Students using the NDSCS Online class system should be aware of technical requirements that will help reduce problems when using the NDSCS Online system. Pearson LearningStudio (formerly called eCollege) provides basic Technical Requirements at http://help.ecollege.com/LS_Tech_Req_WebHelp/en-us. Below is additional information to help you prepare for your online classes.
Windows 8 Operating System is compatible with NDSCS Online courses using the Pearson LearningStudio learning management system. However, there are some issues when it is used with Internet Explorer 11, so students should always have another browser loaded onto their computer as a backup so they can switch back and forth as needed. It is common that browsers will update and create new errors for some course features and trying a different browser is a good alternative when troubleshooting. When using Windows 8, be sure to use the full program and not the “App” version when working in online classes. You may need to also adjust browser compatibility settings on your computer.
iPad - iPads may be unable to view some of the course content in NDSCS online classes. Please continue to use a regular pc for online class work to minimize technology problems with class content and features.
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. In Internet Explorer click Tools> Internet Options. In the Browsing History section of the "General" tab click Delete Temporary Internet Files> Delete Cookies.Then close these windows. If it takes awhile to delete the files, close the browser and reopen it. Always do this before beginning an exam.
Computer Access - It is the student's responsibility to maintain access to a working computer and Internet connection to keep up in online class assignments. Technical issues do occur but it is important to keep up with class work so it doesn't affect your final grade. Have a "back up plan" and also notify instructors when you are having trouble in case they have suggestions for you. You can access your class from any computer with an Internet connection. Windows-based (PC) computers are required for online classes. Macs are not compatible with technology used in several classes.
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. If you are unable to get high speed Internet on your computer, you need to find an alternate location with high speed service to view the portions requiring it so you don't miss important information in your classes.
Taking Online Exams - Students need to "Save" their test answers in online exams every few minutes. If you are on a wireless computer, save answers at least every five minutes. If you are taking a test on a hard-wired computer, save answers at least every 10 minutes. The test portion of a class doesn't recognize students as active in the class by entering answers. The "Save" process actually is what triggers the system to know a student is actually active in that exam. To avoid having your test freeze or lose answers, SAVE often!
ExamGuard - Online exams require a technology called ExamGuard. Before you can take your exam, you must install a plug-in on the PC that you plan to use for your exam. If you do not install the plug-in, you will not be able to take your final exam. When you begin the exam, ExamGuard takes over the entire computer screen and temporarily prevents you from printing, copying/pasting, accessing internet sites, or accessing any applications or files on your local computer. When you complete and finally submit the exam, ExamGuard turns off, and your computer again operates normally.
Below are links to the ExamGuard download:
- Windows: http://files.ecollege.com/examguard/windows/examguard.exe
- Apple or Mac: http://files.ecollege.com/examguard/Mac/InstallLDBPackage.tar
Be sure to restart your computer after completing the installation process.
Important note: In many commercial facilities (e.g. corporations, computer labs, Internet cafes), all computers are configured to prevent the installation of new plug-ins without the permission and assistance of local system support personnel. If you plan to use a computer in such a location, you should immediately work with the support personnel to ensure that the plug-in gets installed.
Microsoft Office 2010 Enable Editing Issue: When opening documents in online classes with Microsoft 2010, students often get a yellow bar across the top of the document with an "Enable Editing" button. Clicking this button often creates an error and the document will not display for the student to edit and save. There is a blog tip on this issue with steps to correct it for the Microsoft Office programs. It needs to be done in each program. Go to http://ndscsid.wordpress.com/2011/01/31/microsoft-office-2010-protected-view-feature/#more-70 and follow the instructions to enable editing of documents.