Last Updated: 05/26/2008 - North Carolina Virtual Public School

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NCVPS
North Carolina Virtual Public School
Student – Parent Handbook
Last Updated: 05/26/2008
Welcome from the NCVPS Executive Director
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Welcome from the NCVPS Executive Director ................................... 4
About This Handbook ....................................................................... 5
NCVPS Calendar................................................................................ 6
Inclement Weather ................................................................................................ 6
Student Calendar / Checklist ........................................................... 7
Is Online Learning Right for Me? ...................................................... 9
On-line Learning – Best Interest .............................................................................. 9
On-line Learning – Not Best Interest ........................................................................ 9
Attributes for Student Success ....................................................... 10
Student Responsibilities .......................................................................................
Self-motivation ...................................................................................................
Independent learner ............................................................................................
Technical Skill Set ...............................................................................................
Student Technical Skills Requirements ...................................................................
Hardware/Software Requirements for Home Access..................................................
Effective written communication skills ....................................................................
Personal commitment ..........................................................................................
Time Management...............................................................................................
How To Study .....................................................................................................
10
10
10
11
11
12
12
12
12
13
Tips For Online Communications .................................................... 15
Email.................................................................................................................
Discussion Forums...............................................................................................
Class Discussion Community .................................................................................
Constructive Debate ............................................................................................
15
16
17
18
Academic Integrity ......................................................................... 19
Academic integrity means.....................................................................................
Fair Use .............................................................................................................
Plagiarism ..........................................................................................................
Other Resources for Maintaining Academic Integrity ..............................................
Understanding Plagiarism ..................................................................................
Using a Style Guide .............................................................................................
Copyright...........................................................................................................
19
19
19
19
20
20
20
Discipline Code ............................................................................... 22
Cheating, Plagiarism and/or Copyright Violations .....................................................
Violations of the AUP ...........................................................................................
Netiquette..........................................................................................................
Harassment Reporting .........................................................................................
22
22
22
22
HELPDESK CONTACT INFORMATION ............................................... 24
Presidium Blackboard Support............................................................................... 24
Instructor........................................................................................................... 24
Distance Learning Advisor .................................................................................... 24
STUDENT FAQs ............................................................................... 25
Registration and Enrollment ........................................................... 27
Starting Dates and Ending Dates ........................................................................... 27
TRANSFER STUDENTS ..................................................................... 28
IEP and 504 .................................................................................... 29
Title VI, Title IX, Section 504 ................................................................................ 29
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Welcome from the NCVPS Executive Director
TITLE VI ............................................................................................................ 29
TITLE IX ............................................................................................................ 29
SECTION 504 ..................................................................................................... 29
Attendance ..................................................................................... 31
How Attendance is Measured ................................................................................ 31
Illness / Extended Inability to Participate ................................................................ 31
Drop/Withdrawal Policy ................................................................. 32
On or Before the 10th Day of Class .........................................................................
After the 10th Day of Class....................................................................................
Hardship Drop ....................................................................................................
Withdrawn Failing (WF) / Withdrawn Passing (WP) ...................................................
Additional WF Reporting .......................................................................................
32
32
32
32
33
Grading........................................................................................... 34
Standard Grading Scale........................................................................................ 34
Gradebook online in Blackboard (Bb) ..................................................................... 34
Grades - Percentage Correlations .......................................................................... 34
Hardware/Software Requirements For Home Access ..................... 35
Getting Started in Blackboard......................................................... 37
Getting Started ................................................................................................... 43
NCVPS Computer Requirements ..................................................... 44
Computer Access ................................................................................................
Email Account.....................................................................................................
Software ............................................................................................................
Cautions and Recommendations:...........................................................................
44
44
44
46
Guidelines for North Carolina Virtual Public School Participation ... 47
Responsibilities of the North Carolina Virtual Public School: .......................................
Responsibilities of the district:...............................................................................
Responsibilities of the local school: ........................................................................
Student enrollment guidelines ...............................................................................
Characteristics of Successful Online Learners ..........................................................
The North Carolina Virtual Public School Instructional Model ......................................
The On-line Course Experience..............................................................................
47
47
48
49
50
50
51
Acronyms and Terms ...................................................................... 53
In compliance with federal laws, NC Public Schools administers all state-operated educational
programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination because of race,
religion, national or ethnic origin, color, age, military service, disability, or gender, except where
exemption is appropriate and allowed by law. Inquiries or complaints should be directed to:
Office of Innovation and School Transformation
6301 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-6301
919.807.3200 (phone)
919.807.4065 (fax)
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Welcome from the NCVPS Executive Director
Welcome from the NCVPS Executive Director
Welcome to the North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS). I would like to congratulate you
on making this choice to become a member of the NCVPS online team of students for your
school district. This makes you a top 21st Century learner for the State of North Carolina and we
look forward to helping you reach all of your goals in our program. It is very important to us that
you have a successful “journey’ in your online learning experience whether it be your first and/or
a repeat performance for you. As Executive Director of NCVPS, I will be checking with your
school districts from time-to-time to find out how well you are doing in your courses. I want you
to make sure if you experience difficulty that you contact your teacher and/or your distance
learning advisor. Our staff is always here to help you.
During the next several years, 21st Century students will be responsible for making significant
decisions about their future. One of these decisions will be to select online courses which will
better prepare students for tomorrow’s competitive global world. Information included in this
handbook is designed to assist students in virtual courses which will be both relevant and
rigorous to and for them in the 21st Century.
We believe you should have all of the opportunities that your traditional high school provides,
but we also believe you should be connected to the opportunities of the 21st century. We look
forward to providing you the skills and the support needed for you to be successful in a 21st
Century world. Therefore, as you work through this handbook, NCVPS encourages your family
to form relationships with your counselors, principals, DLA and teachers so that you not only
graduate but also can compete locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally in the 21st
Century.
In regards to planning after virtual high school, NCVPS students will enter the job market not
simply with their peers from other North Carolina cities, but students will go head-to-head with
graduates from other U.S. colleges and universities as well as with graduates from India,
Malaysia, China and Europe. To be competitive, a high school diploma is a minimum
requirement, and this handbook will serve as your personal roadmap to rigorously challenge
yourself to achieve your academic potential and lead a productive and rewarding life in a real
and virtual world. We look forward to being a part of the many positive relationships on your
journey to success with NCPVS.
Respectfully,
Bryan Setser, Ed. D.
Executive Director
North Carolina Virtual Public School
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About This Handbook
About This Handbook
The Student Parent Handbook contains information about the NC Virtual Public School
(NCVPS) operations and setup that is pertinent to the understanding by the student and parent.
If you do not find in the Table of Contents the topic of subject item you are needing information
on, you may use the “Find” feature found
Navigation:
From the tool bar > click Edit > Find > Key words to identify
what you are looking for.
The Student Parent Handbook will be updated on an on-going basis. Each time it is revised, the
updated date on the cover and the footer of each page will reflect the last updated date.
Acronyms are used within the content of this documentation. It is the writer’s intent to define an
acronym in each section before the “acronym only” is used. Ie. North Carolina Virtual School
(NCVPS). For your reference, a list of acronyms and their description is also included in the
“Acronyms” section of this document.
There is also additional information on the NCVPS website, www.ncvps.org, as several sections
may refer the reader to check the web for extended references.
Accurate and clear documentation is very important to the NCVPS. Any discrepancies or
advised revisions to information within this document can be forwarded to the NCVPS
Documentation Specialist, Adam Renfro, at [email protected] .
