REQUIRED TEXTBOOK: Corbett, et al. U.S.History: This is a FREE Open Educational Resource. There will be more information on accessing this book in the course module. The book is in web view, epub, and pdf formats. Access the book by going to the Open Stax website: https://openstaxcollege.org/textbooks/us-history and then following the instructions to download or access the text.
RECOMMENDED: We recommend that you have access to a physical copy or bookmark an online college dictionary. Be sure to look up any unfamiliar words.
REQUIRED COMPUTER SKILLS AND INTERNET CONNECTION: Online students will need to have basic computer skills to do well in this course. Basic computer skills include:
- Accessing and logging into Blackboard
- Sending and receiving email through your Mavs student account
- Attaching files and opening attachments
- Using Microsoft Office software like Word
- Following instructions (video or written) to learn how to use new web-based tools
You will also need regular access to a computer and reliable Internet service. You can connect your tablet or laptop to the campus Wi-Fi if you are in the DFW area. You can use the computers in the UTA library or computer labs if you have a set of headphones. If you do not come to campus this semester and are accessing this course from home, you should have a backup plan if your Internet connection fails. Be sure to have a list of alternate Internet access points. For example, is there a local public library or community college? How about the Starbucks or McDonald’s on the corner? They typically have free Wi-Fi. If you don’t have a laptop or tablet and your Internet fails, can you go to a friend or relative’s house?
If you do not have basic computer skills or access to a computer/tablet with a reliable Internet connection, you should rethink taking a fully online course.
HOW TO ACCESS THE COURSE MODULE: This course resides in Blackboard (elearn.uta.edu) and will be made available to students on Sunday afternoon before the course begins; your instructor will email the class when the module is available. Note that you will not be able to see the class listed in Blackboard until it is opened it to students.
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS: You will upload documents in this course and will need appropriate software. If you do not already have it, Microsoft Office is available from the UTA Bookstore for a substantial discount and it will allow you to complete all assignments in this course. If you choose to use software other than Microsoft Office, I will not be able to support you and you may risk improper submissions. *Note* – You cannot use anything older than Microsoft Office 2007 (PC)/2008 (Mac) for Word Documents, but you may submit a pdf file. No other types of files are permitted unless otherwise stated in the course module.
If you have not already done so, you should check to make sure that your system is configured correctly. Go to http://www.uta.edu/blackboard/system-configuration.php to see a list of requirements. If you are not at the most recent update, you may have issues opening some items in Blackboard.
A note about BROWSERS: The recommended browser for Blackboard is Firefox. However, I also require that you have another browser available on your computer (Chrome is a good second choice, but any other browser will do). Why? Well, sometimes there are updates to either the browser or to Blackboard. When this happens, some content might not display in a particular browser.
Always contact your instructor or coach first if you are having technical issues. We will often be able to quickly resolve your issue, but if not we will be able to help you craft the description of your problem and what issues we have ruled out so that the OIT Help Desk will be better able to pinpoint your problem. Before contacting us with a technical issue with course materials, always access the material in your back-up browser. If it displays properly, then it is an issue with a recent update of software for your primary browser. Use the backup browser for a day or two (this gives Blackboard a chance to adjust their settings). Also check the Technical Help FAQ, located under the “Important Information” tab in the course module menu, for troubleshooting information for common problems.