Prepare for Your Online Course

How online learning works

Learning online means instructors provide all instruction through the web, and you have more flexibility as you take your course on your schedule.

At JCC, instructors primarily deliver instruction and course content through Blackboard, a learning system. You can access your online courses and course resources, such as your syllabus, assignments, and grades. You may also participate in classroom discussions, through both written word forums and webinars.

Like on-campus courses, online courses have specific start and end dates according to JCC’s academic calendar. Your instructor will provide a course schedule with dates and deadlines for assignments.

For most online courses at JCC, you can log in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Plan on 3-4 hours of work per week per credit hour. For a 3-credit course, you should set aside 9-12 hours per week. You should also plan to interact in your course several times during the week.

Required hardware and software

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. We do not recommend Safari.

We recommend a full-size computer (either PC or MAC) with a high speed, broadband, or DSL internet connection. We do not recommend dial-up connections for downloading and viewing rich media. You can use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets with a full-sized computer by downloading the Blackboard app available on Apple iTunes or for Android on Google Play.

Depending on the course, there may be additional hardware or software requirements. Check the course description and course syllabus, and ask your instructor if you have any questions.


Jamestown Community College has been approved by New York state to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education.

NC-SARA makes it easier for students to take online courses and transfer those credits from postsecondary institutions in other states by establishing national standards among member schools.

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