FAQ

Do you have to be a technical wizard to succeed in an online course?

No, feeling comfortable using a computer and navigating the Internet are the keys. Specifically, if you can download from the Web, install programs, copy and paste, and manage your files, you should be fine technically in an online course.

Are distance learning courses easier than taking the class on campus?

Students have different opinions about the difficulty of distance learning classes. The course content and objectives are the same as in face-to-face courses. The reading requirement can be intensive. All agree distance learning courses require a lot of discipline. You must be your own motivator.

Is there an orientation that I can take that will familiarize me with Blackboard?

Go to the PCC Blackboard site, https://courses.piedmontcc.edu. To access the orientation/demo, the username is online and the password is student.

Who is responsible for initial contact, the student or the instructor?

Unless otherwise instructed, the student should access the course on the first day of classes, just as you would attend class on the first day in a traditional classroom.


How do I register for a distance learning course?

Register for online courses in the same manner as you do for face-to-face courses. Keep in mind, though, that online courses tend to fill up quickly. Once you register for a course, you will not be able to log into it until the first day of the semester.

How do I drop/add a distance learning class?

The procedure for dropping or adding a course is the same as the procedure for dropping or adding a traditional on-campus class. Contact your advisor for assistance.

Are accommodations available for online courses?

If you have a disability or special need that may affect your academic performance and are seeking accommodations, it is your responsibility to inform the Special Populations counselor as soon as possible. It is important to request reasonable accommodations early enough to give the Special Populations Office adequate time to consider your request and recommend reasonable accommodations. Instructors will provide necessary reasonable accommodations based on recommendations of the Special Populations Office.

Contact: Brian Totten
Email: biran.totten@piedmontcc.edu
Phone: 336-599-1181, ext. 2174
Office: E132

Piedmont Community College’s Course Management System, Blackboard, is Section 508 compliant.  A copy of Blackboard's certification of accessibility is available on this web page, http://www.blackboard.com/Platforms/Learn/Resources/Accessibility.aspx

A copy of PCC's Accessibility Procedures for Online Courses is available for download.

What about exam proctoring for students living too far from campus?

Proctoring arrangements may be available to students living at a distance from PCC. It is the responsibility of the student to obtain an instructor-approved proctor if you are unable to come to campus to take an exam. See Proctoring Forms and Information for the necessary forms.

Can I work at my own pace or do I have to follow a weekly schedule when I take a distance education course?

Distance Learning courses vary greatly in terms of the flexibility they afford students. Most courses have some restrictions on how far ahead students may work, imposing weekly or biweekly deadlines on assignments and other activities. You may want to check your course syllabus before your course begins to determine whether or not class deadlines and requirements will meet your needs.

Am I ever required to come to campus for a distance education course?

Some distance learning courses may require trips to campus. To find out more about whether or not your course will require you to come to campus, please contact your course instructor before the add/drop period ends. Information about individual courses can be found by visiting Course Information.

Do distance education courses require less time to complete than regular on-campus courses?

No, in fact, research shows that they often take more time to complete.


Will I get any help from the instructor during the semester, or am I on my own?

All distance education faculty are available via phone and email. In any course, the level of one-to-one interaction between faculty member and student varies. In a distance course, however, there is an added factor that should not be overlooked. Receiving help depends upon the extent to which the student seeks that help.

What username and password do I use for Blackboard?

New and returning students should click the log in button and use the following:
Your username is a combination of your first initial, middle initial, last name, and the last 2 digits of your student identification number.
Your password is your student ID number found on the form you received when you registered for class.

Example:
Jane Doe Smith, 0071234
User name is JDSmith34
Password is 0071234

If you do not know your Student ID number, please contact Student Development - 336-599-1181, ext. 2159.

If you change your password in your student email account (the default password for student email is also your student ID number), it will automatically change your password in Blackboard.  You will then use the same new password for both your student email account and Blackboard.  You may not change your password in Blackboard.

I am sure I am typing the right password, why can't I log onto Blackboard?

  1. Since Blackboard hides the characters that you are typing, you will not know exactly what you have entered, so mistyping characters is common. Try logging on again.
  2. Changes you make to your course schedule after the beginning of the semester take from 24 to 48 hours to be reflected in Blackboard's records. If you've just added a class to your schedule, try logging in again tomorrow morning after the system has updated.
  3. If you use the numeric pad on your keyboard to enter numbers, make sure that you have engaged the "Num Lock" key. Otherwise Blackboard may be receiving strange characters.
  4. Be sure you are at the correct website https://courses.piedmontcc.edu (Note: This is the last page that can be bookmarked and still allow you access to your Blackboard courses at PCC - book marking any later pages will result in a security error and not allow access to the site.)
  5. You may be using an older username and password to login. Contact the Distance Education staff, libbie.mcphaul-moore@piedmontcc.edu

What is my student email address?

For your email address, the email system will use a combination of your first name, middle name, last name, and the last two numbers of your student ID number. The system will generate an email address as follows:

The first letter of your first name
The first letter of your middle name
All letters of your last name
The last two digits of your student ID number
@students.piedmontcc.edu

Example: If your name is Jane Doe Student and your student ID number is 0123456, your email address would be jdstudent56@students.piedmontcc.edu.

Your username is your entire email address: user@students.piedmontcc.edu

Your password will be the same password you use to log into Blackboard.

For instructions on accessing your student email, go to https://students.piedmontcc.edu/PCC-IT/ .

Can I change my email address in Blackboard?

No. We use the official students.piedmontcc.edu addresses for all students for communication within or related to Blackboard.


What if I do not see my course listed in Blackboard?

  1. If you recently added the course, it may take 24 hours after you submit your add form to the Registrar before the course is available in Blackboard.
  2. Your instructor may not have made the course available to students. If you know that your course has an associated Blackboard course, but you still cannot access it, please contact your instructor.
  3. You are not officially enrolled in the course. You will need to check WebAdvisor and make sure you are properly registered for the course.

What if I have a question that is not listed here?

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Libbie McPhaul-Moore, libbie.mcphaul-moore@piedmontcc.edu, or Angela Vaughn, angela.vaughn@piedmontcc.edu