Distance Education

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What do I need to do to take a distance education course?
A. Register as you would for any other course offered through NRCC.  You must be   registered and have paid tuition to access Blackboard
Q. What browser should I use to access my courses in Blackboard?
A. Mozilla Firefox or Chrome rather than Internet Explorer must be used. Tests/quizzes should be taken using a “wired” connection – a wireless connection is not recommended. 
Q. Do I need to come to campus for any of my DE courses?
A. Some DE courses (print and online) may require trips to campus.  On-campus       requirements are noted in the class schedule and more specifically in the course   syllabus. 
Q. Are all DE courses online?
A. Most courses are online format.
Q. Do I need books for DE courses?  If so, how do I know what is required and where I can purchase them?
A. Before classes begin, you can visit the Virtual  Bookstore at to determine books needed for your classes. Once classes start, your course plan will list books and materials required.  Check the bookstore Website for business hours. Books can be purchased on campus or through the Virtual Bookstore Website.
Q. What does it mean if my course requires an OER?
A. Open Educational Resources (OER) are freely accessible, openly licensed documents.  Some Professors may provide these resources instead of a textbook.
Q. When can I access my materials and start the course?
A. On or after the first day of classes, visit Blackboard to access course materials. Also, check emails for information from instructors. (  Courses and course materials are not available before the first day of classes.
Q. Who is my instructor and how do I contact them?
A. Instructor information is listed in Blackboard and also included in the course plan. 
Q. Where do I submit assignments and take tests?
A. Refer to your course syllabus for assignment submission and testing guidelines. 
Online courses usually require electronic submission through Blackboard. 
Tests for some online courses can be completed at either of our two testing centers (Martin Hall on campus or NRCC’s NRV Mall Site in Christiansburg) or through an approved proctor IF you live outside the college’s service region.  Proctors must be approved at the beginning of each semester.  The proctor request form can be accessed at:
Q. When will my instructor grade my work?
A. Grading schedules vary with each instructor. Contact your instructor if you have specific questions about your assignments and/or tests.
Q. How do I get my grades?
A. Grades for most courses are posted in Blackboard under My Grades.  Check your course plan or with your instructor if you have questions about grades during the semester.  Final semester grades are accessible online through the Student Information System (PeopleSoft).
Q. If I received media for my course, where do I return it at the end of the semester?
A. Media may be returned in person to the circulation desk at the Library in Martin Hall.  If you need to return your media by mail, use the following address: 

(UPS, FedEx, etc.) (US Postal Service)
New River Community College 
Attention: Diane Viers    
5251 College Drive   
Dublin, VA  24084  
Q. How do I get help with Blackboard?
  • By email:;
  • By phone:  Contact the e-Learning Coordinator at (540) 674-3614 or toll free at 866-462-6722, ext. 3614;
  • In person:  Visit the DE Office, Martin Hall 236 (inside the library).
Q. Where do I find my Blackboard account information?  What if my Blackboard account isn’t accessible or doesn’t work?

Access to look up your username and set your password.

If you are having login and password problems, contact the NRCC Help Desk at or phone (540) 674-3600, ext. 4400.

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