Flexibility and Convenience for Busy People

Online learning refers to courses delivered through the internet

Online courses offer the same content as on-campus courses. The difference between online and classroom courses is the delivery format. Students visit their 'classroom' via a web-based course management system called Blackboard.

Online courses are taught by the same instructors who teach on-campus courses

Instructors apply the same standards for success in their online classes as they do in their on-campus classrooms.


Online learning offers flexibility and convenience for learners

Students may access the class from a computer with an internet connection 24 hours a day, seven days a week from home, work, or other places such as the Prince George's Community College campus computer lab or the public library.


There are weekly deadlines and assignments, and few or no on-campus sessions

Lectures, class assignments, tests, and discussions take place online. Note: Some courses require on-campus proctored tests.


Most of our online courses are a full semester in length and follow the regular semester academic schedule

Details regarding course duration for each course can be found on the Online Class Schedules page.


Typically, coursework is completed during the week assigned at a time convenient for the student

Except for tests, turning in assignments, and meeting other course deadlines can be completed during the week at a time that is up to the individual student. Many students find it helpful to commit to specific time blocks to complete their online courses.

Our instructors use Blackboard for all online courses

Blackboard is the course management system students use to access course materials, submit assignments, take tests and quizzes, participate in class discussions, and other activities as required by the instructor. Instructors may use additional software and websites, depending on the course.

Is Online Learning right for me? 

Taking an online class has many advantages, including increased flexibility in completing homework assignments, the ability to communicate with your classmates and your instructor from the convenience of your own home or workplace, and enhanced access to written materials ranging from discipline-specific internet resources to saved chats and instructor's class announcements.

However, an online class is not for everyone. For instance, if you need the discipline of a meeting on campus several times a week and you enjoy the in-person interaction between other students and your instructor, you are more likely to succeed in an on-campus class. The following are characteristics of students who would do well in an online course.

Successful online students must have both Technical Skills and Study Skills.

Take a good look at yourself as a learner

What grades do you typically earn?
Students who do well in on-campus classes usually do well in online courses. So, you can expect to earn the same grade in an online class as you would earn in an on-campus class.

Do you understand and remember what you read?
Most online classes are text-based and rely on the written word to communicate instructions and course content. If you are a poor reader, you will have more difficulty understanding directions and the course material.

Do you meet deadlines?
The world is divided into two types of procrastinators: those who meet deadlines and those who don't. You can be a procrastinator and still do well in an online class, BUT you must turn in your work on time if you expect to be successful.

 

What Skills Do I Need?

Study skills

Study skills

Successful eLearning students usually have the following characteristics:

  • Self-motivated (does not need a lot of direction and motivation from the instructor)
  • Self-disciplined (can budget time wisely and meet deadlines)
  • Enjoy the challenge of learning on their own time
  • Take charge of their own learning (willing to ask questions and get help when necessary)
  • Understand and remember what they read
  • Communicate well in writing
  • May need a flexible schedule but understand that flexibility does NOT mean the course will be easy

Budget your time

At a minimum, you will need to study between six and nine hours EACH week to be successful in an online course.

Get organized

It is recommended that you don't procrastinate and don't get behind. It's easy to go off track in an online course because you don't actually see the instructor or your fellow students regularly. No one can force you to log in to Blackboard or to answer your email.

Meet deadlines

Many students incorrectly believe that an online course is student-paced, and they can choose when to hand in assignments. Actually, most online courses are instructor-paced, and there are real deadlines that must be met if you are to pass the course.

Keep in touch with your instructor and classmates

Most instructors provide a discussion board within Blackboard for you to post questions about the course requirements, content, or the technology. As soon as you begin to feel confused or have questions, post to the discussion board, and ask for help from your fellow students. Most online students are glad to help and welcome the chance to get to know their classmates better.

