|Getting Started in Online Learning|
Frequently Asked Questions - Using Blackboard
Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Blackboard and Central Arizona College Online Learning. Click the question to display the answer.
Blackboard is the course management system used at Central Arizona College (and institutions of higher education worldwide) to assist instructors and students with the online learning process. A Blackboard "class" contains all of the materials used in the class - handouts, syllabus, calendars, additional materials that the students might be interested in, etc.. Blackboard also contains discussion board areas, electronic assignment submission, quizzes, and an easy way to send e-mails to the other participants in the class. You can access Blackboard from any place in the world with an internet connection.
The Central Arizona College Blackboard server is located at http://blackboard.centralaz.edu You can access Blackboard directly at that web address or you can click on "Online Learning" on the Central Arizona College web portal - http://www.centralaz.edu
Your Blackboard username is your CAC Student E-mail address. The full address of firstname.lastname@example.org is required to login. Your Blackboard password is the same password used by your CAC Student E-mail account. Blackboard and E-mail are now the same account..
A hybrid class is class which meets using two different methods - usually a combination of face-to-face and online. If you are taking a hybrid class you will meet with your instructor in a classroom setting part of the time. The rest of your class time will be online. The amount of time you will spend in the on-campus classroom or in the online classroom will vary according the class you are taking. In a hybrid class students are required to participate in both the face-to-face portion and the online portion of the class.
My instructor is using Blackboard as a "supplement". How is that different from a class which is a hybrid?
When a "regular" face-to-face class which uses Blackboard, the Blackboard portion is called a supplement which means it contains information for use outside of the regular class time. Some instructors use Blackboard to store their lecture notes and class materials so that these materials are always available to students. Blackboard could be used as a place to post the syllabus or as a place to keep the gradebook so that the students know at all times where they stand. Instructors using Blackboard supplements frequently require that students submit homework assignments through Blackboard.
The requirements for turning assignments will vary by instructor. Some instructors might have you e-mail the assignment. Another instructor might ask that you use the Assignment Manager or the Discussion Board. Read your syllabus for complete information on your instructor's expectations.
You will probably be required to take at least one exam in your online class. (Usually classes have several exams and quizzes each semester.) Most of the testing done inside of Blackboard. The instructor will give you a date/time range during which the test will be available. Occasionally students are required to visit one of the testing centers (located on each campus) to take a proctored exam. Read your syllabus to get more information on how your instructor will conduct testing.
Discussion boards in online classes are used to replace the classroom discussions which occur in face-to-face classes. In a discussion board you create a thread to start a conversation and reply to a post to become involved in a conversation. This form of communication is called “asynchronous” because it is does not take place in "real time." One person might post a message to the discussion and someone may reply to that message a few hours later. Discussion boards are similar to a list of e-mail messages which are sent to everyone in the class at the same time.