technology that is out there,” Claiborne said. “We are testing an audio note-taking program that may help people who struggle with taking notes or reading notes from a notetaker.”
Dr. Gerald Driskill provides an overview of the applied communications program.
The BA in applied communication is a versatile program that focuses on professional writing, organizational communication, and developing and analyzing messages. For Dr. Gerald Driskill, a professor in the Department of Applied Communication, it’s all about creating a better social world through learning positive communication.
“Fostering better social worlds through positive communication is a mission we carry across our programs,” Driskill said. “From every classroom to every syllabus, it’s all about creating better worlds.”
The concept of co-creation is central to the applied communication program. Driskill explained that co-creation is more than teaching content knowledge or preparing students for exams; co-creation is a collaboration of students and instructors.
“When we say co-creation, we’re asking students what forms of communication will make your organization better or your family better,” Driskill said.
Driskill makes it clear: co-creation is not solving problems or fixing problems; co-creation is about listening and understanding what the problems are, and then identifying ways to move forward with communication.
A key aspect of co-creation is mentoring and building a relationship with the student.
“One of the practices we take into our online program is we make sure students have individual contact the first week or two with their instructor. It is a requirement,” Driskill said.
Nigel Spears, Communication Skill Center assistant director and former student of Driskill, credits the applied communication department for much of his academic success.
“It wasn’t until I met this department that I began to understand that what I learned in the classroom can apply to my everyday life,” Spears said.
Driskill further noted, mentoring is not offered directly to students, but the mentoring that develops with a student comes with being an instructor in that department.
“It’s mentoring, but it runs deeper than that,” Driskill said. “It’s how we want our classes set up, how we want our relationships set up, so those wanting help can get it.”
Students that need extra help can reach out to the Communication Skill Center — an on-campus resource designed to help students overcome difficulties associated with public speaking. Online students who are having trouble may receive help through video chats via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. To receive help students must book an appointment first.
The applied communication program has courses that are geared for today’s job market, such as ACOM 3316 Interviewing. This course develops the student’s ability to effectively prepare for and participate in a variety of interview situations. Another course, ACOM 3330 Professional Communication, focuses on building positive relationships in organizations.
Students can complete the applied communication degree online or on campus. Courses are available in 16-week and 7-week (accelerated) formats.
If you struggle with communicating clearly and effectively, the Communication Skill Center (CSC) may be just what you need. The CSC is a free student resource aimed at helping students through the speech creation process.
“We understand that a lot of people struggle with public speaking and anxiety,” said Nigel Spears, CSC assistant director. “We just want to help people manage their anxiety and stress when it comes to communication.”
Spears goes on to say the CSC can also help students with outlining, PowerPoint, conducting research, and brainstorming topics.
The CSC is not just a resource for on-campus students. Their services also extend to online students. “Everything the CSC offers face to face, we can also do online,” Spears said. Online services are provided through video chats via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Video chats are booked by appointment only. Students can request help or schedule a video chat by emailing the CSC at email@example.com.
Looking Toward the Future
According to Spears, the CSC is looking at various ways to improve the services provided to online students. “For a lot of online students, it is hard for them to grasp information when they can’t ask a question right away and get a response,” he said. “We are currently looking at ways to improve on that delay time.”
Dr. Timothy Edwards gives his tips for online student success.
There are a lot of benefits to an online education, but according to at least one professor, students need to have good organizational skills to be successful in an online environment. Dr. Timothy Edwards, interim director of the School of Mass Communication, shared some tips on how students can stay organized in their online courses.
Edwards explains being organized is more than just keeping up with your assignments.
“The most important thing is keeping up with the schedule,” Edwards said. This can be a major issue for online students if they’re not careful, according to Edwards. Edwards explained it is important that online students “keep up with the schedule in your syllabus.”
While it is important to keep up with scheduling, Edwards said it is also important for students to know what is expected of them.
“You must know the expectations of the professor,” Edwards said. “If the professor says check in every week at a certain time, you make sure you check in every week at a certain time.”
Edwards added that if you are an online student who’s struggling with adjusting to classes online or you are feeling alone in your struggles, a simple email could be the answer to your problem.
“If you are having issues, you must communicate with your professor regularly to stay ahead,” said Edwards. “That’s what your instructors are there for; use them.”
UA Little Rock currently offers more than 400 courses online. For more information on fully online degree programs call 501-569-3003.
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?
