The College of General Studies and your instructors have put a lot of effort into bringing you high quality courses. Succeeding in a CGS Online course requires hard work and self-discipline, just as in a face-to-face course. It also requires that you have access to the technology you need, know what to do in case of technical questions or problems, know how to get your required textbooks and other course materials, and are familiar with some of the common course requirements.
Your basic requirements are a computer with a web browser and a Pitt e-mail account, which gives you access to CourseWeb/Blackboard and to my.pitt.edu.
Computer Requirements / Web Browser
For the technical requirements needed on your system, visit the University’s Computing Services and Systems Development (CSSD).
Every student receives a free e-mail account as a University of Pittsburgh student, and you will need this account to participate in online courses. Messages from your instructor and online course administrators will only be sent to your Pitt e-mail account.
Blackboard is an online course management system: think of it as a password-protected website where your course’s materials can be found. The term CourseWeb refers to the University of Pittsburgh’s implementation of the Blackboard system. Your course should be available in Blackboard on the first day of the term, although some instructors open their courses a little ahead of time. You may access CourseWeb directly but the best way to access Blackboard/CourseWeb is through your my.pitt.edu portal.
The University of Pittsburgh portal provides a single point of Web access to communication tools and University information that students, faculty, and staff use frequently. Continuing students can access their academic and financial records, along with course scheduling information through the my.pitt.edu portal. Students can enter Blackboard through this portal or log in separately.
Learning about Blackboard
View tutorials and instructions related to Blackboard at CIDDE’s Online Resources for Students page or study Blackboard essentials for students through Lynda.com, accessible through my.pitt.edu.
Consult your syllabus in CourseWeb to see what books or other materials you need to purchase and whether you have any materials on reserve at the library.
Although each CGS Online course is different, there are some common elements:
Consult your course’s syllabus in CourseWeb for specific course requirements.