Technical Skills

Technical Skills

You don't have to have advanced technical skills to be a successful online learner, but you do need to:

  1. Be able to navigate the internet
  2. Have basic computer skills, including typing, emailing, and saving documents
  3. Have access to a computer with at least a 1 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, and 5 GB of free disk space
Tips for Online Success

Log in to Blackboard often (at a minimum, three to five times each week).

Like other forms of electronic communication, the Blackboard course management form records each of your logins and the course areas you visit while online. Your instructors will know if you are participating (just as they would in a face-to-face class), so make sure you log in and use Blackboard to the fullest extent possible.

Most of the College's online courses use Blackboard as their online delivery software. If you are unable to log in, here are some possible reasons:

  • Your username and/or password are incorrect. Review log in directions
  • Generally, you will not be able to log in to your Blackboard course(s) until the day of the on-campus eLearning orientation (four days before the start date of the course).
  • It may take up to 10 hours after registering to transfer your registration information from Owl Link to the Blackboard server. You will not be able to log in to Blackboard until your information has been transferred to Blackboard.
  • Your instructor may not be using Blackboard; if you can't log in within 24 hours after registering, contact your instructor directly by email or phone. You will find a course list for the semester in which you are registered on the Class Schedules page in Owl Link.

Do your work "offline" in Word or a similar format

This is the internet equivalent of "the dog ate my homework." Instructors have little patience when hearing that you lost your work just as you were going to send it. Internet users know that service will often be disrupted with no warning. It’s best to work offline and save often.

ALWAYS save your files before you send them to your instructor.

Again, the electronic world is uncertain. Always save a copy of your files in case something gets lost during submission. It's your responsibility to complete and turn in assignments. Instructors cannot assign a grade based on work they've never seen.

Course Formats

PGCC offers a variety of online course options:

The College uses Blackboard as the course management system for all online courses. Just as you have become familiar with the arrangement of a classroom on campus, you will become familiar with the features of an online classroom within Blackboard (Bb). Read More

Online

Using a computer at home, work, or a public place, you will log in to class to receive course information, view course content, submit assignments, and have discussions with your instructor and fellow students. Read More

Accelerated Online

Accelerated Online courses are online courses offered in a condensed time frame. They offer additional flexibility for your schedule because they are shorter in duration than full-semester courses. Accelerated Online courses contain the same amount of coursework as full-semester online courses. Consider choosing an Accelerated Online course if you cannot commit to a full semester course schedule. Read More

Hybrid/Online

Not all online courses offered at PGCC are entirely online. We also offer Hybrid/Online courses that have scheduled on-campus meeting dates and times with online course activities. The number of on-campus meetings varies - some courses only meet once a month, while others may meet every week. Read More

Remote Learning

During the summer and fall 2020 semesters, when PGCC campus locations closed due to COVID-19, classes are transitioned to remote instruction.  Classes that were scheduled to meet face-to-face at College locations will meet online via the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra web conference platform.  Students will access learning materials, assignments, and participate in discussions via the Blackboard. Read More

Enhanced On-Campus

Regardless of course format, PGCC makes it easy for students to stay on track by communicating with their professors, submitting completed assignments, accessing grades, and more using Blackboard, the College's online course management system. Read More

Online Course Options

Choose the Programs that Best Meet Your Needs

Prince George's Community College (PGCC) is accredited by the Maryland State Department of Education and by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Online Degree and Certificate Programs

The following degree and certificate programs have been approved by our accrediting association and are available online at PGCC:

Associate Degrees

Certificates

To apply for admission and to register for courses, go to Admissions and Registration. Current students should register on Owl Link.

Personal and Professional Development Courses

A wide variety of noncredit personal and professional development courses are also offered online. To view the course schedules, click here. Find the course that meets your needs, then apply and register.

 

FAQ

What is a Hybrid/Online Course?

