Technology and University Resources

There are many resources available to online students, from tutoring to counseling to addressing academic honesty. You are encouraged to utilize the available student and academic support services throughout the semester.

Online students will need access to a reliable computer with high-speed internet access. To access the course site, please log into the Blackboard Learning Management System using your Blackboard username and password credentials.

To be able to participate fully in USC Aiken online courses; you must have:

  • The minimum requirements for computer hardware: University computer requirements are listed here. You may also need access to a webcam and headset microphone.
  • Reliable and speedy internet access: Online coursework requires you to have reliable internet access and fast connection speed, as you will be taking online tests. High-speed internet connection is required, but a wired connection is preferred, especially while taking tests.
  • Computer competency: You must be very comfortable with using email and discussion boards, uploading and downloading documents, and accessing resources such as search engines and websites (e.g., Google, etc.).

For Blackboard help tutorials to learn about basic Blackboard functions, visit the Blackboard help site.

To obtain assistance with technical issues in Blackboard (removing pop-up blockers, opening files or quizzes, etc.), or if you are unable to see the course content or have other questions regarding the course itself, please visit the USC Aiken Computer Services Help Desk

The Help Desk is located in B&E Suite 238. You may email the Help Desk, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 803-641-3391 from non-campus phones or use extension 4357 from campus phones.

For after-hours outages, text or call 803-265-LANN or 803-265-5266 (texts are preferred).

If you are new to Blackboard and/or are not aware of your Blackboard login credentials, you can find complete instructions on Self-Service Carolina Help.

You can follow the registrations guides at Self-Service Carolina Help for getting your network username for Blackboard and to set your password at my.sc.edu or go to SC Authentication Service to login.

If you are an online student at USC Aiken you should have access to a computer that meets the university's minimum hardware specifications. The Office of Distance Learning recommends that online students have access to a webcam, either built in or external, and purchase a headset with noise-cancelling microphone for effective communication.

You should have or will acquire the following technology skills throughout this course:

  1. Downloading and installing software applications.
  2. Using Microsoft Office (or similar alternative software) to draft and save in multiple file formats.
  3. Copying and pasting between documents and Blackboard. To select all press and hold Ctrl (the control key) on the keyboard and then press the A on the keyboard. To copy, press and hold Ctrl and then press the C on the keyboard. To paste, press and hold down Ctrl and then press V.
  4. Communicate effectively using a webcam and microphone in synchronous interactions or create and upload multimedia content via video or social media platforms.
  5. Using Blackboard to upload files, post to discussion boards, complete tests, participate in wikis, and post blog entries (where applicable).
  6. Using a USCA supported video conferencing tools (Blackboard Collaborate, Yuja, or Adobe Connect) to participate in video conferencing sessions, view recordings, or create recordings (if applicable).
  7. Using USCA email accounts to communicate with your instructors. 

University Supported Software

You should have access to and be proficient with the software and hardware discussed below.

Mandatory accessories include a webcam, either built-in or external, and noise-cancelling headphones with microphone (external, not one built into your computer).

    • Firefox - Blackboard usually prefers this browser. 

Download Firefox for free

    • Chrome - This is a backup browser for Blackboard. If you cannot access something in Firefox, try Chrome or Safari before contacting your professor or USC Aiken’s Help Desk. (Note: Internet Explorer is not a recommended browser due to security risks and incompatibility with Blackboard.)

Download Chrome for free

Visit Google Drive

View Google's privacy policy

View Google's accessibility statement

    • Safari - This is a backup browser for Blackboard. If you cannot access something in Firefox, try Chrome or Safari before contacting your professor or USC Aiken’s Help Desk. (Note: Internet Explorer is not a recommended browser due to security risks and incompatibility with Blackboard.)

Download Safari for free

    • Respondus LockDown Browser - The assessments in this course may require using the Respondus LockDown Browser (review any special instructions with course examinations). Respondus LockDown Browser creates a "locked" testing environment that prevents you from viewing other web pages, accessing other applications, and printing or copying the assessments. You must download and install LockDown Browser before you take any exams. The Respondus Install and User Quick Start Guide provides information on the installation and usage of Lockdown Browser. Do this now so that you are prepared for your first assessment. Additionally, you may be required to also use Respondus Monitor in which case you will need webcam and microphone capabilities to attempt an examination. 

