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Please refer to the following FAQ’s for any questions you may have regarding online learning.

Faculy FAQ

Faculty

What is an Online class?

Online courses at Hostos Community College break into two types; hybrid, and asynchronous.

What is a hybrid class?

Hybrid classes meet both online and face-to-face. For a class to be considered hybrid, at least a third of its meetings must take place online. If you are taking a hybrid class, you must attend all face-to-face meetings in addition to completing all online tasks and assignments.

What is an asynchronous class?

Asynchronous courses meet entirely in an online learning environment (Blackboard). Asynchronous courses (at Hostos) are technically defined as having at least 80% of the class activities taking place online. Students participate in the class, via the Internet, from anywhere and at any time. Students will be expected to complete assignments at a computer and participate in online discussions.

What is the difference between a hybrid class and an online class?

Hybrid classes have a regular face-to-face component while online classes meet predominantly online-only.

Can any class be turned into an Online Class?

Any class theoretically can be developed into an online course. However it’s extremely important that you have a plan in place to measure student progress, and effectively deliver content. This may be easier to develop in certain subject areas than others. Because of this, your department chair may or may not give approval based on the reasoning of  “just wanting to teach online.”

Where can I find the Course Development Application?

You can find the course development application here.

What Services are available to help me develop an Online Class?

If you are not sure where to start the Hostos Online Initiative (asynchronous, hybrid) is a great place to develop an online course with mentors, and a cohort. Additionally, you may wish to contact faculty who have taught online courses to assist and guide your course development. Finally, the Office of Educational Technology can offer one-on-one assistance to help develop courses.

Do I need special training to teach an Online Class?

No. However you should look extensively at the guidelines (asynchronous, hybrid) for course development prior to submitting your course for approval.

Where can I submit my course for approval?

You can submit your course for approval here.

How long does approval take for an Online Class?

Approval takes approximately 2 weeks. The first week it is reviewed by the EdTech office, then if everything is in check with the approval guidelines, then it is sent to the ETLC for final approval.

Who do I see about servicing my office computer or help getting onto the network?

Maintenance of the Hostos computer hardware and network infrastructure, including servicing computers and  installing software, are under the responsibility of the Information Technology Office.  To make a job request order with them, go to this link:
IT Job Request.

What is the Online Learning Initiative?

The Online Learning Initiative through a series of workshops and mentoring, assists faculty in developing a hybrid and online courses, which can then be presented to their departments for approval and scheduled to run in the following semester.  For more information, visit the Online Initiative link under  Online Learning in the main menu.  If you are interested in participating in the Online Learning Initiative, contact:
Carlos Guevara,  Director of EdTech (cguevara@hostos.cuny.edu) or
Kate Lyons, Chairperson of the ETLC (clyons@hostos.cuny.edu).

Student FAQ

Student

What is a hybrid class?

Hybrid classes meet both online and face-to-face. For a class to be considered hybrid, at least a third of its meetings must take place online. If you are taking a hybrid class, you must attend all face-to-face meetings in addition to completing all online tasks and assignments.

What is an asynchronous class?

Asynchronous courses meet entirely in an online learning environment (Blackboard). Asynchronous courses (at Hostos) are technically defined as having at least 80% of the class activities taking place online. Students participate in the class, via the Internet, from anywhere and at any time. Students will be expected to complete assignments at a computer and participate in online discussions.

What is the difference between a hybrid class and an online class?

Hybrid classes have a regular face-to-face component while online classes meet predominantly online-only.

How do I register for a hybrid/online class?

Go to the schedule of classes and search for a class you want to take.

Do I have to contact the instructor to notify him/her about my enrollment in the hybrid/asynchronous course?

The course instructor will receive a message confirming your registration for the course .  The course instructor will register you as an active student for the hybrid/asynchronous course and the course number and title will appear as an active link in your Blackboard account.

Will I receive a message from the course instructor before the course begins?

No, students are responsible for accessing the course by  signing in to Blackboard.  Blackboard is available only by logging into a CUNY portal account.

How do I receive communications from my instructor?

All email communications from you instructor will be sent to your Hostos email., and only to your Hostos email account.  If you  DO NOT know your username or password, use the Student Email Lookup Tool.  If you do not use your Hostos email, start practicing now.  You should be logging into your Hostos email at least once a day.

Are hybrid/asynchronous classes easier than face-to-face ones?