On December 16, 2016, UA Little Rock opened the Military Student Success Center. The center was made possible through the generosity of a grant from the Student Veterans of America and Home Depot along with the support from campus leaders, veterans, students, and Veterans Villages of America.
Previously, UA Little Rock housed the Offices of Veteran Affairs, the Military Academic Advisor, and the Military Ombudsman. The center combines these offices to streamline the enrollment, retention, and processing of VA documents. Military and veteran students of both the main and online campuses can visit the center to socialize, study, and get information about available resources.
The facility has a 1,634-square-foot lounge, study area with computers, conference room, and kitchen. According to the center’s website, they serve “over 700 Active Duty, Reservists, National Guardsmen, Veterans, and their family members.” Continue reading “Military Student Success Center”→
Designed with the working adult in mind, the Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S.) is an online completion program designed for students hoping to transition from their technical fields to a bachelor’s degree.
According to the B.A.S. website, “This interdisciplinary program is for students who desire to enhance their knowledge, analytical abilities and critical thinking skills for upward mobility in their field.” Students in the B.A.S. degree program will complete 18 hours of required organizational leadership courses and 18 hours of professional course electives. Required courses include Principles of Management, Writing for the Workplace, and Professional Communication. Options for the professional course electives include Data Analysis/Visualization, Organizational Psychology, and Persuasive Presentations.
To qualify for admission, prospective students must have an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree from a regionally-accredited college or university, or at least 40 hours of technical military credits. These credits will be applied to the 120 credit hours required for the B.A.S. degree.Continue reading “BAS Degree Promotes Skills for Career Advancement”→
The Information Quality (IQ) graduate programs at UA Little Rock are designed to prepare students for the rapidly growing field of information quality by providing a comprehensive education of theory alongside industry-standard training. Students may choose from a graduate certificate in IQ, Master of Science in IQ, or a Doctor of Philosophy in computer and information sciences.
According to the IQ program page, the programs are “designed to prepare students to pursue a variety of IQ careers such as Chief Data Officer, Information Quality Manager, Director of Data Governance, Data Steward, Information Quality Analyst, and Data Scientist, or to pursue doctoral-level graduate studies in preparation for information quality research and instructional roles.”
“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right?
This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.”
― Jerry Seinfeld
In 2005, Sarah Clements graduated from UA Little Rock with a masters degree in interpersonal & organizational communication (now called applied communications) and started teaching within the College of Business. Her course, business communications, helps students with what many cite as a major fear: public speaking. Continue reading “Course Spotlight: Business Communications”→
Maybe you’re already in a career field you love, but you’re looking for a way to expand your options in the workplace. Perhaps you haven’t chosen a career just yet, and you’re interested in a degree that’s as open and versatile as you are.
If gaining transferable skills and advancing your career are at the top of your wants list, you may be interested in seeking a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in management.
Business administration covers a broad field of study, from marketing and information systems to management and human resources. Business students gain knowledge in all areas of modern business and across all industries. Students also reap the benefits of learning communication skills, team-building abilities, and critical thinking skills, preparing them to be effective leaders in a variety of workplace settings.
The College of Business at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock offers the Bachelor of Business Administration in management in multiple formats, including completely online. Students can choose whether they want to focus on human resources management or general business management.
For many students and parents, the cost of college textbooks may come as a surprise. A study published by the General Accountability Office in 2013 revealed that textbook costs rose 82 percent between 2002 and 2012. The National Association of College Stores (NACS) says the average college student will spend $655 on textbooks each year. The frustration that comes with these rising costs has motivated educators to provide more affordable and accessible academic resources for their students.
What are Open Educational Resources?
Open Educational Resources (OER) are defined by the Hewlett Foundation as “teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing by others. OER include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.” Continue reading “The future of college textbooks is open”→
Author’s Note: If you (like Cori) are an auditory learner, please check out our short recording of the interview where Cori discusses ILL and OER, along with some advice she’s learned while on her path as an online student and librarian.
Cori Schmidtbauer knows firsthand the difficulties that online students face. Born and raised in California, she earned her Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree online through San Jose State University. Since October 2016, she has been the eLearning Librarian in Ottenheimer Library at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where she is also earning her Master of Education in Learning Systems Technology degree online.
As the eLearning Librarian, Cori is interested in making the lives of online students easier. With collaboration from a colleague, she conducted a survey in Fall 2016 to assess online students’ awareness of library services and resources that are available to them. It turns out that many students were not aware of certain services, such as Interlibrary Loan (ILL). Continue reading “eLearning librarian tackles challenges facing online students”→
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.”
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’”→