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Distance Learning Department

 

 

Distance Learning FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions About Distance Learning:





Where can I find information about online and hybrid course offerings at NCC?Back to top

To view the course schedule click on this link:

Course Schedule



Do online courses offer the same number of credits as ground- based courses?Back to top

Yes, online courses have the same number of credits as their equivalent face-to-face sections.



Does my transcript show that I took a course online?Back to top

No, your transcript only shows that you have taken the course, not the format of the course.



How do I know if online learning is right for me?Back to top

Online learning is not for everyone. Take this self-assessment survey to find out whether you should take an online course.



What is my username and password?Back to top

Your username and password are the same as the one you use to log in to the computers on campus. Your user name is your Banner # followed by @student.commnet.edu. If your Banner # is @12345678 your NetID would be 12345678@student.commnet.edu. Your default password is the first 3 letters of the month you were born, the & sign and the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number. So, if you were born in June and the last 4 digits of your SSN are 1234 your password would be Jun&1234. You will immediately be asked to change your password to one that is a minimum of 8 characters and must include 3 of these 4 things: (See NetID instructions)
1. upper case letter
2. lower case letter
3. number
4. symbol


If you forget your password you can have it reset to your default by contacting:


Lois Aime, Director of Educational Technologies at (203) 857-7288

the IT Dept. at (203) 857-6800

the Records Office at (203) 857-7035



Is there an on-campus orientation?Back to top

Each semester there will be a series of one-hour on-campus orientations. The times and dates will be posted on this web site. These are not mandatory but is suggested that you attend if you have never taken an online course using WebCT Vista before. You can also click on the link on the left to go through the online student orientation.



Do online courses ever require that I come to campus?Back to top

Some online classes will require you to come on campus for labs or an exam although most will not. Be sure to check the syllabus and check with your instructor to see if there are any on-campus requirements. Courses that require on-campus meetings will almost always be designated as hybrid courses.



What do I do if I experience a problem in my online course?Back to top

If you experience technical problems you should first go to CT Board of Regents Technical Support Services to resolve the issue. The phone number is 860-493-0221.


If you experience problems related to the course subject you should contact your instructor. If you have problems that go beyond technical or subject matter concerns you should contact:


Lois Aime in the Educational Technology Dept. at (203) 857-7288



Do I need to buy textbooks for online classes and are they the same as those for campus-based classes?Back to top

Yes, you will need to purchase textbooks as required by the instructor. Be careful though, sometimes the textbooks for online courses are different than those for campus-based courses. Be sure to let the bookstore know if you are taking an online course.



Is there a particular time I have to be online?Back to top

No, you do not have to be online at a specific time. You will be given a time frame in which to respond to discussion questions, do assignments and take exams but that time frame will be flexible enough so that you can work at night or during the day, whichever is more convenient for you. (Unless your instructor creates a chat area with specific instructions about when you should be online to participate. This is not a usual occurrence, but it may happen.)



Where can I get my textbooks?Back to top

Textbooks for credit online courses can be purchased through the NCC bookstore. If you are on campus you can go to the bookstore. If that is not convenient, you can call them at 203-857-7239, order the book and ask that it be sent to you.



How do I access my class(es) once I have registered?Back to top

NCC online credit classes are located at http://my.commnet.edu. You can bookmark this page once you access it.



What kind of library services are available for online students?Back to top

You can access the library from off campus and from there you can search for journal articles, books and other resources available from the NCC Baker library and other CT libraries which include numerous databases, newspapers and internet resources on a variety of subject matters. You can ask questions of our librarians and request inter-library loans through the NCC Baker Library service page.



Is there tutoring available for students taking online classes?Back to top

Yes, NCC offers tutoring for all students through the Tutoring Center at NCC or online through eTutoring.org. You may access online tutoring by clicking on the link above or from the menu of links in the column to the left.



How do I open DOCX files, or other Office 2007/2010 format files?Back to top

Office 2007 applications automatically save to new formats that are not backward compatible with previous versions of Office applications. Microsoft offers a compatibility pack that can help.


Users of the Microsoft Office XP and 2003 programs Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, please install all High-Priority updates from Microsoft Update before downloading the Compatibility Pack.


By installing the Compatibility Pack in addition to Microsoft Office 2000, Office XP, or Office 2003, you will be able to open, edit, and save files using the file formats new to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007. The Compatibility Pack can also be used in conjunction with the Microsoft Office Word Viewer 2003, Excel Viewer 2003, and PowerPoint Viewer 2003 to view files saved in these new formats. For more information about the Compatibility Pack, see Knowledge Base article 924074.


Note: If you use Microsoft Word 2000 or Microsoft Word 2002 to read or write documents containing complex scripts, please see http://support.microsoft.com/kb/925451 for information to enable Word 2007 documents to be displayed correctly in your version of Word.


