Technology Toolkit for Online Learning

Our goal during this time of fully virtual learning is to employ easy-to-use powerful communications and learning technologies to create an exceptional, immersive, and interactive learning experience for our students.

Be sure to visit the Technology Requirements, Recommendations, and Troubleshooting page for specific required and recommended technology, as well as important information about how to download and install your free Microsoft Office suite.

Below is information that describes how these essential technologies will optimize your fully online learning experience, as well as how to get help and support.



Communication with Text, Audio, and Video

One of the most important aspects of online learning is communication. Staying connected to your instructor and peers is essential during this time. Online communication can be “asynchronous” or “synchronous.” Asynchronous communication includes any type of communication that doesn’t require an immediate response, such as email and discussion boards, while synchronous communication is in real time, such as chat and videoconference.

Be sure you have a webcam and microphone/speakers so that you can fully take advantage of all communication options.

Asynchronous Communication

Outlook Email

 

Blackboard Discussions

Your instructor will communicate with you asynchronously mainly through Blackboard using Announcements and Discussion Boards. Your instructor may also communicate via email.

 You should follow the communication protocol that your instructor has specified. You can expect an email or discussion board response from your instructor within 24-48 hours.

Synchronous Communication

RingCentral 

 

Blackboard Collaborate

 

Microsoft Teams

  

Use your use email to sign up for a free 40-minute Zoom account

Your instructor will use RingCentral or Blackboard Collaborate to schedule live learning sessions. Visit the support links to familiarize yourself with these tools and ensure that you are prepared.

If you want to schedule your own videoconference meetings with your peers, you can use Microsoft Teams, which is free for you as a USAHS student and comes as part of the Microsoft Office Suite.

Also, Zoom is a very popular communication tool right now. If you want to use this tool to communicate with your peers, we recommend setting up a free account, however, please note that USAHS can’t provide technical support.

Recording Video

Kaltura Student Guide 

Kaltura is a tool embedded in Blackboard that you can use to record video for your courses. The Kaltura Capture tool enables you to create, upload, and store videos that you may create for activities such as labs, discussions, and assignments.


Organize, Share, and Store Files

 Working online often requires that you need to create, collaborate, store, and share files. 

File Sharing

Microsoft OneDrive

 

Google Docs

Microsoft OneDrive is free for you as a USAHS student and comes as part of the Microsoft Office Suite. 

You may also want to use Google Docs, which offers the same functionality for free. Note that Google Docs it is not supported by the USAHS IT department.


Take Exams Online

You may be taking exams, such as midterms and finals, online in a “webcam proctored” environment. Your instructor will use our automated proctoring option Respondus, or our live proctoring option ProctorU. You may even have courses where both options are used.

For both options, you will need a webcam. Visit the Technology Requirements, Recommendations, and Troubleshooting page for information about technical requirements for online learning. The Information Technology department can also assist with equipment recommendations or temporary rentals until you are able to complete your technology setup. 

Automated Proctoring

Respondus Lockdown Browser Overview and Resources

 

Respondus Student Quickstart Guide

Automated proctoring uses a combination of webcam observation through artificial intelligence technology and recording and a “lockdown browser,” which disables the opening of other programs during the exam session. You will login during your designated exam window, confirm your identity using the program, and take your exam with webcam recording. Your session is recorded, and if something is “flagged” such as leaving your testing location, or background noise or movement, then your instructor can review your session to ensure exam integrity.

Human Proctoring

ProctorU

Human proctoring is webcam observation of your exam session by a live proctor. You will schedule your session during the designated exam window, login at your scheduled time, and a live proctor will be randomly assigned to you to meet by webcam. The live proctor will confirm your identity and then observe you during your exam session to ensure exam integrity.


Use Digital Learning Resources

Access thousands of eBooks, journals, and streaming videos available on the library website: https://library.usa.edu, including some of your required textbooks in digital format, and bonus eBooks available now at https://library.usa.edu/keeplearning. Librarians are available to help you via email or chat.


Keep Learning Resources

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