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FAQs - Broward College Online

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How do online classes work?
Instead of attending lectures on-campus, online students attend a "virtual" classroom via the Internet. When you log in to class, you will be able to read course materials and participate in discussions on your own time.  You'll also be able to submit assignments, email the professor and take exams. Learning activities may include writing papers, posting responses to online discussions, completing individual or group projects, and taking quizzes. While students can choose when and where they work, there are usually deadlines for homework and exams.
Is online learning right for me?
Taking courses online isn't for everyone; it takes motivation, self-discipline, good time-management skills, and basic technology skills. If you are not sure whether online courses are right for you, you may want to start by taking a blended course, where some of the work is done online and some is done in class.
Does an online education offer the same value as a traditional education?
Online courses are developed and taught by the same BC faculty as on-campus courses.  The learning outcomes are the same, as are most of the learning activities and assessments. Many of BC's online courses have been nationally recognized for meeting high standards of online course development.
Can anyone take an online course?
Anyone who has been accepted to the college may take online courses, either alone or in combination with on-campus courses.  Students living outside Broward or even outside the state may also take online courses.
Must I own a computer?
No, however, you must be able to get frequent access to a computer and a reliable Internet connection. Each of BC's campuses has an open computer lab that is available to students but they are not available 24/7. The open computer labs are located in the Academic Success Center (ASC) in the library on each campus. Some students get permission to use computers at their workplace outside of their normal working hours. Many libraries have public computers but their use may be limited to short periods of time.
What is the difference between online and blended courses?
Online courses do not require you to attend class, but there may be required proctored exams at one of the campus testing centers or a testing center near you.  Blended courses combine on-campus meetings and online coursework.  You attend class less often than you would for a traditional course.
Is there an additional cost for online and blended courses?
Broward College's tuition and fees are among the most affordable in Florida. Students enrolled in online courses pay regular college tuition and fees in addition to a distance learning fee of $9.00 per credit hour. However, online courses do not include lab fees, or the $4.00 per credit parking fee. Blended and web-enhanced courses do not include a distance learning fee but do include parking fees and may include a lab fee, where applicable.
May I start an online course at any time?
BC Online courses are not self-paced.  They have the same start and end dates as traditional campus courses.  However, there are multiple sessions in each term, ranging from six weeks to sixteen weeks depending on the term and session.  See the academic calendar for start and end dates for each term and session.
Can I take both on-campus courses and online courses?
Absolutely! Many BC students take a mixture of online, blended and on-campus classes depending on availability of classes and their schedules.
What technology skills do I need to take online courses?
Students are more likely to be successful if they possess the following technology skills before starting their online classes:
  • Know how to use a mouse and keyboard to select and start programs, and to enter information.
  • Know how to connect to the Internet and use a web browser to locate information on the Internet.
  • Know how to create and manage folders on a computer, including finding, uploading, downloading, and saving individual files.
  • Know how to download and install "plug-in" software such as media viewers, java, etc.
  • Know how to manage security settings on your computer through the Internet browser software and fire wall.
  • Know how to use word processing software such as Microsoft Word to create, edit, and print text documents.
  • Know how to send and receive messages using e-mail.
Do I need special software on my computer to take online courses?
BC Online courses are web-based so they require no special software to access the courses.  However, you will need a current browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome) and possibly a few plug-ins.  A list of computer requirements and links to download all the plug-ins you may need are available from the link to Technology Requirements in the navigation area to the left.
Are there any face-to-face requirements for online courses?

Most online courses that require proctored exams use Proctortrack.  Exam requirements are normally indicated in the course schedule.  Contact your professor if you have any questions regarding face-to-face requirements.

Is there an advisor available online to assist me with questions and scheduling?
Yes, online students may make an appointment for an online advising session with a cyber advisor.  Online students may also make an appointment to see an advisor in person.  See the link to the advising site on the Student Resources page on the left navigation bar.
How do I take exams?
Many exams will be taken online from using Proctortrack.  Contact your professor if you require special accommodations or have questions regarding online exams.
Is technical help available after I register for an online course?
Yes.  There is a technical helpdesk available 24/7 by toll-free phone, live chat and email.  Information about how to contact the helpdesk is available via the help area when you log in and on the D2L login page.
Can I order books online?
Yes.  Go to the BC Bookstore web page and look for the 'Online Shopping' tab to order books online and have them sent to your home.
When are courses available after I register?
Courses open at 12:01 a.m. on the first day of the term.  Some faculty members open their courses early, but they usually email their students to let them know. During peak enrollment times, such as the first week of class, there could be as much as a 24-hour lag time between the time you register and pay for your course and when you see it appear in D2L.
What is my email address and password?
If you do not know your email address, you can log into myBC to obtain it.  The password is the same as your myBC password.  It starts as your 6-digit birthday with two digits for the month and four for the year, but you can change it any time you are logged in to myBC.  You cannot change it from within the online courses in D2L. 
I registered for classes, why don't I see them when I log in?
If you registered but cannot see your classes listed when you login, it may be because you are attempting to log in before the start of classes (classes are not active before the first day of the term) or  you have not paid (you must have registered and paid or the course will not be available online).
What are fast-track courses?
Fast Track courses have been condensed into a short time period. Where a class would normally be completed over 16 weeks during a regular semester, fast track classes are completed over a period of 8 weeks. These courses move quickly and can be considered intense since the same volume of material and assignments/tests are delivered in half the time. This format is a good choice for students who are motivated, self-disciplined, and who have the time that is needed to devote to accelerated studies. Some fast-track courses are delivered in a traditional, on-campus format.
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