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NCVPS Calendar
NCVPS Calendar
Please follow this link to access all of the NCVPS calendars:
http://www.ncvps.org/courses/calendars/
NCVPS is aware of the varied school calendars, some creating challenging adjustments
among students, teachers and DLAs. NCVPS can make minor adjustments, but the key
is relationship building and communications between the student, teacher and DLA. No
course can end too early in advance, and no course can be extended beyond the semester
end date. Communicate & work out the minor differences.
Inclement Weather
Students who take NCVPS courses in an on-site school lab will be affected by school
closing due to inclement weather.
The policy from NCVPS is:
"If the school, (where the NCVPS lab is located), is closed for more than three days, due
to inclement weather, the DLA will notify the teacher(s) of the closing on or before the
day school reconvenes. Students are accountable for communicating with their teacher
and DLA, and catching up the course work, including any scheduled tests that may have
been missed."
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Student Calendar / Checklist
Student Calendar / Checklist
_____ 1. Prior to First Day of Class: Please see calendars for exact date at
http://www.ncvps.org/courses/calendars/
Go through the Student Online Orientation and the Blackboard Orientation.
Note: If you are taking a course offered by NCVPS, but taught by an external provider
such as Florida Virtual, Georgia Virtual, APEX, or OSU, you will need to go to their
homepage to log-in. The external provider is responsible for providing student’s
username and password.
_____ 2. By First Day of Class:
• Make sure you have the textbook(s) and/or materials you need for your course(s).
• You will find the required textbook(s) and/or materials for your course by clicking on
the “Courses” tab on the homepage of NCVPS…then click on Spring 2008 and then
click on the course…scroll down until you see the textbook(s) and/or materials listed.
(School DLAs will distribute textbooks and materials.)
_____ 3.
•
•
•
•
On First Day of Class: Log into course.
Take time to familiarize yourself with the course.
Read the first announcement posted by the instructor.
Check, daily, to see if your instructor has posted any new announcements every day.
Go through the tabs. Begin working!!!
Note: Students are expected to spend 1.5 hours per day / 5 days a week on a course.
_____ 4. On First Day of Class: Communication – make contact with your teacher via email
or telephone call. You will find your instructor’s contact information under the “Staff
Information” tab in your course. Build a communication relationship with both instructor and
DLA.
_____ 5. By Fifth Day of Class: Adding a course - the fifth day of classes is the last day you
can add a course. You will need to check with your DLA to add course(s). Please see calendars
for exact date at http://www.ncvps.org/courses/calendars/
_____ 6. By Fifth Day of Class: Print out your grade book(s) per course. Take this printed
copy to your DLA. Your instructor is expecting it from you. (Weekly expectation) Please see
calendars for exact date at http://www.ncvps.org/courses/calendars/
_____ 7. By the Tenth Day of Class: This is the last day you can drop a course without
penalty. Only Your DLA can drop you from a course. Please see calendars for exact date at
http://www.ncvps.org/courses/calendars/
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Student Calendar / Checklist
Note: After the first 10-day “Drop Period”, if a course is requested to be dropped, the
student must follow process for withdrawing from a course. Withdrawal marks have to
be approved and a mark of either WP (withdrew passing) or WF (withdrew failing) must
be issued.
_____ 8. Holidays: Check with your DLA and NCVPS calendars to see what days are holidays.
_____ 9. Quarterly Grades: Check the NCVPS calendar to determine when quarterly grades
will be posted. Please see calendars for exact date at http://www.ncvps.org/courses/calendars/
_____ 10. Last Day of Class: Be aware of ending date for NCVPS courses. This date will
most likely be different than when your own school has its ending date.
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Is Online Learning Right for Me?
Is Online Learning Right for Me?
Online courses offer students educational opportunities that they may not otherwise have at their
local schools. These courses offer students the flexibility of when and where they access their
courses. For many students the online learning environment may provide better support for their
learning styles.
While online courses have proven to be successful for students with a variety of academic
backgrounds and needs, it is important to recognize that just as a traditional classroom setting
may not be the best fit for all students in all courses, it is also true that online courses may not be
best fit for all students.
Below are some factors to consider when considering enrolling in an online course.
On-line Learning – Best Interest
When is it in the best interest of a student to consider online courses, in addition to taking
courses at their local high school? When the course:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Resolves scheduling.
Allows student flexibility in use of time to meet other commitments.
Offers subjects not available at the student's home school.
Helps students make up a credit.
Provides students with the experience of taking a distance education course.
Meets the needs of transferring students.
Allows homebound students to continue their educations.
On-line Learning – Not Best Interest
When is it perhaps not in the best interest of a student to enroll in online courses?
•
•
•
Student does not meet the profile of a successful online student (See section: Attributes
for Student Success)
Student will not have reliable access to the appropriate computer hardware.
Students should desire to take course(s) online rather than having significant adults
choosing the online course for the students.
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Attributes for Student Success
Attributes for Student Success
Students who may be considering an online course should take time to examine their personal
skills and aptitudes for taking a class online. The following attributes will greatly contribute to a
student's success:
Student Responsibilities
•
Self-motivation
•
Ability to learn independently
•
Strong personal commitment
•
Effective communication skills
•
Time management skills
•
Successful completion of required assignments
•
Willingness to ask for help and be vocal when there are problems, conflicts, or questions
•
Basic word processing and Internet skills
•
Positive recommendations of teachers and counselors
•
Successful previous performance in content area courses
•
Good Attendance Record
•
Acceptance of the terms of the local Code of Conduct or NCVPS's Acceptable Use Policy for
students working on the Internet.
Self-motivation
Students can direct their own learning environment and methods to fulfill course requirements
and achieve individual academic success. It is the student’s responsibility to maintain selfmotivation to:
•
build a relationship for communicating effectively and consistently with instructor.
•
build a relationship for communicating effectively and consistently with Distance
Learning Advisor (DLA).
•
organize and stay ahead on assignments
o plan for meeting deadlines
Independent learner
The online environment enables students to learn at their own pace, relieving the stress of feeling
rushed or pressured. Independency should provide enjoyment in the learning process. - - “The
‘Independent’ learner must be maturely ‘dependent’ and reliable upon self
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Attributes for Student Success
Technical Skill Set
Although it is not necessary to have advanced computer skills, students should possess a working
knowledge of electronic e-mail, the Internet, as well as basic keyboarding skills.
Student Technical Skills Requirements
The following computer skills are needed in order to participate in a NCVPS course. Students
and their NCVPS distance learning advisors are responsible for assessing student skill levels. If
students do not possess these skills, they might find it very frustrating to participate in an online
course.
NOTE: Please be aware that the instructor will not be teaching these skills as part of the
course(s).
Basic Skills
•
•
•
•
•
Web Browser Skills
Email Skills
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Locate a file on hard drive, diskette,
and/or server
Save a file to a specific drive and folder
Change drives
Connect to the Internet (if working
from home)
Navigate between two or more
applications without closing and reopening (multi-tasking)
•
Word Processor Skills
Forward a message
Create a folder
Save a message into a specific folder
Delete a file
Add a name to the address book
Retrieve a name from the address book
Paste text from a word processor
Send an attachment
Open and/or save an attachment
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Go to a specific URL
Print a page
Follow a hypertext link
Conduct a basic search using a search
engine
Re-trace a hypertext path
NCVPS
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Open a new file
Open an existing file
Save a file
Rename a file
Save a file as a different format or with
a different name [Use "Save As"]
Copy or cut text
Paste text
Format text
Change line spacing
Print a document
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Attributes for Student Success
Hardware/Software Requirements for Home Access
System Requirements
Operating Systems
Browser Options
(select one)
Browser Plug-ins
Windows
Vista, XP, 2000
Macintosh
OS X 10.4.6 (minimum)
Internet Explorer
6.0 (minimum)
Firefox (Windows)
2.0.0.1 (minimum)
Safari (Macintosh)
2.0.3 (minimum)
Sun Java
JRE 6.0 (1.6.0) (minimum)
Sun Java 3D
1.3.1
Flash
9.0 (minimum)
Adobe Reader
8.0 (minimum)
Curriculum Pathways® Components 1.0
Internet Connection 56K (or faster)
Audio
Sound Capability & Headphones/Speakers
Pop-up Blocker(s)
Must be turned off for SASinSchool.com
Effective written communication skills
Students must use electronic e-mail and discussion forums to communicate with their peers as
well as the instructors. The ability to write clearly to communicate ideas and assignments is
essential. This method provides the learner with rapid feedback as well as a means to inform
instructors of any concerns or problems that they may be experiencing.
