It’s 11:53. Just seven minutes left until the deadline for your paper. You regret procrastinating, but at least you are finished! You make your final edits and quickly hop online to upload your final project. You see the small loading dots swirling as your project uploads, your finger hovering over the “submit” key. Finally, you think, I can’t wait to have this project behind me!
And that’s when the notification flashes across your screen: Error! All at once, your laptop begins a reboot. Is your project lost? Will you still make it in time? Is your entire grade compromised?
Technology issues. If you’ve ever felt like technology hates you, you are not alone. Many Grace College Online students share before enrolling that their lack of technological knowledge is what they perceive as one of the greatest challenges of online learning.
Can you relate? Not to fear, Grace College’s Office of Information Technology is here to help! Computer Support Specialist Brad Christenberry has the answers to all of your lingering questions about technology and online education. Christenberry got connected with Grace College as a student himself and now enjoys working for his alma mater. He has received questions ranging from “Why isn’t my class appearing on moodle?” to “My phone fell in the toilet, what do I do?” No matter the question, Christenberry understands the common technology issues for students and is happy to help.
We sat down with Christenberry to ask some of the most prevalent questions asked by online students. Read on to get some quick tips and connections for your time as an online student.
Q: What technology is required in order to take online classes?
A: A PC running Microsoft Windows® Operating system (Windows® 8 or 10) or Mac OS X (10.6 or higher) is required. My recommendation is this: do not cheap out on your technology! If you buy cheap equipment, it will only add to the challenges of online learning. Make an investment into your education. If you are able, get a higher-quality laptop that will support your academic endeavors.
Q: What learning management system does Grace College Online use?
A: Right now, we use Moodle. I’m excited to share that we will soon be switching to Canvas. The word on the street is this new format is much more user-friendly. The IT department can help set up your Canvas account if you have trouble initially, but once you’re in, professors are the best people to chat with if you have any difficulty accessing class resources.
Q: What’s my first step to get my student account going?
A: The answer depends on which online program you are in. Each department does it a little differently. Fortunately, the Grace Online professors are extremely competent and kind! They will take the time to make sure you can access your account correctly.
Q: Is there any software that Grace provides online students?
A: Yes, I’m glad you asked! As a Grace College Online student, Office 365 is an included perk. All you need is your Grace email address to get started.
Q: What if I’m not tech-savvy enough for online classes?
A: Every person who calls me to ask for help says that they are the worst at technology, but I’ve found that people underestimate themselves. If I could give any advice to someone who is afraid of technology issues, it is this: your own self-deprecation is what is holding you back. Be open to trying things out and ready to adapt! It takes a bit of a mentality shift, but if you’re willing to try, you’re already steps ahead of those who aren’t.
Q: What do I do if I face technology issues during coursework?
A: There is a whole team of people here to help you every step of the way! Before you enroll, your online admissions counselors are also there to support you if you have trouble with the online application or uploading transcripts (really anything having to do with the admissions process!).
Once you become a student, your first line of support is your instructors since they are most connected with your specific needs. The online instructors do a great job of making their students feel like they are truly a part of campus. Help them help you by asking questions!
And finally, if you’re facing an issue that stumps you and your professors, contact IT by emailing email@example.com.
Q: Are there resources I can come back to as needed to help with technology issues?
A: There are actually a lot of resources that many students don’t know about. We have an entire webpage dedicated to technology requirements, including a list of laptops we recommend!
Don’t let fear of technology issues hold you back! Grace College Online is made up of a community of professors, peers, admissions staff, and technology experts who are here to help.
To learn more about our programs, visit Grace College Online today!