Hybrid/online classes are as challenging as face-to-face classes, with one exception. If this is your first hybrid/asynchronous course, then you must transition from the traditional style classroom to a much more independent form of learning and  academic discovery.  In hybrid  and asynchronous courses, you must not only master the course work, but you must manage your time in a much more self-directed way. If you’re not sure about if you’re ready for a hybrid/online class, take the Are You Ready? eLearning Module.

What are the technical requirements to take a hybrid/online class?

The technical requirements are these:
Recommended System Requirements

  • Hardware Minimum Requirements
    • 1.5 GHz CPU or greater with minimum of 1GB RAM
    • Network adapter: LAN (Ethernet) or wireless (WiFi)
      • For online exams, ethernet is recommended over wifi.
    • DSL or cable broadband Internet (Dial up not compatible)
      • YOU SHOULD NEVER USE MOBILE connections when taking tests.
    • CD/DVD drive and speakers may be required; refer to course requirements
  • Operating Systems
  • Web Browser
    For the latest information on browsers supported by Blackboard go to Link: Browser Support
    WHILE THE BROWSERS BELOW DO SUPPORT BLACKBOARD, IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU USE MOZILLA FIREFOX FOR USING BLACKBOARD.

    • Internet Explorer
      Note: There are some configuration options for Internet Explorer that may make some features of Blackboard Learn difficult to use. To learn more, see the Browser Support Policy and Internet Explorer Security Zones and Compatibility View topics.
    • Safari
      Note: Safari for Windows is an exception. Apple’s continued support for this browser is unclear, and Blackboard does not test it.
    • Firefox RECOMMENDED DOWNLOAD
    • Chrome DOWNLOAD
    • AOL browser is not supported by Blackboard. However, an AOL connection can be used with one of the supported browsers to access Blackboard.
    • To check if your current browser is ready for Blackboard 9.1, including plug-ins and settings, click on the following link: Browser Compatibility Check
  • Browser Plugins and Players
    A browser plugin is an add-in software component that that adds a specific feature to it.  Many of these  are “players”,  plugins that give the user the ability to use various audio and video filetypes. Your professors may post files that require users to have various players and plugins installed on their computers.  The following are the most commonly required ones:

  • Connection Speed
    • Cable modem – the preferred connection for accessing Blackboard
    • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
      Especially for online exams it is recommended that the network connection be ethernet rather than wifi.

What are the minimum computer skills I need to take a hybrid/online class?

To take a hybrid/asynchronous class, you’ll need to know how to navigate the web, use Blackboard, create word-processed documents, and regularly check and use your Hostos email account. Individual classes might have additional requirements that your professor will explain to you at the start of the semester.

When do hybrid online/classes start?

Hybrid/asynchronous classes start on the first day of classes each semester. Even if your class has no face-to-face meetings scheduled, you still need access your syllabus, check what work is due, see if there are any messages from the course instructor, etc.

How do I drop a hybrid/asynchronous class?

Use the same process as dropping traditional, face-to-face classes. Hybrid/asynchronous classes follow the same drop course deadlines as a face-to-face classes.  You must formally drop a course. You cannot simply stop logging in.

Any course offered at Hostos Community College might feature some online components, so students who are unfamiliar with the CUNY portal, the College’s computer systems, or the Blackboard environment should consider registering for free instructional technology workshops. (link to workshops calendar)
Faculty Blackboard User Guides
Faculty Blackboard FAQ

General

Who do I contact for Blackboard support, or support in anything related to Educational Technology at Hostos?

Your first line of EdTech support is your department liaison in the EdTech Office.
Click this link to see  EdTech contact information:
Contact Us

What are the kinds of support offered for faculty by EdTech?

Faculty workshops

  • Blackboard Essentials
  • Grade Center
  • Assessment tools
    • Creating assignments / SafeAssignments / Turnitin assignments
    • Tests
    • Test Pools
  • Collaborate
  • Social Network
    • Creating a blog
  • Smart Board Certification
  • Hostos CMS Training (content editors and approvers)
  • CUNYfirst Faculty Center
  • Response Systems

To register for workshops, go to this link Faculty Workshops

Devices

  • Laptop loan program
  • iPads loan program
  • Calculators

How do I use the Faculty Learning Commons?

For conferences, the Smart Board-equipped Faculty Learning Commons (C-559) can be reserved through the Tech Resource Reservation System .

