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Technology FAQ

What software is available to Randolph College students who are learning remotely?

All new students should have already received an email with account information and a link to get Microsoft Office 365. Office 365 may be downloaded and installed on up to 5 personal PC or MAC devices. Returning students should already have this information. If a student did not receive the email, or needs assistance logging in, please email the Randolph College Chief Technology Officer (victor@randolphcollege.edu) for assistance. Students also have the ability to remotely access lab computers by going to  https://studentlab.randolphcollege.edu/ and logging in with their Randolph College username and password. By logging into a lab computer, students will have access to all college software that is loaded on those computers.

Can I take my classes from a computer with a wireless connection?

Learning online using a wireless connection is not recommended. Whether at home or on campus, your experience online has a greater chance of success if you are using a wired connection. If you are at home with your laptop, use an ethernet cable to plug directly into your router if possible, rather than using Wi-Fi. If you are unable to connect with an ethernet cable, make sure to be as close to the wireless access point as possible. If you need an ethernet cable, you may acquire one from stores that carry electronic equipment. There are also Powerline Network Extenders available that use your home electrical wiring to pass a wired connection from a location near your home router to virtually any other remote location in your home. Click HERE for an example of one such device. They are available at numerous vendors.

Are there things I can do at home to optimize my online classes?

Yes. In addition to using a wired connection, limit or prohibit (if possible) other users’ online activity while you are in class. This is especially important regarding online video streaming or gaming. If you are having problems with connectivity, go to http://speedtest.net and check to see what throughput you are getting with your ISP. You can report your speed test numbers to the Help Desk for analysis.

Also, when using Google Meet or any other video conferencing software, mute your microphone except when speaking.

What are my options if I don’t have reliable internet access?

Students who completed the online survey regarding fall classes and communicated a lack of reliable internet connection are being communicated with individually to try and resolve their issues. If you face this issue and have not yet received an email, you may also proactively reach out to the Randolph College Chief Technology Officer (victor@randolphcollege.edu) at your convenience.

Can students in the Lynchburg area use the computers and Wi-Fi on campus?

Yes, if certain criteria are met. Due to COVID-19, we are limiting access to the campus at this time. However, isolated spaces can be made available on campus for students who live close enough to commute and who have no other available option for high-speed internet access for classes. If you have a need for an on-campus learning space, please email the Randolph College Chief Technology Officer (victor@randolphcollege.edu) at your earliest convenience for an assessment and additional instructions.

If I lose connectivity during class, what should I do?

This may happen. Remain calm, and try to troubleshoot and reconnect on your own first. You may call the Help Desk if you need technical support (434-947-8103).  Someone will be available to the phone from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. weekdays, although during high volume call times immediate support may not be available. If your call is not answered, it likely means all technicians are currently working with others. There may be times when immediate support is not be available when most needed. This is when alternate methods of acquiring class materials will be of paramount importance. Be sure to communicate with your instructors regarding class time missed due to technical difficulties.

What if there are times when my normally good connection seems unusually slow? Is there anything I can do to improve that?

Possibly. If you have tried the previous suggestions, and your internet still seems slower than normal, the problem could lie with your home equipment, or with your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Resetting your home devices is the first step. You should have a modem and a router that connect your computer to the internet. They may be 2 separate boxes, or you may have a single unit that provides both services. Your computer may be plugged into the router with an ethernet cable, or it may connect wirelessly. If you have two boxes, unplug both, wait 10 seconds, then plug the modem back in. Let it boot and complete its self-test (At the conclusion of the self-test, lights in the modem and router will generally be green or blue. Orange or red may indicate a problem, and you may need to contact your ISP for assistance.), then plug your router back in, and likewise cycle.  If you use a Powerline or Wi-Fi Extender, you may also need to unplug and replug those after your modem and router come back up. Finally, reboot your computer. You can check your internet speed on your computer by going to this website:  https://randolphcollege.speedtestcustom.com/result/9c92e910-4690-11ea-9616-51a8929115ac . If you still have a slow connection, you may need to contact your ISP or a computer technician for assistance.

Can I record my classes?

Only class instructors have the ability to record their classes.

What about captioning?

Live captioning can be turned on to view what is being said along with the video stream. However, if your instructor is recording classes and making them available for later viewing, there is no way to save captioning with the video at this time. If captioning is a need for recorded videos, please contact our Coordinator of Access Services Diane Roy at droy@randolphcollege.edu prior to the first day of classes.

Are there any security concerns using a webcam?

There can be. Anything connected to the internet can be hacked. When not in use, best practice is to turn off your computer, unplug your camera, or cover the camera lens (remember the microphone will still be active).

If I have technical difficulties, who should I contact?

The Help Desk is still available to assist; however, immediate assistance may not be available. Contact the Help Desk via phone, 434-947-8103, and leave a message if no one is available to take your call, or communicate via email to: helpdesk@randolphcollege.edu. You can also find help on our website at http://helpdesk.go.randolphcollege.edu/

It’s also a good idea to contact your instructors to let them know you’re having technical difficulties.

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