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Getting Started Basic Skills & Requirements How Do I? Technical Support FAQ Blackboard Collaborate

Getting Started — Index of Topics


Blackboard Orientation

What is Blackboard?

Student Responsibilities when taking online courses.

Logging into Blackboard (Username & Password)

Brief Tour of Blackboard

Taking your first Online course? Try this self-quiz to see if you are ready.

Your Email Address: MyWCCC Email

Email Etiquette

Taking Proctored Tests

Academic Dishonesty

WCCC 2015-16 College Catalog/Student Handbook


What is Blackboard?

Blackboard is a Course Management System used by Westmoreland as a supplement for some traditional face-to-face courses and as the primary means of communication for online courses. It is accessed via the Internet and a web browser program such as Internet Explorer for Windows and Firefox for Mac.

When used as a supplement, it provides a place for your instructor to post announcements, syllabus, handouts, assignments, and links to web sites of interest to the class. Some of the more advanced features include a Discussion Board, Gradebook, Groups, and Assessments. Your instructor may choose to use the basic features in Blackboard while others will make use of the more advanced ones. Check with the instructor to find out how Blackboard will be used in your course.

If you are taking an online course, Blackboard will take the place of the traditional classroom. All of your lectures, assignments, and course interaction with the instructor or other students will take place via the Internet. Most of your assessments (quizzes and exams) will take place in Blackboard. Some instructors will require that you take major exams in a proctored setting. See the section below on Proctor Tests for more information.

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Student Responsibilities

Students have a certain amount of responsibility when taking online courses at Westmoreland County Community College. Internet based Online courses require students to have access to a working computer, which is adequate for working in an online environment. At times, you may need to reconfigure your computer or browser to meet the needs of the course. Example: A wireless Internet connection may be appropriate for most tasks you need to perform during your course, but it is not appropriate when a strong connection is important, like when taking an assessment. Please review this information to be sure that your computer is appropriate for taking a course online. If your computer does not meet the necessary requirements, the college has computer labs in all of the centers for you to use.

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Logging into Blackboard                           

Blackboard and MyWCCC now have a common login. To access Blackboard, first log into MyWCCC at https://my.wccc.edu and then click on the Alternative Blackboard link at the upper-right.

Courses will NOT be visible in Blackboard until the first day of the semester.

Log into MyWCCC First

Username: lastname+first letter of your first name
(Common last name? You may need to use the first two, three, etc. letters of your first name.)

Password: last 6-digits of your SSN

For Assistance: Call 724.925.5921 or Toll Free 1.800.262.2103, Ext. 5921

Click on the Alternative Blackboard link in the upper right corner.

Blackboard will open in a new window.
You will need to login again using the same user information above.

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Your Email Address: MyWCCC Email

Each student at WCCC has access to a free college email account. This service is not in Blackboard but can be found at MyWCCC at http://my.wccc.edu. Your username and password for MyWCCC is the same as Blackboard. When your Blackboard account is created, the email address listed is your MyWCCC email address. This email address is your username@my.wccc.edu - for example, doej@my.wccc.edu.

If you need help with your MyWCCC email account contact the WCCC IT Help Desk at 1.800.262.2103 Ext. 5921 or locally at 724.925.5921.

By default, your college email account is the address used for Blackboard and this cannot be changed. All messages sent from Blackboard will go to your MyWCCC account. When you send a message from Blackboard, a copy of the message is sent to your Inbox for your records.

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Email Etiquette

The following are some suggestions to improve communication between students and instructors.

  • Include your course and name in the subject line of all emails

  • Put your name in the body of the email

  • Use complete sentences with appropriate capitalization and punctuation

  • Run Spell Check if that function is available

  • Use the Reply button when responding to an email so that the message includes the original message to you and your response

  • Avoid using all capital letters because this is considered "SHOUTING"

  • Give your instructor adequate time to respond

  • Avoid Acronyms, not everyone knows that BTW means By The Way or TIA means Thanks In Advance

  • Read your message before sending it to make sure the email includes all pertinent facts

  • Watch out for similar words such as "your" & "you're" (short for "you are") and "hour" vs. "our"

  • When attaching files to your email include your name, course, and assignment name IN the file

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Taking Proctored Tests

Most of your assessments (quizzes, exams, tests, etc.) will be online through Blackboard. Some WCCC online instructors, however, require that their students take major tests under supervised circumstances. Your instructor will mention this in the syllabus or post an announcement about it early on in the class. Students can take tests in person at one of the college education centers located throughout Westmoreland, Fayette, Greene, and Indiana Counties. Students also have the option to identify an outside test proctor to supervise their test.

A proctor is an individual who agrees to administer tests in a suitable environment and return them to the instructor. You are responsible for making arrangements to secure a proctor for your course tests, including any costs for faxing or mailing. Proctor arrangements must be completed as soon as possible to ensure timely delivery of your tests.

Please use the Proctor Nomination Form [download here in Adobe PDF] to arrange for proctored testing.  You will need to complete the top part of the form. Use one form for EACH course you are taking, even if you are using the same proctor for several courses. The proctor must complete the remainder of the form, have it notarized, and submit it to the instructors attention at the below address.. You should supply your proctor nominee with an addressed, stamped envelope. Proctors must be identified as one of the following:

  • College or university personnel: Dean, Department Chair, Registrar, Professional Staff Member of an adult/continuing education office or counseling center, Librarian, Professor, or testing center personnel.

  • Public or Private School personnel: Superintendent, Principal, Guidance Counselor, Librarian, or Teacher.

  • Other: Civil Service Examiner, or Librarian for city/county.

NOTE: Relatives, regardless of their positions, are not permitted to be proctors.

Please be sure that you identify any and all special testing equipment or conditions related to your course, so that the proctor is aware of allowable items. For example, you may be allowed to use a calculator as part of a test. This information must be given on the nomination form ahead of time, or the proctor will not allow you the use of additional materials. Send the completed form to the address below:

Westmoreland County Community College
145 Pavilion Lane
Youngwood, PA 15697-1895

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Academic Dishonesty

WCCC holds its faculty and students to a rigorous Academic Code of Honor. Before you begin your online course work, you should read and familiarize yourself with the Academic Dishonesty Code in the Student Handbook which is contained within the College Catalog. An online version can be accessed by going to MyWCCC, scroll down on the opening screen and look for a link with the current year Catalog.

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Last Updated 7/29/16
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