Q. What type of computer and applications do I need for this program?

A.  You will need to make sure your computer meets minimum internet browser and operating system requirements.  You can find more details on these requirements in the Canvas-based orientation or here: http://www.socialsciencesonline.uw.edu/online/. 

Q. What applications do you use for delivering online courses?

A. The ISS degree will be completed entirely online within the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS).  Through Canvas, students will access course content such as the course syllabus and assignments, videotaped lectures, Power Point presentations with voiceover, discussion boards, and other materials.  Instructors will communicate with students through discussion forums and provide feedback to reach individual students.  Registered students will be able to access Canvas up to a week prior to the course start.  It is imperative that students have their UW NetID set up well in advance of the quarter start, as they will use that to log in to the system.  Additional information about course access will be sent to you upon registering.

Q. How do I get help with technical difficulties/issues?

A. In addition to the support staff resources on the “Info & Help” tab in Canvas (which are available M-F 8am-5pm PST, with additional hours the first two weeks of the quarter), you might consider contacting UW-IT for technical help with Canvas or any other technical issues. UW-IT monitors its email and phones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: help@uw.edu or 206-221-5000. You can also submit a question using a Web form here, or find their self-help guides here.

UW PCE Online Learning Technical Support Center will provide phone and email technical support related to course access issues and other technologies that are integral to the course learning environment.  Staff will be available from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (PST) each week day during the quarter.  During the first two weeks of the quarter support will be available from 8:00 AM to 8:00/10:00 PM (PST), depending on need, and also for the first two Saturdays of the quarter from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM (PST).  They may be reached at dltechsupp@pce.uw.edu or 206-221-1393.

Q. What browser is best to use?

A. Generally speaking, Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and Safari are all reasonably good choices. However, different websites and platforms (like Canvas, Google sites, Adobe Connect, certain video sources, etc.) just work better with some browsers than others. Given the constantly changing state of technology, online students must be prepared to download and use different browsers, and to upgrade their existing browsers as new circumstances demand. For instance, many students have reported trouble getting documents (especially Google documents) to embed properly on their portfolio sites using Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc. and they are finding that using Google Chrome allows them to properly embed the documents in their portfolio. (So, if you do not yet have Google Chrome we highly recommend installing and using this browser and then also have another browser as a backup.) In general, it is best to have multiple browsers to choose from so that if you hit a snag while trying to complete a task you can try a different browser to see if that is the problem.

Q. Can I use a mobile device or iPad to do my work?

A. Yes—for some tasks!  We’ve learned that mobile devices work well for accessing course materials (readings, videos, etc.), but that it does not work well for submitting assignments or discussion board posts.  Specifically, some students in past courses have had trouble when they post to the discussion forums using an iPad, iPhone, etc.; they have had trouble viewing those posts (and having their instructor view them to grade them). Last year the help desk identified a Canvas bug where if students post on an iPad to the group discussion pages it will not allow submission of that post to the group page and will block the grader from pulling it up. UW IT, after consulting with Instructure (the owner of Canvas), suggests posting from a browser, rather than the app, to avoid technical mishaps like this. If that is not possible, you will just need to navigate to your group using the "all courses" menu through the UW website, rather than navigating to the course through the Canvas app in order to access the discussion. Please have a backup plan for your posts; it is a good idea to write them in a Word document (especially if they are assignment based), so that if something does happen while you are submitting the post you haven’t lost your work. 


Q. How do I access my Google Drive? 

A. When you are logged into "My UW," look in the upper right-hand corner, then click on "my account."  That will take you to a menu where you can manage your UW Net IDs. On the left-hand side you'll see a "Google apps" link - click that and an option for you Google drive will appear. (Alternatively, you can go to http:\\sites.google.com)

Q. How can I join the ISS Facebook Group? 

A. All ISS students and alum are welcome to join our group page!  Here is the URL: https://www.facebook.com/groups/821430734587430/ (Links to an external site.)

Q. How do I take a screenshot / screen grab?

A. This will depend on the kind of computer you are using.

Q. Are ISS students allowed to check out equipment from Classroom Technology and Events?

A. Yes! You are enrolled at UW Seattle and have paid the Technology and Student Activity fees, so you are eligible. Go to the FAQ for quick answers, and see the links to Equipment Descriptions and Requests: https://stlp.uw.edu/  

Q: How can I find online applications and tools, such as software for creating and editing video content? I believe such tools could be useful for enhancing my portfolio.

A: One of our favorite tools for finding alternatives to popular tools or software is http://alternativeto.net/. This is a crowdsourced site that give alternatives to popular (and often expensive) software. For example, if you search for "video editing," you will find a number of video-editing software packages, including some that are free, some that are open source, and some that are included for free in operating systems (like Windows Movie Maker for Windows; or iMovie for Mac OS). (Now, that said, I believe all of the video assignments we've developed are "Vlogs" which are usually simple and are sometimes one-take video pieces that don't require editing -- though they may require multiple takes -- and can use a phone or webcam for recording. If you aren't ready to get into the deeper end of video editing, you don't have to.)