A Hybrid/Online Course combines classroom meetings and online instruction. Students enrolled in a Hybrid/Online course come to campus at scheduled times and meet face-to-face with their professors and fellow students. The number of on-campus meetings varies. Some classes only meet once a month, while others may meet every week. Other course work assignments, discussions, and group work are accomplished through the internet, using Blackboard. Students interact online to receive information about their assignments, send homework, participate in class discussions, and conduct research.

How do I log in to Blackboard?

The Prince George's Community College Blackboard website is located at https://pgcconline.blackboard.com. Click on 'Blackboard Support for Students.'

What is an online course?

To take an online course, you must have access to a computer at home or at work. You will log in to your class to receive course information, view course content, submit assignments, and have discussions with your instructor and fellow students.

It is very important to remember the following points about online learning:

it is flexible and convenient...but NOT EASIER!

You can expect to study a minimum of six to nine hours each week for each online class you are taking.

Most online classes at PGCC are not self-paced. The instructor sets the deadlines for the course and students.

Will I have to come to campus to take tests or attend classes?

While many online classes do not require you to come on campus for tests or class meetings, some classes do require you to come to campus. It's best to check your instructor's syllabus or contact your instructor directly:

To check your instructor's syllabus: Go to your Blackboard course and click on the Syllabus & Schedule link.

 

Why take a Hybrid/Online class?

Taking a Hybrid/Online class requires fewer trips to campus for regularly-scheduled class times. This can be reflected in less travel time to and from class and also less money spent on transportation. Sometimes it is difficult for a student with other work and family responsibilities to be able to commit to a regular face-to-face class schedule. Taking a Hybrid/Online class provides more flexibility for students. Some students are not interested in taking totally online classes and would prefer to have times when they can actually meet their instructor and fellow classmates. Hybrid/Online courses make for a great combination: some flexibility that comes with online classes, but also the sense of community that is found when attending face-to-face classes. These Hybrid/Online classes provide the best of both worlds.

 

What is expected of me in a Hybrid/Online class?

To be successful in your hybrid/online class, you are expected to:

  • Have an Owl Link (You must first log in to Owl Link and reset your password.)
  • Have access to a computer with internet service and an email account
  • Attend all of the scheduled face-to-face class meetings
  • Participate regularly in the online portions of the class
  • Plan enough time to study and complete assignments
  • Commit six to nine hours a week for each three-credit class
  • Read and write well
  • "Speak up" to your instructors when problems arise
  • Be willing to take responsibility for your learning
  • Know how to use technology properly
  • Be comfortable addressing problems from a distance
  • Have good time management skills to follow a schedule for finishing readings and assignments
  • Have good research skills, including how to effectively use the internet
  • Have the ability to work well cooperatively, even when your communication is restricted to email or online chat
Where can I get help with Blackboard?

If you need help using Blackboard, here are some things you can do:

First, ask your classmates! Most instructors provide a discussion board dedicated specifically to questions about the technology and the class. Use the discussion board to ask your fellow students how to solve a technical problem. Chances are good that there are some "computer wizards" in your class who can find a solution to your problem.

Call or stop by the eLearning Services Office during regular operating hours. You can find a list of these hours on the Contact Us page.

Email your instructor. Click on the 'Quicklinks' link in your course, and select 'Send Email' to communicate with your course instructor.

How do I change my password?

You must go through Owl Link to change your password. Once you change your password in Owl Link, it will be changed for Blackboard. 

To reset your Owl Link password follow these steps:

Note: you MUST have a valid email address on file with Admissions and Records to reset your Owl Link password.
If you do not, please contact the Technology Service Desk at 301-546-0637 or email at servicedesk@pgcc.edu.

  1. If you do not remember your password, you must reset it. By resetting your Owl Link password, your Blackboard password will automatically be reset.
  2. Reset your Owl Link password by selecting "Forgot my Password" either from the Login Screen or under User Accounts on the Credit Student menu.
  3. Enter your last name and either your social security number or your 7-digit student id.
  4. Select the email address you want the temporary password sent to.
  5. Check your email to receive your password.
  6. Log into Owl Link using the temporary password. You will then get a screen that tells you that your password has expired and you must reset it. Re-enter your Username and temporary password. Then enter a password of your choice. It must be a minimum of (8) characters in length and contain at least one upper case letter, at least one lower case letter, and at least one number.
  7. You can then use this same Username and Password to log into Blackboard.