Personal commitment
Because there are no bells that begin and end classes, students must have a strong desire to learn
and achieve knowledge and skills via online courses. Making a commitment to learn in this
manner is a very personal decision and requires a strong commitment to perform in order to
achieve academic success.
Time Management
Students must be able to organize and plan their own best "time to learn." There is no one best
time for everyone, but the key to learning is to make the time to learn. In an online course, time
management is critical to success because most activities can be accomplished asynchronously –
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Attributes for Student Success
students don't have to be online at the same time as the instructor or other students. However,
learning "anytime, anywhere" also makes it easier to put off logging on and participating in class.
As with any traditional course, one risks earning a lower grade if you fall behind.
To make sure that you manage your time well, we recommend that you use some type of
calendar or daily planner. For major tests and projects, break the work into pieces and schedule
some of the work each day for a week or two before the due date. Written calendars are
especially satisfying… it is a good feeling to be able to X out the items as they are accomplished!
For more comprehensive information about Time Management see the Mind Tools site at
http://www.mindtools.com/page5.html
How To Study
With traditional courses, it is very easy to get into student study groups and work together. In the
online environment, this kind of collaboration requires a different kind of approach. However, all
is not lost! Students do have a great resource in the Internet. Every lecture, discussion, and
communication is archived online for students to review. This online access is an advantage in
providing students the opportunity to look back through everything that was ever said or written
in the class leading up to the test.
The following outlines some quick, simple tips to help students manage time and assignments
(these aren't just for online learning!).
Organize materials. Whatever system works for the student, from a binder with dividers to a
file drawer or a series of in-baskets, the student needs to identify the plan and routine for best
organization that works. Keeping track of printed work, including class notes, . . . using an
organized system will save time when tests and projects are assigned.
Focus on reading. Much of the work in an online course involves reading. Remembering and
comprehending what has been read better prepares for tests!
Try the strategies for Remembering What You Read from St. John's University available online
at http://www.csbsju.edu/academicadvising/help/remread.html.
Explore note-taking systems. The Cornell Note Taking System is just one approach to
organizing your course materials. First draw a vertical line on your paper dividing the paper into
two columns… left column 3 inches wide, the right column 5 inches wide. Then record the
materials presented in course readings and lectures in the right, larger column. Simplify ideas
and facts to concise summaries in the left column. These smaller more focused ideas, facts and
concepts are used in Reciting, Reviewing and Reflecting.
Note: For more information, see the example document posted online by the Dartmouth
Academic Skills Center at http://www.dartmouth.edu/~acskills/docs/cornell_note_taking.doc.
Set goals. Goals are important when you feel like you have more work than you can manage. By
setting goals, you make a decision about where you want to go, then create the map you need to
get there! Keep the goals positive, realistic and write them down! Goals need to be based on
things in your control, so focus on your performance, not the overall outcome.
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Attributes for Student Success
Note: For more information about setting goals, see the Smart Goals page from the University
of Victoria at http://www.coun.uvic.ca/learn/program/hndouts/smartgoals.html.
Hone testing strategies. Did you know that there are actual testing skills, skills that are
independent of the content of the course, which you can work to improve?
Note: Test-taking strategies are available on the George Washington University site at
http://gwired.gwu.edu/counsel/counsel.php?id=2149.
Another important consideration when going into a test is your stress level. No matter how much
you have studied, some people experience stress when they take a test. Relaxation techniques
used just before a test may help.
Try the Brief Relaxation Exercises from Texas A & M available online at
http://www.scs.tamu.edu/selfhelp/elibrary/relaxation.htm.
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Tips For Online Communications
Tips For Online Communications
The point of discussion assignments is for the student to actually discuss his/her understanding of
a particular topic. Online learning is especially powerful when students engage one another in
discussions about the content of their courses—how you understand a topic may differ from how
your peers understand the same topic. This variation in interpretation and understanding depends
on personal context, and when it is shared, everyone learns more about the content than simply
reading and studying alone.
In the NCVPS, students have two means of communicating with instructors and fellow students:
• Email
• Discussion Forums
Email
Email, of course, is the most commonly used electronic communication tool. NCVPS students
are required to have an email account, and they will be expected to use this account when
communicating with instructors and/or other students. The email account can also be used to
conduct research over the Internet.
Note: The students email account name must be in good judgment / “netiquette”. The
Distance Learning Advisor (DLA) has discretion to ask the student to change their email
address name if it does not appear to be appropriate.
When sending an email to the instructor, be considerate of the following tips:
1. Clearly state the nature of the message in the subject line of the email. Some instructors have
full-time teaching jobs, and are unable to communicate with NCVPS students during school
hours. However, when they do get a chance to read their email, they can manage their time
more effectively if they know the nature of your message without having to open the
message. The following are email ”subject line codes” suggested to use when communicating
to the instructor:
•
EMERGENCY: An emergency means there is a problem, but the NCVPS distance
learning advisor cannot help, yet it needs to be solved before the end of the school
day.
True emergencies are situations like a death or family illness that will prevent the
student from completing an assignment or taking a test.
Questions about assignments, due dates, test questions, etc. do NOT constitute
emergencies
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Tips For Online Communications
Note: Remember the story about the little boy who cried wolf. If you abuse the use
of "emergency" your teacher may not recognize that you truly do need immediate
assistance.
•
HOMEWORK QUESTION: self-explanatory
•
CLARIFICATION: The student uses this code when needing a clearer understanding
on an assignment or the content studying. However, students are encouraged to post
questions to the discussion forum allowing other students to also assist.
2. Students who e-mail instructor(s) Monday -Thursday ordinarily can expect a response within
24 hours.
3. Students who e-ma-il Friday-through Sunday can expect a response before 8:00 am on
Monday.
4. Also, refer to the “netiquette” section in the “Discipline” section to be advised on appropriate
conduct as if in a face-to-face (f2f) environment, when communicating over email.
Discussion Forums
Discussion forums (also called threaded discussion) are another commonly used communication
tool. Discussion forums, like email, are asynchronous forms of communication. This means that
everyone is working on different schedules. Immediate responses can be expected from either
email or discussion forums. Here are some tips for effective use of threaded discussions:
1
2
There are two ways to participate in a discussion (in Blackboard (Bb):
• From the actual discussion assignment page, click on “Join Discussion”
• Go directly to the CourseRoom (in Bb) to start a new discussion or join an
existing one.
The only time a student should start a discussion is when introducing an altogether new
topic or when a question needs to be answered.
Note: Students should never start a discussion as part of participation in an assigned
topic. If a student starts a new discussion rather than participating in the thread begun by
your instructor, credit may not be granted for participation.
3
Be descriptive when naming contributions to a discussion. The document title (the area
where a discussion submission is described) is what other students use to decide if they
want to read or participate in the discussion. So be descriptive—but creativity is good
too!
4 The point of discussion assignments is for students to exchange thoughts on a topic to
learn from one another.
Note: Don’t get “email responses” to instructors confused with “discussion forum”
participation.
