What Students Need to Know
The DMACC Real-Time Virtual course delivery format is similar to a traditional face-to-face course, but the regularly scheduled class meetings are conducted online with a web conferencing tool instead of in a physical classroom. Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is the most commonly used conferencing tool for class meetings. Many instructors also use Blackboard to supplement the course by posting the syllabus and handouts, linking to content and assignments, using the gradebook, and more.
If you sign up for a course with virtual or online components, be sure of the following so you can be prepared.
- You will meet online during the designated class times.*
- You have a stable internet connection.
- You own a computer or laptop (a tablet or mobile device alone is not recommended).
- Your computer or laptop has the following:
- A webcam so your instructor and classmates can see you.
- Speakers or headphones to hear the instructor and other students speaking.
- A microphone so your instructor and classmates can hear you.
- You have the
Google Chrome and/or
Mozilla Firefox browser installed on your computer because Blackboard Collaborate works best with these two browsers.
- You are comfortable navigating Blackboard and using its tools.
- Access the
Blackboard Basics for Students (requires login) course in your Courses list on Blackboard for tips on succeeding online and to practice using the tools.
*Fully online courses do not typically have regular meeting times, but virtual and web-blended courses do.
As for getting started with your virtual or online course, don't worry. DMACC faculty and staff are ready to support you.
One day before your class starts, you will be able to enter it on Blackboard. Be sure to check your DMACC email account regularly, as your instructor may send instructions for getting started and how to access Blackboard Collaborate or another virtual classroom tool.
The Collaborate icon looks like this:
When you enter the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra virtual course room, you will see the following screen. Click on the icons to expand your options and turn on your microphone and webcam.
Virtual and Online Course Support
In May 2020, DMACC offered virtual and online course support workshops for students. Each session included a faculty or staff member from the following areas: DMACC Distance Learning (Blackboard help), academic advising, counseling, and the Academic Achievement Centers (AAC) and testing centers. If you missed the sessions, we encourage you to watch the recording (closed captioning provided) and view the supporting materials below. If you have questions about how Collaborate will be used in your course, contact your instructor.