 

Note that if you just got your Owl Link account set up, it takes 1 business day before you can log into Blackboard.

What if I can't remember my password?

If you can't remember your password, you must reset it through Owl Link. For instructions on how to reset your password in Owl Link, click here.

 

What is my Blackboard email address?

Your student email address is referred to as 'Owl Mail' and is your Owl Link user id with '@students.pgcc.edu' (OwlLinkID@students.pgcc.edu). All emails sent from within Blackboard will be delivered to your student email address. Before you can use your student email, you must activate your account. To activate your Owl Mail student email, go to the Owl Mail. Noncredit students who do not use Blackboard currently do not receive Owl Mail accounts.

 

I can access Blackboard from home. Why can't I use Blackboard from my computer at work?

Blackboard should be fully accessible from any computer with internet access. In some cases, if you are using a computer at a government agency or a private company, you may experience difficulty because Port 80 has been closed. Port 80 allows the exchange of secure information between the Blackboard system and your computer. To resolve this problem, you must contact your network/security administrator and ask if access to Port 80 is disabled.

What is Blackboard?

The College uses Blackboard as its web-based course management system. You can reach Blackboard at https://pgcconline.blackboard.com. You must have a user name and a password to log in to your online course. Just as you have become familiar with the setup of a classroom on campus, you will become familiar with the features of an online classroom within Blackboard:

  • Announcements
  • Start Here
  • Syllabus & Schedule
  • Course Content
  • Discussion Board
  • Faculty Info
  • Quicklinks
  • Library Resources

Course information and content:

Like other forms of electronic communication, Blackboard records each time you log in and the course areas you visit while online. Your instructors will know if you are participating (just as they would in a face-to-face class), so make sure you join the online activities to the fullest extent possible.

What if I have problems logging in to my online class?

Most of the College's online courses use Blackboard as their online delivery software. If you are unable to login, here are some possible reasons:

  • Your username and/or password are incorrect, and you need to review login directions.
  • Generally, you will not be able to log in to your Blackboard course(s) until the day of the on-campus eLearning orientation.
  • It takes up to 10 hours to transfer your registration information from Owl Link to the Blackboard server.
  • Your instructor may not be using Blackboard. If you can't log in within 24 hours after registering, contact your instructor directly by email or phone. You will find a course list for the semester in which you are registered on the Class Schedules page.

 

Should I do all my assignments or papers on Blackboard or offline?

The electronic world is uncertain. Internet users know that service will often be disrupted with no warning. Instructors have little patience when hearing that you lost your work just as you were going to send it (This is the internet equivalent of "The dog ate my homework.").

For assignments and papers, It's best to work offline and save your files to disk. You don't have to worry about being disconnected before you finish and submit your work. You can then upload your assignment file or copy and paste your assignments into your Blackboard course.

Always save a copy of your files in case something gets lost in cyberspace. It's your responsibility to complete and turn in assignments. Instructors cannot assign a grade based on work they've never seen.

Your instructor may require you to take quizzes or exams using Blackboard's test feature. Often, you can access the test only one time. If you are disconnected from your internet provider while you are taking the exam, contact your instructor immediately to report a problem.

Special Characters in Blackboard filenames cause lots of problems!

The use of special characters (i.e., "#," "+," and "!"), can potentially cause problems in Blackboard. You can run into problems if you use special characters in your filenames when you attach files for the Discussion Board or your assignments.

What should I do if I need technical help?

