Distance Education

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get started taking Distance Education Classes?

Search our schedule and register for distance education classes the same way you do for traditional face-to-face classes.  We recommend that you work with a counselor to determine your class schedule.

How do I start my online class? Where do I go?
Will my instructor contact me at the beginning of the semester?

Many instructors who teach online classes will send you a letter or email message before the beginning of the semester to welcome you to their class and give you instructions. If you don't hear from your instructor before the beginning of the semester, please log in to Blackboard on the first day of the semester.  Your teacher will send you email messages to your COS email address. You must activate your giant.cos.edu email address. For more information about your COS email account, please go to the COS website (www.cos.edu), click on Student Life>Student Email. Once you have activated your COS email, you can forward it to any email account of your choice.

Some of our online classes require a class meeting. Be sure to read the special comments about your class in our online schedule (click on the CRN) to learn about mandatory meeting times and locations. If you have any other questions about how to begin your class, please contact the Distance Education Coordinator, Dr. Deborah Nolan, at 559.737.6132 or deborahn@cos.edu.

What do I do if I am on a wait list for a class?

If you are on a wait list for a class, you should contact the instructor no later than the first day of the class to request to add the class. If the instructor agrees to add you to the class, he or she will give you an add code. Use the add code to register for the class.  After you register, there will be a short delay before you can access the course on Blackboard.

How do I contact my instructor?

You can email your instructor through the Blackboard system or directly. If your instructor's name is not listed on our Faculty Contact List on the Distance Education pages of the COS website (www.cos.edu), please contact the Distance Education Coordinator, Deborah Nolan, at 559.737.6132 or deborahn@cos.edu.

What if I haven't heard from my instructor?

When you are taking a distance education class and not seeing your instructor in the classroom on a regular basis, your instructor is still making efforts to contact you  through email or through Blackboard announcements. If you haven't heard from your instructor, please try the following steps:

  1. Check your COS email.
  2. Email or call your instructor.
  3. If you are on campus, stop by your instructor's office during office hours.
  4. Contact the Distance Education Coordinator, Dr. Deborah Nolan, at 559.737.6132 or deborahn@cos.edu.

How do I access and use  Blackboard?

Blackboard is College of the Sequoias' online, web-based course management system. Most of our online classes are taught through Blackboard. It provides a convenient way to share information and ideas and communicate with one another outside of the classroom using computer technology. Please verify with your instructor that he or she is using Blackboard.

To access Blackboard, you need to be at a computer with access to the Internet. Navigate to the COS Home Page (http://www.cos.edu) and click on the Blackboard Quick Link at the bottom of the page. When you arrive at the Blackboard login page, you log in by typing in your student ID without the @ symbol (not your Social Security number) as your username and your password (Find your password in Banner on the Financial Aid page.).

After you have logged in to Blackboard for the first time, please change your password. On the left-hand side of the My Blackboard page, after you have logged in, you will see a box labeled, "Tools." Click on Personal Information. Then click on Change Password. Type in your new password.  If you forget your password, click on the “Forget your Password?” link on the Blackboard login page.

If you are registered for a class that is using Blackboard, you should see that class title on your My Blackboard page after you log in. Click on the title of your class to "enter" the class. You will see a different Blackboard page with a menu for your class. Click on the menu (left side of screen) to navigate to different parts of the class. Your instructor will provide you with additional instructions about the class. You can also click on the Tools button (inside your class) and read the Student Manual.

Last Updated: 9/11/2014 9:14 AM