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Online Learning                         

Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started with Online
and Hybrid Courses
Question Answer
What is online learning? Which courses are offered online? Just like traditional on-campus courses, all online courses are taught by an instructor with whom you communicate on a regular basis. Most courses also have textbook requirements. Most courses require you to log into Blackboard frequently to read content and presentations, submit assignments, take quizzes, tests, and exams, participate in discussions, and more. You should expect to log in several times each week.

In general, online courses fulfill the same general education and transferability requirements as regular courses, but the courses are delivered via alternative modes such as the internet, video, CD-ROM, or any combination, sometimes with on-campus meetings. Coursework can be completed at the campus, at home, or almost anywhere--flexibility is key. Students don't necessarily need to be technical (although for fully online courses you should be at ease using the internet and have an email account), but they do need to have the discipline to complete their coursework according to the guidelines set by the instructor. To view a current schedule of all distance education courses, return to the Online Learning homepage, then click on the appropriate menu link on the left.
Whom do I contact/Where do I go if I need help with online courses?
Do online courses fulfill General Education requirements? Are they transferable? In general, online courses fulfill the same general education and transferability requirements as regular courses, but there are exceptions. To find out if a specific course meets GE or transferability requirements, check the Counseling office GE and transferability lists.
Would an online course work for me? Are online courses easier than regular courses? Students often have the misconception that online courses are easier than regular on-campus courses or do not require textbooks. Not true! Online courses go through an additional review process and can be just as demanding, if not more so, than regular courses. Just like traditional courses, the level of ease/difficulty of the course depends on many factors, such as how the instructor designed the course and and the learning style of the student.

To be successful in an online course, students must have the discipline to stay on track with coursework. You don't necessarily need to be very technical to succeed in an online course, but you must have your own email account. You also need to be able to navigate the Internet and know how to send email with attachments.

To learn more about taking online courses, you can also:
How does an online course work? What is a hybrid course?
Will I ever need to come to campus? How do I enroll/begin?
You must have an email account and internet access to take an online course. Students log into a web-based course management system such as Blackboard several times a week to submit assignments, take quizzes, and communicate with the instructor and classmates (usually in a discussion board). You log in at your own convenience, though at least twice a day is advised.

Most importantly, you need self-discipline to log in several times each week, study your textbook(s), and complete all assignments and quizzes as directed by your instructor.

It is possible that you will not need to come to campus at all unless you are enrolled in a hybrid course that requires several on-campus meetings per semester. Other online courses may have two required on-campus meetings (an initial orientation as well as a final meeting). Check the schedule of classes for dates, times, and locations.

How to Enroll: During the regular registration period, you register just as you would for a regular class, online through CLASS-Web. If the class if full, read How do I contact the instructor?

How to Begin an Online or Hybrid Course:

  1. Review the details of the online course(s) for which you are registered. Make sure that you:

    • Verify the start date (some are late-start classes!)
    • Check for any required on-campus meetings or any other requirements.

  2. (Optional) If you are trying to find out information about an online course before the term begins, you can check to see if your instructor has a website that you can access before the class begins--this is prior to logging into Blackboard. If you don't know your instructor's name, locate your course and the instructor name in CLASS-Web.

    Note that many instructors won't have a website to view before you will login to Blackboard. In that case, don't worry about it; your instructor has probably put all readings and other information you will need on the course's Blackboard site, which you will be able to access once the course begins.

  3. Then, on the date your course is scheduled to begin (or a few days before, if the instructor has made the course site available) follow the steps for Logging in to Blackboard. Please be sure to only bookmark this page Bookmarking this page will prevent common login problems.
Access Codes / Instructional Materials Fees

Some instructors require students to purchase an access code (often along with the required text book) that unlocks digital resources required for the class. Example include resources from McGrawHill Connect, Cengage, and MyMathLab. These resources will then become available either within Blackboard or on the textbook publisher's web site throughout the semester. Most instructors, however, do not require an access code.

Should your instructor require one, students typically have some options on how to purchase it (these differ according to the publisher):

  1. The code often comes shrink wrapped with a new text, or
  2. It might be purchased separately from a used text at the bookstore, or
  3. It might be purchased separately on the publisher web site with a credit card.

If there is an access code fee for your course, your instructor will let you know at the beginning of the class.

I'm trying to add, but the class is full or has already begun. What can I do?
Prior to the class starting, you will have to keep checking CLASS-Web in case any students have dropped the class. Once the course begins, you can contact the instructor to find out if he or she is adding additional students. If the instructor is adding additional students, he/she needs to provide you with a four-digit add-authorization number which CLASS-Web will ask for when you try to register for the class. If it is an online course, you can try emailing the instructor. If it is an on-campus course, try attending the first class meeting.
I'm enrolled in a course, so why isn't there a link to it when I login to Blackboard? Not all instructors use Blackboard sites for their courses. For example, you may be enrolled in one class that has a Blackboard site and two classes that do not.

If your instructor never mentions a Blackboard course site, most likely your course does not have one.
Are there computer labs on campus available for me to use?

The Chabot College Library offers an open computer lab for ALL Chabot students. While use of this lab is free, you must have your W number. The fee for printing is 10 cents per page via the GoPrint pay-for-print system.

Please note: The Disabled Students Resource Center (DSRC) also offers a computer lab for students who require the use of adaptive technology. The DSRC is located in building 2400.

Does Chabot offer discounts to students to purchase computers or software?

Students may purchase academic or educational versions of many popular software titles at the Chabot College Bookstore. The Bookstore also has computers and accessories (such as USB Flash Drives) available for student purchase. The bookstore partners with JourneyEd, where you will find great educational discounts saving up to 85% commercial software list prices. For more information, please visit the Chabot College Bookstore located in building 3800.

How do I find books for my online class? Your instructor will let you know what textbooks to use (if any) by contacting you before the course officially begins or once the course has begun, usually via the syllabus.

The easiest place to find your textbook for a class at Chabot is the Chabot College Bookstore. You can order most books and supplies online. For more info, you should contact the Chabot College Bookstore.

If you have online classes from another college (particularly Las Positas, which is part of the same community college district as Chabot), you should know that the Chabot and Las Positas Bookstores operate independently. In other words, you may not be able to find books you need for a course at Chabot in the LPC bookstore.

What is the drop policy for online/hybrid courses? Policies and procedures for dropping online/hybrid courses are the same as for regular classes, as detailed on page 41 of the 2010-2012 Chabot College Catalog. For complete information on drop policies and procedures, please consult the Chabot College Catalog.

Getting Your Computer Blackboard-Ready

How to Login to Blackboard/Login Problems

Tips for Taking Quizzes, Tests and
          Exams in Blackboard

Technical Problems with Blackboard

Still need help?

Can't find your question in one of these categories? Submit a Help Request.
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