Download and Install the Respondus LockDown Browser

USC AIken does provide some software discounts for students:

  • Free Microsoft 360 download.
  • Microsoft Office 365 allows access to the following software applications: Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Publisher, One Note, OneDrive, and Outlook. Office 365 is available for free to USC AIken students. and may be required to complete various course assignments (part of the free Microsoft 360 download). Full information and download instructions can be found on the Office 365 page of the Help Desk website.
  • Microsoft Office Mix is an add-on to Microsoft PowerPoint. With Mix, you can create voice-over PowerPoint lectures that are self-running and contain a number of interactive items, such as embedded video, quizzes, and screencasts. Mix is an additional tab that appears on your PowerPoint ribbon. Students are afforded the use of Mix for free. The free download can be found on the Office Mix website.
  • Adobe Connect: Access to a high-speed Internet access, Webcam, and a headset with microphone will be needed to participate in the Adobe Connect synchronous class sessions. Your professor will provide instructions on your role as a participant or presenter in the environment. Refer to the participant and/or the host handout for instructional use.

PLAGIARISM SOFTWARE

The University of South Carolina Aiken is committed to helping students uphold the ethical standards of academic integrity in all areas of study. Students agree that their enrollment in this course allows the professor the right to use electronic devices to help prevent plagiarism.

  • SafeAssign:  Professors may elect to have students submit assignments to the Blackboard’s Safe Assign feature and will be included as source documents in Safe Assign’s restricted access database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism in such documents.
  • TurnItIn:  All course materials are subject to submission to scholarly authentication and will be included as source documents in Turnitin.com's restricted access database solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism in such documents. Turnitin.com can be used as an academic tool to help students avoid plagiarism in written documents.  If your professor will use TurnItin, he/she will provide you with the following login credentials and other information.
    • Obtaining your Turnitin.com Login Credentials (if required by the instructor)
      • Go to Turnitin.com and create an account using your own email address and password (tip: use your school email address here to keep your schoolwork organized.)
        • Click on the tab “Enroll in a Class” and enter the following information:
        • Class/section ID: xxxxxxx
        • Enrollment Password: xxxxxxx

Respondus LockDown Browser:  To increase the integrity of online tests, professors may elect to use the Respondus Lockdown Browser, which creates a "locked" testing environment that prevents you from viewing other web pages, accessing other applications, and printing or copying the assessments. If instructed, you must download and install LockDown Browser before you take any exams. The Respondus Install and Use Quick Start Guide provides information on the installation and usage of Lockdown Browser.  

When taking assessments using Respondus:

  • Students should seek a computer with a wired connection. If using a wireless connection, be sure to be close enough to the wireless router that has the strongest signal.
  • Be sure to close ALL applications on your computer and double-click on the Respondus Lockdown Browser icon to open the application. Log into Blackboard, access your course, and navigate to the assessment.

Academic Integrity

The USC Aiken Student Handbook defines violations of academic integrity as follows:

The principle of academic integrity prohibits all forms of academic dishonesty including cheating, lying, bribery, and plagiarism. The following examples illustrate conduct that violates academic integrity, but this list is not exhaustive.

  • Giving or receiving unauthorized assistance, or attempting to give or receive such assistance in connection with the performance of any academic work.
  • Unauthorized use of materials or information of any type or the unauthorized use of any electronic or mechanical device in connection with the completion of any academic work.
  • Unauthorized use of any portable electronic device unless required for the course during a test period without consent of the instructor.
  • Access to the contents of any test or examination of the purchase, sale, or theft of any test or examination prior to its administration.
  • Use of another person’s work without proper acknowledgement of source; i.e. plagiarism.
  • Intentional misleading of any person in connection with any academic work including the scheduling, completion, performance, or submission of any such work.
  • Offering or giving any favor or thing of value for the purpose of influencing improperly a grade or other evaluation of a student in an academic program.
  • Conduct intended to interfere with an instructor’s ability to evaluate accurately a student’s competency or performance in an academic program.