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Tips For Online Communications
•
An email response to the instructor typically notates answering a homework question.
•
Students participate in discussion threads started by the instructor as a way to
participate in class. So…..no email responses to a threaded discussion will be
accepted.
For further tips, refer to the following section on , "What Can I Post To The Class
Discussion Community"
Class Discussion Community
The purpose of the threaded discussion area is to help synthesize ideas about the course topics
and carry out group work collaboratively. The following is a list of tips for posting to the Class
Discussion Community:
1. Keep messages related to topics that are pertinent to course topics.
2. Make sure your response is thoughtful. Responses of "I agree" add nothing to the content
of the discussion. Mention why you agree, refer to other points raised, and try to put your
response in context.
3. Do not post virus warnings, spam, or chain email messages.
4. Keep criticism constructive. Discussion forums are a good place to debate issues, but
keep the focus on the issues. Never attack anyone personally.
5. Remain respectful when you disagree with someone or are angry with another student or
teacher. No Flames or Insults *EVER*. Flames and insults (on- or off-line) Will Not be
tolerated.
Note: Bold or capitalized words and sentences in posts are typically interpreted as a
strong emphasis of point, where an entire message in all caps is typically interpreted as
anger or abuse.
6. Use Emoticons (http://www.smileydictionary.com/search.asp) to convey feelings.
7. Re-read messages before posting them, and if anything critical is directed toward an
individual, please send it privately as an email or consider not sending it at all. Students
are highly accountable for proper “netiquette.”
8. Post news about upcoming meetings or events related to topics in course or assignments
that may be of interest to other students.
9. Notify class members and the instructor when expected to be away from class for more
than a day.
10. Please remember that email and threaded discussions are an imperfect means of
expression. If a comment seems insulting to you, try to approach it from the perspective
that perhaps the insult was not intended.
Note: Please familiarize yourself with these guidelines and keep a copy of these
procedures for reference as needed.
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Tips For Online Communications
Constructive Debate
Discussions will not be effective without some degree of debate or disagreement. In responding
to something you disagree with, it is essential that you are specific in what you want to respond
to.
Example: I thought what you said about Ahab’s obsession in Moby Dick was good; however, I
don’t think he was crazy…
Notice how the example cites the post, and then focuses the response on a particular point within
the post that is being responded to. In your online course environment, your classmates won’t
necessarily be able to reference the portion of a post you are responding to unless you tell them.
So be sure to restate what you are responding to in order to give context to your contribution.
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Academic Integrity
Academic Integrity
Academic integrity means
•
Your work on each assignment will be completely your own
•
Your collaboration with another classmate on any assignment will be pre-approved by your
instructor
•
You will not practice plagiarism in any form
•
You will not allow others to copy your work
•
You will not misuse content from the Internet
Fair Use
Fair Use guidelines are suggestions developed to help educators and students to make the most
of the materials used in a classroom situation. Under these guidelines, students may include
materials from copyrighted sources if the use is non-profit, and if the audience is limited to the
class participants and teacher. Fair Use doesn't exempt you from citing your sources, but it does
help students who are working to complete a class assignment to legally include copyrighted
materials in their work
Plagiarism
Essentially, to plagiarize is to take someone else's ideas as your own. This is a form of cheating
and may result in disciplinary action including a grade reduction on the assignment.
Usually, plagiarism happens by accident, students may not intend to cheat at all.
The following resources are available to help students understand plagiarism and to help them
avoid it:
Understanding responsibilities in citing sources:
http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/citingsources
Helping students avoid plagiarism:
http://www.learnnc.org/bestweb/iubwritingpamph
http://www.learnnc.org/bestweb/libresearch-duke
Other Resources for Maintaining Academic Integrity
•
Online Guide to Writing and Research
http://www.umuc.edu/prog/ugp/ewp_writingcenter/writinggde/welcome.shtm
•
Nuts and Bolts of College Writing
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Academic Integrity
http://www.nutsandboltsguide.comDiscipline Code
Understanding Plagiarism
•
“Citing Credit on “Common Knowledge” – "That's Common Knowledge so I don't have to
give credit to the source." If the item is a fact, you do not have to cite your source. If, however,
the fact includes some context or phrases that are someone's interpretation of those facts, you
must cite the source. See the Not-So-Common Knowledge document from Princeton University
available at http://www.princeton.edu/pr/pub/integrity/pages/notcommon.html for more
information.
•
“Paraphrasing and Reordering Words” - "I have changed around the words so I don't have
to give credit to the source." You may not need to use quotation marks when you reorganize
the words from your research sources, but the original ideas are not yours. Reordering words or
paraphrasing is still using someone else's ideas. Even if you paraphrase, the ideas belong to the
author and you must cite the source to show you are not trying to take credit for the work of
another.
•
“Citing Facts and Information References” - “Those numbers are available in three books so
they are facts, they are common knowledge, I don't need a citation." If someone reading the
paper will wonder where the information came from, you need to cite your source. When it
comes to numbers, always cite the source. If readers know the source they will be able to check
how current the information is, review the research techniques of the data collector, and
generally evaluate the numbers to confirm they are valid. Without the citation, a reader cannot
make a valid judgment about the numbers you used.
Using a Style Guide
Use a style guide to make sure your citations are done correctly. Check with your teacher to
confirm which style he/she requires. You should be able to find the following guides in your
school library.
•
•
•
APA Style: http://www.apastyle.org/
MLA Style: http://www.mla.org/
Chicago Manual of Style:
http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/cmosfaq/cmosfaq.html
Copyright
Poems, images, photos, stories, and publications are all property. They are "owned" just like a
computer, car or home can be owned. This kind of property is called “Intellectual Property”.
Copyright law is designed to protect the Intellectual Property of others. As stated in the section
on plagiarism, violation of this law is often unintentional, but it is still a form of cheating.
As soon as a document is in a "fixed form", written, added to a Web page, and/or published in a
book - it is copyrighted. According to the U. S. Copyright Office, copyright protection begins as
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Academic Integrity
soon as the original work is "fixed in a tangible medium of expression." There is no need to mark
the item with a copyright symbol or go through a complex copyright registration process.
Copyright law limits republishing, copying or transmitting copyrighted materials. Therefore,
when you want to share something available online, don't copy material to discussions or course
web sites, rather provide the link or URL for other students to navigate to the site. If you do copy
something from a Web page, perhaps to include in a project or paper, you should seek
permission from the source and, of course, cite your source as stated in the Plagiarism section.
For more information about copyright see the University of North Carolina Guide to Copyright
available at: http://www.lib.unc.edu/instruct/copyright/index.html.
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Discipline Code
Discipline Code
All students enrolled in a NCVPS course are subject to the rules and restrictions of their
traditional home school and NCVPS. The NCVPS discipline code includes the following
information.
Cheating, Plagiarism and/or Copyright Violations
If a student is caught cheating, plagiarizing or violating copyright (see Plagiarism section), the
course instructor will notify the student's principal, and NCVPS distance learning advisor, and
the case review may result in issuing the student a "zero" on the assignment. The principal and/or
the principal’s designee at the school shall notify the parents of the violation. The principal may
choose to impose additional disciplinary action and will notify the student of this discipline.
NCVPS reserves the right to remove the student from the class for a plagiarism violation.
Violations of the AUP
An Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) is an agreement between students and their schools that
outlines the rules governing the use of computers and Internet resources. Students enrolled in
NCVPS courses must abide by the terms and conditions of their schools’ AUP. If a student
violates the NCVPS Acceptable Use Policy that student may lose access to his/her Blackboard
course, and may be withdrawn from the course depending on the severity of the violation. It will
be the local school’s responsibility to determine appropriate discipline for the student. All
students should recognize that loss of these technology privileges may prevent the student from
successfully completing his/her course. In addition, AUP that is in place in the student’s local
school should also be followed. Please refer to the principal or the district’s technology policies
for this information.
