Campus help area/ FAQs

There’s a lot to take in when you start a new course and the information provided here will help. Registration and logging in is actually very simple and straightforward if you follow the steps below. If ever you get stuck, just return to this page and the chances are that the question or problem you’re experiencing has been encountered before and there’s a simple answer.

 

Top tip!
Two of the most common problems encountered, and we say this from several years of practical experience of running our courses, are lost or wrong usernames and passwords, so golden rule number one is to record these somewhere safe. Please don’t rely on the original email notifying you of your username and password, nor on your memory. They can/will get lost, deleted or forgotten, so it’s far better and will save you a lot of potential trouble in the future if you write them down somewhere straight away. Put them in your diary if you use one, or in your phone; anywhere but in your head alone!

Good luck and enjoy the course!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I access the my course area?
Once enrolled and accepted for your course, and in advance of your course start date, you will be provided with a username and password. This will enable you to access the campus website, at which you have obviously been successful because you’re here reading this – well done!
2. How do I access the Practice Lab

Accessing the Practice Lab
There are two possibilities depending on the nature of your course and your course tutor will tell you which applies to you. Essentially there are two categories: users who will not be required to register on a forum and users who will have to register.

a. Users not required to register to use a forum
Once you’re in to your course area you then need to access the practice lab, where there are registration and weekly practice forums. The process is simple. Once you have clicked on the practice lab/forum link you’ll see the main page within which there are various sections. Your course will be clearly identifiable and you will have been provided with an entry password. Enter this and you will gain access to the relevant section.

If you tick the box shown in the image below you will be remembered each time you return. If you are using a shared or public PC never do this. Always log off by clicking on the orange exit icon, which appears in the top right hand corner of every page. NB This feature does not work with all browsers. If it doesn’t, just close the window by clicking in the top right hand corner; X marks the spot!

Using the Practice Lab image (FAQ 3)

b. Users required to register to use a forum
Once you’re in to your course area you then need to access the practice lab, where there are registration and weekly practice forums. The process is simple. Once you have clicked on the practice lab/forum link you’ll see the main page within which there are various sections. Your course will be clearly identifiable and, as a user who will be required to register, that’s exactly what you’ll need to do! Click on the register link, as can be seen in the image below, and follow the registration procedure. To enter your course area you’ll then need to use a dedicated password, which will have been issued to you beforehand, and all should be well.

Each time you log in, if you tick the box shown in the image below you will be remembered each time you return. If you are using a shared or public PC never do this. Always log off by clicking on the orange exit icon, which appears in the top right hand corner of every page. NB This feature does not work with all browsers. If it doesn’t, just close the window by clicking in the top right hand corner; X marks the spot!

3. Help - my password doesn't work!

Sometimes students encounter password problems, which can be very frustrating for them and time-consuming for everyone as we try to figure out the cause. It’s worth noting that, on almost every occasion when this has happened, the problem has been down to a local issue, so it’s always worth double checking a number of things before you seek help:

  • Are you trying to access the correct forum?
    This might sound like a silly question but, as courses end and new ones begin, we do move them around in the practice lab area and so it’s important to check that you’re knocking on the right door!
  • Are you spelling the password correctly?
    It’s easily done so make sure that you’ve written the password exactly as it was given to you i.e. if it was Sn0w it wouldn’t work if you rewrote it as snow.

Clearing your PC, including cache/removing temporary internet files etc, is important from time to time and failure to do so can cause your PC to run slow and sometimes be a cause of password problems. See FAQ 9 for information on how to do this.

4. How do I start a new topic?

You can only start a new topic when you are at the ‘beginning’ of the forum – i.e. you can see the various thread titles but not the individual messages.

Image accompanying 'How do I start a new thread?' section (FAQ 5)

If you then click on the ‘New Topic’ tab on the right, which appear at the top and bottom of the forum area.


5. How do I reply to a topic?

You can reply to a topic using the ‘Reply’ tab on the right hand side of the picture below.

Image accompanying 'How do I reply to a thread?' section (FAQ 6)

6. How do I subscribe to a topic?
The facility to subscribe to a topic is only available to students who have had to register with their particular forum (see FAQ 2b). If you are such a student, click the title of the forum to which you want to subscribe and then on the subscribe image, which is located toward the bottom of the page. In the menu that opens, select the email notification type of your choice.
7. How do I protect my PC from viruses?

Antivirus software is used to prevent, detect and remove malware, including computer viruses, worms and trojan horses. Such programs may also prevent and remove adware, spyware and other forms of malware. It is essential that you have effective, up to date protection. For more information on the subject please visit this Wikipedia page.

Free Virus Protection Programmes
Paid for anti-virus software can cost anything from £30 to £50 per year but there are free alternatives.

Microsoft Security Essentials
Microsoft’s security essentials package is free to users of ‘genuine Windows machines’ ( it will verify your copy ). Three versions are available, for XP, Vista and Windows 7. It works well and is used on several PCs by our webmaster, Andrew.

Avast! home edition
Alwil’s Avast! home edition offers good detection of known malware but it is usually beaten by Antivir in tests. The latest version provides a range of features similar to those one would have in a paid-for program.

AVG Free
AVG has been around for a while and so has undergone several modifications leading to its position now as a good all rounder, although technical support could be improved.

AVG’s quite unintrusive, does not use too much PC power/resources and regularly auto-updates. It includes LinkScannner, a threat detection tool, which checks links (Firefox and IE only), and marks unsafe ones with red flags. It is also available separately as a plugin for anyone already using another anti-virus suite.

Important!

New viruses and bugs are developed and unleashed on a daily basis and it is essential that protection is updated regularly to reflect this. It is good practice to undertake a full scan of your PC once a week and more often if you suspect that you may have been infected.

8. How do I give my PC a clean up? (Clearing your PC, including cache/temporary internet files etc, is important from time to time and failure to do so can cause your PC to run slowly or cause password problems)

http://www.wikihow.com/Clear-Your-Browser’s-CacheClearing your PC, including cache/removing temporary internet files etc, is important from time to time and failure to do so can be a cause of a slow-running PC, as well as access/password problems.

Clearing the cache
Every web browser stores a cache of the websites you visit to reduce future bandwidth usage and server load. This is called the browser’s cache and clearing it occasionally can free up space on your PC’s hard drive and remove old passwords and older, since updated versions of web pages etc. This can also help speed up your PC, so it’s well worth doing anyway. Following the links below will take you to pages that outline the steps that you’ll need to take to clear the cache for several of the main browsers and to clean your PC etc (all of the links are to external websites and the pages will open in a new window).

Links:
Clearing your cache

Clearing your PC [windows]

Clearing your MAC [Apple PC]

9. Uploading Word files to the message board

Unfortunately, the message/forum areas do not currently accept documents created in the latest version of Word where the saved file ends with the suffix ‘docx’. This can be overcome by saving in an earlier version of Word or simply by saving as ‘doc’; i.e. by taking off the ‘x’.

We hope to be able to resolve this issue soon.

10. How do I log off?

Logging off is easy, and it is very important that you do so if you are using a sharedlog off button or public PC, for example, in a library or office. Failure to log off could provide access to the campus website for anyone who uses the PC after you, so please ensure that you always shut down properly.

To log off simply click on the orange exit icon, a copy of which appears below. The actual log off button appears in the top right hand corner of every page.

NB The log off feature does not work in all browsers. If not, simply close the window.

security notice to only log in automatically on a PC you totally trust

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