Manhattanville’s fully online courses are in the asynchronous format. You’ll be working at your own pace through the materials, but still adhering to the deadlines set forth by the instructor. There are no face-to-face meetings in the classroom, nor even any formal, real-time video chats.
Think about your own learning style. Are you independent and disciplined enough to log into Blackboard regularly, and without reminders to obtain readings, participate in discussion forums, and work on assignments? Though you are free to work through materials at your own pace to an extent, online courses have schedules, and it’s up to the students to stay on top of the course’s progression.
Are you savvy about finding materials in a course site? Do you consider yourself facile with technology enough to check announcements, download materials, upload files, take online tests, and post to discussions?
Online courses also feature more reading than traditional classroom ones. Where in face-to-face classes, there are verbal announcements and lectures by the professors, in online courses, that information may come in written format. Class participation will also come in the form of written discussion forums. There, you’ll be reading your classmates’ and professor’s contributions and comments, as well as writing sophisticated responses to your peers and professor.
As there are no classroom meetings in an online course, any papers or projects you’ll be completing will have to be submitted electronically. You’ll also get the feedback and grades from your professor in the My Grades area in Blackboard. Tests and quizzes will not be in class, but rather online. Office hours may also be in the form of video chats.
Asynchronous courses are carefully designed to enable easy and consistent navigation for students. But they require discipline to complete successfully.
What is an online class like?
Online courses are delivered through Blackboard. Generally, your professor will send out an Announcement before the course starts to describe how to navigate through the course.
The online courses will be organized in topic-based modules. Materials such as notes from your professor, readings, videos and other materials, discussion forums, tests and quizzes, etc., will be housed within them.
Students will work their way through these modules at their own pace, but still adhering to deadlines. It is important to heed these deadlines, as that is how you will be able to keep up with the class. As with an onsite class, the course will proceed at its pace, and there will be penalties for late work.
Online courses also make heavy use of discussion forums. There, your professor will post a question based on the material to which students will respond. Engaging in these discussions is an important part of the participation aspect of an online course. Typically, students are expected to write at least one reply to the original question and reply to a certain number of their classmates’ posts. The professor will also be participating, responding to posts, and asking follow-up questions.
Professors will provide details for assignments such as short response papers, longer research pieces, etc., in the Assignment tool in Blackboard. The Assignment tool is also where students will also submit their work.
To check your grades, please visit the Grade Center in Blackboard. This is where professors will be entering your grades for the individual assignments.
How can I get ready for my online course?
If this is your first class at Manhattanville, activate your Manhattanville e-mail via these steps, Setup Email.
Check your e-mail regularly to receive messages from your professor about the course. Also, please use only your Manhattanville e-mail for school business.
You may also want to set up your device to receive Manhattanville e-mail.
Manhattanville’s online courses take place in Blackboard. Be sure you’re able to log in. Blackboard uses the same username and password as your e-mail.
In the days before your course starts, check your Manhattanville e-mail for a Blackboard Announcement from your professor on how to get started with the course.
Purchase any necessary books or media.
Visit the Introductions forums and share a bit about yourself.
Is an online course easier than an onsite one?
Online courses feature the same readings and assignments as their onsite counterparts. The amount of time you will spend in an online class completing readings, participating in discussions, and working on assignments will be like those in the traditional experience.
How they differ though is that there are fewer, if no in-person class meetings to keep students accountable to the same degree. Take a moment to think about your ability to be motivated and disciplined enough to keep up with class readings and assignments. There are due dates built into Blackboard to keep the class moving together through the same work. But without needing to physically hand in papers, it is possible that deadlines can disappear from attention.
This can be especially true when taking online courses over winter or summer breaks. Though all class materials are available online in Blackboard, with the demands of part-time jobs, travel plans, and other activities, it is especially important to be able to make time for online coursework. Remember that though winter and summer semesters are shorter, courses present the same amount of work as over an entire regular 15-week semester. Only now, that same number of work hours will be delivered over a two- to five-week timeframe. That is, you’ll be spending more time per day and week working on your course, as opposed to during a full semester. Be especially mindful of this when taking multiple courses over break, whether onsite or online.
