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Atlanta Technical College

Atlanta Technical College

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Atlanta Technical College

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  1. Atlanta Technical College Online Student Orientation

  2. Contents • Is Online Learning For Me • How To Get Started • How To Use Blackboard • Technical Requirements • Technical Guidelines

  3. Technology Competency Requirements • Browser Recommendations • Drop Deadlines • Format For Assignments • Requirements For Chat Room and Email • Instructor Response Time • Troubleshooting Advice

  4. Is Online Learning For Me? The following statements assess the basic skills and capabilities that you need in order to be successful in an online course. You should be able to answer yes to each of the statements before starting your course. 1. I have my own computer. 2. The hard drive on my computer has at least 6 gigabytes of storage space. 3. I have access to a printer. 4. My computer has a CD-ROM drive. 5. I know how to print pages.

  5. 6. I have Microsoft Office 98 or higher on my computer. • When you have technical difficulties with your computer, do you have access to technical support? 8. I have my own Internet Service Provider or I have easy access to the Internet on a regular basis. 9. I check (or am able to check) my email at least once each day. 10. Are you comfortable using computers? 11. Do you use the Internet regularly at home or at work? 12. I can commit 6 – 9 hours each week, both online and offline, devoted to completing this course, and I am able to budget my time.

  6. 13. I am comfortable (or believe I would be comfortable) learning without face to face interaction from an instructor or fellow students. 14. I have access to a computer with Internet access and a high speed connection. 15. I can start, shut down, and reboot a computer. 16. I can use a keyboard and mouse gracefully. 17. I have an email address and know how to send, receive, reply to, add attachments, and forward email. 18. My computer has the latest security features and an anti-virus program.

  7. 19. I know how to use word processing software. 20. I can copy and paste text across all applications. 21. I can install software from a computer disk onto my computer. 22. I know how to access URLs (web addresses) on the Internet. 23. I know how to use online search tools such as Google or Yahoo. 24. I can navigate both forward and backward on web sites. 25. I can troubleshoot a URL or link that is not working.

  8. How To Get Started • To participate in an online course you need to meet the technical equipment requirements and technology competency requirements listed in this orientation.

  9. Access to an online course requires a Username and Password on the Blackboard system. Your instructor will assign these to you. The Web Site address for your online course is and LOG IN using the Username and Password your instructor provides. Course navigation is explained in this orientation in "How to Use Blackboard".

  10. How To Use Blackboard The navigational buttons are on the left in Blackboard. This is a general summary of buttons, although all buttons may not be needed in each class. • Announcements – New information posted for students. • Course Information – Contains a syllabus and a how to use this web site guide. • Staff Information - Instructor's contact information. • Course Documents – Includes course content, outlines, and other documents to help with the course.

  11. Assignments - Follow directions carefully and submit work as requested by the instructor. • Books – Textbook information is found here and any other suggested titles. • Communication – Several methods to communicate with instructor and other students. • External Links - Links to course related websites. • Tools - Areas include Digital Drop Box, Glossary, Personal Information, SmarThinking Login, Blackboard Student Manual, Tasks, and View Grades.

  12. Technical Requirements You will need access to a computer with the following minimum hardware requirements: • Operating System - Microsoft Windows 98 or better • Processor - Celeron®/Pentium® 200 MHz or greater • RAM - 64 MB or more • Internet Connection – 56.6 Kbps or higher • Sound - sound card and speakers • Browser - Internet 5.0 or better; or, Netscape 4.7 or better • Monitor

  13. Internet Service Provider An ISP is a company that can provide you with the software necessary for getting onto the Internet. Contact your local ISP to set up your personal account. Without an ISP, it is impossible to take GVTC Online Courses. Students have reported numerous problems when using AOL to access online courses. If you use AOL, you must be able to access Netscape or Internet Explorer to use as a browser after connecting to the Internet. Do not use the AOL browser!

  14. Email Account:Since it is our primary form of communication, you must have an email address. Generally, your ISP will give you an email account. Please contact your ISP if you are unsure of your email address. Email accounts are readily available on the Internet. You may register for email at several alternative sites like Hotmail, Yahoo, Juno, or Excite.

