FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is an online course?
An online course is a course offered through the Internet. An online course is one offered with at least 80 percent of class time online. Students interact with their teacher and with one another through the World Wide Web using e-mail, discussion boards, and other features offered through an instructional program. BCCC's instructional program is called Blackboard. For some online courses, students may be asked to come on campus for testing.

Q: What is a hybrid course?
A hybrid course is course taught partly online, partly in the classroom. Check the Credit Course Search for assigned dates, times, and locations for on-campus sessions. These are MANDATORY sessions. Your attendance at these on-campus sessions is crucial for your success in your hybrid course.

Q: What do I need to take an online course?
Students interested in taking an online course need access to a computer connected to the Internet. For a successful experience with online courses, students must be proficient computer users and must be disciplined, motivated, and self-directed.

Q: Are online courses easier than on-campus classes?
No. If anything, online courses are more difficult than on-campus classes because students do not have a built-in schedule for themselves. Students who do well in online courses are highly motivated and disciplined. They access their course site every day, or at least every other day, to keep up with their assignments. They also can tolerate learning in an environment where they are physically isolated from their teacher and classmates.

Q: How do online courses work?
Students who registered for an online course for the first time are required to attend an on-campus orientation session (see page on the left).

Q: How do I register for my online course?
Students who want to register for an online course follow the same procedures as when registering for a traditional class.

Q: How many online courses can I register for in one semester?
Online courses are often more difficult than traditional courses, so we recommend that students register for no more than three online courses in one semester.

Q: How often am I expected to access my online course?
Every week throughout the duration of the course, an online student is expected to access the course at least three or four times. Ideally, one should access the course site every day just to see what new announcements the instructor has posted and whether there are new lessons or assignments that came up. Online students are also expected to communicate with each other and with their instructors very often; that is why frequent access to the course site is crucial for a student's success in the course.

Q: When am I expected to do my work in my online class?
In an online course, students can enjoy the convenience of doing the course work whenever they want at any time of the day or night. Since all the interaction with their teacher and classmates is done over the Internet, they can log into the course literally any time provided that they can access the course site frequently and do the work. Deadlines for submitting assignments must be met.

Q: Can I call or visit my instructor during office hours if I am an online student?
Online students are more than welcome to call or visit their instructors during their office hours. Every instructor has his or her office location, office hours, and phone number posted so that students can visit them.

Q: If I take an online class, am I ever expected to come on campus for my course?
In some online courses, students are asked to come on campus for tests and exams. In the case of hybrid courses, some class sessions are on campus. These on-campus sessions are mandatory.

Q: What happens if I miss an on-campus session?
Missing an on-campus session may jeopardize a student's success in the online or hybrid course. That is why it is very important to note the on-campus dates and take all the necessary measures (baby-sitting, work arrangements, etc.) in order to be able to attend these sessions.

Q: Do I need any textbooks for my online class?
Yes, students are required to buy textbooks for their online or hybrid courses. Textbook information appears on every course site under "syllabus," or "course information."

Q: Do I need to have my own e-mail address if I take an online course?
Yes, all students who take online or hybrid courses must have their own e-mail address. Our College provides free e-mail accounts to students. In addition, free e-mail accounts can be obtained from various Web sites such as http://www.yahoo.com, or http://www.hotmail.com, or http://msn.com.

Q: What do I do if I need help using the Internet site for my online course?
You can always e-mail or call the Distance Learning office (410-462-7625410-462-7625) for help with your online course. If you are at the Liberty Campus, you can receive hands-on help at the Distance Learning office in HH 110 or at the Open Computer Lab in the Main (Administration) Building, Room 055.

Q: What is MarylandOnline?
MarylandOnline is a consortium of community colleges within our state. These colleges agreed to share courses in order to give better educational opportunities to their students. Thus, a BCCC student can take an online course offered from another college (usually because that course is not available at our college).