Full virtual learning must employ easy-to-use, powerful communications and learning technologies to create an exceptional, immersive, and interactive learning experience for 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 essential technologies will optimize your 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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
GoReact is a platform used by your faculty for video assignments (such as lab evaluations) and lab practicals (lab skills assessments/exams). The platform allows you to receive documented verbal, video, and written feedback from your faculty on your videos.
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.
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. You may even have courses where both options are used.
For online proctoring, 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 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.
Use Digital Learning Resources
USAHS Writing Center
The Writing Center is accessible through MyUSA and provides live support by appointment, individualized advice, and standard guides for writing, citing, and referencing in both APA and AMA styles.
Learn more with iLEARN (Innovation, Learning Excellence, and Academic Resource Network), a hub for University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences students to connect to University-sponsored live and recorded training events to enhance academic, personal, and professional development.