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.

To view our Procedures for Distance Education, please click HERE to download the document.  To view our Proctoring Procedures for Distance Education, please click HERE.

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 Blackboard Computer Needs page for up-to-date detailed computer specifications.

Logging in

You will need to log into the CTC Student Email via the Student Portal before you can log into any of our other systems, in order to set your permanent password, and set up your self-service password reset security settings.

What is the Student Portal?

The Student Information Portal is a menu page that will provide access to your Student Email account, Banner Web, Blackboard, and Library resources.  It is accessed via the Quick Links menu on the CTC website.

What is the username and password that I use to access Student Email?
  • We base your username and password upon information in your Student Records.
  • Your username is your CTC-provided Student Email address, which consists of Your Initials + Last four digits of Student ID (not SSN), followed by "@student.columbustech.edu".
  • Your initial password is the MMDDYY of your date of birth. 
  • An Example:
    • Ima Good Student, born November 21, 1951, Student ID# 912345678
    • Office 365 Student Email Username: igs5678@student.columbustech.edu
    • Office 365 Password: 112151
    • Although not required, you may change your password once inside Office 365 by clicking the gear icon in the upper-right portion of the screen and selecting the Change your password option. Note: Changing the Office 365 password will also change your CTC computer, Banner Web and Blackboard passwords.

How long can I keep my Student Email account?
You can keep your Student Email account for as long as you are an active student, registered for classes at Columbus Technical College. After two semesters of inactivity, we will disable your account, but re-establish it once you come back to the College. 

What is the username and password that I use to access computers on campus, Banner Web, and Blackboard?

We base your username and password for most systems at CTC upon information in your Student Records.  We use your initials (as your name was entered into Banner Registration) and the last four digits of your Student ID to build your username and email address.

  • Your username is the first part of your CTC-provided Student Email address (the part before the "@" sign), which consists of Your Initials + Last four digits of Student ID (not SSN).
  • An Example:
    • Ima Good Student, born November 21, 1951, Student ID# 912345678
    • Username: igs5678
    • Password: The unique password you set for your Student Email
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.

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.