Support for Online Students

Online Class Support 24/7

Contact the NDUS Help Desk support for students and instructors. Call 866-457-6387 or visit to initiate a support chat or submit a request for help. Include specific details about your problem. Questions about class assignments should be directed to your instructor.

Search for additional step-by-step instructions for common tasks and troubleshooting.

NDSCS Online Tutorials

Video tutorials have been created showing how to perform a variety of tasks in an NDSCS Online course as well as basic troubleshooting. Click here to access the videos.


SMARTHINKING provides live, web-based tutoring in a variety of subjects. This service supplements our existing academic support services by offering real-time online tutoring and homework help for core courses and skills up to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information contact your online class instructor or Distance Education.

Proctoring Services

NDSCS-Wahpeton and NDSCS-Fargo offer proctoring services for online exams. Proctor forms will need to be completed and returned to the online instructors requiring proctoring. Forms will be available in your online classes. For additional testing and proctor information click on the Exams Online section below.

  • Students who live in the Wahpeton area may contact the college Test Center for more information about proctoring at 800-342-4325 ext 3-2256 or Verify the test center hours and note closure times when making your test appointments.
  • Students who want to use the NDSCS-Fargo Test Center should email to make arrangements, or contact Sadie Russenberger at 701-231-6919.

Attendance Policy

Regular attendance, promptness and participation in classes, laboratories and/or shops are expected of each student.

If a student must be absent for an extenuating circumstance, such must be communicated to the instructor(s). Individual departments and/or instructors may develop attendance policies to meet specific program or course needs. Refer to the college catalog, student handbook, and/or course syllabi for specific requirements.

It is the responsibility of the instructor to enforce the attendance policy as specified in the course syllabi, student handbook, and/or college catalog. The instructor shall refer to the department chair and/or division dean’s office any case of absenteeism that might require special attention.

An online student who does not regularly attend their online class for a period of seven consecutive days may be dropped from the course. Attendance is evidenced by weekly completion of assignments and/or participation in online discussions. Efforts to contact inactive students are attempted as soon as each semester begins; however, if there is no response from the student and inactivity continues, a drop will be enacted.

The following action may be taken regarding irregular attendance:

  1. Student may be dropped from a course or program;
  2. Course grade may be lowered;
  3. Termination of financial aid assistance;
  4. Cancellation of registration;
  5. Restriction from extra-curricular activities; or
  6. Any other judgments deemed necessary.
Computer Access

Online students must maintain access at all times. The responsibility to maintain Web access rests with each individual student. Please read carefully the following expectations.

  • Each student must maintain consistent access to Web based course materials via a well operating computer and reliable Internet Service Provider (ISP).
  • As an online student you are committed to have regular access, or if your service is interrupted, to have an alternate  computer location available.
  • If service is interrupted for any reason for more than 24 hours (power outage, virus attack) or during an exam, assignment submission period, or other, each student must have a back-up plan and notify your instructor.
  • Realize that your instructor is NOT going to accept lack of access as an excuse for late work or missed exam/quiz access.
  • Be proactive. Before class begins:
    • Locate alternative means to connect to your online course. This may be your nearest library or public school. Check for hours and availability.
  • Complete and submit your work early.
  • Don't wait until the deadline to submit your work in case you do have a problem (technical or other).
  • Complete online class orientation to learn how to use the online learning platform. Alternatively, complete the Student Orientation Tutorial. Both are accessed by logging into NDSCS Online.

*Adapted with permission from Dr. C. A. Keller, San Antonio College


Login/Password Helpdesk: Students having trouble with their online class login and password should contact the NDUS Helpdesk at 866-457-6387 or You may go to the website at to reset your password, submit a help ticket, or start a live chat.(Note: Students use their CampusConnection User ID and Password to log into online classes).

E-mail: NDSCS email is required for online classes and is where communications from the college and instructors are sent. All NDSCS students need to access their NDSCS email account regularly. See instructions to access your email account at

Technical and Software Requirements
Technical Requirements

Students enrolled in an online course or program must meet hardware and/or software requirements as indicated. Perform a “browser check” on your computer to see if it is using compatible browser components.

Note: Some programs have additional technical requirements. Be sure to check with the program advisor for additional information. Reference the online course schedules for additional requirements.

Macs are not compatible in several classes that require specific technology or software. Students using a Mac need a Windows PC available for their use for these courses. Common subject areas needing a Windows PC are CIS, CSCI, some ACCT, CAD, and HIT. The PC must have Windows 10 or newer operating system.

iPad, iPhone, Android, Chromebook and Tablet Devices: Windows PCs are required for some courses and programs and recommended for most. All students need access to an alternate computer when technical problems arise to avoid falling behind in classes.

Devices such as Chromebooks, tablets and other handheld devices are not compatible with testing software and other course tools and features. The Blackboard mobile app does not display all course content and may not work with some course tools and features. Macs are not compatible with software used in ACCT, CAD, CIS, CSCI, and HIT classes so a Windows PC is required.

It is the responsibility of the student to have a working computer available and to have access to a Windows PC for times it may be needed. Find more information on the NDSCS website and on the Blackboard Help site.

Common Technical Problems (Delete Temporary Files and Cookies): If pages in your class are not loading properly or links are not working, the most common solution is to delete Temporary Internet Files and Cookies. Always do this before beginning an exam. If there are issues using one browser, have another installed as a backup. For additional troubleshooting help, go to

Internet Connection: Students should use a high speed Internet connection for online classes. While a lot of class content can be viewed with dial-up, some class content will not work with dial-up service. Be prepared with an alternate location with high speed service to use when needed.

Software Requirements

Microsoft Word is needed for all online classes to submit assignments. Students can download free version of Microsoft Office through their NDSCS Email account. Note: Some courses require a specific version of Microsoft Office or Office Professional or additional software. This information will be included in the online course schedules each semester. 

Exams Online

Academic Integrity: Academic Integrity is an NDSCS core value and there is an expectation that all students, as members of the College community, adhere to the highest levels of academic integrity. Dishonesty in class, laboratory, shop work or tests is regarded as a serious offense and is subject to disciplinary action by the instructor and dean of the respective division. For more information, refer to the NDSCS Student Planner or College Catalog under College Policies and Basic Regulations of Conduct.

Taking Online Exams: In an online exam, "Save" test answers every few minutes to avoid having your test freeze or lose answers. The "Save" process is what triggers the system to know a student is actually active in that exam.

Respondus Lockdown Browser is often required for online class exams. Students need to download the free software to the computer used for testing. Allow time to do this before your first exam is due so you have time to make sure it works. Students will need to start the Respondus browser before logging into a course to begin an exam. Below are links to additional information. 

Important Note: Computers in many commercial or public facilities (e.g., corporations, computer labs, Internet cafes, schools), are configured to prevent the installation of new plug-ins without the permission and assistance of local system support personnel. If such a location will be used for test-taking, contact support personnel immediately to ensure the Respondus Lockdown Browser installation can be completed for your first exam.

Exam Proctors: Several faculty require that a test proctor be present while students take online exams. This could be someone such as a librarian, test center, but not a co-worker, friend, relative, spouse or another NDSCS student. A Proctor Form will be provided by the course instructor when class begins. This should be completed and submitted to the instructor within the first 10 days of the term.

Some faculty require proctors for online exams. Where it is known, this requirement is indicated but may change without notice. Proctoring fees may be charged at some locations. Some instructors have additional restrictions so be sure to read the information provided in your class.