The "compatibility pack" is available on the CTDLC site at http://www.ctdlc.org/help/vista/FileFormatConverters.exe.



How to adjust browser text size?Back to top

If the text in your browser is too small to read, you can adjust the text size to make it more readable


Most browsers support adjusting the text size with a mouse wheel. To adjust the text size with the mouse wheel, hold the ?CTRL? key and:


To adjust the text size:
From Internet Explorer:
  • Click "View" -> "Text Size"
  • Select from one of the four alternate text sizes: smallest, smaller, larger, or largest

From Firefox
  • Click "View" -> "Text Size"
  • Click "Increase" or "Decrease" to change the text size accordingly
  • Alternatively, you can use the keyboard: press ?CTRL? + ?+? to increase the size or ?CTRL? + ?-? to decrease the size


To reset the text size to the default size:
From Internet Explorer:
  • Click "View" -> "Text Size"
  • From the side menu, click "Medium"

From Firefox:
  • Click "View" -> "Text Size"
  • From the size menu, click "Normal"
  • Alternatively, from the keyboard: press "CTRL" + "0"


Why can't I open an attachment?Back to top

There may be multiple reasons why someone might not be able to open an attached file in an online course. These include the issues concerning the file name, browser settings, or a virus.


On the web, file names are not allowed to have spaces or any special characters. You should use underscores as replacements for spaces (for_example.doc). If the document name did contain spaces or special characters, your browser may not be able to open the file. Also, file attachment names should be as short and descriptive as possible.


It is possible that browser settings may also affect the downloading or displaying of attachments. If a file will not open when its link is clicked, you may try right-clicking on the link, and choose "Save Target As..." ("Save LinkAs..." in Firefox), save it to your machine, and open it from that location.


Another reason you may not be able to open a document is that it has been infected by a virus and the server has removed it. The CTDLC servers are set to remove any infected files immediately, to prevent the spreading of viruses.



How can I Disable Pop-up Blockers?Back to top

Most of the online learning systems take advantage of pop-ups to present course material. If any pop-up blockers are present on your system they will prevent you from seeing course content.


Browser Pop-up Blockers
Internet Explorer 6.X
  • 1. Open Internet Explorer
  • 2. Click on the Tools menu and put your mouse over Pop-up Blocker.
  • 3. A tiny menu should expand to the right. Click on Turn Off Pop-up Blocker.
  • 4. If the option for the pop-up blocker is not present your version of Internet Explorer either does not have this feature or you already have Internet Explorers pop-up blocker turned off.

Firefox 1.0.x
  • 1. Open Firefox
  • 2. Click on the Tools menu then on the Options menu.
  • 3. Click on the Web Features icon within the Options window.
  • 4. Uncheck the Block Popup Windows check box.
  • 5. Click OK to close the Options menu.

Firefox 1.5.x and 2.0.x
  • 1. Open Firefox
  • 2. Click on the Tools menu then on the Options menu.
  • 3. Click on the Content icon within the Options window.
  • 4. Uncheck the Block Popup Windows check box.
  • 5. Click OK to close the Options menu.


Toolbar Pop-up Blockers

In addition to any internal browser pop-up blockers, toolbars can also contain pop-up blocker capabilities. Toolbars usually only affect the Internet Explorer browser.

  • 1. Open Internet Explorer (version 6.0.x).
  • 2. Click on the View menu and put your mouse over the Toolbars menu.
  • 3. A tiny menu should appear to the right. Note the contents of that menu.
  • 4. These toolbars may be named AOL Toolbar, AIM Toolbar, Yahoo Toolbar (Yahoo Companion), MyWebSearch, MSN Toolbar, WebAssistant, ViewPoint Toolbar, etc.
  • 5. If any of these are present, we recommend uninstalling them.
  • 6. Please close any instances of Internet Explorer that you may have open.
  • 7. Click on the Start button within Microsoft Windows.
  • 8. Depending on the version of Windows you are running, you should see an icon labeled Control Panel. With other versions of Windows you may see Settings, and then within Settings you will see a Control Panel icon.
  • 9. Click on the Add or Remove Programs icon.
  • 10. Within this window find the names of the toolbars that were listed before and uninstall them.
  • 11. If the name of the toolbar is not present within the Add or Remove Programs menu, go back into Internet Explorer > View > Toolbars and uncheck any remaining toolbars by clicking on the name within the menu. This should at the very least disable the toolbar if it cannot be completely uninstalled.

*If you still have pop-ups being blocked then you may have another program on your computer that is blocking pop-ups. Some anti-virus software may include a pop-up blocker. Since we do not provide support for these products please consult your anti-virus software manual or seek out the manufacturer's technical support.



How to enable your browser's JavaScriptBack to top

Users must have JavaScript enabled to utilize the features available in online courses. Instructions on how to do so for several different browsers are as follows:


Internet Explorer 6.X

Firefox 1.0.x

Firefox 1.5.x and 2.0.x