Distance (Online) Learning

Distance (Online) Learning

Simply stated… Distance Learning provides students with the flexibility to pursue an education around the challenges of everyday life, while maintaining the same level of rigor as its on-campus counterpart.

Columbus Technical College offers a wide variety of online courses allowing students to mix traditional and online courses to complete their academic program. The College also offers a select group of academic programs that you can take totally online.

Distance Learning Q&A

Computer Needs

What do I need in order to do my class work?

The College uses Blackboard Learn as our standard Learning Management System (LMS) for student access to all classes.  Blackboard supports five primary browsers.  Run the browser checker on the Blackboard Home page to see whether Blackboard Learn supports your browser, and whether or not you need any plugins to be installed in order to view specific content types.    Some instructors/classes may also utilize book publisher sites and content specific to their courses.  Refer to your course syllabus for details concerning any additional sites or technologies which may be required for your specific class.

In order to see if your home computer is capable of supporting the typical applications used in Distance Learning situations, please use this link to refer to the Georgia Virtual Technical Connection (GVTC) website for up-to-date detailed computer specifications: GVTC.org Computer Needs page

Online Classes

When can I start my online class?
The start and end dates of online classes mirror those of the College’s on-campus classes. You should have access to log into Blackboard no later than the Thursday before the first day of class. You will not be able to access your actual course work until the first day of classes.  If you do not see one of your enrolled courses on the first day of classes, contact the Director of Distance Learning via phone at 706-649-1846 or via email at abeveridge@columbustech.edu.

I am receiving financial aid. How do I verify my attendance?
If you need verification of attendance for Financial Aid (HOPE, Pell or VA), you must first meet attendance criteria with your online instructor (Examples: establish two-way email communications with your instructor, or be active in your Blackboard course by interacting with instructional content). Once you have met these criteria, your instructor will indicate your attendance in the Student Information System.

SmarterMeasure (An Online Readiness Self-Assessment)

What is SmarterMeasure?

SmarterMeasure is a web-based tool which assesses a learner’s likelihood for succeeding in an online education program. It indicates the degree to which an individual student possesses attributes, skills and knowledge that contribute to success in online education, including:

  • Self-motivation
  • Time-management skills
  • Self-discipline
  • Reading comprehension
  • Persistence
  • Availability of time
  • Ability to use a computer, printer, software, and the Internet.
  • Typing speed and accuracy

(Note: Completing the SmarterMeasure assessment often helps students be more successful when taking online classes, by making them more aware of the skills and habits they will need to succeed.)

How do I access SmarterMeasure?
The link to SmarterMeasure is: http://columbustech.smartermeasure.com/assessment.personalinfo. Once you access the assessment, you will create your personal account.

Blackboard

What is the username and password that I use to access Blackboard?

We base your Blackboard username and initial password upon information in your Student Records.

The format for Blackboard Username and Initial Password are:

  1. Username28_9XXXXXXXX, where 9XXXXXXXX is your College Student ID Number.
  2. Password: On your first login to Blackboard, use the “Forgot Your Password” link to have an email sent to your college-provided Student Email account containing a link to set your own password.

When using the “Forgot Your Password” link, there are two options provided to identify yourself.  You can enter your First Name, Last Name, and Username, or you can enter your First Name, Last Name, and Student Email address.  Fill in only one set of fields, and then click the Submit button.  Blackboard will email you a link you can use to set your own password.  Once you have done so, close the resulting generic Blackboard login page, and go back to the regular Columbus Technical College Blackboard login page in order to log onto the system.

What is the link to access my classes in Blackboard?

To access Blackboard, go to the Columbus Technical College website, locate and point your mouse at the QUICKLINKS menu in the top-right portion of the home page, and select the Blackboard option.  You can also access the site directly by going to: https://columbustech.blackboard.com

I have never used Blackboard before. Is there something that I can read to help me get started?

On the bottom-left side of the Blackboard home page you will find the “Help and Resources” links.  The Blackboard Tour link will take you to the Georgia Virtual Technical Connection (GVTC) Blackboard Tour page.  This page contains links to web-based video tutorials showing how to use many of the main functions of Blackboard.  If you need additional help, please visit the Computer Lab, Care Center, or contact the Director of Distance Learning via phone at 706-649-1846 or via email at abeveridge@columbustech.edu.

I logged into Blackboard, but one or more of my classes are missing. What should I do?

There are several instances when this might happen.  First, verify that you are properly enrolled in the course in Banner.  If so, contact the instructor of the missing course to check the status of the course.  If you need further assistance, please visit the Computer Lab, Care Center, or contact the Director of Distance Learning via phone at 706-649-1846 or via email at abeveridge@columbustech.edu.

I am having a technical issue with Blackboard. Where do I go for help?

If you can get to the Blackboard home page, on the bottom-left side of the Blackboard home page you will find the “Help and Resources” links.  The first link in that list will take you to the Helpdesk Request Form where you can submit a help request online.  After submitting a ticket, please allow up to one full business day for a response.  If you need further assistance, please visit the Computer Lab, Care Center, or contact the Director of Distance Learning via phone at 706-649-1846 or via email at abeveridge@columbustech.edu.

College Student Email

What is the Student Information Portal?

The Student Information Portal is a “single-logon” system that will provide access to an email account, calendar system, College information, and document and spreadsheet processing capability. The portal is powered by Google.

What is the link to access the Student Information Portal?
Visit the Columbus Technical College systems page for links to student email.

What is the username and password that I use to access the portal?

  • We base your portal username and password upon information in your Student Records.
  • Your username consists of Your Initials + Last four digits of Student ID (not SSN).
  • Your initial password is the MMDDYYYY of your date of birth. The portal will require you to change your password upon initial logon
  • An Example:
    • Ima Good Student, born November 21, 1951, Student ID# 912345678
    • Portal Username: igs5678
    • Portal Password: 11211951
    • Portal Email Address: igs5678@student.columbustech.edu

How do I get help on the Information Portal?
Once you have accessed the portal, and any of its features (email, calendar, etc), click on the Help link in the upper right-hand corner of the page. You will find an extensive amount of help topics.

How long can I keep my portal account?
You can keep your portal account for as long as you an active student, registered for classes at Columbus Technical College. After two quarters of inactivity, we will delete your account, but re-establish it once you come back to the College. If you want, the email system in the portal will allow you to forward your email to a personal email account.