Distance Education & Instructional Technology

With flexible offerings provided through distance education at Black River Technical College, there is no longer an excuse to delay college due to an unpredictable or busy schedule!

Looking to transfer to a four-year college? We offer several 100% online degrees and certificates! We also offer many programs where at least half of the required courses are available online or hybrid. All of our programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and are approved by the Arkansas Department of Higher Education and the State Board of Vocational Education. Take a look at our full course and program list.

Types of DE Classes

Online classes are offered completely over the internet and are not easier than on-campus classes. In fact, they usually take more time.

Many instructors offer hybrid courses, courses that present at least 50% of the course material online. Because of the online material, these courses do not meet as frequently as traditional on-campus courses.

A CVN course is held via compressed video. While students attend classes on campus, the instructor may either be in the classroom or be broadcast to students via television from a remote site.

Distance Education Programs

Online Student Orientation

Online classes are not for everyone. If these statements describe you, then you should have no problem successfully completing an online class.

  1. I don’t need someone to remind me to complete my assignments or do my class work.
  2. I am very organized and have no problem creating and sticking to a schedule.
  3. I recognize that an online class will require as much, if not more, work than a traditional class.
  4. If my computer dies or my internet connection breaks, I have other ways to access both the internet and a working computer.
  5. I do not need to have face-to-face discussions with my instructor or classmates.
  6. I am very comfortable working on a computer and do not mind working on one for several hours at a time.
  7. I am comfortable with technology and know how to use e-mail, send attachments, download files, and search for information on the internet.
  8. I already interact with and am very comfortable communicating with people online.
  9. My reading and writing skills are strong.
  10. If I need help in class, I have no problem asking my instructor.

Welcome to the Online Student Orientation at Black River Technical College. Please read each section so you will be familiar with the processes involved in taking online classes.

If you are considering taking online classes, it may be beneficial to complete the Are online classes for me? inventory above.

Taking online classes takes a certain amount of discipline and time management skills. Some may mistakenly think online classes are easier than traditional classes; however, in many ways, they can be more difficult.

In a traditional classroom, you sit at a desk, listen to an instructor lecture, take notes, and raise your hand to ask a question all in a specific place at a specific time. However, in an online classroom, you won’t be sitting in a classroom. In fact, you may never even see your instructor!

The freedom and flexibility of an online class allows you to fit the class around your schedule. While the benefits of this are obvious, don’t be fooled: An online class can be much more demanding than a traditional class and strict discipline is required in order to be successful! Therefore, a successful student will need to be self-motivating to stay on task and ensure assignments are completed.

In order to succeed in an online classroom, good organization is a necessity. It is advisable to keep a notebook for the class, as you would do with a traditional class. Write down to-do lists and mark off each one as each is completed. Some online instructors use a “checklist” activity in Moodle that will allow you to do this online.

In addition, it is very handy to write down important dates and assignment due dates in a calendar that you view daily.

One of the most important skills to have in order to succeed in an online course is good time management. As there is no set time to meet for an online class, you must discipline yourself to set enough time apart from your day to do the necessary work for the class. As a general rule, you will spend at least one hour outside of class for every hour in class. This applies to online classes as well. For example, if you are enrolled in a three hour-credit course, it is likely that you will spend at least three hours per week reading the textbook, studying, completing assignments, etc.

For a more detailed guide to using Moodle at BRTC, please see our Moodle User Guide for Students in the Resources section of this page.

All students have access to the Moodle Student Lounge, which provides helpful resources and information as well as a forum to discuss with other BRTC students.

To validate your enrollment in 16-week Fall and Spring courses, you will need to access the course by the first week of class. However, It is highly recommended that you access your 16-week online course(s) by no later than the first day or two to avoid missing assignments. To validate your enrollment in a short duration online courses, you will need to access the course by midnight the first day of class. Short duration courses include 4- and 8-week courses as well as summer courses.

To access your course, once you are logged into myBRTC, find the box that says My Moodle Classes on the right side of the page. Click on the course you would like to access. Once you are in your Moodle course, you are validated and you will not be dropped for non-attendance. If you are a Mac/Apple user, instead of clicking on the name of the class, click on the Moodle icon (graduation cap) on the bar in the center column.

The Distance Education & Instructional Technology department has set guidelines for online course layout. Typically each course is divided into weeks, with the most recent topic at the top of the page, below the general heading section. The general heading section contains the name of the course and will typically contain important documents such as the course syllabus and tentative weekly schedule.

Reading the syllabus is a good way to become familiar with the class, including tentative dates for assignments and the overall structure of topics. It is recommended that you download a copy to your computer and/or print a copy for easy and quick access.

After you have read the syllabus, ensure you have completed the Student Agreement Form questionnaire for your online class.

It is important to read instructions, if they are given, and click on all links for the current topic in your course.

Academic integrity is the adherence to an ethical code of conduct within an academic culture that emphasizes honesty in all scholarly work and includes the avoidance of plagiarism and cheating. Academic integrity promotes the ethical use of research material, protects the intellectual property of the scholars who produce the material, and avoid legal liability associated with copyright violation. Furthermore, students who adhere to academically honest practices maintain their personal integrity by holding themselves responsible for engaging with their assignments, which helps promote their own learning in their coursework.

Students are expected to do their own work on all examinations and assignments. They are also expected at all times to uphold high standards of integrity. Plagiarism, cheating, and forms of theft of intellectual property allowing another individual to complete part f all course work for a student, or assisting another student in doing any of these acts are all examples of academic dishonesty and are prohibited. Self-plagiarism is defined as the use of one\’s work from a previous class without explicit approval from an instructor and is prohibited. These rules apply to concurrent, traditional, hybrid, and online students.