Only the appropriate faculty member can “authorize” assistance, use of materials, etc. Whenever a student is uncertain as to whether conduct would violate academic integrity, it is the responsibility of the student to seek clarification from the appropriate faculty member prior to engaging in such conduct.

University of South Carolina: A Brief Guide to Proper Attribution of Ideas and Expression, Avoiding Plagiarism.

Plagiarism could be defined as follows:

Plagiarism is intentionally or carelessly presenting the work of another as one’s own. It includes submitting an assignment purporting to be the student’s original work, which has wholly or in part been created by another. It also includes the presentation of the work, ideas, representations, or words of another without customary and proper acknowledgement of sources. Students must consult instructors for clarification in any situation in which documentation is an issue. Students will be considered to have plagiarized whenever their work is not properly documented.

Academic Integrity is a core value of our community of learners. Every member of the academic community (students, faculty, and staff) is expected to maintain high standards of integrity in all facets of work and study. The Student Guide to Academic Integrity describes appropriate academic conduct in research, writing, assessment, and ethics. 

Academic dishonesty is not tolerated at USC Aiken. The penalties can be severe and include: failing the assignment, failing the course, and referral to Student Judicial Programs to face form conduct charges.Students found in violation may be suspended or expelled and can have a permanent notation affixed to the official transcript indicating that an academic integrity violation occurred. Students are urged to discuss questions regarding academic integrity with instructors, advisors, or with the academic deans.

Please note that even if you paraphrase another's work, you must also cite your source in the text, just as you would a direct quote. Additionally, submitting a paper you have written for another course is also a form of plagiarism known as multiple submissions.

You may be turning in papers through Turnitin or SafeAssign, online tools that assists in discovering plagiarism. Plagiarism.org is another great resource to help you avoid plagiarism.

If you intentionally or blatantly plagiarize, you will fail the class, and the case can be reported to the Student Judiciary Board.

For scholarly writing formats you may be using either MLA or APA formatting, depending on the topic of your submissions, and cite your sources. Projects focused on the fields of English, literature, languages, or culture will use MLA; projects focused on the social sciences, business, or nursing will use APA. Review appropriate citation guides like Purdue's research and citation resources. Generally, the following principles apply:

  1. All quotes, summaries, paraphrases, and facts must have two types of documentation. The first is a parenthetical or in-text citation inserted in the text where the referenced content appears. The second is a bibliographic entry or endnote on a References/Works Cited page at the end of the paper.
  2. Anything cited word-for-word is a quote and must appear in quotation marks. Quotes must be documented.
  3. Any source cited in the paper should have a corresponding bibliographic entry/endnote at the end of the document.
  4. Only sources cited in the paper should appear in the References/Works Cited. Sources you read but do not cite may be cited in a separate Works Consulted.
  5. All quotes, paraphrases, and summaries must have page numbers as they are identified in the original source. Many internet sites do not have page numbers listed online (it does not count if they appear when you print out the document), although some do (such as pdfs and online journals). Only site a page number if it is identified in the original source.

Be sure to review this information carefully, as it includes clarifications of the policies upheld in this course, especially the Student Guide to Academic Integrity.

“Teachers are entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing their subject, but they should be careful not to introduce into their teaching controversial matter which has no relation to the subject.” The preceding comes from the American Association of University Professors’ statement on academic freedom. Though the entire statement speaks to many issues, it is this portion on the conduct of the course that is most relevant. For the purpose of coursework, this means that faculty members have the right to conduct their classes in a fashion they deem appropriate as long as the material presented meets the learning objectives laid out by the entire faculty.

Division of Student Affairs

The Division of Student Affairs is an integral educational and administrative component of the University of South Carolina Aiken which supports the overall mission of the University by enhancing the cognitive, ethical, emotional, occupational, physical and social development of students while adhering to the legal and ethical standards of our professions. The Division provides activities, programs and services to address the changing needs of students, staff, faculty and the community. Student Affairs provides information on student services, student involvement, leadership programs, student handbook, and events.

Library Services

Visit the Gregg-Graniteville Library site to learn about the many resources that are available for undergraduate students. To receive help regarding the university library, please use the Ask a Librarian support feature.

