Getting Started in an Online Course


Distance Learning Orientation and Blackboard Tutorial

If you are new to distance learning, you must complete an orientation.  For more information on attending an orientation on campus or completing the online orientation, visit the Distance Learning Orientation information page.


Accessing Blackboard

Blackboard is a course management system that is maintained by Piedmont Community College. Blackboard is Web-based, so there is nothing for you to install or download. All you need is an account and an Internet connection. Blackboard works with both Windows and Macintosh computers. You can access Blackboard using most Web browsers, but it performs best with an up-to-date version of Mozilla Firefox.

You may access Blackboard by clicking on this link,



Step 1: Determine your Blackboard username and password

Your username is a combination of your first initial, middle initial, last name, and the last two digits of your student identification number.  If you do not have a middle initial, you will use only your first initial and last name.  Your password, if you are a new student, is the first two letters of your last name followed by birth date in mmddyy format. 

Example: Sally R. Student, ID# 0123456, 01/02/70
Username is SRStudent56
Password is St010270

Note: If you are an employee of PCC, and also a student, your username is a combination of your first initial, middle initial, last name, and the last 2 digits of your employee identification number.  Your password for Blackboard is the same as the password you use for your Windows/network login.


Step 2: Login to Blackboard

Go to the PCC Blackboard site,

Click on the Blackboard Log-In button. Enter your username and password from Step 1. 

You must login to your course and complete the Icebreaker assignment by the census date or you will be designated as a No Show in your course.

When leaving Blackboard, click on the "Logout" button at the top of the screen to prevent others from accessing your account.


Step 3: Locate your class in Blackboard

Locate the "My courses" box on the "My PCC" page. Click the name of your course.

If you don't see your course, don't worry! The course will be made available on the day it is scheduled to start. Allow 24 hours from time of registration before accessing. If you still don't see the name of your course, contact the Distance Learning Student Help Desk.


Step 4: Read carefully and follow your instructor's directions

When your course appears, read the instructor's welcome message. Then explore!

If you want to communicate with your instructor: Select "Communication" from the menu at left Select "Send Email" Select "All Instructors Users" Compose your message Click the "Submit" button 

If you have questions about the course, contact your instructor.  For further assistance, contact the Distance Learning Student Help Desk

If you experience technical difficulties, a Help Desk is available to students enrolled in courses that utilize Blackboard. This 24-hours-per-day, 7-days-per-week service is available to provide assistance to Internet students who have questions about using Blackboard.

You can call and speak to a support representative by dialing this number: 1-866-852-5588

For further assistance, contact the Distance Learning Student Help Desk at 336-322-2138 or