How can I succeed in an online course?
Review the syllabus carefully to know what you’re responsible for.
As soon as possible, procure readings and materials, mark deadlines on your calendar, get a sense of the assignments. Which ones could be particularly challenging? Hand them in a day or so early to allow time to resolve any technical problems you may encounter.
Class participation - Participate in discussion forums early and often. Read the professor’s question carefully, and make sure your response addresses all the points. Make yourself known in the space. Commenting on classmates’ posts is key to making the most of the discussion. Demonstrate to the professor that you are present and engaged with the class. As with an onsite experience, learning is a social process, and is best done with others.
Enjoy the discussion forums, as they are designed to cultivate new ideas and directions in thinking. But also consider it a somewhat formal space. “Speak” in them as you would in class. Mind your audience and remember that the professor is grading your contributions to the conversation.
Assignments - Read assignment instructions carefully. If you have questions, post them to the course’s Q&A forum, or contact the instructor directly. Heed the stated deadlines. In some cases, assignments may not be available after they are due.
Time management - Online courses require discipline to stay on top of. Though they can be self-paced, designate time for working on the readings, activities, discussions, and assignments. Set yourself up for success by creating a structure that fits with your schedule to spend quality time on the course.
Recognize the need to be independent. Unlike the regularly occurring meetings of an onsite course to help orient the student, an online class does not have the same type of physical presence to make sure you stay on track with the material.
Log into the course regularly. There will almost always be continuing activity in the discussion forums, or small updates to the curriculum.
Unlike your onsite classes, there are no meeting times for an asynchronous online course. Students log into Blackboard to complete the readings and other texts, and work on assignments at their own pace, per the deadlines on the syllabus.
Navigating the Course
When can I log on?
Online courses follow the same schedule as their traditional counterparts.
Check your Manhattanville e-mail prior to course launch though for Announcements from professors regarding information about obtaining readings, and other texts.
How do I get the readings?
Readings and other materials may take the form of print books for purchase, electronic textbooks for purchase, files uploaded by the instructor, online films available for free via the Manhattanville Library, YouTube videos, or movies available in the commercial market (Netflix, Prime Video, etc.).
Information on how to obtain readings and materials will be provided in your Blackboard course. Check your course’s syllabus for details.
How do I hand in assignments?
You will generally submit work via the Assignments tool in Blackboard. You may watch the video below on how to do so. But please check your syllabus for the specifics for your course regarding where and how assignments should be submitted.
Grades will be visible in your Blackboard course, under, My Grades.
You will only be able to see your own grades.
Can I access my course on my phone?
Blackboard's mobile application allows you to conveniently view upcoming assignments and notifications, as well as check grades, which can all be found in your Activity Stream tab. You may download it for Android, iOS, or Windows here; Blackboard App for Students.
Under the Courses tab you’re able to browse through your current and past enrolled courses. Click on a course and you’ll be brought to a page that shows your course grade, lets you know if there are any upcoming due dates, and allows you to view course materials, all on one screen.
The Grades tab allows you to quickly browse your overall scores for all your classes. Once you’ve clicked on a course, you can scroll through and see the breakdown of each assignments grade. You can also click on a specific assignment where you have the option of reviewing what you submitted and the professor’s comments if applicable.
The Due Dates tab shows you both a calendar and a day-by-day break down of all upcoming assignments. You can click on the assignment to learn more information such as number of attempts, due date, and maximum possible score. Unfortunately, you can’t upload assignments onto Blackboard Mobile, and clicking the “Start Attempt” button will direct you to the Blackboard Website.
The course syllabus will state contact information that your instructor has shared such as e-mail address, phone number, etc.
Faculty also offer office hours that take place online, through Blackboard Collaborate, Skype for Business, or other platforms. Check your syllabus for details. Blackboard Collaborate is a web conferencing tool that allows users to participate in video, audio, and text chat. Contact your professor to set up an appointment.