Academic Success Center

Use the Center for Student Achievement to access information on academic advising, the Writing Center, the Tutoring Center, and other resources. You are encouraged to use the Gregg-Graniteville Library's Citation Style Guides web page and/or the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) as a resource for writing using certain style guides, as instructed by your professor. Writing consultants come from a range of disciplines and are formally trained to provide feedback during all phases of the writing process. The Writing Center is staffed by students and English faculty. Located in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building, (Rooms 112 and 119), the Writing Center is available to students who want to drop-in. Appointments are recommended, however.

Disability Services Office

The Disability Services Office provides accommodations to ensure that educational programming and services are accessible to students with disabilities. If you have a physical, psychological, and/or learning disability that might affect your performance in this class, please contact the Disability Services Office, B&E 130, (803) 643-6816, as soon as possible if you believe you are eligible for accommodations. The Disability Services Office will require appropriate documentation to determine accommodations. Once determination of eligibility is made, students who have disabilities requiring special arrangements for class participation or test administration should notify the professor of the need for such arrangements at the beginning of the semester.

Counseling Center

The Counseling Center offers counseling services to full-time and part-time students free of charge. The Counseling Center is available to address a variety of concerns. Browse our topics and issues, and if you don't see what you're looking for, please contact us and tell us what's on your mind. To schedule an appointment with a counselor, call the Counseling Center at 803-641-3609 or stop by Room 126 in the Business and Education Building during office hours.

Veteran and Military Student Success (VMSS)

The Veteran and Military Student Success Center is an asset to veteran, active duty, and military family member students. It offers a meeting space where students can study for exams, learn from current students, and find a sense of community during their transition back into civilian life. You can rely on and connect at the VMSS and may become an important part of your journey in higher education, and for veteran and military students coming to USC Aiken, making your way into the VMSS and using the resources can set you apart and lead you to success. Call 803-643-6767 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Graduation Information

Students wishing to receive a degree from the University of South Carolina Aiken must use the online degree application. Failure to apply for graduation by the deadline will delay your application until another term. All diplomas will be mailed. View more information about graduation procedures for online students.

Accessibility

The technology tools utilized within this course offer a variety of accessibility features, such as compatibility with screen readers, text-based visual alternatives, video scripts, and attention to Universal Design. The central platform for this course, Blackboard, also complies with ADA requirements. The university seeks to provide effective services and accommodation for qualified individuals 

By federal law, you are entitled to and eligible for accommodation through the Disability Services Office. USC Aiken seeks to provide effective services and accommodation for qualified individuals with documented disabilities. 

The Disability Services Office provides accommodations to ensure that educational programming and services are accessible to students with disabilities. If you have a physical, psychological, and/or learning disability that might affect your performance in this class, please contact the Disability Services Office, B&E 130, (803) 643-6815, as soon as possible, if you believe you are eligible for accommodations. The Disability Services Office will require appropriate documentation to determine accommodations.

Title IX

It is the policy of the university in order to maintain an environment in which the dignity and worth of all members of the institutional system are respected, that sexual harassment of employees or students is prohibited. Such conduct is a form of behavior which seriously undermines the atmosphere of trust essential to the academic environment. This policy is consistent with federal and state laws prohibiting sex discrimination. It is also a policy of the University that willful false accusation of sexual harassment shall not be condoned.

Review USCA’s Sexual Assault Policy. If you disclose a potential violation of the sexual misconduct policy, the Title IX Coordinator may be notified. Students who have experienced sexual misconduct are encouraged to contact confidential resources listed below. To make a report to the Title IX Coordinator, visit the Equal Opportunity and Title IX website.

Emergency Services

University Police has established that ALERTUS as USC Aiken's emergency notification system. If there is a condition which threatens the health and safety of persons on campus, university officials will warn the campus community using one or more of the following methods:

  1. www.usca.edu home page
  2. Outdoor sirens / public address instruction or message
  3. Text messages
  4. E-mail
  5. Phone alert, i.e., reverse 911 or phone tree call

During an emergency at USC Aiken, the main university website, www.usca.edu, will include prominent any alerts prominantly.