Academics

Academics

Is Blinn accepting applications? Can we register for classes?

What is the Mandatory Student COVID Training?

Is Blinn offering face-to-face courses?

How do I choose the best course format for me?

How can I tell what format a course is when I register?

How are face-to-face courses be different due to COVID-19?

When I register for a class with Live Online instruction, how do I choose the group I wish to participate in?

What is the attendance policy?

How do I use Zoom in my classes with live online instruction?

Can an instructor require students to leave their cameras on?

What kind of technology do I need to have to be successful?

What are Blinn’s plans following Thanksgiving?

Will final exams be face-to-face?

How does Blinn enforce social distancing in the classroom?

Why is Blinn offering more 4-week and 8-week courses?

Should I enroll in both 8-week sessions at once?

Will my financial aid be impacted by taking 8-week courses?

How many shorter-term courses can I take each semester?

Will 8-week courses change the length of the semester?

Will the amount of class time I get with my instructors change in the 8-week format?

Why is Blinn offering more Saturday courses?

Is Blinn offering pass/no-pass grading?

If conditions require the College to convert all instruction to an online format, will students receive refunds?

If classes move online before Thanksgiving, will synchronous classes continue to meet in real time?

Can students use laptops in the classrooms?

Will classrooms have more than one camera in classes that use the live online format?

Where can faculty receive Zoom training?

What are the disciplinary rules for the remote portion of the course?

Will exams be online?


Is Blinn accepting applications? Can we register for classes?

Blinn is offering registration. Visit www.blinn.edu/admissions/steps-to-apply.html for steps to apply, then visit www.blinn.edu/admissions/registration.html for course registration steps. For more information, email blinnbound@blinn.edu to speak to a Prospective Student Relations advisor who can help you determine your next steps.


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What is the Mandatory Student COVID Training?

All registered Blinn students will be sent an email from survey@blinn.edu titled "Mandatory Student COVID Training." All students must complete this training, which takes 10-15 minutes, and sign the student agreement to maintain access to eCampus. Please check your Blinn email account, including your junk mail folder, for this email. If you have not received the training, please email survey@blinn.edu.
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Is Blinn offering face-to-face courses?

Blinn does offer courses that include face-to-face instruction. These courses have been adapted to minimize the in-person class size to 10-15 students and allow for social distancing.

In Blinn's Traditional With Live Online courses, students rotate between attending class and participating via live videoconference during scheduled class times. These courses allow students to connect live with their professors and peers, both on campus and online!

Blinn also offers Blended With Live Online classes. Just like our Traditional With Live Online courses, students rotate between attending class on campus and participating via live videoconference during scheduled class times. Additionally, more than 50% of class content is posted online for students to complete on their schedule. These courses spend less time in class than Traditional With Live Online courses, offering students greater schedule flexibility!


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How do I choose the best course format for me?

blinn-learning-modalities-chart-graphic-icons-and-text-550.jpg

This table highlights the differences between our different class formats in Fall 2020:

Format Description
Live Online All class participation takes place via live videoconference at scheduled class times.

Connect live with your professors and peers without traveling to campus!
Traditional With Live Online Students rotate between attending class on campus and participating via live videoconference during scheduled class times.

Connect live with your professors and peers on campus and online!
Blended With Live Online Students rotate between attending class on campus and participating via live videoconference during scheduled class times. More than ½ of class content is posted online for students to complete on their schedule.

Shorter class times allow for greater schedule flexibility!
Flexible Online All class content is posted online with no scheduled class sessions.

This option requires no travel to campus and offers the greatest schedule flexibility!

 


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How can I tell what format a course is when I register?

When students register for courses, the class format will be identified below the course name. Here are a few examples:

courses.jpg

 


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How are face-to-face courses be different due to COVID-19?

All courses with a face-to-face component are enhanced with simultaneous remote instruction. For example, a 20-30 student course that meets Mondays and Wednesdays could meet in this format, limiting face-to-face interaction to 10-15 students at a time:

Mondays Wednesdays
Group A (10-15 students) Face-to-Face on Campus Live Videoconference
Group B (10-15 students) Live Videoconference Face-to-Face on Campus

Additionally, a 30-student course that meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays could meet in this format:

Mondays Wednesdays Fridays
Group A (10 students) Face-to-Face on Campus Live Videoconference Live Videoconference
Group B (10 students) Live Videoconference Face-to-Face on Campus Live Videoconference
Group C (10 students) Live Videoconference Live Videoconference Face-to-Face on Campus

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When I register for a class with Live Online instruction, how do I choose the group I wish to participate in?

Courses with live online participation will have entries for each group so that students can choose the schedule that works best for them.