If you need help using Blackboard or have other technical questions, here are some things you can do:

  • First, ask your classmates! Most instructors provide a discussion board dedicated specifically to questions about the technology and the class. Use the discussion board to ask your fellow students how to solve a technical problem. Chances are good that there are some "computer wizards" in your class who can find a solution to your problem.
  • Call or stop by the eLearning Services Center during regular operating hours. You can find a list of these hours on the Contact Us page.
  • Email your instructor. Click on the 'Quicklinks' link in your course. Select 'Send Email,' and then 'Send Email to all Instructors.'

 

Is there any technical help available in the evenings or on the weekends?

The eLearning Services offers phone support from Monday through Friday until 9 pm. There are no scheduled weekend hours for either phone or email support.

 

What do I do if I need a plug-in to access course materials?

Some courses require you to install plug-ins, which are free software programs available on the web. These tools add functions to your web browser or enable you to view specialized content.

Links to the most commonly used plug-ins (Adobe Reader, PowerPoint Viewer, Excel Viewer, etc.) can be found under Requirements - Plugins on the eLearning Technical Support page. This page contains links to each product's download page where installation instructions are provided.

 

How do I enroll?

You enroll for an online course just as you would for any other PGCC course. You can find information about enrolling on the College's main website at http://www.pgcc.edu. You can expect to pay the same tuition and fees for your online course as you would for other PGCC courses.

What are the tuition costs?

You can expect to pay the same tuition and fees for your online course as you would for other PGCC courses. For information regarding the current tuition and fees, please click here. For more information about residency, see the current PGCC catalog. All charges are per credit hour.

 

How do I find out about textbooks?

Most online courses require that students purchase one or more textbooks. You can buy textbooks either in person at the campus bookstore or online. You will find specific information about textbooks for your class at https://www.bkstr.com/princegeorgesccstore/home and can order books online.

What formats are offered for noncredit courses?

PGCC offers noncredit online courses in two different formats: 
Ed2Go and Blackboard

The main differences among these formats are the subjects and topics that are offered. 

The online classrooms don't differ significantly from format to format. But, the process of registering for the courses and accessing the coursework is different, depending on the format of the online course. 

If you already know that a particular type of format suits you best, then you can click on the icon that represents either the Ed2Go courses or the Blackboard courses for further information about these different formats. 

What if I have problems logging into Blackboard?

Most of the College's online courses use Blackboard as their online delivery software. If you are unable to log in, here are some possible reasons:

Generally, you will be able to log in to your Blackboard course(s) four days before the start date of your class if you register before that time. If you register during the four days, it may take up to 10 hours to transfer your registration information from Owl Link to the Blackboard server.

Your Blackboard login account is the same as your Owl Link account. Try logging into Owl Link. If you cannot log in to Owl Link, you will need to reset your password. Once you can successfully log in to Owl Link, you should be able to login to Blackboard using the same username and password. If you are registered in a credit class, and you can't log in within 24 hours after registering, contact eLearning Services.

What is a Hybrid/Online course?

Most of the noncredit online courses are offered totally online, but some are Hybrid/Online courses, a combination of face-to-face class meetings and online. Which of these choices is best for you? It may depend on your daily schedule.

What information is on the Noncredit course schedule?

The PGCC Course Schedule is divided into topic areas. The first section addresses the Workforce Development needs of our students. The second half contains Continuing Education topics. Within these two domains are many topic categories, which are grouped under large headings and then into smaller subheadings. For descriptions of particular courses, click on the title of the course.

The Course Schedule indicates the format for each online course offered.

Note the format type of the class that you choose by looking at the far-right Format column, which indicates the type of class: Ed2Go or Blackboard. The type of class will determine the registration procedures and the web address that you will need when accessing your course. You can click on the format type in the class schedule for more information about how the course is delivered, and you can click on the individual course titles for a description of the course.

 

Does my noncredit course count toward a particular certificate?

For information on noncredit programs and certificates, contact the PGCC Information Center at enroll@pgcc.edu or call 301-546-0075, 3301-546-0822, or 301-546-7422.

