Blackboard Support for Students
Is e-Learning for Me?
e-Learning can be a great alternative for students who do not have the time or ability to get to a campus classroom. Online learning in particular is also a great opportunity for those people who enjoy working independently..
Hybrid and online courses are not for everyone. They differ greatly from traditional face-to-face classroom courses in terms of how the material is presented and the nature of the interaction among class members. You may find that hybrid and online courses are not compatible with your learning style.
While there are many points to consider when making a decision about e-learning, ultimately you are in the best position to know whether it fits your personal learning style and life style. If you have the right qualities to be a successful online student, you will probably find it to be a very convenient and rewarding alternative to traditional classroom learning. So, before enrolling in your first online or hybrid class, give some thought to whether e-learning is right for you. Answering the following questions may help you with this process:
Unlike traditional courses in which the students and instructor meet face-to-face once or several times a week, most of the learning activities and communication in an online course are asynchronous, meaning that class members participate and complete their assignments at different times throughout the day and week. This arrangement can make it possible for you to do your class work when it's most convenient for you. However, with this increased freedom and flexibility comes responsibility. Without the structure of regular class meetings, it will be up to you to pace yourself and keep up with assignments.
Online courses often require at least as much, if not more time and commitment than traditional courses. Completing course assignments and other learning activities can take from five to fifteen hours or more per week. You will to be online in Blackboard almost every day. So before enrolling, be sure you can set aside enough time to keep up with your daily or weekly assignments.
In online courses, nearly all communication is written, so it is critical that you feel comfortable expressing yourself in writing. If you feel that you are weak in this area, try to brush up on your writing skills and find out how much writing is required for the course before enrolling.
If you are having problems with the technology or the course content, you need to let your instructor know as soon as possible. Without this feedback, your instructor will never know what is wrong. Remember that many of the nonverbal cues that you use in the classroom to show frustration, boredom, or confusion (such as a yawn or a look of bewilderment) are not possible in an online class.
While the level of interaction can be very high in online courses, it is not the same face-to-face interaction. Some online students miss having the opportunity to see and listen to their instructor and classmates. If you feel that a traditional classroom is essential for learning or you want to experience campus and dorm life, online classes may not be right for you.
Your personal computer is the primary learning and communication tool in most online courses. You don't need to be a computer guru or a geek to succeed, but you do need to have some basic technology skills, such as word processing and using a Web browser. Needless to say, you will also need regular access to a computer with an Internet connection. Additionally, you should be comfortable uploading attachments and navigating Wentworth's Blackboard Learning Management System.
Adapted from materials found at: http://www.online.uillinois.edu/students/well_suited.asp
Click here for directions that will help you to register for courses.
- Hybrid courses are indicated by the letters HYB
- Online courses are indicated by the letters ONL
For questions about registering for courses, please contact the Student Services Center at 617-989-4020
Two important qualities of a successful e-learner are flexibility and adaptability. Learning online is an adventure that will expose you to some entirely new - and not always comfortable - experiences. The ability to be flexible and remain open minded is critical to having a positive experience as you move into uncharted territory.
Successful E-Learning Students Will:
- Daily log in to their class(s)
- Scheule time within your week to study and complete assignments
- Practice good study habits
- Commit 6 - 9 hours per week per three-credit class
- Enjoy communicating in writing and reading the writing of others
- Successfully interacte with other students and faculty using online technology
- Be an active participant in all aspects of learning
- "Speak up" to their instructors when problems arise
Best Practices for Students online
Before the class begins, make sure that you have the required technology. You will need a computer and good Internet access. Once you have access to the Blackboard system, be sure to run the browser checker to circumvent possible issues.
Familiarize yourself with the downloads and search procedures on your computer. You may be required to download some larger files, which could take a while. You will also need to know where these files download to, and how to access them.
Develop a schedule and stick to it. Make sure that assignments and quizzes are completed on time and no work is missed. You are responsible for your learning.
Your work environment is important. You will need to find a place free from distractions in order to participate fully.
Update programs and software on your computer as recommended.
Keep "help numbers" handy. The DTS helpdesk can be reached at 617-989-4500. Email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Be respectful and courteous in your communication with instructors and other students. Make sure to read your posting/message aloud before sending to make sure it flows smoothly and is understandable.
Be open about what is happening in your life that impacts your class involvement.
Broadband connectivity is required for Wentworth e-learning education. Various types of broadband connections include cable Internet, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), satellite, VOIP, T1, and DS3 cables. Dial-up service is not recommended.
E-learning courses at Wentworth require Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat (a free download at http://www.adobe.com/products/reader.html). Purchase of other software may be required by the course instructor.
Learning Management System
Wentworth uses Blackboard Vista 8, a web-based learning management system. Students can access readings and presentations, pass in assignments, take quizzes and communicate via email, virtual chats or discussion boards.
Blackboard can run on either an Mac or Windows computer, however other devices, such as tablets and smart phones, are not recommended.
Browsers and Plug-ins
Blackboard maintains a page of Supported Browsers, Plugins & Operating Systems for Vista and CE Release 8 at
You can run a test of your browser before you have access to Blackboard.
- Please go to http://bb.wit.edu
- Click "Check Browser" in the upper right hand corner. If no errors are detected, you are ready to begin. If not, please read the instructions carefully.
While other browsers and operating system may work well please refer to the list of current and supported browsers below. The listed configurations are the only configurations that are tested and supported by Blackboard
Certified: fully tested and supported.
Compatible: partially tested but should function properly.
Provisional: future technologies considered supported by Blackboard Support.
Unsupported: either impossible or not tested.
Java 2 Runtime Environment version 1.6.0 is the latest supported version.
Blackboard also supports the following versions of the Java Run-Time Environment to run in concert with CE and Vista version 8.
Sun 1.4.2 (1.4.2_06 minimum)
Sun 1.5.x (excluding 1.5.0_02)
To find out what version you are running click here: http://www.java.com/en/download/testjava.jsp.
For more information about browser and plug-ins, please go to our troubleshooting page at http://www.wit.edu/td/bb/troubleshooting_guidelines.htm
For further questions, please contact the Helpdesk at email@example.com or 617.989.4500.
Solutions to Common Browser Problems
1. Make sure the Java Runtime Environment is installed. You will need to have the Sun Microsystems Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed in order for certain areas of Vista and CE to function properly. Please visit the Sun website to download the latest version.If, while troubleshooting, you are having difficulty removing older versions of the JRE please visit Sun's support site.
3. Make sure that cookies from third parties are allowed. Third party cookies are allowed by default on all supported browsers. If you experience problems staying logged in to Vista/CE please check your browser settings to make sure you allow third party cookies. Applies to Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari.
4.Disable Pop-up blockers. While using Vista/CE, if you are unable to view discussion postings, quiz windows, and download links, then you may need to disable pop-up blocking for your Vista/CE website. Applies to Firefox, Explorer, Safari
5. Install Third Party Plug-ins. Some content within courses may require the installation of third party plug-ins such as Adobe Flash, Windows Media Player, Realplayer, and many others. In each case there should be a notification and link informing you that you need to install a new plug-in. Be careful that you only install trusted plug-ins that are necessary for the course content. Malicious plug-ins can be dangerous to your computer.
Password Recovery To recover a lost pasword, please call the DTS Helpdesk at 617-989-4500.
Hybrid and online courses at Wentworth use the Blackboard Learning Management System. All WIT students are automatically enrolled in a Blackboard Tutorial course within the LMS. You should go through the tutorial to make the best use of the toolset that Blackboard offers.For help with Blackboard:
- Tutorials for Blackboard Features: