Fall 2003


Dear Online Student:

Important information about your online course

Technical Requirements:

Our online courses require that students have a Windows 98 or above PC or a Macintosh with at least a 14.4 modem (28.8 recommended), an Internet service provider, and a Web browser. No other special technical skills are needed beyond those that you would typically use surfing the Internet. If you are uncertain about whether or not your skills are appropriate for an online course, please take the “Is Distance Learning Right for You” self-quiz that you will find on the HCC homepage at www.howardcc.edu.  Click on Distance Learning. 

When Do Courses Start?  
Online courses for Fall 2003 begin on August 25, 2003.  Please do NOT try to logon before then.

Check the Distance Learning Homepage for Important Information
Please go to the Distance Learning Homepage on the HCC homepage at www.howardcc.edu/distance  and click on the link for Registered Students for helpful information about getting started in your course.

How to Log On to WebCT Courses
A majority of online courses at HCC are taught in a course-offering program called WebCT. On August 25, 2003, you will be able to log on to your WebCT course site by going to http://webct.howardcc.edu:8900.  Once you are on that page, please read and follow the logon instructions you will find there. Usernames and Passwords for WebCT are now the same as for HCC Express.

This logon procedure will log you onto your “myWebCT” page, which is your personal student WebCT homepage on which you will find a link to all of your online WebCT course(s). You will also find links to other important sites, such as the Student User Guide to WebCT. In addition, during the semester you will see posted announcements, including the times when WebCT will be down for server maintenance, and other important dates such as graduation petition deadlines, the last day to drop, etc.

How to Get Started in Courses That Are NOT in WebCT
The attached list identifies courses that are NOT in WebCT. You can access these courses from the Course Description that is on the Distance Learning Homepage at http://www.howardcc.edu/distance. If you have any questions about these courses or how to get started, contact the instructor. See attached list.

Help Desk Information
For advice about common technical problems, please consult the Help Desk Information page on the Distance Learning Homepage or at http://classweb.howardcc.edu/webcthelp/.

To report a technical problem or ask a question about WebCT, you may fill out an electronic help desk form that you will find on the HCC Distance Learning Homepage at www.howardcc.edu/distance. We encourage you to use this form. The HCC Help Desk also is available by phone from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Friday at 410-772-4444.


Contact Your Online Instructor with Course Content Questions
As soon as the semester begins, please sign on to your course site and read the orientation material, the syllabus, and the assignment sheet. If you have questions about course content, goals, and objectives, or if you have questions about how to complete or submit assignments, contact your instructor directly. Your online instructor’s name, email address, and office information are listed in the course description found on the Distance Learning Homepage at www.howardcc.edu/distance. Click on “Online Course Descriptions.”  

On-Campus Orientations
Some online courses have on-campus orientations on Saturday, August 23, 2003, between 9 a.m. and 12:00 noon. Please check the enclosed schedule to see if your online course has an on-campus orientation. If your course does not have a scheduled course-specific orientation, and you would like a general orientation to WebCT, you may attend the General Orientation from 10 to 12 noon on August 23 in N236.

The Office of Distance Learning
If you have questions about your online course and need additional help or information, please call the Distance Learning Office at 410-772-4440 or email DistanceLearning@howardcc.edu. 

Refund and Drop Deadlines
Refund and drop deadlines will not be modified for online students who have not contacted their instructors and begun participating in class activities.  Check the schedule of class for specifics about HCC’s refund policy. 

As always, our most important concern is for our students, and we want to establish a structure for online courses that promotes student responsibility and student success.


Virginia Kirk

Director of Distance Learning