Student Best Practices

Taking online courses is much different from taking a traditional, face-to-face course. Online courses require more of a student's attention. To ensure students in an online learning environment succeed, the Department of Distance Learning and the Distance Learning Committee have developed a set of best practices for students to follow in order to succeed in an online course.

Best Practices for Students taking an Online Course

Campus Technology Flyer

To view information regarding SouthArk Username and Password, helpful links and even setting up SouthArk email on mobile devices review Campus Technology Flyer below.

Campus Technology Flyer (Last updated: July 27, 2017)

Campus Technology Course - Required

All new SouthArk students are required to complete Campus Technology.  The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with campus technology that they will be expected to use in SouthArk courses.  Many SouthArk courses employ a variety of technology, so it is a student's responsibility to learn how to use certain technologies in order to fulfill course requirements.  The course will provide information on SouthArk email, Blackboard Learn, MyCampus, Respondus Lockdown Browser, Respondus Monitor and Turnitin.

Office 365 - Free Microsoft Office for Students

SouthArk students are provided Microsoft Office 365 Education for free.  Office 365 includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote, and 1TB of OneDrive storage.  Students may download Office 365 onto a computer and a mobile device.  Students must use their SouthArk email.  Do not use your personal email account to download and install Office 365. 

Click Here to Download and Install Office 365

Click Here for the Microsoft Privacy Policy

Proctoring of Tests

To prevent cheating, some online instructors may require students to take tests in a proctored environment. Students who live near El Dorado will be expected to take their tests in the Learning Center, where they will need to show a photo ID to receive their test materials and sign a form in which they state that they understand, and will abide by the testing policies. Students may also use Respondus Monitor as a way to have a test proctored. Students use their own computer and a webcam, all while completing a test in Blackboard.

Once a student logs into a test which uses Respondus Monitor, they will need to show their SouthArk photo ID to the webcam.  In addition, their testing environment and audio will be recorded while they are taking their test.  This service is free to SouthArk students.  If you are interested in using Respondus Monitor please contact the Distance Learning office. 

Click Here for More Information on Respondus Monitor


It is recommended that students use a desktop or laptop computer rather than a tablet to interact with instructional technology used in SouthArk courses such as Blackboard and Pearson MyLab.  Many of the websites and technology students will be using in SouthArk courses require a browser that can download essential plugins such as Java which are not compatible with tablet devices.


Students may purchase a laptop from the SouthArk bookstore.  If needed, students may use their financial aid to purchase their laptop.  Please call or drop by the bookstore to inquire about laptop prices.


Blackboard is Blackboard's newest mobile solution that helps students react quickly to their changing course needs, while learning to plan for the future.

With Blackboard, you can:
• Quickly view updates to your courses and content
• Take assignments and tests
• View course, assignment, and test grades

Bb App


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