For example, a class that meets twice per week would have two groups. As an example, a Tuesday/Thursday course would appear this way to students as they register:

Monday-Wednesday

A class that meets three times per week would have three groups. As an example, a Monday/Wednesday/Friday course would appear this way to students registering:

Monday-Wednesday-Friday

Students can then choose to register for Section 50A, which meets face-to-face on Mondays and remotely on Wednesdays and Fridays; Section 50B, which meets face-to-face on Wednesdays and remotely on Mondays and Fridays; or Section 50C, which meets face-to-face on Fridays and remotely on Mondays and Wednesdays.


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What is the attendance policy?

The College’s attendance policy states: “A student who acquires the equivalent of two weeks of absences will be withdrawn from the course and not allowed to attend class.” That standard of equivalence must be used to determine attendance.  The equivalence of assignments as a method to track attendance can only be used in flexible online class modality.

Students may, however, opt to attend class remotely instead of on campus. In such cases, students are required to let faculty know of their preference and faculty should retain all communication with students regarding these requests.


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How do I use Zoom in my classes with live online instruction?

Zoom meetings will show up as links in online courses so that students may simply click the link to join. Students may have to download the Zoom app if they have not done so previously.

Please note whether the professor has created a password to join the meeting.

Additionally, some meetings are scheduled for certain times. Students may not be able to join them early; they may be placed in a virtual waiting room if the professor has set one up. 

For more information about using Zoom in the classroom, please visit Zoom for Blinn Students.


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Can an instructor require students to leave their cameras on?

Yes, if the student wants to be counted present in the class the camera must be on during the entirety of the class. Under exceptional circumstances, students may ask the instructor to turn off the camera. 


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What kind of technology do I need to have to be successful?

Although Blinn computer labs will be open during the vast majority of the semester, students should have access to the following technology in the event that campuses are required to close:

  • a full computer (not a Chromebook, tablet, or smartphone),
  • a webcam (for simultaneous remote participation and test proctoring),
  • a microphone,
  • and a reliable internet connection.

System Requirements

Note: The below are minimum requirements for participation in online courses at Blinn College. Specific programs and courses may have further hardware, software, and/or system specifications. Please check with your instructor (or refer to your course syllabus) for any additional system requirements.

Minimum Processor and RAM:

  • Dual Core 2GHz or higher with 4GB of RAM

Operating Systems:

  • Windows 10 or higher
  • MacOSX 10.13 or higher

Browser:

  • Google Chrome (version 79 or Higher)

Internet:

  • Broadband with a minimum of 1.5 Mbps download and 750 Kbps upload speeds

Peripherals:

  • Webcam (Built in or USB plugin)
  • Microphone (Built in or USB plugin) 

To succeed in their courses, students also will need Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint for some assignments. These Microsoft Office programs are available for all students to download for free using their Blinn Buc email accounts. To install Microsoft Office 365, please visit https://my.blinn.edu/TechnologyServices/Pages/Microsoft-Office-365.aspx or contact Academic Technology at 979-830-4357.

Students who use the Blinn computer labs for remote class participation will need to bring their own headset with a microphone. Please note that not all computer lab stations have webcams. Social distancing will be in effect in these labs, so availability may be limited during peak times.


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What are Blinn’s plans following Thanksgiving?

To minimize community spread and safeguard the health of its employees and students, almost all Blinn courses, with the exception of select Health Sciences and Technical and Community Education programs, will transition to online instruction following the Thanksgiving holiday, regardless of course format.

While all classes will convert to an online, remote format, and campus housing and food services will close, Blinn will continue to offer academic resources such as libraries and writing centers.


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Will final exams be face-to-face?

Final exams in all courses - regardless of modality - will take place remotely, with the exception of select Career and Technical Education and Health Sciences courses and those students who have obtained accommodations through Disability Services.


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How does Blinn enforce social distancing in the classroom?

To accommodate social distancing requirements, course caps are lowered to ensure that six-foot social distancing guidelines are met.


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Why is Blinn offering more 4-week and 8-week courses?

Studies have shown that shorter semesters lead to an increase in course success rates, greater persistence from semester to semester, and higher graduation rates. Four- and 8-week courses also allow students to overcome any unforeseen interruptions more quickly. If students choose to drop a class, they can get back on track more quickly with 8-week classes. Additionally, in light of the current pandemic, shorter semesters provide the additional flexibility needed to adapt to an ever-changing situation.


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Should I enroll in both 8-week sessions at once?

Yes. Blinn advises students to enroll in both 8-week sessions at once, especially if they are using financial aid. Students should contact their academic advisor or financial aid advisor if they plan to make changes to their schedule.
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Will my financial aid be impacted by taking 8-week courses?

No. Current financial aid practices will remain the same and financial aid is still awarded based upon the number of credits a student takes per semester. As a result, Blinn recommends that students register for all their courses (both first and second 8-week terms) prior to the start of the semester.
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How many shorter-term courses can I take each semester?

