ECSU Offers Students Practical Tips for Transitioning to Online Learning
Distance learning will likely be new to many Elizabeth City State University students, but managing studies online should be a fairly smooth process if you follow some basic suggestions, according to the university’s director of distance education, Dr. Kimberley Stevenson.
“If I was talking to my child about online learning I would say they have to stay connected,” said Dr. Stevenson.
Staying connected, she explained, means regularly checking emails and Blackboard for course updates and messages. Dr. Stevenson says the university also understands that not every student has direct access to computers and the Internet, but they likely have smartphones that will allow them to download the Blackboard mobile app.
“Use a computer with Internet access as your first option,” says Dr. Stevenson, “and the mobile app as back up.”
Dr. Stevenson says while many courses require students to use Blackboard on a regular basis, some may not be as familiar with the online platform. If that’s the case, she suggests they go to the Blackboard 101 orientation provided on the site.
“It’s really very informative and it’s about how to be a conscientious online learner,” she said.
Students that run into difficulties with Blackboard can also use the Blackboard call center offered 24/7, or the online chat option. She says, however, that this tool is only for issues pertaining to difficulties with the software, and not content-related problems.
“If it’s content-related, then that needs to be addressed with the instructor,” she said.
As for the day-to-day management of online learning, Dr. Stevenson suggests that students do a few things to make life less stressful. She suggests that you create a schedule at home and create a workspace dedicated to your coursework.
“If you usually have class from 1-2, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you should be logging into the system those times each day,” she says. “Devote that time for class, then set aside time for your homework.”
She also suggests that students pay attention to their natural rhythms. If, for example, you are a morning person, get up and work during the morning hours.
Dr. Stevenson also suggests that students communicate with their professors.
“When you run into an issue with your courses, immediately send an email to your instructor,” she said, and emphasized that students should check ECSU email and Blackboard courses regularly.
Dr. Stevenson says it is also important for students to remember that university emails have a 90-day password reset. If students incorrectly log in multiple times, and find themselves locked out of their accounts, submit a Helpdesk ticket and/or use the Password Reset Portal on the email login page. They can also go to myviking.ecsu.eduwhere they will find more useful information about things such as installing Office 365 and more.
Dr. Stevenson also provided this nine-step list with links to assist students during their online coursework:
- All students have access to a Blackboard Learn learning management system account and will be able to access their spring courses online beginning Monday, March 30, 2020.Blackboard Learn: Help for Students: https://help.blackboard.com/Learn/Student
- ECSU offers a 24/7 Blackboard Online Support Center.Visit https://help.edusupportcenter.com/shplite/ecsuniv/home or call 1-866-321-7157 for technical help with Blackboard. All course content related issues should be directed to the instructor.
- The UNC System Office has an Online Learning 101 Orientation available for all students that are unfamiliar with online learning.Visit https://onlinelearning.northcarolina.edu.
- ECSU offers an Online Blackboard Student Orientation available to all students once logged into their Blackboard Learn account.
- ECSU offers a Blackboard Learn: Student App to stay connected to their instructors and with their course content via the mobile app. It is highly recommended to access Blackboard Learn via a computer if possible. Visit https://help.blackboard.com/Blackboard_App/Quick_Start for download instructions.
- ECSU offers Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing within your Blackboard courses.Visit https://help.blackboard.com/Blackboard_App/Collaborateor, Getting Started with Blackboard Collaborate: https://help.blackboard.com/Collaborate/Ultra/Participant/Get_Started.
- The Office of Distance Education is available to assist students via the email@example.com email account.
- Students should access their Blackboard Learn courses daily.
- Students should access their ECSU email daily.
- If you are experiencing any issues logging into ECSU email, Banner, or Blackboard, use the password reset portal https://password.ecsu.edu/identity/self-service/ecs/kiosk.jsf to reset your password. If you need assistance contact the IT Helpdesk at 252-335-3532 or firstname.lastname@example.org. IT handles user account login issues.