Power-On: Learning - University of Houston
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Student on a laptop

Use the tabs below to find helpful information on everything from improving your internet access at home to turning your smartphone into a webcam. If you can’t find what you are looking for or need additional assistance, call us during normal business hours at 713-743-3327 or via email at UHOnline@uh.edu.

Loaner Laptop Checkout Request

Do you need a loaner laptop? University Information Technology has a limited number of laptops available for students. Complete the Laptop Checkout Request

New to the online learning environment? These are the essential items to learn and put into practice for a successful online experience.

GET ACCESS to University services, including email, myUH and Blackboard. Check out the Semester Quick Start Guide. All students have a UH Exchange email account which can be accessed via Outlook in Office 365. For more information, visit the Email Account page.

GET CONNECTED to the internet. You will need an internet connection or the ability to use your cellular data plan to access course content, watch videos and submit assignments. If you need help, including a loaner laptop, contact University Information Technology Support.

GET READY for class. Find your course in AccessUH via the Blackboard or CASA (math courses) icon. If you do not find the course you are looking for, check with your instructor or contact the office of Online & Special Programs.

GET ORGANIZED by reviewing the syllabus for each course. Make note of any online class meetings and the meeting platform that will be used, such as Zoom or Teams. Locate due dates for all of your assignments, quizzes and exams and use a calendar to help you maintain a regular schedule to meet deadlines. Contact the Undergraduate Student Success Center for academic counseling, tutoring services and success workshops.

GET BUSY and check your email regularly for important notifications and updates from the University. Determine the best way to communicate with your instructor (email, Blackboard, etc.) and stay engaged. Communicate any issues you are having with technology or the course material as soon as possible. Actively interact with classmates and start virtual study groups in Teams.

Get familiar with the tools you may need. These are the most common tools your instructors may use in your courses. Use the tabs below to learn where to go to access your course, how to access Microsoft Teams and more!

Blackboard: Most instructors use Blackboard to manage course content and interact with students. This is where you will find course syllabi, assignments, discussion boards and announcements. New to Blackboard? Student Help for Blackboard

LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor: Your instructor may use one or both options for online exams. Check out the quick start guide or video Please note: The LockDown Brower and Respondus Monitor will not work on CHROMEBOOKS.

Courseware: If you are enrolled in an online MATH course, you will likely access course materials through the Courseware site. In order to continue accessing materials beyond the first day of class, you will need to purchase an access code from the UH Campus Store.

You are encouraged to use a laptop, tablet or desktop to optimize the online learning experience. Smartphones and other mobile devices are convenient but may lack full functionality.

Minimum Technology Requirements

If you need technology, or funds to pay for equipment or upgrades, UH offers several resources. If you need to borrow a laptop, please complete this form

Using a smart phone as a webcam might be appropriate for online meetings, but if your instructor requires the use of online proctoring software for exams, then you will need an actual webcam for your computer. There are several apps available to convert your smartphone into a webcam. Please note these apps will require that you download both an app on your smartphone and additional software on either a Windows or Mac computer. You will also need a cable to connect your smartphone to your computer, such as lightning to USB-C/A for iPhone or USB-C to USB-C/A for Android phones. Get help changing the default camera in Chrome.

Windows and Mac

Windows Only

Microsoft Office 365 is the University of Houston’s official cloud storage, communication, collaboration, and productivity platform for faculty, staff, and students. Find quick start guides for Microsoft 365 apps like Excel, Teams and Word. Office 365 is also available for mobile devices. Learn how to set-up apps and email on your mobile device. You should receive or request a UH Exchange email account to communicate with your instructor. UH Exchange can be accessed via Office 365 and is the preferred method for communicating with your instructors.

Microsoft Teams is a powerful tool for collaborating and connecting with your instructor and classmates. Your instructor might use Teams for scheduled class meetings and/or group projects. Get started with Teams (see also the UH TEAMS STUDENT GUIDE).

Need help with any of these tools? Contact University Information Technology Support.

Zoom is an app that allows you to set up virtual video and audio conferencing, webinars, live chats, screen-sharing, and other collaborative capabilities. Your instructor might use Zoom to deliver live or recorded lectures, hold class meetings and/or office hours. You don't need an account to attend a Zoom meeting, but you will need to download the software on your computer or mobile device. Learn how to join a Zoom meeting.

Connecting to the internet is vital for online learning and can be accomplished with a wired, cable connection, via Wi-Fi or by using your cellular network. Here are some resources to help keep you connected. Please note the University does not endorse or promote any specific vendor and this information is provided in case one of these options may be right for you.