  • Once you’re in, in the View schedule window, choose Office of Educational Technology.
  • Click on an empty cell in the interactive calendar that represents a desired date and time.

Reservations need to be approved by EdTech.

How do I borrow a laptop and/or projector and other hardware?

Laptop computers and projectors for faculty are the responsibility of the Office of Academic Computing.  To reserve a laptop, projector or multimedia cart that has both, go to the Tech Resources Reservation System site: can be reserved through the Tech Resource Reservation System.  To access it, click on the following link:
Tech Resource Reservation SystemOnce you’re in, in the View schedule window, choose Computer on Wheels (COWS) for laptops for a class, LCD Projectors for a projector, or Multimedia Cartfor laptop/projector setup.    For each of these schedules, you click on the desired time block to reserve in their respective calendars.

What is Blackboard 9.1?

Blackboard 9.1 is the course management system (CMS) used by CUNY and Hostos for management of the online component of courses.  Sections that are taught online are taught through Blackboard 9.1.

How do I get a Blackboard account?

When you are registered in CUNYFirst and are enrolled in courses as an istructor or student, you will have access to Blackboard. You can access Blackboard from any link to it, either under Login in the Hostos main website, or the CUNY website.

 

 

 

Is there a connection between Blackboard and CUNYfirst with regard to emailing students?

There is currently no connection between CUNYfirst and Blackboard student email accounts.  In CUNYfirst, registered Hostos students all have their Hostos emails associated with their CUNYfirst accounts. Therefore any emails sent by faculty to students through CUNYfirst Faculty Center will go to the students Hostos email.
In Blackboard, which receives student data from the CUNY Portal, the Hostos email address is  often linked with a student account, but it can sometimes be the email of another CUNY campus, a personal email or even none at all.It’s highly recommended that all Hostos faculty make it a policy that email communication between instructor and students be done through their Hostos email accounts, and students be required to have access to their Hostos email.  By doing this, students would be assured of receiving communication, as long as students make sure their mailboxes aren’t full.To link a student email to Blackboard, the student should click on the Update Email link under Tools in his/her Blackboard Home page.  Here students can enter their Hostos email addresses to sync it with their Blackboard courses.

How do I get a CUNY portal account?

To register in the CUNY Portal:

  1. Go to www.cuny.edu
  2. Click on the Portal Log-In button
  3. Click on Register for a New Account
  4. Click on Faculty
  5. Fill in the Verify Information form

I’m having problems with my Hostos email. Who do I contact for that?

Information Technology is responsible for faculty and student email.  If you are a faculty or staff member and need to contact IT, please call 718-518-6646. To submit a job request, please click the following link IT Job Request

What is the Hostos Social Network?

A Social Network is a way for people to be connected within a community.  The Hostos Social Network serves the Hostos community, allowing faculty, students and staff to create blogs, join and participate in groups and connect with classmates and colleagues. To access the Social Network, go to the link Hostos Social Network

What kind of educational media support does EdTech offer?

Information on Educational Media and Blackboard Support can be found by clicking on the Media Center link in the main menu.  EdTech provides support for Blackboard use and course development, clickers, video and audio, lecture capture, and mobile learning with iPads, and iphones.

What kind of online courses are there at Hostos?

An online course is one in which part or all of the course is conducted online.  In an asynchronous course, 100% of the coursework is carried out online.  In a hybrid course, 30% to 60% of the coursework is carried out online.

Do I need certification to teach an online course?

Technically, you do not need any special certification to teach an online course.  Arrangement to teach an online course is done similar to teaching a face-to-face course – through your academic department.

Are there faculty who I can discuss educational technology issues with?

The Educational Technology Leadership Council (ETLC) is made up of faculty members from the academic departments, Library and Counseling with EdTech staff as advisers and chaired by the Faculty Liaison to EdTech.  Your department ETLC representative is your faculty contact for educational technology issues and initiatives at Hostos and CUNY. 

How do I Login to Blackboard?

Your CUNYFirst login ID and Password is also used to login to Blackboard.  When you click on any link to Blackboard, it will take you to the Blackboard login page.

Type in your CUNYFirst Username followed by @login.cuny.edu., then your CUNYFirst Password in the Password field.  For example, if your CUNYFirst Username is john.smith22 the Username you enter to login to Blackboard must be john.smith22@login.cuny.edu. The Username field is already populated with the @login.cuny.edu part, so all you need to do is insert your CUNYFirst Username before the @, without any space.

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