Are online classes different from regular on-campus classes?
When you register for an online course, you should expect equivalent content and opportunity for learning as students who take the course on campus. Online courses are not “easy” replacements for on-campus classes and they are not for everyone.
If you need the discipline of meeting in the classroom several times a week and you enjoy the in-person interaction between other students and your instructor, you may be more likely to succeed in an on-campus class. To explore whether or not you are the type of student who might succeed in an online class, go to the Online Student Orientation [link to Online Student Orientation page] to find out if e-learning is right for you.
If I’m in an online class, how do I turn in homework and take tests?
Students visit their “classroom” via an online learning management system called Blackboard [link to Blackboard]. This is where students access course materials, submit assignments, take tests and quizzes, and participate in class discussions and other activities required by the instructor.
Instructors may use additional software and websites, depending on the course. Typically, course work is completed during the week assigned at a time convenient for the student. Except for taking tests, turning in assignments and other course deadlines, when coursework is completed during the week is up to individual students.
What about books? Are they online too?
While e-books are available from the bookstore, you will still use a traditional textbook for your online course and it is the students’ responsibility to obtain the book before the online course begins. Contact the bookstore on campus or order your book online by finding it in the course list on the bookstore’s webpage.
I don’t have the latest version of Microsoft Office. How can I open those documents and files that my instructor provides in Blackboard?
Your student account at Blue Ridge provides you with Microsoft Office free of charge. You get the latest version of the full Office productivity suite, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more available for offline and online use to best equip you for class. As long as you’re a student here, you’ll be able to use this software for free. Click here to see how to access and download Microsoft Office with your student account.