Frequently Asked Questions

Types of Online Courses at STCC

Fully Online

A fully online course is offered entirely over the Internet using the Blackboard Learning System and other web-based tools. All course requirements, including readings, group discussions, homework assignments, and assessments are conducted online. Fully online courses feature modules of activities and assignments. Fully online classes are asynchronous meaning work can be completed any time that is convenient for students, as long as the instructor’s deadline requirements are being met.

Hybrid

Hybrid courses require both in-person meetings and online components.  Hybrid courses typically meet one day a week and at least 50% of the coursework is online.  This does not reduce the rigor of the course and students are still required to complete all weekly assignments and attend all on-campus class sessions.

Web-Assisted

Web-Assisted courses require both in-person meetings and online components. Less than 50% of the coursework is online.

Blended Synchronous

Blended Synchronous courses are an online course that contains a regularly-scheduled synchronous component alongside asynchronous components of a traditional online course.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is STCC accredited?

Springfield Technical Community College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).  (Prior to August 2018, the College was accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.) Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the Commission indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality periodically applied through a peer review process. An accredited college or university is one which has available the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and gives reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.

For more information about accreditation, please see the Accreditation page.

Do I have to be on the computer at a certain time?

No, our online courses are conducted asynchronously. You can access our classes whenever it is convenient for you to complete your work during each week. You choose when, where and how often (minimally twice weekly) you visit your online class to meet the weekly deadline requirements. Some faculty will be hosting online discussion sessions each week at a specified time. You are encouraged to attend these sessions and participate in the class discussion.

Do I need to purchase any software?

No, our courses are designed to run with most browsers. Some courses require the use of word processing software for the submission of papers. Courses in Information Technology may require specific software on your computer such as Microsoft Office, etc.

Is this course equivalent to an onsite course?

Yes, the material is presented differently but the online courses cover the same content as the on-site classes. The credits received are the same as the on-campus course.

Is it appropriate to exchange ideas with other students?

Yes, we highly recommended that our students work together. This will enrich your online classroom experience and gives you an opportunity to meet your classmates.

Can I contact my professor?

Yes, you can contact your professor directly by email, phone, or through the discussion meeting. The majority of our faculty respond to their email within 48 hours; many faculty respond within 12-24 hours.

Are the college services / resources available to me?

Yes, as an STCC student, you are entitled to make use of our resources and student services. Some of these services and resources can be utilized only if you are located in the STCC geographic area.

Online Learning Policies

Academic Honesty

To view the Academic Honesty policy please see the STCC Academic Catalog.

Withdrawal

Failure to participate in a distance education class does not constitute a withdrawal.

To view the full Withdrawal policy please see the STCC Academic Catalog.

If you need any assistance withdrawing from a course please e-mail the Registrar's Office at registrar@stcc.edu.

Change of Course

To view the Change in Class Schedule policy please see the STCC Academic Catalog.

Blackboard Exam Tips

When taking a quiz or exam online there are a number of factors to consider that helps ensure successful completion of the assessment.  The following suggestions will help you prepare and take an online exam in Blackboard.

Before the Test

  • Be sure that you are using a reliable computer.  If your computer is not operating properly, find an alternative computer for the test.
  • Be sure the operating system with associated software is up to date.
    • Use one of Blackboard's .
    • Update your Java software.
    • Run these updates prior to the test; do not have updates running while taking the test.
  • Be sure that your Internet connection is reliable.  Intermittent connectivity issues may cause you to be locked out of your test.
    • If using a wireless (Wi-Fi) connection, be sure the signal is strong and reliable.
    • It is not recommended to use a cellular network connection.
    • Using a dial up internet connection is not recommended.
  • Do not wait until the last minute to take an examination, as you should allow yourself enough time to address any technical or administrative issues that may arise.
  • Be aware of the test guidelines.  Will there be a time limit? Can you exit the test and re-enter at a later time?  Are you allowed to take the exam more than once?
    • Generally, the tests will be timed and you must finish the test in one sitting once you have started it.  Conditions are similar to taking a test in a classroom on campus.

During the Test

  • Be sure that you are ready and prepared for the test before clicking the Begin button.
  • Be sure to wait until the entire test page loads before clicking on any area of the test.
  • Understand that the Tab key in an online test moves the cursor to the next command button or question.  It does not indent the cursor.
  • It is very easy to get "locked out" of your exam or have your responses submitted prematurely. Here is how to avoid being locked out:
    • Do not close your exam window.
    • Do not browse to another Web page during the exam.
    • Avoid opening and using other applications during the exam.
    • Do not leave your exam opened for more than 3 hours. Your Blackboard session will time out and you won't be able to submit your exam.
  • Save your work regularly using the Save Answer buttons, located to the right of individual questions.
  • When completing the test be sure to click the Save and Submit button to ensure your test is sent to your instructor.
  • If you experience a problem or get locked out of the test, contact your instructor immediately.