Frequently Asked Questions about Online Learning

Is there an instruction guide for using Blackboard?

The student user manual is available in the Tools menu shown in most Blackboard courses. Note that some of the features explained in the manual may not be used in all courses, or may not be available in our version of Blackboard. Extended documentation and tutorials are available at this Blackboard tutorial site: http://ondemand.blackboard.com/students (no login required for students).

What should I do if my document will not print from Blackboard?

Blackboard usually has no impact on the printing problem being encountered. Instead, the document construction or formatting is the issue. In many cases, document features don't coincide with the normal default parameters of certain printers. In order to print the document successfully, save the document locally (on the computer desktop, for example), then edit the features or formatting of the document (margins, page size, etc.) to be within the acceptable defaults of the printer. Then send the “new” document to the printer.

Note that opening the document from within Blackboard may not allow the proper editing to be recognized "down the line." It is best to simply save it to the computer, then work with it.

How do I access online learning at ASC and the online Blackboard courses?

The Blackboard Resources page contains information for online learning and help for Blackboard.

The website for online learning is http://blackboard.alfredstate.edu. Notice there is no "www" in the web address.  Enter your Alfred State username and password to login.

How do I obtain a copy of my Alfred State transcript?

Your academic transcript is composed of all credit-bearing coursework you attempted or completed at Alfred State as well as any degree(s) conferred. If you plan to attend another college after leaving Alfred, or if you are a high school student applying to colleges other than Alfred State, do not forget to submit a signed request to have your transcript sent to your new college.

Request Your Transcript Using BannerWeb

If you were enrolled in 1974 or later, you may request your transcript using your BannerWeb account (click on Continue, then click on Enter Secure Area). Log into your account, select Student Services and Financial Aid, select Student Record, and then select Request Printed/Official Transcript. Use the look up feature to select the institution you wish to send your transcript to, OR click on Continue to enter the name and address of the recipient yourself. Be sure to select submit when you are done. You may also view the status of your transcript requests. Your transcript will be printed on the next business day if you have requested that it be sent immediately. The Student Records and Financial Services Office will seal and mail the transcript at that time.

Request Your Transcript from the Student Records and Financial Services Office

If you are unable to request your official transcripts using BannerWeb, you may request your transcript by going to the Student Records and Financial Services Office or you can print and fill out a Transcript Request Form to mail to the Student Records and Financial Services Office. Also, you can mail or fax a signed letter requesting that the Student Records and Financial Services Office send your transcript. We do not accept any phone or e-mail requests due to security considerations. There is NO FEE for this service.

Mail your request to:

Alfred State
Attention: Student Records and Financial Services Office
10 Upper College Drive
Alfred, NY 14802

Our fax number is (607) 587-3287.

If you mail or fax your request, the following information is required:

  1. Name (include maiden name if married)
  2. Social security number
  3. Mailing address and phone number where you can be reached in case we have any questions in processing your request
  4. Years you attended Alfred State
  5. Address or the fax number where your transcript is to be sent
  6. Your written signature

Be aware that faxed transcripts are generally considered "unofficial". Usually it takes about 2 - 3 working days for your request to be processed. Please allow two weeks to process your requests during registration and final grade periods.

If you want final grades for the semester you are currently enrolled in to be included, you must note to have the transcript sent at the end of the semester. Requests for FINAL transcripts can be made any time prior to the end of the current semester.

Remember - The Student Records and Financial Services Office will not send transcripts without the student's signature each time one is requested. Also, the Student Records and Financial Services Office cannot release copies of a student's transcripts from other institutions. Students must request these directly from the schools they have attended. You may obtain/print unofficial copies of your transcript from BannerWeb.

Note - If you have any financial obligations with Alfred State or you have not returned all equipment or supplies borrowed from the College, such as library books, athletic equipment, etc., your transcripts will be held until these obligations have been cleared.

What are the computer requirements to use Blackboard?

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.

Does Blackboard work with pop-up blockers, firewalls, antivirus, and browser toolbars?

Students may experience problems working in Blackboard if they have any pop-up blockers, firewalls, antivirus, and browser toolbars enabled on their computer. Students may not be able to click on test links or may have problems submitting tests or discussion items when pop-up blockers are enabled. Students may experience browser “freeze-ups” or unexpected “kick-outs” when third-party toolbars such as Google or Yahoo are installed on the student’s computer.