See Section, “Appendix I” for a full copy of the NCVPS AUP.
Netiquette
Students are to respect both their instructors and peers in the NCVPS online environment just as
the traditional schools have guidelines and policies for the classroom. NCVPS holds the students
to high standards of communications. This includes an email address that is not offensive or
distasteful for use in stream of NCVPS communications.
Harassment Reporting
If a student is being harassed, it is important that it is immediately reported to the course
instructor who will work with the local school NCVPS Distance Learning Advisor (DLA) and/or
principal to handle the situation. Harassment comes in many forms including spam (unsolicited
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Discipline Code
e-mails not pertaining to the course), bullying, threatening communications, offensive
communications or any other kind of communication that makes the recipient feel uncomfortable
The student’s instructor, DLA, or other NCVPS staff has the discretion to report and take action
on disrespectfulness from the student.
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HELPDESK CONTACT INFORMATION
HELPDESK CONTACT INFORMATION
Presidium Blackboard Support
1-866-223-1028 (24/7 Support)
Presidium can help with the following:
• Fix glitches in Blackboard
• Reset UserID and passwords
• Assists in how to perform a task in Blackboard
Instructor
Contact information for the teacher can be found under Staff Information in the student’s course.
The instructor can help with the following:
• Answers course content questions
• Resets tests and quizzes
• Fixes dead links
• Course content questions
Distance Learning Advisor
Each school has a DLA. The DLA will register students and provide support at the school level.
See below for full DLA details.
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STUDENT FAQs
STUDENT FAQs
Q: How does an online course work? Do I work at my own pace?
A: NCVPS students are guided through their courses by state-certified instructors, many of
whom hold advanced degrees and are National Board Certified.
At any hour of the day, active students open the http://www.ncvps.org website, log into the class,
work on assignments and projects then submit work to be graded. Teachers evaluate student
work and send back grades and comments. Teachers and students also communicate by email to
check on progress or answer questions.
Many students report having more contact with their online instructor than they experience in a
traditional school setting. While students are welcome to work ahead, they must maintain a
minimum pace to remain in the course.
Before students begin a course, teachers make welcome phone calls to discuss course details
including pace expectations and materials required for the course, if any.
Q: How do I register to take a course through NCVPS?
A: To register to take a NCVPS online course, you must make an appointment with your Distance Learning
Advisor (DLA) at your school. Your DLA will input into the registration system your personal contact
information (phone numbers and email addresses of yourself, your parents/guardians) plus the course(s) in
which you want to take through NCVPS. When this is done, your DLA will give you a username and
password. Make sure you save this username and password.
Enrollment into NCVPS online courses is based upon first come – first served. Sections of courses are limited
to 25 students. The availability of courses and sections of courses is based on the availability of instructors to
teach the courses. You can be waitlisted to enroll in a course. Your DLA will need to check to make sure you
are enrolled in a course and not waitlisted. If you are waitlisted in a course, you will be put into a new section if
a new section opens up.
Just because you have been given a username and password does not mean you are enrolled.
Q: How do I get my user name and password?
A: Your Distance Learning Advisor at your school will give you your username and password upon
completing the registration process. Just because your DLA has given you a username and password, it does
not mean you are enrolled in a NCVPS online course; for an explanation of how this may occur read the section
“How do I register to take a course through NCVPS. If your course is being taught by an External Provider (see
section on External Providers), the External Provider will provide you with a username and password.
Q: When do courses start?
Please see the NCVPS calendar above or follow this link to our website:
http://www.ncvps.org/courses/calendars/
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STUDENT FAQs
Q: How long will I have to complete a course?
A: Fall and spring block-courses are eighteen weeks long. Year-long courses begin in the fall, as
well. Summer courses are seven weeks long.
Q: What courses are offered?
A: Click here to see the current course offerings: http://www.ncvps.org/courses/catalogue/
Move your mouse over “Catalogue” to select Spring, Summer, or Fall.
Q: What textbooks and materials will I need to take my course and where do I get them?
A: Follow this link for textbook and course materials: http://www.ncvps.org/courses/textbooks/
Q: Where can I find information about each course?
A: Click on the course title in the Catalogue. Each course title is linked. In the link you will find a description
of the course, to include any prerequisites, textbook(s) and materials needed, and any special software
requirements need for a particular course. Your school will provide you with the textbooks, materials and
software you will need to be successful in taking the NCVPS online course in which you have registered. Ask
your Distance Learning Advisor as to who to see to get your textbook, materials, and/or software needs. You
will need to return the textbook, materials, and software to the individual who issued you them at the end of the
semester.
Q: Where do I return my textbook(s) and materials at the end of the semester?
A: At the end of the semester, return the textbook, materials and/or software to the individual at your school
who issued them to you.
Q: Will NCVPS issue me an email account?
A: NVCPS will not provide you with an email account. You will need to secure your own email account for
communicating with your instructor and fellow classmates. If you do not have your own personal email
account, you have two options. First, you can contact your Distance Learning Advisor (DLA) at your school
and see if your school or school system can set you up with one. Second, you can set up a free personal email
account through Google, Yahoo, and Hotmail. Ask your DLA to help you create this account.
Q: Who should I contact?
A: Each school has an NCVPS Advisor who can assist you with course registration - please
contact your local school's NCVPS advisor if you need additional registration assistance.
For course information, you will first need to contact your distance learning advisor on your
school's campus. The distance learning advisor can provide you with login information for your
courses. All students who are enrolled in an NCVPS course will be contacted via email and/or
phone by their instructor.
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Registration and Enrollment
Registration and Enrollment
Students must enroll in NCVPS courses through their school. The NCVPS Distance Learning
Advisor (DLA) is responsible for registering and enrolling students in courses.
Starting Dates and Ending Dates
The NCVPS Academic Year Calendar is available online at
http://www.ncvps.org/calendars.html. All students must participate in the NCVPS orientation
session at the beginning of each semester (see section “Student Calendar / Checklist”. In some
instances, instructors make minor adjustments to the academic year calendar due to date conflicts
with local school holiday schedules and/or teacher workdays. Calendar adjustments will only be
with the approval of NCVPS. NCVPS DLAs and principals will be notified of these variations.
Otherwise, all students are expected to participate in an online course for the duration of the
period it is offered, regardless of local school scheduling. The Drop/Add period for courses is
posted on the NCVPS website at http://www.ncvps.org/courses/calendars/ .
The district-level and school-level DLA has access to the registration system. The school-level
DLA will register students for his or her school. The registration system can be access through
the ADVISORS tab at the NCVPS website.
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TRANSFER STUDENTS
TRANSFER STUDENTS
NCVPS welcomes transfers. Each request for a transfer will be considered on an individual
basis.
Principal of student’s school of record (or his/her designee) must request the transfer of student
via email to Robert Belton, NCVPS Student Support Services Coordinator, at
[email protected]
No transfers will be allowed in the last quarter (4 and one half weeks) of a block semester or the
last grading period of a year-long course.
NCVPS will decide the number of courses in which a transfer student can enroll.
The decision of NCVPS to allow or not to allow a student to transfer into its program is final.
Conditions that will be considered in granting or denying a student to transfer into NCVPS:
1. The perspective transfer student can only transfer into a NCVPS online course(s) for which
s/he is currently enrolled.
2. The perspective transfer student must be passing the course(s) to be transferred with a
minimum average of 70.
3. The perspective transfer student’s attendance at his/her school of record will be
a factor in determining if the perspective transfer student’s request will be accepted.
