Academic Support and Online Learning
SouthArk offers and delivers a variety of classes online. The Academic Support Department provides greater access to higher education and supports the effective implementation of emerging technologies for students in online learning environments.
The office of Academic Support:
Ensures students in online learning environments have equitable institutional support and services as those provided to on-campus students.
- Promotes knowledge and adoption of evidence-based design practices found to produce quality teaching and learning in online learning environments.
- Provides training and support for online learning faculty and students related to the implementation and use of emerging technologies.
- Evaluates the quality of online learning environments.
Collaborates with local community and industry leaders to expand and market our online learning course offerings.
Test Proctoring for Online Courses
To maintain the integrity of the course and to deter cheating, some online instructors may require students to take tests in a proctored environment. If Respondus Monitor, an online proctoring tool, is utilized by the instructor, students must have access to a computer and a webcam while completing a test on Blackboard. If students request to take their tests in the SouthArk Testing Center, they will need to show a valid 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.
Hybrid Attendance Policy
Hybrid courses have classroom and online attendance requirements. For the classroom attendance portion of the course, see the Class Attendance Policy. For the online attendance portion of the course, see the Online Attendance Policy.
Departments and programs governed by accreditation or certification standards may have different attendance policies. Instructors may further refine these requirements to fit a particular course. Such additional requirements should be clearly stated in the syllabus and should not contradict the attendance policies stated above.
Students who stop attending class for any reason should contact the Registrar’s Office to officially withdraw from the course. Failure to officially withdraw may result in a failing grade for the course.
Campus Technology Course Requirement
All first-time SouthArk students are enrolled in the Campus Technology orientation course. This course provides an opportunity to practice using tools related to our learning management system and other campus technologies essential for student success in technology-rich courses. All students who enroll in an online course must complete the Campus Technology course, which usually takes less than two hours.
The college’s learning management system is Blackboard. Blackboard is fully committed to ensuring that the platform contains no barriers for users with disabilities and is both usable and accessible by everyone, regardless of age, ability, or situation. Blackboard measures and evaluates accessibility levels using two sets of standards: Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act issued by the United States federal government and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) issued by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
Online Attendance Policy
Logging into the college’s learning management system, Blackboard, does not count as attendance. In order to be counted as attending, students must demonstrate active participation in the online course by the 11th day class during a regular semester or during the equivalent of the 11th class meeting during a compressed session (summer school classes, mini-mesters, etc.). Students who do not actively participate by the 11th day or its equivalent may be dropped from the course. Student attendance in online courses is defined as active participation.
Active participation includes, but is not limited to:
- Submitting an assignment by the appropriate due date.
- Taking an assessment or an exam.
- Participating in an interactive tutorial, webinar, or other computer-assisted instruction.
- Participating in a study group, group project, or a discussion that is assigned by the instructor.
- Interacting with an instructor about academic matters.
Failure to actively participate in an online course may prompt the instructor to complete an Excessive Absence Notice. This action may result in a student being dropped from the course for breach of the Online Attendance Policy.
Helpful Resources for Online Students
It is the goal of the Academic Support Department to provide the South Ark faculty and students with the tools, knowledge, and support necessary for a high-quality teaching and learning environment. For support, training, and technological help, see the SouthArk Academic Support Student Help Webpages, utilize our Academic Support Help Form, or stop by our office located in the Administration Building (ADM Suite 107) during our business hours: Monday – Thursday 8 AM – 5:30 PM, and Fridays 8 AM – Noon.