Online Students

What should I do if I decide that my online course isn’t for me?

Answer: 

Students should contact their academic adviser immediately via email and let them know that they wish to drop the course. Your email correspondence will serve as a record that you wish the drop the course. A refund for the course will be based on the liability schedule that you are given before you begin your course.

FAQ Topics: 
Future Students: 

What are some basic testing do’s and don’ts for Blackboard?

Answer: 
  • DO put yourself in a relaxed environment without distractions.
  • DO make sure you have a reliable computer and internet connection.
  • DO install the latest version of JAVA on your computer.
  • DO make sure your computer is configured properly (see the FAQ)
  • DO close all other programs running on your computer.
  • DO remove third-party toolbars like Google and Yahoo from your browser.
  • DO contact your professor and the Help Desk if you experience trouble.
  • DON’T use a wireless internet connection when taking a test.
  • DON’T open other browser windows or applications while taking a test.
  • DON’T skip around in the test or close the test window by mistake.
  • DON’T use the browser “backward” and “forward” buttons or the “back space” key.
  • DON’T use the “enter” key to move to the next question or submit.
  • DON’T click the mouse multiple times to navigate or submit, only click ONCE.
FAQ Topics: 
Future Students: 

What are the computer requirements to use Blackboard?

Answer: 

A recent computer with Windows or Mac Operating systems and a high speed Internet connection is required. This will enable students to use Blackboard’s features successfully. Cookies, Java, ActiveX, and pop-ups all need to be enabled in your Web browser. We have determined that wireless Internet connections are less reliable than hard-wired connections when using Blackboard and will cause problems during tests.

Typically, the latest versions of Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox are certified to be fully compatible with Blackboard’s features. (However, this is not always the case.) In addition, Blackboard has established support for use with Google Chrome and Apple Safari. The Web site below contains information on which browsers are best suited for using Blackboard.

http://help-archives.blackboard.com/Blackboard-Learn/9.1/SP09/EN-US/NAHE/Student/Content/_about/about_browsers.htm

Software requirements vary from course to course, but typically include media players, Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Microsoft Office or Microsoft Office file viewers. Many of these are free downloads available from their respective Web sites.

Future Students: 

What is ActiveX and how does it affect Blackboard?

Answer: 

ActiveX is technology developed by Microsoft to add interactive features and applications to web pages. Because of ActiveX security issues, you may encounter dialogs asking you to activate it when you attempt to use certain features in Blackboard, such as online tests and typing into text boxes (i.e., fill in the blank questions). These dialogs are often shown in a yellow bar at the top or bottom of the screen.

Depending on how your browser is configured, your experience may be different. Firefox does not explicitly employ ActiveX control. Note that Internet Explorer allows you to add Blackboard to your list of trusted sites. Setting the security level to low for trusted sites will enable more automatic ActiveX control. Be sure only trusted sites are added to this list. Be sure to “uncheck” the box to allow non-https sites to be in the list.

Internet Explorer Trusted site screen shot

Internet Explorer Trusted site screen shot

Future Students: 

What if I have technical difficulties with Blackboard?

Answer: 

Contact the Alfred State Computer Help Desk by phone (607) 587-4357 or email helpdesk@alfredstate.edu and make sure you notify your professor.

See our User Support page for Help Desk hours of operation.

Future Students: 

What if I quit Blackboard or close a test by accident?

Answer: 

Students should take tests carefully. To avoid losing a test, first close down the other programs running on the computer. Avoid distraction and focus only on the test until it is finished. Be careful not to close or even resize the window. Do not skip around the test and do not hit a key in error. Contact your professor immediately should you get locked out of a test.

Future Students: 

How do I avoid losing my work?

Answer: 

We recommend that you work on essay questions offline using a word processor such as Microsoft Word or Notepad. Save the file to disk and then use the copy and paste feature to copy the information to the Blackboard essay text box. Saving work that you will be posting online is a good idea (especially if your response is a long one) just in case there is a problem, and you get logged out without submitting the information. Many students have composed long answers online and lost all information upon submission. Students should periodically click the “save answers” button at the top or bottom of the page every five or 10 minutes.

Future Students: 

What if an operation is “blocked” by my browser when using Blackboard?

Answer: 

Because of security settings, you may encounter dialogs asking you to allow a blocked operation when you attempt to use certain features in Blackboard, such as online tests and when accessing uploaded files like Word documents or PowerPoints.

Firefox blocked ops image

The yellow bar in the screen shot above alerts the user that an operation was blocked, and offers options to allow successful viewing. Websites at Alfred State, such as Blackboard, are deemed safe. This means you should allow the browser to override the blocked operation.

Depending on how your browser is configured, your experience may be different.

Future Students: 

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