Welcome to the RMU Online Student Orientation! This presentation

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Welcome to the RMU Online Student Orientation! This
presentation will assist you in being a successful online student.
Let’s get started.
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The information contained in this presentation will help you
when starting your academic journey and assist you through
graduation. This orientation presentation is broken into two
separate sections.
The first section is information that you can use to be successful
as an online student at RMU.
The second section is all about Blackboard, the most commonlyused student tasks, and where to locate Blackboard tutorials
and other assistance.
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This orientation covers the following:
• The expectations of students, which focuses on the effort
you need to put into your online courses;
• A sample weekly schedule which looks at the time required
for online courses;
• The technology requirements to take online courses;
• The types of assignments and learning resources your
instructors will utilize;
• An explanation of grading rubrics;
• Information about American Psychological Association (APA)
writing style;
• A brief discussion about your student email;
• And then it concludes with a look at Blackboard from the
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student perspective.
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Before we begin, it should be noted that content in this
orientation that refers to any course content or specific
assessment requirements is at the discretion of the instructor.
All information regarding these topics is used purely for
example.
Always check with your instructor to make sure that you have
the required materials, content, and assessment requirements.
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Let’s start with the first section of this orientation which
discusses what you need to know to succeed as a student with
RMU Online.
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Section One covers:
• The expectations of students, which focuses on the effort
you need to put into your online courses;
• A sample weekly schedule which looks at the time required
for online courses;
• The technology requirements to take online courses;
• The types of assignments and learning resources your
instructors will utilize;
• An explanation of grading rubrics;
• Information about American Psychological Association (APA)
writing style;
• And a brief discussion about your student email.
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Let’s start by discussing three expectations you should follow to
be a successful online student.
The first is: Read! Read! and Read! What this means is that you
should review the amount of reading you must complete each
week, schedule time throughout the week for reading, assess
which assignments require reading prior to beginning work, and
start early and keep it up. The pace of online classes is very
quick, so make sure you keep up to date with what's going on so
you don't fall behind.
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The second expectation is that you will create a
schedule. By creating a schedule you are training
yourself on how you will handle each week's
assignments and readings. The sample schedule
provided on this slide is that you should read early in the
week, participate in discussions and begin written
assignments mid-week, and complete discussions and
written assignments through the end of the week. This is
just a basic schedule. A more detailed schedule is
provided in a couple of slides.
All schedules provided in this orientation are samples
that can be used to create your own schedule.
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The third expectation is that you will participate frequently.
This should be part of the schedule you create to manage your
time. In order to stay abreast of what’s going on in class, you
should review the discussion question at the start of the week
to prepare yourself to discuss the given topic. As you read and
think of ideas that can contribute to the discussion, you
should write down them down and take notes. In order to
meet the participation requirements for the discussion, you
should plan on three posts: an initial post and two responses
to classmates. Some instructors may have different
requirements, but those will be conveyed to you through the
discussion scoring rubric. Again, always be sure to check the
participation requirements set by your instructor as this
information is only for example.
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The previous slides mentioned a sample schedule, so let's take
a look at one. This schedule is presented only as an example,
as your attentiveness to course readings and assignments will
vary from course-to-course.
Review the course schedule and then click the Next button,
the right-facing arrow, in the bottom navigation buttons.
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Here are a couple of additional tips to help you succeed as a
student with RMU Online:
• Be online participating 5 out of 7 days per week. The
sample schedule on the previous slide was created with
this tip in mind.
• Read everything, not just the required materials. This
includes announcements, emails, and other information in
the course. Instructors take their time to set up these
courses and you should read the content they’ve posted
prior to sending emails asking for clarification.
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Technology issues happen and this tech tip is the greatest way
to prevent them:
• Copy and paste discussion questions & assignment
instructions from Blackboard to MS Word.
• Write your discussion responses and written assignments
in MS Word.
• When you are ready to submit your work, copy-and-paste
discussion responses to the discussion and submit your
Word documents for assignments.
* This process ensures that you always have a copy of your
work in case a technological issue arises.
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Here are a few technology recommendations that you should
consider:
• Having an Intel Core i3 processor or equivalent
• Having no less than 1Gigabyte of Random Access Memory
(RAM)
• High-speed Internet connection (Fiber or Cable)
• A 250GB or more Hard Disk Drive
• A USB Jump Drive for external file storage
• And a webcam whether it is Integrated or External.
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In terms of software, the only required software is Microsoft
Office Home and Student Edition. This edition comes with Word,
Excel, and PowerPoint. This is the only required software.
In terms of your web browser, RMU Online strongly suggests
that you use Mozilla Firefox when working in Blackboard. It has
proven to be the best browser in terms of functionality.
Also, you should ensure that you have Java, Flash, and Adobe
Acrobat installed on your computer and it should always be kept
up to date.
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Some of the courses you take at RMU may require additional
software specific to the course that you are taking. To ensure
that you have the required software, review your syllabus and
discuss any required software with your instructor.
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The table on this slide shows you the types of assignments that
your instructors may use in your courses. The most common
assignments will include discussions or threaded discussions,
the evaluation of reading materials, videos, or websites,
journal entries, case studies, and group assignments. Others
can be used, so make sure you review the assignment
instructions to be sure you’re approaching the assignment
correctly.
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The table on this slide shows you the types of learning
resources that your instructors may use in your courses. The
most common learning resources that your instructors will use
include narrated PowerPoint presentations, some with callout
questions, video clips, and live chat sessions. Again, be sure
that you read all instructions to ensure that you are utilizing
the learning resources in the manner they are intended.