  15. Technical Guidelines Supplemental Software: Some online classes require or recommend software packages. Some common software packages and their online websites are posted here for your benefit. • Real Player G2Real Player gives you access to multimedia files, both on the Internet and those stored locally on your computer and your LAN. With Real Player, you can find and play Channels, Live Stations, and other clips directly without having to launch your web browser first. • Adobe® Acrobat® 5.0software lets you save virtually any document — from a simple Microsoft Word file to a CAD drawing to a graphically rich brochure — in compact Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). It also lets you protect your documents from unauthorized access or alterations. • Macromedia Authorware Web Player(free download) you can experience online learning applications on the Web.

  16. Macromedia Flash Player (free download) client for rich web experiences across multiple platforms. With Macromedia Flash Player, view and interact with content developed in Macromedia Flash MX. • MacroMedia Shockwave Player (free download) you can enjoy multimedia games, learning applications, and product demonstrations on the Web, using exciting new 3D technology. • WS FTP the market leader in Windows-based FTP (file transfer protocol) client software. It enables users and organizations to move files between local and remote systems while enjoying the utmost in security, ease of use, reliability, and efficiency. • WinZip makes it easy for Windows users to work with archives. Features an intuitive point-and-click drag-and-drop interface for viewing, running, extracting, adding, deleting, and testing files in archives with a standard Windows interface. Zip files are "archives" for distributing and storing files. Zip files contain one or more files. Usually the files "archived" in a Zip are compressed to save space. Makes it easy to group, transport, and copy files faster.

  17. Technology Competency Requirements Student Technology Skills:The following computer skills are needed prior to taking online Atlanta Technical College courses. Students are responsible for assessing their own skill levels. If you do not possess these skills, check into the computer literacy courses offered at your local Technical College. Your instructor will not be teaching these skills as part of the course. Basic Skills: • Familiar with the operating system of the computer being used to access the Internet course. • Understand terms like mouse, drag, open, select, file, choose, double-click, download, upload, send, etc. • Save, copy and find files/folders on floppy and hard drives • Navigate between two or more applications without closing and re-opening (multitasking) • Minimize/maximize Windows

  18. Email Skills:1. Send, open, reply to, and forward a message 2. Enter a message subject 3. Send an attachment 4. Open and/or save an attachment 5. Web Browser Skills Go to a specific URL:1. Print a page 2. Follow a hypertext link 3. Conduct a basic search using a search engine 4. Download and install plug-ins 5. Word Processor Skills Open a new file:1. Open an existing file 2. Save a file 3. Rename a file (Save As) 4. Cut, paste, format text 5. Print a document

  19. Browser Recommendation Java™ Compliant Web Browser:Atlanta Technical College online courses require a Java™ compliant Browser. For the Java™ capable browser we recommend Microsoft® Internet Explorer 4.0 (or higher) or Netscape® Communicator 4.0 (or higher). If your browser is older than IE 4.0 or Netscape 4.0, you may download a current version for free by clicking on the icons below.

  20. Drop Deadlines Important dates are listed on the Atlanta Technical College academic calendar at

  21. Format For Assignments In your Blackboard course environment, look under Syllabus or in Course Information for the course syllabus. Additional instructions may be located under Assignments. General assignment formatting instructions will be related to you in these areas. If specific assignments need special formatting, this will be related to you as part of the assignment.

  22. Requirements For Chat Room & Email Within the Blackboard 6 environment, students are encouraged to communicate with fellow classmates and instructors from the course website. The Communication Center allows users to send email, access course discussion boards, participate in the virtual classroom, send messages, and access student group pages. Look in "Course Information" for the course syllabus. Any chat room and email requirements will be listed in the syllabus.

  23. Instructor Response Time Instructors respond to emails as quickly as possible since this is the predominant method through which instructors and students communicate. Instructors will respond to emails within 24 hours excluding weekends and holidays.

  24. Troubleshooting Advice Contact your instructor first if you need technical support. Questions concerning the course or navigating in the course should be directed to your instructor. If the Blackboard server goes down please be patient. If you send email for technical support to theGVTC Coordinator, please be sure to type your name, class name, and 'Technical Difficulty' in the subject area. For example: John Doe, ACC100, Technical Difficulty. AOL users experience compatibility issues with Blackboard. Students have reported numerous problems when using AOL to access online courses. If you use AOL, you must be able to access Netscape or Internet Explorer. Do not use the AOL browser.

  25. Enrollment Current Atlanta Technical College students enroll in online courses by contacting your advisor.