 

What if I'm not really technical?

The PGCC eLearning Services offers orientation for online students. In the orientation, you will learn how to log in to your online classroom and how to navigate your online class. The eLearning Services office can conduct individual orientation sessions by phone (must be connected to the internet while on the phone) or in-person, upon request. If you are interested, please contact the eLearning Services office. The office also provides support for your online course.

There are two orientation options for online students:

  • Student Blackboard Orientation, which is a Blackboard (Bb) course and can be accessed once you can log in to Blackboard. All credit students, on-campus and online, are automatically enrolled in this course;
  • Mandatory Course Orientation sessions are conducted by individual instructors.

Every student who registers for a credit course each semester is automatically enrolled in the 'Student Blackboard Orientation' course. This course is not mandatory or graded but is highly recommended for first-time online students or students using Blackboard for the first time.

 

Should I do all my assignments or papers on Blackboard or offline?

The electronic world is uncertain, and internet users know that service will sometimes be disrupted with no warning.

For assignments and papers, it's best to work on your computer and save your files often. That way, you don't have to worry about being disconnected before you finish and submit your work. You can then copy and paste your assignments into your Blackboard course or upload your file and submit your assignment. You should receive a confirmation once your assignment is submitted.

Always save a copy of your files. It's your responsibility to complete and turn in assignments. Instructors cannot assign a grade based on work they've never seen.

Your instructor may require you to take quizzes or exams using Blackboard's test feature. Often, you can access the test only one time. If you are disconnected from your internet provider while you are taking the exam, contact your instructor immediately to report a problem.

 

Can I get an AA Degree entirely online?

Prince George's Community College is accredited by the Maryland State Department of Education and by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. For a list of degrees and certificate programs that have been approved by our accrediting association and are available for distance delivery, click here.

How do I take assessments (tests, exams, quizzes)?

How you take assessments depends on how your instructor sets it up. Below are two possible ways in which assessments are given in online courses:

Assessments can be taken online in Blackboard. You log in to your Blackboard course and access your exam from within your course. Your assessment will be available during a specific timeframe, and you may have a time limit to take the assessment. Most instructors allow you to access the assessment only one time. If you are disconnected from your internet provider while you are taking the assessment, contact your instructor immediately to report a problem.

Some instructors give on-campus assessments in the Testing Center. You will need to go to the Testing Center during its regularly scheduled hours of operation to take your exam. Be prepared to show a photo ID. You should check the hours of the Testing Center and other requirements on the Testing Center web page.

How can I be successful at online testing?

Once a student begins a test (i.e., after clicking "OK" to the query 'Click OK to begin Assessment. Click Cancel to return.'), there are only three valid actions a student may perform:

  • The first valid action is 'answering' a question (selecting True/False, Multiple Choice, Fill-In-the-Blank, etc.).
  • The second valid action is 'saving' the answers (clicking the <SAVE> button after entering each answer).
  • The third valid action is 'submitting' the entire assessment (clicking the <SUBMIT> button when completely finished with the test).

Important: Using the mouse or keyboard to perform ANY other action, such as <BACKSPACE> OR <REFRESH>, could ruin the outcome of the assessment. Also, answering and/or clicking on the <SAVE> button after 10 minutes from the last answer (no matter how long the instructor allows you to take the assessment) could ruin the outcome as well. Using the slide bar to move up or down the assessment page is the only exception.

 

What do I do if I have emailed the instructor, and I have not received a reply?

If you email your instructor and don't receive a reply within 24 hours (not including weekends), please go to College Directory and look up the number for the academic department in which your course resides.

If you are unable to reach the Department Chair, please contact eLearning Services, and we will help you find an alternative.

Where do I find the course descriptions for the online course I'm interested in taking? Who do I call if I don't understand the course description for the online course I want to take?