4. The perspective transfer student must have an operational computer with Internet access with
appropriate software capability at the appropriate site (home, hospital, treatment center, etc.).
5. The perspective transfer student’s instructor(s) will make an assessment of the transfer
student’s knowledge base within the subject matter and will determine the appropriate starting
point for the transfer student within the course(s).
Students may transfer into NCVPS courses after the 10th day of class, providing they have met
the following requirements:
•
Student is currently enrolled in the course at his or her home school.
•
Student is passing the course.
•
NCVPS has a seat available.
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IEP and 504
IEP and 504
Title VI, Title IX, Section 504
It will be the student’s responsibility to ensure that their instructor is aware of any IEP/504 that is
applicable to them. Then it becomes the teacher’s responsibility to work with the local DLA to
support that student in what they need for the course.
TITLE VI
No person(s) shall, on the basis of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participating
in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination.
TITLE IX
No person(s) shall on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits
of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity for which NCVPS
is responsible.
SECTION 504
In 1998, Congress amended the Rehabilitation Act to require Federal agencies to make their
electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Inaccessible
technology interferes with an individual's ability to obtain and use information quickly and
easily.
Section 504 was enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new
opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will
help achieve these goals.
NCVPS is committed to providing our employees, customers, and visitors with the most current
and timely information possible. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act as amended, 29 U.S.C.
Section 794d, requires that Federal agencies' electronic and information technology is accessible
to people with disabilities.
In addition, the NCVPS will comply with all federal IEP guidelines, and teachers and DLAs will
work together to ensure compliance with federal law.
IEP / 504 issues the student has with Student Support Services should be communicated to the
local DLA.
The NCVPS places accountability on each participating school to comply with 504 guidelines, in
assuming that the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) is developed ultimately responsible
for making reasonable accommodations for the student. A representative from the school is
responsible for contacting the NCVPS teacher to discuss each individual student’s IEP. This will
ensure that the NCVPS teacher is aware of any specific accommodations that are being
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IEP and 504
addressed at the school as well as any specific accommodations that need to be addressed by the
NCVPS teacher. All NCVPS students are required to have EOC test(s) administered at their
individual schools. If special accommodations need to be made for a student for the EOC test,
the accommodations are the responsibility of the school.
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Attendance
Attendance
How Attendance is Measured
Attendance in NCVPS courses will be measured through participation in assignments, in
discussion forums and in general correspondence with the NCVPS teachers. There will be
participation requirements provided by each teacher and students will be made aware of these
requirements during orientation. Students should always follow the attendance guidelines
specified by your instructor at the start of the course.
All NCVPS courses are designed to be highly interactive and require that students
participate in the course through email, discussion forums, and small group activities daily.
A student’s learning and the success of the student depends upon participation. Extended periods
of non-participation in an online class will be evident in the following ways:
•
•
•
•
•
Failure to log on to the course following attendance guidelines
Failure to make required classroom discussion posts
Failure to turn in assignments
Failure to communicate with other students
Failure to communicate with instructors
In any instance where technical difficulties prevent a student from full participation in a course,
students should notify their NCVPS DLA immediately so that the problem can be resolved.
Students should also contact the NCVPS Help Desk at 1-866-223-1028 or online at
http://www.ncvps.org. If students are unable to contact help through email or Blackboard, they
should notify their class instructor by other means, such as telephone, to communicate their
difficulties.
Illness / Extended Inability to Participate
If an unexpected situation should arise and there is an extended leave from the course, follow
these steps:
1. Contact the course instructor to explain the situation.
2. Report the problem to your on-site NCVPS distance learning advisor.
3. Discuss class alternatives with the instructor or NCVPS distance learning advisor.
4. The instructor should document and notify the NCVPS Teacher Liaison regarding any
special accommodations regarding make-up/missed work.
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Drop/Withdrawal Policy
Drop/Withdrawal Policy
On or Before the 10th Day of Class
The DLA is able to withdraw students from the registration system with no academic penalty on
or before the 10th day for a block course or on or before the 20th day of a year-long course.
After the 10th Day of Class
After the 10th day of class, all drop/withdrawal requests must be made by the school principal.
The request should be sent to the appropriate NCVPS regional consultant.
The email request should contain the following items:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Student Name
School and County
Course
Section Number
Instructor Name
Reason for withdrawal (give as much detail as possible)
Hardship Drop
The principal may request that a student be dropped at any time during the course due to
hardship. The student will be reported as a drop. The student must meet the following to qualify
for a hardship drop:
1. has been transferred to another school out-of-state
2. loses access to a computer or has other technical difficulties
3. is out of school for medical reasons
4. has already passed the course and should not have been enrolled.
NOTE: Students may not drop a class after the 10th day because they found the course too
difficult or because they changed their minds.
Withdrawn Failing (WF) / Withdrawn Passing (WP)
If a student is withdrawn after the 10th day without a hardship drop, he or she will receive either
a WF or WP grade.
A student will receive a WP if he or she is passing at the time the request is made.
A student will receive a WF if he or she is failing at the time the request is made.
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Drop/Withdrawal Policy
Additional WF Reporting
A withdrawn failing (WF) is reported for a student who has stopped working in the course. This
requires that the student be absent 20 consecutive days during the course. The following steps
are required to record a WF for not participating:
1. When the student has been absent from the online course for 10 consecutive days, the
teacher will send an email to the student and the DLA to notify each student that is not
participating in the course.
2. The email will state that the student has 10 days from the date of the email to begin
participating in the course.
3. If the student does not log-in and begin working in the course during the 10 days the
student will be withdrawn from the course with a grade of WF.
4. The teacher will document the email notice by saving it to a folder and record the WF on
the grade report and in Blackboard.
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Grading
Grading
Standard Grading Scale
Graded activities in NCVPS courses will be assigned points and final grades will reflect the
actual points earned compared with the total points possible. A percent grade can be calculated
using these points and each school will then assign letter grades according to local grading
policies. The school DLA can advise standard grading scale used at their school.
Gradebook online in Blackboard (Bb)
During the semester, grades will be posted to the online grade book so that students can check
their current classroom standing. If students do not see their grades posted to the gradebook,
the instructor should be notified.
NOTE: Students and parents should be aware that student grades will be officially
reported by the instructor to the school (DLA on a nine (9) week schedule, depending on
the district's reporting requirements.
Each instructor has the option of giving a comprehensive, cumulative exam at the end of each
semester. For districts that require final exams, the second semester exam may serve as the
course final. All students are also required to take the state-mandated, discipline-specific end-ofcourse exams. In addition, the local school may require students in AP courses to take the AP
exam. Students are to communicate with the school DLA or school counselor about AP exam
expectations.
Grades - Percentage Correlations
NCVPS grades are given as a percent. The percent can be correlated to a grade. For the State
Board Policy on grades, which also provides templates to correlate percentages, please run a
“search” on Policy ID Number: “HSP-L-004” while on the NCSBE website,
http://sbepolicy.dpi.state.nc.us/
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Hardware/Software Requirements For Home Access
Hardware/Software Requirements For Home
Access
System Requirements
Operating Systems
Browser Options
(select one)
Browser Plug-ins
Windows
Vista, XP, 2000
Macintosh
OS X 10.4.6 (minimum)
Internet Explorer
6.0 (minimum)
Firefox (Windows)
2.0.0.1 (minimum)
Safari (Macintosh)
2.0.3 (minimum)
Sun Java
JRE 6.0 (1.6.0) (minimum)
Sun Java 3D
1.3.1
Flash
9.0 (minimum)
Adobe Reader
8.0 (minimum)
Curriculum Pathways® Components 1.0
Internet Connection 56K (or faster)
Audio
Sound Capability & Headphones/Speakers
Pop-up Blocker(s)
Must be turned off for SASinSchool.com
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Hardware/Software Requirements For Home Access
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Getting Started in Blackboard
Getting Started in Blackboard
To log in to Blackboard, click on “USER LOGINS” at the bottom of our homepage
(http://www.ncvps.org/) or follow this link:
http://ncvps.blackboard.com/
Students should bookmark the above log-in page for Blackboard:
If the NCVPS web site were to go down, students could access their courses if this page is
bookmarked.