We recommend you add our Alfred State Blackboard Web sites below to a list of “trusted sites” using the tools menu of your browser, and set the security level to a lower setting. This will automatically enable many features in Blackboard to work smoothly. Be sure only trusted sites are added to this list.

What if I have technical difficulties with Blackboard?

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.

How do I remove old courses from my course list?

While course listings are added to your Blackboard list by automatic data transfer from our Banner system, you can hide unused courses so they don’t appear in your list on the My Institution page. Start by moving your mouse over the upper right corner of the My Courses box until the gear icon appears, then click on it.

remove courses blackboard image

Next, uncheck the boxes beneath Course Name, Course ID, and Announcements of any courses you want to hide from your view. Then, click Submit at the top or bottom of the page.

remove courses blackboard image

Your courses are not really gone, just hidden from your list. You can reverse the process to make them reappear.

Do I get credit for a noncredit course?

No. College credits are only given to courses designated as college credit courses. Noncredit courses are taught to further the student’s knowledge on a particular subject without giving college credits.

What are some basic testing do’s and don’ts for Blackboard?
  • 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.
What is the difference between a matriculated student and a non-matriculated student?

Matriculated students apply to Alfred State through the admissions process and are accepted into a particular program. Non-matriculated students can take one or more courses through The Center for Community Education and Training without going through the admissions process.

What is the refund policy for noncredit courses?

CCET reserves the right to cancel any non-credit course. If we must cancel a course, you will be notified by phone or email. If you cancel your registration, refunds will be given only to those participants who notify CCET at least seven calendar days before the course is scheduled to start. Non-credit online courses are non-refundable.

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

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.

Who do I contact if I need help with my credit or non-credit course registration?

Please contact The Online Education Office at 607-587-4015 or at ccet@alfredstate.edu.

Can I transfer in my previous college coursework from other colleges?

Yes, you will work closely with our transfer coordinator to ensure that all your previous college credits are reviewed and those that are appropriate are transferred in towards credits for your degree.

How will I know what classes to take and how the degree curriculum works?

When you are accepted into the program you will work closely with an assigned faculty advisor who is one of the senior faculty members in the program to ensure that you are appropriately advised and that a recommended schedule is developed for you each semester. Classes are offered in the traditional spring and fall semesters, also with a few being offered in the summer and winter sessions as well.

I work full time and have a family -- can I take classes part-time?

We have some students who take a full load of 4-5 classes per semester and others who choose to take 1-2 classes each semester so they can also successfully work full time and spend time with their family.

What do I do if I cannot access a test on Blackboard?

Please address this issue with your instructor.

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

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.

Do any of your business graduates go on to graduate school or complete their MBA’s?

Yes, in fact a number of our graduates in the past few years have gone on to complete their MBA’s at Clarkson University, St John Fisher, St Bonaventure, Niagara University, and Alfred University. We also have articulation agreements with a number of university graduate programs which help our graduates move smoothly into graduate school.

How do I avoid losing my work?

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.

How do I get started in the Technology Management program?

To be accepted into the program, you must have earned a technical or associate-level degree or have earned 60 credits towards an associate degree.

How long will it take me to complete my BBA Degree in Technology Management?

Depending upon how many classes you take per semester you can usually finish in 2-3 years.

What are some of your business graduates doing today and what kind of positions do they hold?

Graduates hold a wide variety of professional positions including practicing court reporters for New York State, design team leaders for a major grocery store chain, a supply chain manager, and more.

Who are the business faculty and what are their credentials?

Faculty who teach our core business classes possess years of real world experience as well as advanced training and degrees. Included are six faculty who have PhD’s or JD’s (law degrees) in their area of specialization and the remaining faculty all either possess MBA and or advanced Masters’ Degree in Strategic Planning, Technology Management program areas. All our faculty have worked in leadership positions in business and industry and some either own their own businesses or currently also serve in consulting capacities in business as well.

How can I keep my Internet connection from timing out when I take a test in Blackboard?

Some Internet connections may ‘time out’ your connection to the Internet if there is no activity coming from your machine - e.g., when you are composing an answer to an essay question or taking a test with many questions. This may cause Blackboard to freeze when you press "submit," or redirect you to the Bb login page, or you may get a blank screen rather than a score report and your answers are not recorded. Students should periodically click the “save answers” button at the top or bottom of the page every five or 10 minutes.

How does the online learning take place?

Our online courses are taught using the Blackboard Online Learning System. Learn more about Blackboard on our tutorials and training page.

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

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.

What is ActiveX and how does it affect Blackboard?

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