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Getting Started with Online Learning

If you're interested in the idea of online learning, but you still aren't sure if it is really for you, think about what it offers. Online learning is convenient and provides flexibility to complete your coursework any time day or night. But, you may be wondering if online learning is different from taking the same course in a traditional classroom. Online courses are not for everyone. They require at least as much time and commitment as traditional courses. Before you consider taking an online course, make sure you have time to focus on your coursework, feel competent using computers, and have good reading and writing communication skills. Take the survey below and visit the sample online course before making your decision.

Is online learning for me?
The online environment is not for everyone. Unfortunately, some people may have an unrealistic impression or the incorrect idea that taking online classes is the "easy" route. Although you might not have to attend classes, you will still have to:

  • read your textbooks and other materials
  • write papers
  • engage in class discussions with classmates/teachers by posting to discussion boards
  • complete activities, tests or other assessments
  • participate in individual and group projects
  • spend as much time on your online class as you would if attending on campus

In many ways, online courses can be more difficult than their traditional on-campus counterparts. To get a good idea of your chances for success as an online student, take the survey to find out if online learning is the answer for you.

What does an online course look like?
Visit a Sample Class.

Do I have the technology and system requirements?
All Open Campus online-based classes use Blackboard.  Check out Blackboard's browser & system requirements.

How do I know what courses are available through Open Campus/online learning?
The schedule of classes includes a list of courses that are available fully online and courses that combine online and face-to-face instruction. See the course schedules for Riverside, Moreno Valley, and Norco.

Is there a list of courses, certificates or degrees that are offered through distance education?
Faculty determine which courses will be offered as fully online or as hybrids. Not every course is available through distance education. Each year the list grows and, as a result, many certificates and degrees are offered 50% or more through distance education:


How do I login to Open Campus and my distance education classes?

  • Before logging into Blackboard, be sure that your browser & system have met the requirements listed at Blackboard's browser & system requirements.
  • You will access all distance education courses through the Open Campus webpage,
  • Your next step is to go to the Blackboard (Bb) login. 
  • Your Username is the same as your WebAdvisor ID and is the first letter of your first name, first letter of your last name and 7-digit student ID.
    For example: First Name: John, Last Name: Doe with Student ID: 1234567 would have the Username jd1234567.
    If you are a new student at RCCD using Bb, your default Password is student.
    If are a returning student at RCCD using Bb, your Password has not changed.  
  • Once "inside" Bb, you will see a list of your online courses.

What if I need help during or outside of normal business/school hours?
Support and help are available 24 hours a day/7 days a week because we want you to have help when you need it. Contact the Blackboard Online Support Center toll free at 1-866-259-7271 for 24 hour support, 7 days a week.

What if I need help with WebAdvisor?
Information and login tutorials are available at

Can I order my textbooks online?
Order your textbooks online for delivery or reserve them for pickup on-campus:

I live in another state, why am I having problems enrolling in a Distance Education class?
Federal regulations require RCCD to ask for authorization from other states to offer distance education to students who live outside California. More information about the regulation, board policy and grievance contact information can be found on the Student Resources page.