There are three things you can do to find out more about the course:

  • Click on eLearning Class Schedules. Click on the course you are interested in taking, then click on the instructor's name. You will be taken to the People Directory for the College where you can search for your instructor and get their phone number.
  • Go to the College's homepage at http://www.pgcc.edu and click on the 'Programs and Courses' then select 'Online Catalog.' You can search the catalog under 'Catalog Search' on the left of the screen.
  • Go to the College Directory and look up the number for the academic department in which your course resides. For example, if you are taking ACC 1000 Fundamentals of Accounting, you would look for the Accounting Department.
Online
Using a computer at home, work, or a public place, you will log in to class to receive course information, view course content, submit assignments, and have discussions with your instructor and fellow students.
Study skills

Study skills

Successful eLearning students usually have the following characteristics:

  • Self-motivated (does not need a lot of direction and motivation from the instructor)
  • Self-disciplined (can budget time wisely and meet deadlines)
  • Enjoy the challenge of learning on their own time
  • Take charge of their own learning (willing to ask questions and get help when necessary)
  • Understand and remember what they read
  • Communicate well in writing
  • May need a flexible schedule but understand that flexibility does NOT mean the course will be easy

Budget your time

At a minimum, you will need to study between six and nine hours EACH week to be successful in an online course.

Get organized

It is recommended that you don't procrastinate and don't get behind. It's easy to go off track in an online course because you don't actually see the instructor or your fellow students regularly. No one can force you to log in to Blackboard or to answer your email.

Meet deadlines

Many students incorrectly believe that an online course is student-paced, and they can choose when to hand in assignments. Actually, most online courses are instructor-paced, and there are real deadlines that must be met if you are to pass the course.

Keep in touch with your instructor and classmates

Most instructors provide a discussion board within Blackboard for you to post questions about the course requirements, content, or the technology. As soon as you begin to feel confused or have questions, post to the discussion board, and ask for help from your fellow students. Most online students are glad to help and welcome the chance to get to know their classmates better.

Technical Skills

Technical Skills

You don't have to have advanced technical skills to be a successful online learner, but you do need to:

  1. Be able to navigate the internet
  2. Have basic computer skills, including typing, emailing, and saving documents
  3. Have access to a computer with at least a 1 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, and 5 GB of free disk space
Tips for Online Success

Log in to Blackboard often (at a minimum, three to five times each week).

Like other forms of electronic communication, the Blackboard course management form records each of your logins and the course areas you visit while online. Your instructors will know if you are participating (just as they would in a face-to-face class), so make sure you log in and use Blackboard to the fullest extent possible.

Most of the College's online courses use Blackboard as their online delivery software. If you are unable to log in, here are some possible reasons:

  • Your username and/or password are incorrect. Review log in directions
  • Generally, you will not be able to log in to your Blackboard course(s) until the day of the on-campus eLearning orientation (four days before the start date of the course).
  • It may take up to 10 hours after registering to transfer your registration information from Owl Link to the Blackboard server. You will not be able to log in to Blackboard until your information has been transferred to Blackboard.
  • Your instructor may not be using Blackboard; if you can't log in within 24 hours after registering, contact your instructor directly by email or phone. You will find a course list for the semester in which you are registered on the Class Schedules page in Owl Link.

Do your work "offline" in Word or a similar format

This is the internet equivalent of "the dog ate my homework." Instructors have little patience when hearing that you lost your work just as you were going to send it. Internet users know that service will often be disrupted with no warning. It’s best to work offline and save often.

ALWAYS save your files before you send them to your instructor.

Again, the electronic world is uncertain. Always save a copy of your files in case something gets lost during submission. It's your responsibility to complete and turn in assignments. Instructors cannot assign a grade based on work they've never seen.

Confused? Need help? Questions?

First, ask your classmates! Most instructors provide a discussion board dedicated specifically to questions about the technology and the lass. Use the discussion board to ask your fellow students how to solve a technical problem. Then, ask your instructor or contact eLearning Services at 301-546-0463 or email eLearning@pgcc.edu.