Distance Education

The goal of distance education at Georgia Piedmont Technical College is to provide our students the opportunity to access quality instruction anytime, anywhere. Such access facilitates a barrier-free delivery of instruction through technology. GPTC offers a quality technology-based learning environment that is not bound by traditional time and space limitations.

Course Schedule Glossary

Distance Education Course Schedule Definitions:

OA – Asynchronous (100% Online) All required course activities and proctored events are online and asynchronous (not live). There are no on-campus requirements. Students may be required to use test monitoring software, webcams and microphones.

OS – Synchronous (100% Online) Some of the class hours will be live through WebEx. Synchronous (Live) dates and times will be listed in the course schedule. There are no on-campus requirements. Students will be required to use webcams and microphones.

Blended (>50% to <100% Online) Some of the course is live and some is online with weekly due dates. The live sessions may be on-campus or online. See the course schedule for the time and place of the meetings. If the place says TBA, that means the meetings are online through WebEx. Proctored events may be on-campus or online if given.

CA – On Campus (On-Campus) Courses are taught primarily in the classroom on-campus with 50% or less of instruction online. We do utilize the online platform for some materials for an on-campus course. However, the course will have dates and times in the course schedule to meet in person.

eCampus– eCampus courses may be OA or OS. The courses meet the same definitions as OA and OS above, but the course will be on the eCampus App posted on the GPTC Apps Dashboard instead of the Blackboard App. The eCampus App will only be available for students who are scheduled for an eCampus course.

First-3-Days Checklist

Use this checklist to ensure you do the following within the first 3 days of your course.

  1. Read the Syllabus/Due Dates and fine information about any required proctored events.
  2. Read through the course and become familiar where items are located.
  3. Get the required texts, if any are required. Many of our courses have the textbooks within the course or the course is OER (Open Educational Resources).
  4. Determine the instructor’s preferred method of contact.
  5. Establish communication with your instructor and familiarize yourself with their name.
  6. Locate the address and access information for any websites or programs used in the class.
  7. Watch the Walkthrough Video for the course.
  8. Attend the Blackboard/Technology Orientation the Wednesday of the first week of class. See your GPTC email for more information about this Orientation. There is also info posted here!

Distance Education FAQ

When does orientation take place and how do I join?
Blackboard/Technology Orientation is the first Wednesday of every term. There will be a 10am and a 6pm session via WebEx. The link for the session will be sent in an email to your GPTC email account. If you do not receive that email, please contact Blackboard Support via the HelpDesk Request Form and ask for the confirmed date, times and link to the Orientation of your term.

What is GVTC?
Georgia Virtual Technical Connection (GVTC) hosts a central registration site for online instruction in the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG). Online courses from each TCSG college are available through GVTC. Students enroll at GPTC but may use GVTC to sign up for online courses at any other TCSG college. You will need to see your advisor before signing up. Visit https://gvtc.tcsg.edu for more information.

GPTC offers programs and courses via online and some programs are 100% online. Consult your Program Advisor for more information about your program and how the courses in your program are offered.

How do I access advising?
Advising Link

How do I access Distance Education?
All Students should be using the Apps Dashboard to access Blackboard, Banner, and Email; along with eCampus, if you have a course(s) on eCampus. To access the Apps Dashboard:

  • Go to www.gptc.edu
  • Click Current Students
  • Click Student Dashboard
  • Click Apps Dashboard
  • Login using your username and password and complete with the Okta Verification process. (We discuss the username/password and OKTA at New Student Orientation and Blackboard/Technology Orientation)

Or you can access the Apps Dashboard directly with the https://login.gptc.edu website address.

What are online courses?
An online course is one delivered over the internet using web pages, email, discussion forums, video conferencing and other internet tools.

What do online courses cover?
Online courses cover the same content as their traditional counterparts on campus. Class sizes are limited so that instructors can provide the same level of personal interactions as they do in the traditional classroom. This personal interaction is accomplished using e-mail, online discussion forums and other technologies available to instructors and students.

How do online courses work?
Students “attend” online courses by accessing the class web pages and completing assignments according to the class schedule. Students communicate regularly with the instructor and classmates via e-mail and online discussion forums.

Georgia Piedmont Technical College’s online courses are not self-paced, independent study courses. Students are required to complete assignments according to the class schedule, to maintain regular contact with the instructor, and to participate in online class discussions.

What skills should I posses to be successful in an online course?
Taking a course over the Internet requires the ability to work independently and to devise your own regular schedule for “attending” class and completing assignments.

What computer hardware/software do I need to take an online course?
A desktop or laptop computer with reliable internet access. Blackboard has an app for viewing classes on a mobile device, but tests and assignments must be done on a computer. Note: Some courses may have additional hardware/software requirements. Online Courses Required proctoring software. (an iPad can be used for the Proctoring software) Please contact the instructor of each course listing for special requirements.

Do I have to be on campus?
Online courses do not require you to be on-campus but if you cannot use the proctoring software, you may be required to come to campus or an alternative site. Out of state students may have to request proctored events be proctored at a location.

Do I have to be online at a certain time each day (or week)?
You are required to keep up with the class schedule and to complete assignments before specified due dates. Some classes may have several due dates each week; others may require work once per week. You can choose the time of day or night you want to log on to the Internet to work on an assignment, but you must complete it and submit it by the specified date and time.

Who do I call for help?
Blackboard Support Department:
For Blackboard or Proctor Software help, contact Blackboard Support. The best way to contact is via the HelpDesk Request Form.

You may also call Blackboard Support at 404.297.9522 ext. 5499.

Blackboard Support Info and hours*:
Monday – Wednesday:
8:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Thursday: 8:30 AM – 5 PM
Friday: 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM

Fill out: HelpDesk Request Form link located on the Blackboard Institution page or call 404.297.9522 ext. 5499

Student Support Department:

  1. For assistance with your GPTC Username/Password for Single Sign-On (SSO) for Blackboard, Banner, GPTC email or the computers at the college contact  Student Support.
  2. For assistance with OKTA, the MFA Authentication process which will involve a phone, security question or code contact Student Support
  3. For assistance with Banner Web or GPTC email contact Student Support.

Student Support Info and hours*:
Monday – Thursday: 
8 AM – 5:30 PM
Friday: 8 AM – 3 PM

For assistance with the content in your class, to have a quiz/exam, discussion or assignment reset; you will need to contact your instructor.

*Dates and times are subject to change

At GPTC, we are committed to providing equal access to higher education to individuals with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. We are committed to providing all individuals the necessary tools to help them succeed. We believe that all individuals should have equal access to higher education. We strive to comply with the federal accessibility standards.

Technology can be a great tool to help students achieve success. It should not be a roadblock to student success. At GPTC, we are committed to providing all students assistance to achieve success. Each student should be able to interact with the technology in ways that work best for him or her. If you need additional assistance with course content, please contact your instructor.

In your Blackboard course, you will see a drop-down arrow to the right of all documents. By clicking the drop-down arrow, you can select a more accessible format for your needs. Go to Ally Help for Students to get more information. You can also see Ally Tutorials for Blackboard on YouTube.

Any student in need of testing or classroom accommodations due to a documented disability should contact our Disability Services Advisor.

Paula Greenwood
404.297.9522, ext. 1155