Getting started in your online course

Online classes follow a regular college semester calendar with assignments due each week. Courses have specific start and end dates, which must be followed. JCC recommends that you log in and participate 4 to 5 times a week to complete assignments and activities. You must start class on time.

Being prepared for your first class and getting started on time is critical in order to be successful in an online course. Log into your class, review the syllabus, and meet your instructor. You may access your online course one week prior to the start of class to get a feel for your course.

Need to know:

How to access your online course


  1. Access all online courses at (Blackboard).
  2. Follow login directions in the "My Announcements" section.
  3. Complete the Blackboard Orientation under the Orientation Tab.
  4. Click the link to your course and follow the instructor's directions.

Username Convention

  • First 6 characters (or fewer) of your last name
  • First character of your first name
  • First character of your middle name if you have one
  • A two digit number beginning with 01

Example: Jane M. Anderson would be (andersjm01). If you have a common name, the final number may increase by 1 (for example, to andersonjm02).

Password Convention

Your password will be your birth date in the format: MMDDYY

Example: January 7, 1989 would be 010789

Blackboard log-in page

If you cannot log in to your course, please contact the JCC helpdesk at 1.800.388.8557 or

After you register for courses at JCC, it may take 24 hours for your account to activate.

Required hardware and software

Are you online compatible?

The primary hardware needed for online courses are a computer with a reliable internet connection, access to your student account, and an up-to-date browser, such as Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer. Safari is not recommended. Depending on the course, there may be additional hardware or software requirements. Please check the course description, the course syllabus or ask your instructor if you have any questions.

A full-size computer (either PC or MAC) is recommended for your online courses. Access to a computer with a high speed, broadband, or DSL internet connection is recommended. Dial-up connections are not recommended, due to the nature of downloading and viewing rich media. Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets can be used in conjunction with a full-sized computer by downloading the Blackboard app available on Apple iTunes or for Android on Google Play.

Online learning support

Online students have access to the same academic and technical support services provided to students on campus. This includes:

If you need academic assistance, you should first contact your instructor.  You can also receive assistance through the Counseling Office. You may also contact your Online Learning Concierge at the Jamestown Campus or Olean campus.

If you are having problems accessing your course, please contact the HelpDesk.

Blackboard Training

Training for students in how to use the Blackboard learning management system is available online through the OPEN SUNY Student Orientation.  The Open SUNY Student Orientation provides information on the navigation and functionality of online courses offered through Blackboard. You can access the Open SUNY Student Orientation by logging into Blackboard and clicking on the link found in the Student Resources area at the top left of the screen.

Contacting Your Online Instructor

To contact the instructor for your online course, log into Blackboard, click on the link to the course, then compose a new message in the Blackboard mail system. The video below demonstrates how to send a message in Blackboard.

Accessing your online course grades

To access the grades for a course you are currently taking online, log into Blackboard, and then click on the link to the course. From the left hand menu, find and click on the My Grades link. This video demonstrates how to check grades.

Accessing JCC Gmail

To access your JCC Gmail account, visit the My JCC page and click on the “Email” tab. Log-in instructions are provided.

Tips for success

Taking courses online is a great way to learn but it requires more commitment from you as a learner. It will be up to you to stay current and on top of course requirements. Here are some tips we have gathered to make your online course a successful one.

  1. Read and embrace the syllabus: Your syllabus is a guide and contract for the course. Often instructors will require assignments in the first week of class. Completing these first assignments will set you on the path of success.
  2. Plan your schedule: After reviewing the syllabus, plan your schedule to determine how you are to do the work. Online courses place a lot more responsibility on you. You must determine how to complete the work.
  3. Participation is key: Regular participation is important to a quality online experience. Make it a habit to engage in discussions early in the week. Getting your thoughts out early prevent having nothing new to add at the end of the week.
  4. Stay up to date: Try to log into your class everyday to stay current on discussions and assignments. Waiting to the last minute will result in hours of work rather than quality work added everyday.
  5. Report problems immediately: If you are having trouble accessing your course or understanding an assignment, contact your instructor immediately. Waiting until the last minute does not achieve the same results as being prompt.
  6. Learn the online system: Become familiar with Blackboard and how to operate the various tools. Blackboard has a very thorough set of tutorials, which will guide you through most issues.
  7. Find a balance between work, home, school, and play: Anticipate scheduling problems and come up with a solution that works for everyone. If you’re going on vacation or have a meeting out of town, work ahead.
  8. Meet the technology requirements of the course: Check the technology requirements page (link) to ensure you have the computer and internet capabilities for the course. In more cases you will need access to a computer with broadband service. If you do not have one at home, you may want to check your local library.
  9. The more you put into a course, the more you will get out: Online courses are about sharing ideas. The more open-minded you are and having a willingness to share, the more you will benefit from the online discussions. Being part of a digital community is an important skill to develop in this information age.
  10. Manage your study time: When you sit down to study, you need to find a distraction free environment. Turn off unnecessary distractions, such as cell phones, email alerts, etc. 
Add or drop a course

Each semester students may withdraw from a course(s), with a grade of “W” if the withdrawal is made before 66% of the course meetings have been completed. Students are required to complete an Individual Withdrawal Card, obtain the instructor’s signature and return the card to the Registrar’s Office in order to be withdrawn from the course(s). A student may also withdraw from all courses through the last day of instruction. Students are required to complete a Total Withdrawal Form, and return the form to the Registrar’s Office in order to be withdrawn from all courses.

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