One of the consequences of online learning is that there is little to no opportunity for face-to-face interaction with the instructor or fellow students. Therefore, it is imperative that you are aware of various communication channels set up by your instructor, including Q & A discussion forums, Moodle messaging, and email.

For general questions, if your instructor has set up a Questions forum, it is best to use it. Using a discussion forum to ask questions of the instructor provides other students who may also have the same question to reference the instructor\’s answer in one place. If you don\’t feel comfortable asking on a discussion forum, or if the nature of your question is sensitive, you can also use Moodle messaging or email. Moodle messaging is accessed by clicking the callout bubble at the top right of the page, just left of your name.

Your student email is a vital part of communicating with your instructor. It is important that you check it often. Access myBRTC where a single sign on will be used to access email, Moodle, and other student support services. The student login for myBRTC is found on the Student Technology page.

If you are having trouble accessing your email, contact Computer Services.

Although you may never step foot on campus, you still have access to all of BRTC’s services:

  • You can buy and rent books online through the online BRTC bookstore.
  • The library provides excellent resources for both traditional and online courses and has many databases that are available online. Usernames and passwords for online databases can be obtained by contacting the library or visiting the Student Lounge within Moodle, to access databases off-campus. Online databases can be accessed by clicking the following URL: http://blackrivertech.org/black-river-technical-college-library/library-databases.
  • BRTC offers 24/7 online tutoring through the Tutoring Center.
  • BRTC offers Career Planning Center where you can explore career options, take interest and aptitude assessments, find programs that match your interests, search for jobs both locally and nationally, explore salary and benefit information, create and post resumes, get interview tips and more!
  • ADA accommodations are available for online students.
  • BRTC students have free access to Microsoft Office 365, which includes software such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint. In order to run Microsoft Office 365, you will need certain computer requirements.

If you have additional questions about Distance Education or using Moodle, please contact the Distance Education & Instructional Technology office or email us at online@blackrivertech.edu. Students may also access BRTC's 24/7 online ticket system.

Moodle is BRTC’s online course management system.  It is used in a variety of ways:

  • All online, hybrid, and technologically enhanced courses are offered on Moodle.
  • Many on-campus classes utilize Moodle to display students’ current grades, post syllabi and course documents, and provide an area for students to talk outside of class.
  • Some faculty advisors communicate with their advisees via Moodle.

All students, even those not in an online course, can access Moodle.  You can access Moodle via myBRTC on your device, tablet, or computer.

Technical Requirements

The latest version of Chrome or Firefox are the recommended browsers for Moodle.

Note: Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge are not recommended because some features in Moodle do not display well.

  • Windows: 10, 8, 7
  • Mac: MacOS X 10.15 to 10.12, OS X 10.11, OSX 10.10
  • iOS: 11.0+ (iPad only). Must have a compatible LMS integration
  • Adobe Flash Player (bundled with the LockDown Browser installation)
  • Web camera (internal or external) & microphone
  • A broadband internet connection
  • More information on Respondus Monitor

oodle FAQs

Generally, you only need a computer with internet access and a web browser. For more information, see the Technical Requirements on this page.

To access Moodle,

  1. Log in to myBRTC
  2. Click on the Moodle link.

See the Student Technology page for the latest instructions for determining your Moodle/myBRTC username and password.

If you still feel lost, contact Distance Education.  We are happy to help!

After you have logged into myBRTC and clicked on Moodle, you should see a list of your courses in the center column (if not, see the next FAQ).

While you may see assignments you have due under the name of the course, to access your course, you must click on the course name which will take you to the course view page.

If the term has not started, your instructor may not have the class available to students yet. However, if classes have started and you are still unable to see your course(s), check your schedule on myBRTC to ensure you are registered for the class.

  • If you are not registered, contact Student Services.
  • If they say yoy are registered for the class, contact your instructor or Distance Education.

You must log in and access your course by midnight on the first day of class; otherwise, you will be considered a “no show” and be dropped from the class.

If this has happened to you, and you wish to still be in the class, contact the Registrar and your instructor.

 your instructor is not communicating with you in a timely manner, please contact Distance Education.  Our information is at the bottom of this page.

  • Moodle User Guide for Students

Black River Technical College encourages student communication with the administration, faculty, and staff regarding college operations and procedures, and encourages students to use existing policies, personnel, and departmental offices to express specific concerns.

To learn more about this process, view the Student Complaint Process.

Black River Technical College has in place effective procedures to ensure the student who registers in a distance education course or program is the same student who participates in and completes the course or program and receives the academic credit. Students have a unique sign-in through the myBRTC portal that then directs them to Moodle, the College’s learning management system.

Online, hybrid, and tech-enhanced instructors use the following methods to verify student identity in courses:

  • Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor
  • Moodle’s built-in recording device
  • Turnitin.

The use of Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor and/or Moodle’s built-in recording device is required in all online courses and students are required to show a state or college-issued ID to verify identity to the instructor.

If the course has written work, Turnitin is used to verify the work is authentic and not plagiarized from the web or another student.

While there are no additional costs to the students associated with the verification procedures, the DE Fees students pay for enrolling in online, hybrid, and CVN courses are used to purchase student identity verification software used within the College’s LMS.

The securing of personal information within the College starts at the desktop/end user level with centrally managed antivirus software, centrally managed operating system/software updates and mandatory password reset periods and complexity. This security continues at the network level with network security appliances at the border and industry standard secure socket layer encryption of all important data transmission at the server level. The College also works with the State IT auditors to ensure that the College follows the IT security guidelines of the State.

Distance Education Resources

Video Library for Students

Helpful videos related to Moodle and technology
Helpful videos related to the BRTC Library

Video Library for Instructors

Our DEIT Team