Technology for Online and Distance Education Students

What Equipment Will I Need?

  • Convenient access to a computer (PC or Mac)
    • A high-speed connection to the Internet
    • Preferably wired instead of wireless/wifi
  • Recommended computer tests:
  • Web browser (the latest versions of Firefox or Chrome are recommended over Explorer, Safari, or others.)
  • Items for online proctored tests – In some classes, Ball State instructors use a service called B Virtual to administer exams. You will need some special equipment, listed below, to use the service. Your instructors will let you know if they use B Virtual. Watch a video about how B Virtual works
    • Webcam with at least 640x480 video pixel resolution (a built-in laptop webcam is acceptable)
    • A microphone
    • Speakers and/or earphones
    • When taking a proctored test, it is essential to be at a computer in a private setting. For example, a computer in a study room or home office is acceptable, whereas a computer at a public place such as a library is not.

What Resources Does Ball State Have to Help Me Navigate Technology Issues?

  • Orientation for Online Students
    • Ball State students studying online have constant access to a mobile-friendly orientation designed to increase your knowledge and confidence.
    • As soon as you get your Ball State username and password, you can log into orientation and return as many times as you need.
  • Ball State’s Technology HelpDesk is available 24/7 to answer any questions. Students can access it by calling, chatting online, or submitting a web ticket. The HelpDesk can answer questions about:
    • Software and hardware
    • Setting up your computer, tablet, or mobile device
    • Usernames and passwords
    • Email accounts
  • You will have access to Lynda.com web tutorials, which include refreshers on skills such as:
    • How to attach files to an email
    • How to download a video
    • How to view a PowerPoint presentation

What Is Class Like?

  • Blackboard is the system faculty use to deliver all your course content like assignments, readings, tests, and more. It is also the place you will be interacting with your professor and other students taking the course.
  • How to use Blackboard is covered by the Online Orientation made available to all distance students at Ball State
  • In the meantime, read these frequently asked questions about Blackboard.

How Can I Save Money?

  • Through Ball State’s Technology Store, you can find free and discounted software and hardware:
    • Free Microsoft Office software (including Word, PowerPoint, and Excel)
    • Free antivirus software
    • Discounted Adobe software
    • Discounted computers – both PC and Mac

Online and Distance Education
David Letterman Communication and Media Building (LB), Room 131
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday-Friday
Phone: 1-800-872-0369 or 765-285-1581
Fax: 765-285-7161
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