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Many instructors will make use of rubrics for grading. To help
you understand what a rubric is, we did a little research to
help. According to Andrade (1999), a rubric is a tool that
provides students with specific criteria required for completing
an assignment. A rubric includes a gradation of levels of quality
from needs improvement to exemplary (Andrade, 1999).
Rubrics are used by instructors to make assignment
expectations clear and grading a much easier process
(Andrade, 1999).
References
Andrade, H. G. (1999). Understanding rubrics. Retrieved from
https://learnweb.harvard.edu/alps/thinking/docs/rubricar.htm
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The example rubric presented here is actually the discussion
scoring rubric utilized by many instructors at RMU. As you can
see there are four criteria on which you will be graded (Initial
Post, Replies, Response & Monitoring, and Grammar &
Mechanics). For each criteria there are four levels of quality
(Needs Improvement, Satisfactory, Proficient, and Exemplary).
For each criteria at each level, the quality of work is defined. To
ensure maximum points, ensure that your post meets the
Exemplary level for all criteria.
Click the image for a better view of the discussion scoring rubric.
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Many of your instructors will require you to submit discussions
and papers utilizing APA formatting, in-text citations, and
reference.
The best tool for you to use when you need APA assistance is the
OWL at Purdue. This website contains all of the APA information
that you will needs. Click the following link to go to the OWL at
Purdue website.
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As an RMU student you will be given a personal email address, which
you are required to use for all RMU-specific communication.
It is extremely important that you check your RMU Gmail on a daily
basis. Instructors will send emails concerning class matters and you
have to access your student email to get those messages.
If you do not check your RMU Gmail regularly, please forward all
messages to an account of your choosing.
For instructions on forwarding messages from your RMU Gmail, click
the following link:
• https://support.google.com/mail/answer/10957?hl=en
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You have successfully completed the first section of the RMU
Online Student Orientation. You learned more about:
• What is expected of you as an RMU Online student
• Setting a weekly schedule
• Technology recommendations and requirements for
hardware and software
• Types of assignments and learning resources
• Grading rubrics
• Where to find APA information
• And checking your student email
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Let’s take a look at Blackboard from the student perspective.
This section of the orientation will help you get accustomed to
using Blackboard as a student and look at the types of
assignments you can expect to submit in many, if not all, of your
courses here at RMU.
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The second and final section of the RMU Online Student
Orientation is all about Blackboard. During this section you will
learn more about:
• Accessing Blackboard
• Navigating Blackboard as a student
• And how to submit the most common assignments
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Even though the following slides will present support
information for the most commonly-used Blackboard tasks, you
should be aware of the following support sites:
• bbstudents.rmu.edu an RMU Online-developed support site
for students. Contains written instructions and a few video
demonstrations.
• And help.blackboard.com a Blackboard-developed support
site for students. Contains video demonstrations and
written instructions.
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The following set of slides provides support information for
completing some of the most common Blackboard tasks that
students complete. Topics include:
• Discussion participation
• Assignment submission
• Turnitin or SafeAssign submissions
• Journal submission
• Taking a test
• And submitting a presentation or video response
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The most common assignment that you will have to complete as
an online student is a discussion. Discussions allow you to
interact with other classmates and the instructor.
Use the following resources for assistance with discussion
participation:
• Creating an Initial Post
• Responding to Other Classmates
• How to Use the Discussion Board
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After discussions, you’ll find that papers and other written
assignments are widely used by instructors. For these
assignments, you’ll submit documents that you prepare in MS
Word or other applications.
Use the following resources for assistance with submitting
assignments:
• Submitting an assignment (written instructions)
• Submitting an assignment (video demonstration)
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Much like SafeAssign, Turnitin checks your written assignments
for plagiarism. Your instructors may require you to submit
research papers or other original work to Turnitin to make sure
that you haven’t plagiarized.
Use the following resource for assistance with submitting
Turnitin assignments:
• Submitting Turnitin assignments
31
Some instructors may ask you to do a little self reflection on
specific topics and submit a journal entry. Some instructors will
have these submitted as assignments, but others will utilize the
Journal tool.
If your instructors use the Journal tool, use the following
resources for assistance with submitting journal entries:
• Submitting a journal entry
• Creating and commenting on journal entries
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Some instructors may require you to take comprehension
exercises, quizzes, and tests. To do this, they will utilize the
testing tools in Blackboard. Taking tests in Blackboard is quite
easy, but you have to ensure that your Java and Flash plugins are
up-to-date.
Use the following resources for assistance when taking tests:
• Completing an exam
• How to take a test online
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Some courses will require you to post a presentation that will be
shared with the class or as a final presentation that only the
instructor will see. Blackboard’s Video Anywhere allows you to
quickly and easily upload presentations. Video Anywhere can be
used in discussions and assignment submissions.
Use the following resource for assistance when using Video
Anywhere:
• Using Video Anywhere for presentations and video
responses
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You have completed the second and final section of the RMU
Online Student Orientation. During this section you learned
more about:
• Accessing Blackboard
• Navigating Blackboard as a student
• How to submit the most common assignments
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Congratulations! You have completed the entire RMU Online
Student Orientation. During this orientation you were
introduced to:
• The expectations of students, which focused on the effort
you need to put into your online courses;
• A sample weekly schedule which looked at the time required
for online courses;
• The technology recommendations and requirements to take
online courses;
• The types of assignments and learning resources your
instructors will utilize;
• An explanation of grading rubrics;
• Information about APA writing style;
• A brief discussion about your student email;
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• And using Blackboard as an RMU Online student.
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