Accessing Your Online Class

To be successful learning online at Saint Louis University, it is important that you have basic skills and access to technology.

Skill Competencies

Your success in online classes will depend on your ability to communicate, engage and participate in all course activities. Completion of online courses requires that you keep up with all assignments, coursework and discussions.

While classes are asynchronous and don’t require students to log on during specific days and times, regular participation in discussions is an important part of an online course and is not optional.

You should be able to:

  • Connect to the internet
  • Browse the internet, recognize web links and print web pages
  • Use internet search engines such as Google or Bing
  • Create and edit bookmarks
  • Download and install software
  • Use basic word processing software, such as Microsoft Word
  • Use presentation software, such as Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Send and receive email messages
  • Attach files to email

Hardware and Software Requirements

Basic computer software and hardware components are required in order to fully participate in your online courses at Saint Louis University. Specific classes may have additional hardware and software requirements. Read each course syllabus for further information.

SLU uses Blackboard to manage online courses. Access it at myslu.slu.edu.

Beyond a connection to the internet, you will need, at a minimum, the following tools to use Blackboard:

  • Access to a desktop or laptop. Public access or workplace access may be limited due to firewalls.
  • Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome browser (Note that Internet Explorer is not supported by Blackboard.)
  • Word processing software such as Microsoft Word, Google Docs or OpenOffice
  • Presentation software such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Docs or OpenOffice
  • PDF reader such as Adobe Reader
  • Access to SLU email
  • Java

You can visit the Student Tech Service Center for IT support, discounts on hardware and software and information on Billiken Printing. ITS can also provide detailed information on the minimum software and hardware requirements for classes taken online through Saint Louis University.

Internet Connectivity

High-speed internet access is recommended. Using older, slower computers may result in difficulty accessing the course or some of its functions, or in getting course pages to load in a timely manner. Likewise, connecting to the internet via a dial-up connection decreases the speed with which you can interact with course material; audio or video files will take substantially longer to load, and may appear choppy, or not at all.

You should also ensure that your internet service provider doesn’t have a firewall, as it may interfere with certain online course features. This mainly happens in workplace settings. If you are accessing course content from a computer system at your job, be aware that many companies have strict firewall and internet security protocols and policies.

Participation

If you are unable to participate in a scheduled class activity or discussion, you must notify the instructor within the week of that class module or discussion.

An unexcused failure to engage or participate in the class will be counted as an absence. Two unexcused absences may result in the failure of the course. The instructor reserves the right to make a judgment on accepting or making up assignments missed because of failed participation in the course activities.

Students in an online course should expect to spend a minimum of 15 hours per week working with the course material. This includes time spent online and offline. Though 15 hours per week is average, some weeks may require less time and some weeks may require more time.

Web Services

SLU Net ID

In order access your classes, you’ll need to know your SLU Net ID. Your SLU Net ID is the first part of your SLU email address before @slu.edu. This ID is used to log into mySLU, the online portal that lets you register for classes, pay tuition through Banner Self-Service and take classes online with Blackboard.

To get started, go to password.slu.edu to change your SLU net password.

Blackboard

All online coursework at SLU online takes place in a virtual classroom environment, using the web browser-based program Blackboard. You will not have to download any additional software to use it, as the program runs on the internet. Once in Blackboard, you will be able to interact with instructors and classmates.

SLU Email Account

It is important to set up your SLU email account to gain full access to all online resources before your class begins. Students should check their SLU email account regularly for important news and updates from instructors, advisers and the University.

View additional recommendations for hardware and software system requirements.