When a student logs in, he or she will come to the Blackboard Welcome Page. All NCVPS
courses for which a student is registered will appear here.
Click on the course title to log in.
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Getting Started in Blackboard
BEFORE students log in to their
courses, they MUST complete the
Student Orientation.
This is the home page of a course.
Announcements
The announcements will appear in the main frame and the Navigation Bar and Tools Menu will
appear on the left.
To find teacher contact information, click on “Staff Information.”
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Getting Started in Blackboard
To open the Communication Page in Blackboard, click on “Communication” in the Tools Bar.
From this page, you may send message within Blackboard or you may send emails to your
instructor.
Clicking on
“Communication” will
open this communication
page.
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Getting Started in Blackboard
Click on “Course Tools” and then select “My Grades.”
This will open the grade book. (See next page.)
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Getting Started in Blackboard
An exclamation point indicates that the student has successfully completed the assignment.
These assignments are still waiting for a manual grade from the instructor.
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Getting Started in Blackboard
Checkmarks indicate that the grade is set up as a “complete / incomplete” option.
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Getting Started in Blackboard
Getting Started
For students to begin working, they should do the following:
1) Complete the Student Orientation.
2) Read all announcements.
3) Make contact with the instructor immediately.
4) Click on “Weekly Lessons” or “Assignments” or similar links. The Navigation Bars are
different from course to course. Here’s a sample:
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NCVPS Computer Requirements
NCVPS Computer Requirements
Computer Access
All students must have an operational computer available to them through their home, school,
library, or other means in order to participate in this program. This computer must meet the
following minimal requirements.
Operating Systems
•
•
Windows XP (recommended)
Macintosh OS X 10.4.6 (or higher)
Internet Browsers
•
•
•
Internet Explorer 6.0 (recommended)
Firefox 2.0.0.1 (or higher)
Safari 2.0.3 (or higher)
Browser Plug-ins
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•
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JavaScript supported
Sun Java JRE 6.0 (1.6.0) (or higher)
available at: http://www.java.com/en/download/index.jsp\
Adobe Reader 8.0 (or higher)
available at: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html
Email Account
NVCPS will not be providing an email account for students. Students will need to secure their
own email account for communication in the program. If a student does not have access to
email, then they need to contact their DLA/school system for help in obtaining an email account.
In the event that a student can not achieve this, please contact NCVPS for recommendations of
free email providers.
Software
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MS Word 1998 (or higher)
Please note: assignments must be submitted in Word 1998-2003 format. Word 2007
format will not be accepted. It is the student’s responsibility to submit assignments in the
proper format. Teachers will not be expected to convert assignments submitted
incorrectly.
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NCVPS Computer Requirements
Internet Connection
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56K (or faster)
Pop-up Blocker(s) must be turned off for:
• www.ncvps.org
•
www.ncvps.blackboard.com
•
www.ncsu.edu
•
www.fi.ncsu.edu
Class-based software
Each class may require additional software or plug-ins. These will be listed in the course
description.
Computer Maintenance
NCVPS recommends that you update your computer regularly with Microsoft updates, if using
Microsoft operating systems. For more information on Windows Updates, please visit
www.microsoft.com.
Browsers
Computer must support Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 w/service pack 2 or higher, Netscape 7.1
or higher, Mozilla Firefox 1.5 or higher
•
Internet Explorer – http://www.microsoft.com
•
Netscape – http://browser.netscape.com/ns8/
•
Mozilla Firefox - http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/
If you are using an Apple/Mac computer, we recommend using Firefox as a browser instead of
Safari. http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/
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NCVPS Computer Requirements
Cautions and Recommendations:
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Occasionally Internet Explorer may become corrupted and cause problems with accessing
your course. Downloading Netscape and using it as your internet browser may fix your
access problems.
Issues have been raised about the compatibility of AOL dial-up, MSN, Juno, and
CompuServe with distance learning courses. Therefore, we do not recommend these
providers.
If you have problems with pop-ups being blocked. make sure that all pop-up blockers are
turned off or the site http://blackboard.ncvps.org is in the allowed sites list. Pop-up
blockers can come from several different places. If you have tool bars such as Yahoo,
Google or others, they automatically block pop-ups unless directed by you to allow
certain website pop-ups.
If you have McAfee security on your computer, you will have to turn the Privacy Center
off in order to access the WorldWide Whiteboard. This does not affect your virus
protection.
Viruses and spyware can cause your computer to run incorrectly or do unusual things.
Make sure you have virus protection on your computer.
Update your virus protection program regularly.
Scan your computer for viruses and spyware regularly.
Free virus and spyware scan at www.antivirus.com
Note: If the NCVPS course requires other technologies such as digital cameras, handhelds, midi
devices, etc. please contact your NCVPS advisor at your home school about getting access to
such equipment.
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Guidelines for North Carolina Virtual Public School
Participation
Guidelines for North Carolina Virtual Public
School Participation
The North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS), in partnership with North Carolina public
schools, provides online instruction available any time and any place to North Carolina public
school students. The first set of course offerings will focus on students needing to take high
school level courses.
Responsibilities of the North Carolina Virtual Public School:
•
Provides access to curriculum and instruction for students enrolled in NCVPS courses.
NCVPS teachers, North Carolina certified and working within their areas of
concentration, interact continually with students and provide progress reports for your
review. Student progress can be monitored via access through the Blackboard course
management system.
•
Awards final grade for successful completion of the course and transfers that grade to you
for placement on the student’s transcript
•
Provides access to on line PSAT, SAT, ACT, AP, and GRE exam reviews
•
Provides in-service training to your staff who interface with NCVPS
•
Provides training and information awareness programs about NCVPS to meet the needs
of public school communities
•
Administers uniform standards and a withdrawal policy for students enrolling in NCVPS
courses.
Responsibilities of the district:
•
Assigns a district level contact person for communication between the school district and
NCVPS and communication with each local school NCVPS advisor. This person is the
district NCVPS advisor. The NCVPS advisor will be responsible for registering students
and approving student schedules. NOTE: Students will be required to come to campus to
register for NCVPS courses.
•
Notifies parents and students of the opportunity and benefits of NCVPS and adopts
policies to encourage students to take courses when needed
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•
Creates and maintains on line accounts with NCVPS for district administrators for report
monitoring
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Orders textbooks and materials for courses. Textbook information and other necessary
materials lists will be provided by NCVPS to the central office NCVPS advisor.
•
Serves as a liaison between the student and NCVPS. Student and parent grievances
should be handled by the local school/district. NCVPS will provide any information
necessary regarding grades, academic integrity and student performance. In addition, a
Student/Parent Handbook will be sent to all district level distance learning advisors and
be posted on our website – www.ncvps.org.
Responsibilities of the local school:
•
Provide an onsite contact for students taking NCVPS courses. This person may be the
NCVPS advisor, administrator or a facilitator. This contact will serve as the first point of
contact for any problems and should be available regularly via email or by phone. This
person does need a background in the subjects they facilitate, but they will be a shoulder
for the students to lean on and a disciplinarian when students need to get back on task.
This person is an advocate for both the student and the teacher, and their role plays an
integral part in these courses.
