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Pages within Online Classes & Orientation


Patricia Newman
Program Chair
Phone: (619) 660-4554


BOT Online

Online BOT course offerings

BOT 120-122 - Comprehensive Word Levels I, II, III

(No online BOT classes in Summer)

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How does an online course work?
The short answer is that it's like a correspondence course, but with Internet communication. The online class follows virtually the same syllabus as the Flex Lab class on campus, but you can do the work any time during the week from home or on any computer where you can access the class website and Office 2013 software. Instead of attending classes, online students use the class notes, textbooks, and assignments to learn. You will access the course website by logging in to Blackboard (an online course management system). Blackboard is used for the syllabus, course schedule, assignment instructions and resources, announcements, discussion, submitting assignments, exams, e-mail, and checking grades. Students are responsible for reading the textbooks and completing all class learning assignments on their own, but help is available by phone, Blackboard discussion, e-mail, or in person in the BOT Flex Lab, room E-120, during lab hours.
You mean I don't have to come to class?
That's right. You can set your own work hours and do everything wherever the course software is installed. Just be sure not to fall behind as that is the number one reason students end up dropping an online class. Of course, you may attend the BOT Lab in room E-120 for in-person help whenever the lab is open, if necessary.
Do I need to do an Orientation for the online class(es)?
Yes, you MUST complete an orientation for the online classes. You do not need to come to campus for the orientation, as they are all available online. Even if you have taken the orientation for the BOT Flex Lab classes, you must still complete an online orientation because the Online classes are very different from Flex Lab classes. Locate the appropriate online orientation for your class in the navigation for this page and complete them by the deadline listed in the class schedule.
So what do I need to be an online student?
Here's what you need to be able to succeed in a BOT online class:

  • Ability and willingness to work independently.
  • Solid experience with Internet and with Windows. (Can you troubleshoot problems? Could you e-mail an attached file?)
  • Working knowledge of zipping files using Winzip or similar program.
  • Excellent reading and writing skills.
  • TIME! Successful students schedule 5-10 hours a week to work on the class.
  • Access to a PC/Windows computer with the following requirements:
    • Computer/Processor:  1 gigahertz (GHz) processor or higher
    • Memory:  1 GB of RAM (32 bit) or 2 GB of RAM (64 bit)
    • Hard disk:  3 GB of available hard-disk space
    • Monitor:  1024 x 576 minimum screen resolution (or 1366 x 768 to use Windows Snap feature)
    • Operating system:  Windows 7 or 10
    • Broadband Internet access with minimum connection speed of 128 kpbs:  Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher, Firefox 3.6 or higher, Chrome 11 or higher
    • Sorry, no Macintosh as the Office 2013 program is very different on a Mac.

Word and Excel classes require Microsoft Office 2016 software. Word, Excel and Access are part of Office 2016 Professional. You will need Access to complete some chapters of the Word and Excel classes..

IMPORTANT NOTE!  You can download Office 365 free if you are enrolled in at least one class at Cuyamaca College. You can also purchase Office 2016 from at an educational discount -- $40 Direct Download (no media), $10 additional for CD.

The BOT lab (E-120) has both Office 2013 and 2016, and the Tech Mall (E-121) has Office 2013.

What textbook will I need?

The textbooks are available in Cuyamaca College Bookstore.

NOTE: If a book bundle is listed, you will need all components included in the bundle. If you purchase your book online other than the Cuyamaca Bookstore you may not receive all items in the required bundle. Also, you should verify that access codes are valid if you purchase your book online from another seller. Read information carefully below. As an online student, you must provide your own computer with the required minimum specifications prior to the class start date.

BOT 120 and 121 (same book for both Word classes):

  • Textbook: Benchmark Word 2016 Levels 1 and 2 by Nita Rutkosky; ISBN 978-0-76386-982-3 for book bundled with SNAP 2016 access code including eBook
  • SNAP 2016 Access Code required and comes with textbook bundle
  • Software: Word 2016 part of Office Professional 2016 version which includes Access (software purchasing information)

BOT 122:

  • Textbook: Benchmark Word 2016 Level 3 by Nita Rutkosky; ISBN 978-0-76386-800-0 for book including eBook
  • SNAP 2016 Access Code required (comes with book bundle for BOT 120/121) or an be purchased separately from publisher
  • Software: Word 2016 part of Office Professional 2016 version which includes Access (software purchasing information)
  • Purchasing Options:
    • The textbook bundles are available separately in the Cuyamaca College Bookstore.
    • You only need to purchase SNAP one time. It does not expire and can be use for all of the BOT courses requiring it.
Course Management and Communication
  • Blackboard is a course management tool used to communicate (discussion forum and e-mail), submit assignments, take exams, and check grades. Plan to check Blackboard twice a week or more. Course announcements will be posted to the Blackboard announcements section.
  • Occasionally your instructor will contact you by e-mail. You need to e-mail your instructor before each class begins. Let the instructor know if your e-mail address changes during the class.
  • Assignments are posted in Blackboard with due dates and instructions for turning in the work.
  • Post your questions at the Blackboard discussion forum. You should get an answer by the next business day. Other students may post an answer to your question. E-mail the instructor if your question is urgent or personal.
  • You may also go to the BOT Lab (E-120) to use a computer with Office 2016.
Online learning isn't for everyone
  • Check out the Cuyamaca Online Success website, especially if this is your first online class.
  • Can you work independently? If you can pretty much figure things out on your own and don't need the teacher to explain everything, and if you can get by without face-to-face interaction with the other students, you can succeed. We can always get help and other viewpoints through the discussion board, though it won't be immediate.
  • Can you manage your time effectively? This is by far the most important consideration for an online student. This class takes more time than I had anticipated, and I bet others feel the same way. Unexpected things seem to always happen, so you need to be prepared. Make a game of it - pretend that assignments are due earlier than they really are, and challenge yourself to complete them early. That way you won't have a problem trying to get things done at the last minute, and you'll have more time for other classes or activities.
  • Keep up with assignments
  • Maintain an active role in the course. (Check the discussion boards, ask questions, etc..)
  • Give yourself plenty of time for coursework
  • If something is unclear be sure to clarify
  • Keep up with the class. The biggest problem online students have is gradually falling behind. You lose points when assignments are late, and you may be dropped from the class if you get behind. These classes are only 5-8 weeks in length and all work must be completed by the class end date.
  • Schedule enough time (from 6-10 hours per week) to focus on the class. Some students may need more or less time, so you can make adjustments based on your computer skill level.
  • Don't wait until the last minute to start an assignment. If you run into a problem, it may take time to get help, especially with technical issues.
  • Contact your instructor as soon as you begin to have problems or if you decide to drop. Links to the online instructors' emails are found at the top left of this web page.
  • Check e-mail and online discussion several times a week.
  • Have a back-up plan in case your computer crashes.
What students like about online learning:
  • Having the time to work at home at my own convenience.
  • Online interaction with other classmates.
  • Freedom of not having to come to class.
  • Not being held down to a class time allowed me to attend class online during my most creative/productive times.
What students didn't like:
  • It is harder to stay motivated and put the time in.
  • Some things are hard to explain by e-mail or phone.
  • It's harder for your teacher to get to know you.


Good luck and let's have fun!!!


Patricia Newman
Program Chair
Phone: (619) 660-4554

  • Grossmont
  • Cuyamaca
A Member of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District