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Online Classes & Orientation
Pages within Online Classes & Orientation


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


Excel Orientation


This orientation will introduce you to the course content and expectations for BOT 123, 124 & 125 online. You'll also have a chance to make sure everything is set up and ready to go. Your first quiz (to be taken after this orientation) will include questions about information found on this web page, syllabus, and Blackboard. Please review all items carefully. While you work through this orientation, jot down any questions you might have and post them to our course Help discussion board. I recommend that you print this page, and check each item off as you complete it. Don't forget to take the 20-point quiz to complete this orientation. The Orientation quiz is found in Blackboard at the "exams" link. If you score less than 20 points, please take it again. You are allowed multiple attempts until you successfully score 18 out of 20 points.

What to do for this assignment

  1. Print this page and mark each item as you complete it. 
  2. Enroll in the course. You enroll for this online course the same way you enroll in any other Cuyamaca College course. You will need to be enrolled in the course before you can access the course Blackboard site.
  3. Buy the textbook and install the software. You can buy the book at the campus bookstore, or from another source. You will need the book and software on the first day of class. This course teaches Microsoft Excel 2013. If you already have Excel 2013 on your computer, you're ready. If you have an older version of Excel, you need to upgrade as Excel 2013 is significantly different.  (See below for more details about the required course materials)

As a student enrolled in an online class, you are responsible to login and begin working on the day class starts.

  • Login to Blackboard.
    Enrolled students will be able to access the class in the Blackboard system the day before the class starts. If you enrolled successfully in the class, you should be able to access the class. If you want to add the class after the start date, you need to contact your instructor for an add code.
  • How to login to Blackboard (available one day before class begins) 
    • Go to  
    • Click the Go to Canvas button
    • For Username enter your name as firstname.lastname (all lower case)
    • For Password enter your 8-digit birthday (mmddyyyy)
    • If you cannot login successfully the first time, try it again. If you have forgotten your password, click the Forgot Password? link. If you still have trouble logging in, STOP and contact me ( Do not panic, we'll get it fixed.
  • Successful login! Now that you have logged in, welcome to the course. Read the Welcome announcement. This announcement contains helpful information on how the course works and where to start.
  • Update your personal information (if applicable). I regularly send class announcements and email through Blackboard. It is very important you keep your email address current in order to receive these communications. Please login to WebAdvisor, click on STUDENTS, then UPDATE PERSONAL INFORMATION and list your preferred email address and the telephone number where I can reach you if needed. WebAdvisor updates BlackBoard nightly, so it's important to keep current information in WebAdvisor. Therefore, your email in WebAdvisor is identical to your email in Blackboard.
  • Print the syllabus (available one day before class begins). In the Blackboard course site, click on the Course Information button. Click on the syllabus link. Print the syllabus and keep it with your textbook. You may need to save the syllabus and then open it to print it. READ the whole syllabus (you will need to answer questions on the quiz).
  • Familiarize yourself with the course web site by clicking on all of the links (buttons) in the course navigation on the left side of the course website. There are also several links on the web pages that display. Browse through them thoroughly to familiarize yourself with the entire course website.
  • Take the online orientation quiz. After completing the steps above, you can take the quiz (worth 20 points and due by Wed the first week of class). You must score 18 out of 20 points to successfully pass the quiz. Login to Blackboard, click on the Exams link, and click on the Online Orientation Quiz. The quiz will cover information from the syllabus and Blackboard. There is no Orientation Quiz required for BOT 125 Online class.
  • Begin on the course assignments. Turn to the "Assignments and Deadlines" section in your syllabus and begin working on the assignments in the order they are listed. You can turn in assignments early, but please submit an entire chapter at one time. You are encouraged to work ahead as the class moves at a fast pace. Assignments will be submitted online in Blackboard using the "Submit Homework Here" link in the Assignments section. Do not email any homework. It will not be accepted. The due dates for each assignment are listed in the syllabus and in Blackboard.

Course textbook and software

  • Required:
    • Textbook: Benchmark Excel 2013 by Nita Rutkosky: ISBN 978-0-76384-313-7 for book only*
    • SNAP 2010 Access Code; ISBN  978-0763853891 for SNAP
    • Software: Excel 2013
  • IMPORTANT NOTE!  You can purchase Office 2013 from at an educational discount -- $40 Direct Download (no media), $10 additional for CD.
  • Purchasing Options: 
    The textbook and SNAP access code 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.

  • 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 8
    • 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.

Advice from BOT online students

  • 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 5-6 weeks in length and all work must be completed by the class end date. The Comprehensive Excel 1-3 classes are scheduled in short blocks so that you can complete all three classes in a single semester, as requested by students.
  • Schedule at least 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 skill level in Excel.
  • Work ahead. 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.
  • Check e-mail and online discussion several times a week.
  • Have a back-up plan in case your computer crashes. You can always use the BOT Lab in E-120 during open hours.

Good luck and let's have fun!!!

Last Updated: 06/07/2018


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

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