While 4- and 8-week courses allow students greater flexibility in scheduling the semester, Blinn recommends that students enroll in no more than 15 credit hours per semester. To help students maintain a manageable workload, Blinn recommends that students take no more than 2-3 classes during each 8-week timeframe. A good schedule arrangement would include two or three classes during the first 8-week term and two classes during the second 8-week term. Please note that shorter-term courses cover the same material as a 16-week course, and so these courses require considerable time and focus.

Here is an example showing how students could earn their 60-credit-hour associate degree taking four 8-week courses during the Fall and Spring semesters to earn 30 credit hours per academic year. Please note that some degree plans require students to take 4-credit-hour courses.

Fall Spring Summer
First 8-Weeks Second 8-Weeks First 8-Weeks  Second 8-Weeks 1st Session 2nd Session

Class #1

(3 credits)

Class #3

(3 credits)

Class #1

(3 credits)

Class #3

(3 credits)

Class #1

(3 credits)

Class #2

(3 credits)

Class #2

(3 credits)

Class #4

(3 credits)

Class #2

(3 credits)

Class #4

(3 credits)

Total Credits: 12 Total Credits: 12 Total Credits: 6

One of the great benefits of the 8-week schedule is the degree of flexibility it affords students. With Blinn's Winter and May minimesters, students can take 12 hours in the Fall and Spring and three hours during each minimester to earn 30 credit hours during an academic year:

Fall Winter Spring May

First 8-Weeks

Second 8-Weeks First 8-Weeks Second 8-weeks

Class #1

(3 credits)

Class #3

(3 credits)

Class #1

(3 credits)

Class #1

(3 credits)

Class #3

(3 credits)

Class #1

(3 credits)

Class #2

(3 credits)

Class #4

(3 credits)

Class #2

(3 credits)

Class #4

(3 credits)

Total Credits: 12 Total Credits: 3 Total Credits: 12 Total Credits: 3

Of course, students could choose to take one minimester course and one summer course.

Students also have the option to take 15 Fall hours and 15 Spring hours:

Fall Spring
First 8-Weeks Second 8-Weeks First 8-Weeks Second 8-Weeks

Class #1

(3 credits)

Class #4

(3 credits)

Class #1

(3 credits)

Class #4

(3 credits)

Class #2

(3 credits)

Class #5

(3 credits)

Class #2

(3 credits)

Class #5

(3 credits)

Class #3

(3 credits)

Class #3

(3 credits)

Total Credits: 15 Total Credits: 15

As you can see, 8-week courses offer students great flexibility in developing their schedules while pursuing an associate degree.


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Will 8-week courses change the length of the semester?

Each 16-week semester is split into two 8-week sessions, allowing students the flexibility to split their course load in the manner that best allows them to succeed.
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Will the amount of class time I get with my instructors change in the 8-week format?

No. Between face-to-face and online activities, students will participate in the same amount of total class time guided by their instructors as they would in a 16-week course. As a result, these classes are more focused and Blinn recommends that students take no more than two or three 8-week courses at one time.
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Why is Blinn offering more Saturday courses?

By offering an expanded selection of Saturday courses on the Brenham and Bryan campuses, Blinn can provide a wide selection of high-demand courses while still limiting course capacities and the number of students on campus at a time.


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Is Blinn offering pass/no-pass grading?

Blinn is not offering pass/no-pass grading.


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If conditions require the College to convert all instruction to an online format, will students receive refunds?

Tuition and mandatory fees have been set regardless of the method of instruction and will not be prorated or refunded in the event instruction occurs remotely for any part of the academic year.


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If classes move online before Thanksgiving, will synchronous classes continue to meet in real time?

Yes. In the event that the pandemic requires the College to transfer courses to a fully online format prior to the scheduled shift at Thanksgiving, synchronous classes will continue to meet in real time.
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Can students use laptops in the classrooms?

Yes, they may.
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Will classrooms have more than one camera in classes that use the live online format?

In most classrooms, faculty will have one camera that tracks the faculty as the faculty approaches the white board. However, it is imperative all sections have class notes or PowerPoints online available to students.  That provision is in place to address the situation in which we might move completely online for a technical reason or by county determination.

 


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Where can faculty receive Zoom training?

Please visit the Center for Teaching and Learning or Faculty Senate website for more information on training.
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What are the disciplinary rules for the remote portion of the course?

A remote session is an extension of our classroom. During class time, that space occupied by the student becomes a public Blinn College space. It is the student's responsibility to maintain a civil behavior as stated in the Civility Protocol. Likewise, instructors can mute all microphones from their desktop, and only open the microphones during a Q&A period, if there is disruption via microphones from live remote students who are participating.
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Will exams be online?

Assessments, including final exams, are administered online. Faculty have the latitude to determine whether final exams will be held during the scheduled final exam time utilizing remote proctoring or will be carried asynchronously online in eCampus.


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