Online Course FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Q:  What are the advantages of taking online courses?

A:  Online courses allow you to learn in the convenience of your home or office and your course work on a more flexible schedule than a traditional seated course.

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Q:  Are online courses easier than seated courses?

A:  Online courses require at least as much effort and time as traditional courses, if not more. Since students work primarily on their own without face-to-face contact with instructors, they may not always have regular classroom reminders and clarifications available to students in traditional courses.

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Q:  What courses does BRCC offer online?

A: BRCC Offers the following fully Online PROGRAMS*

  • Accounting: Associate in Applied Science Degree Program (A25100)
  • Basic Accounting: Certificate (C25100B)
  • Business Administration/Marketing and Retailing: Associate in Applied Science (A2512F)
  • Business Administration/Marketing and Retailing: Diploma (D2512F)
  • Criminal Justice Latent Evidence: Associate in Applied Science (A5518A)
  • Early Childhood Education Associate in Applied Science (A55220)
  • Early Childhood Education - Infant and Toddler Certificate (C55290)
  • Early Childhood Education - Preschool Certificate (C55860)
  • Early Childhood Education - Administration Certificate (C55850)
  • Fire Protection Technology: Associate in Applied Science (A555240)
  • Fire Protection: Diploma (D55240)
  • Fire Protection: Certificate (C55240)

*Developmental courses are not available online.

The best way to view a "real time" list of courses offered online during any semester, is to go to WebAdvisor, click the Students menu, and then on the right side, under the "Registration" menu, select Search for Sections. In the search fields, select the Term, then go to the bottom of the form. Under "Location" select "Internet-Based Course", then you can choose the Academic Level, Curriculum or Continuing Education and Submit. The resulting list will show you all online courses AND the seat availability, and whether the course is Closed or Open.

View the tutorial Search WebAdvisor for a few screenshots of this process.

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Q:  How can I learn more about each individual online course offered at BRCC?

A:  Information regarding the specific requirements for each online course being offered in the upcoming semester can be found in the Course Requirements Outlines located at:

Q:  Is the workload in an online course the same as the workload in the same seated course?

A:  The workload in an online course is typically more than what it would be in a seated section of the same course due to the fact that your workload includes all the work that would normally be done during class time.

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Q:  Can I work at my own pace in my online course or will I need to follow a class schedule?

A:  Online courses are demanding. They are not self-paced or self-study and should not be viewed as easier than seated courses. They are actively led by an instructor, and there are deadlines. You will be expected to read your textbook and other materials, read faculty lectures online, submit your answers to questions, complete other exercises or assignments, and participate in online discussions.

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Q:  Is there an orientation to prepare me for taking online courses?

A: There is an orientation for Moodle, which is the delivery system for all of the College's online courses. Once you have access to Moodle, you will see instructions for completing the online orientation on the Moodle home page. Also, before each semester begins, we offer several face to face orientations for new Moodle users. You may find those dates on the Moodle login page (see Main Menu for semester Online Information). 

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Q:  Are online courses counted differently from seated courses?

A:  Each online course is equivalent to the seated section of the same course in terms of credit, hours, objectives, transferability, and approval for tuition assistance.

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Q:  Are online courses transferable?

A:  To find out if a specific online course is transferable, please locate the Course Requirements Outline (CRO) for that course at:

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Q:  How do I register and pay for online courses?

A:  Registration and payment for online courses are handled in the same manner as traditional course registration and payment. NOTE: BRCC charges no fees solely associated with Distance Learning courses or student verification.

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Q:  What are the characteristics of a successful online student?

A successful online student has the following characteristics:

  • is goal-oriented.
  • works independently.
  • begins course activities within the first week of the course.
  • sets aside a specific time on a routine basis for study.
  • keeps up with assignments.
  • contacts the instructor promptly with questions about any aspect of the course.
  • has the necessary skills, such as a college reading level.
  • possesses good study habits.
  • has a personal computer and strong basic computer skills.

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Q:  What level of computer/Internet knowledge must I have to take online courses?

A:  Basic knowledge of the Internet, Web browsers, and search engines is necessary. The ability to download and install software may be required. Word processing skills are also necessary, including creating, saving, attaching and managing files and copying and pasting text from one software application to another. Familiarity with the procedures for sending and receiving e-mail with attachments is essential.

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Q:  How do I access my online course?

A:  Information on logging into Moodle can be found at the Distance Learners page of the BRCC Web site. Click the Moodle icon image moodle icon or navigate to

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Q:  Will I ever have to come to campus for my online course?

A:  To find out if a specific online course requires you to come to campus, please locate the Course Requirements Outline (CRO) for that course at:

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Q:  As a student with a disability, how do I request accommodations for an online class?

A:  Students who have a documented disability or who suspect that they may have a disability/learning problem can contact the Disability Services Office in Sink, Room 127 or call 694-1813/1812 to request accommodations.

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Q:  Can I drop, add, or change an online course after registering?

A:  College policies for online courses are the same as for seated courses. These include dropping, adding, or changing a course, academic calendar, withdrawal dates, and refunds. For more on College policies, see the College Catalog.

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Q:  How is attendance taken in an online course?

A:  BRCC has an official Attendance Policy that is printed in both the Catalog and the Student Success Guide. This policy can be summarized as follows:

  • The student is required to attend any scheduled orientation sessions, review sessions, or test sessions.
  • The student must complete an activity and/or communicate with the instructor at least once a week unless more communication is necessary to meet course requirements. A student who fails to maintain this communication may be dropped from the course for nonattendance.

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Q:  Is a placement test required for online courses?

A:  Placement testing policies are the same for online and seated courses.  The College offers placement testing on-campus and can arrange for online placement testing as needed. The Admissions office can assist you with this process. If you take the placement test off-campus, you may have to pay for proctoring (supervision).

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Q:  How much do online courses cost?

A:  Tuition is the same per credit hour for online and seated courses.  Complete information is available in the Catalog and on our Web page on the Tuition and Fees page.

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Q:  How do I get the books and course materials I will need for an online course?

A:  It is best to purchase the required textbooks and materials before your class begins. Visit the College Bookstore webpage for information about bookstore hours and locations.

For information about required textbooks and materials view the textbooks section of the Blue Ridge Community College Bookstore website.

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Q:  What type of computer hardware, software and Internet connection will I need to take an online course?

A:  To find out the specific hardware and software requirements of each online course, please locate the Course Requirements Outline (CRO) for that course at:

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Q:  Is technical help available throughout the online course?

A:  24/7 Technical support is available by calling the Help Desk Call Center (866) 833-2415, 24/7 assistance for Online Students.

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Q:  Will I have an opportunity to evaluate my online course and instructor?

A:  Yes! A link to complete a course evaluation will be sent to your College email account toward the end of the semester. Your evaluations are anonymous, please help us better our courses.

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