•
Provides NCVPS courses as an appropriate educational option
•
Notifies parents and students of the opportunity and benefits of NCVPS and adopt
policies to encourage students to take courses when needed
•
Verifies that the selected courses are appropriately based on the academic history, age,
and grade level of the student
•
Registers students for NCVPS courses- NOTE: Students will be required to come to
campus to register for NCVPS courses.
•
Provides students access to computers with Internet capability when students are taking
NCVPS courses on the school campus. Informs students taking NCVPS courses off the
school campus about appropriate hardware, software, and Internet requirements.
•
Accepts final course grade as determined by NCVPS and enters credit for successful
student completion of NCVPS courses
•
Creates and maintains on line accounts with NCVPS for local school administrators for
report monitoring
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Guidelines for North Carolina Virtual Public School
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•
Assigns a school level contact person for communication between the school, the central
office NCVPS advisor, and NCVPS. This person is the school NCVPS advisor. In the
event this person should no longer be available, the school will assign these duties to
another individual and contact NCVPS with the new information.
•
Assumes responsibility for students taking NCVPS Advanced Placement courses with
regard to ordering, paying for, and administering Advanced Placement exams in
accordance with The College Board guidelines. Upon request, the school will provide
NCVPS with the student’s score on the Advanced Placement exam.
•
Assumes responsibilities for test administration when required, this includes scheduling
the End of Course test for courses that may require this as well as any CTE tests
(VoCATS).
Student enrollment guidelines
NCVPS is not a diploma granting program. Instead, it provides courses to students that otherwise
would not be able to take at his or her local school. Students may take online courses from
school, home, community center, or any location with appropriate hardware and Internet
connection. The reasons to take an online course through NCVPS are many and include, but are
not limited to, the following:
• NCVPS courses may accommodate students wanting to take courses not available locally
• NCVPS courses may accommodate students wanting to take courses whose sections at
the local school are already full
• NCVPS courses may accommodate students who are home bound or hospital bound due
to illness or injury
• NCVPS courses may accommodate students who already have a full load and wish to
take additional courses
• NCPVS courses may accommodate students whose schedule does not permit taking
certain courses during the school day
• NCVPS courses may accommodate students whose special circumstances cannot be
addressed locally
• NCVPS courses may accommodate students who want to graduate ahead of schedule
from school
• NCVPS courses may be used as options for suspended students or for those students in
need of remediation
Registration dates will be communicated to each school. The school NCVPS advisor will register
and enroll students by visiting the NCVPS web site (www.ncvps.org). Students will also use the
NCVPS web site as a login portal to their online courses.
Student enrollment in NCVPS courses requires the approval from the student’s school of record.
Approval may come from the principal or other designee.
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Characteristics of Successful Online Learners
While distance learning opportunities provide tremendous benefits to students in regards to
course offerings, student-centered instruction, flexible scheduling, and heightened critical
thinking and written communication skills, there are specific learner characteristics that promote
greater student success in online learning environments. The following guidelines may assist in
identifying students for distance learning opportunities.
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•
•
Autonomous learners are generally skilled in the areas of responsibility and selfregulation, necessary for managing course assignments and deadlines through online
environments.
Academically motivated learners commonly exhibit an internal locus of control,
affording online students the persistence necessary in achieving desired goals.
Grade level reading ability is a critical determinant of student success in online
environments, as much of the course is delivered through written communication.
Proficiency in written communication is required of students, as online courses are
dependent not only upon live classroom discussions but also upon group discussion
boards and written assignment submissions.
Basic computer skills are necessary for students to function in an online learning
environment, as students will utilize word processing software, email capabilities, and
Internet resources in completing assignments and activities.
Parental support has also been found to promote student success in online learning, as
parents will generally work to ensure students meet deadlines and have the necessary
resources available to them.
Computer and Internet access at home, although not required, can certainly provide an
advantage to students participating in distance learning courses, as students, many times,
prefer to continue their work on assignments and communications outside of their regular
school, or even take courses at home during the evening or on week-ends.
The North Carolina Virtual Public School Instructional Model
The North Carolina Virtual Public School utilizes an online educational environment to provide
increased educational opportunities to public school students across the state through an anytime,
anyplace instructional model. An anytime, anyplace instructional model accommodates
scheduling flexibility, provides students opportunities to accelerate learning, delivers instruction
to homebound students, extends student learning beyond the traditional school day, and offers
credit recovery options to students throughout the year.
To accommodate student needs and provide optimal flexibility, NCVPS online offerings are
designed for an appropriate combination of synchronous and asynchronous delivery, affording
students access to their courses 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Through web-based,
asynchronous tools, such as discussion boards, email, file exchange, collaboration groups, and
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Guidelines for North Carolina Virtual Public School
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online testing, student-centered learning communities are established to promote student
engagement and active learning in the online environment. All courses are instructor-led to
facilitate group interaction, differential instruction, project based and inquiry learning, while
increasing student-student and teacher-student exchanges.
In addition to the asynchronous online format, synchronous tools, such as whiteboard, text-based
chat, and telephone or V.O.I.P. are utilized to provide real-time communication and additional
support to online students. Instructors are required to establish weekly online office hours to
support individualized instruction. They have a few options in communicating with students.
These options include: whiteboard instruction; communicate with students via phone, and
organize small group, text-based exchanges to increase student engagement and online
collaborative opportunities. These office hours are a courtesy to the assist the student through
live interaction with the teacher. These office hours will occur after normal school hours. For
students taking NCVPS courses on campus during the regular school day, email will be the
primary contact between students and teachers.
The North Carolina Virtual Public School supports a wide array of instructional materials, online
resources and communication tools to foster higher levels of cognitive learning, critical thinking,
ICT (Information and Technology) and 21st Century learning skills. These instructional
resources provide for student interaction with outside experts, simulations and case studies, role
playing, debates, brainstorming, group projects, and the use of technology for student products
and alternate assessment practices.
The On-line Course Experience
Once registered the student and the student’s guardian will participate in an orientation call. The
telephone call has two purposes. First, the call adds a personal element to the virtual learning
environment. Secondly, the call verifies the student has prepared for the course by successfully
completing the online student tutorial. During the call the teacher will:
• confirm enrollment
• explain the basics of the course
• address getting started and how to access the course
• discuss what course materials are needed
• discuss correct configuration of software and hardware
• discuss your timetable for completing the course
• explain assessments and grading
• discuss how to submit work
• share contact information needed to contact the teacher
• answer your questions and concerns
Students will be required to complete an online orientation for their course, usually conducted
during the first week of instruction. This orientation is part of the Blackboard course and will be
accessible with the student login information generated at the time of registration approval.
What are your next steps?
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Guidelines for North Carolina Virtual Public School
Participation
The school district central office identifies which staff member will serve as the district NCVPS
advisor and registers that information on the NCVPS web site no later than (date). Contact
information including name, school district, school address, phone number, and email address is
needed. In the event this person should no longer be available, the school will assign these duties
to another individual and contact NCVPS with the new information.
Each high school and middle school identifies which staff member will serve as the school
NCVPS advisor and registers that information on the NCVPS web site no later than August 17,
2007. Contact information including name, school, school address, phone number and email
address is needed. In the event this person should no longer be available, the school will assign
these duties to another individual and contact NCVPS with the new information.
The course list is published on our website – www.ncvps.org. The list will also be sent to all
superintendents, high school principals, middle school principals, and NCVPS advisors for
dissemination. Some courses may be provided and taught by outside vendors. This information
will be on our website also.
Please visit our website to learn more – www.ncvps.org.
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Acronyms and Terms
Acronyms and Terms
Bb - Blackboard
DLA – Distance Learning Advisor
EOC – End of Course
F2f – face-to-face
NCVPS – North Carolina Virtual Public School
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