Academics

Academics

Is Blinn accepting applications? Can we register for classes?

Blinn is offering registration. Visit www.blinn.edu/admissions/steps-to-apply.html for steps to apply, then visit www.blinn.edu/admissions/registration.html for course registration steps. For more information, email blinnbound@blinn.edu to speak to a Prospective Student Relations advisor who can help you determine your next steps.


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What course formats is Blinn offering in Fall 2021?

Blinn will offer five course formats in Fall 2021:

Description Definition Notes
Traditional Face-to-Face classes that take place on campus at a specific time and location.
  • In-class attendance is required.
  • Students have immediate, face-to-face access to their instructor.
  • Structured class schedule.
  • An on-campus experience that allows for direct interaction with your classmates.
  • With active participation and hands-on learning in the classroom, this format provides the best way to learn skills in class.
  • On-campus services are available.
Live Online Live classes are held at scheduled times using Zoom videoconference software. This method of instruction does not require students to be on-campus.
  • Students are not required to come to campus.
  • Must have a reliable computer with high-speed internet and continuous use of a webcam.
  • Structured class schedule
  • Live Zoom class attendance is required.
  • On-campus services are available.
Flex Online All class content is posted online with no scheduled class sessions. This method of instruction does not require students to be on-campus.
  • Students are not required to come to campus.
  • Must have a reliable computer with high-speed internet and continuous use of a webcam.
  • Students can access courses 24/7.
  • Students are responsible for setting the pace of instruction to meet deadlines set by faculty.
  • On-campus services are available.
  • Regular online participation is required.
  • This format is ideal for independent learners.
  • On-campus services are available.
Blended Students participate in Face-to-Face classes that take place on campus at a specific time and location. More than half of class content is posted online in eCampus. The eCampus portion of the class has no scheduled class sessions.
  • In-class attendance is required during face-to-face class time.
  • Must have a reliable computer with high-speed internet and continuous use of a webcam.
  • Combines the structure of Traditional classes with the flexibility of Flex Online.
  • Between 50% and 85% of instruction is Flex Online.
  • On-campus services are available.
Blended Zoom Students participate in live classes held at scheduled times using Zoom videoconference software. More than half of class content is posted online in eCampus. The eCampus portion of the class has no scheduled class sessions.
  • Students are not required to come to campus.
  • Must have a reliable computer with high-speed internet and continuous use of a webcam.
  • Combines the structure of Live Online with the flexibility of Flex Online.
  • Live Zoom class attendance is required.
  • On-campus services are available.

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How do I use Zoom in my classes with Live Online or Blended Zoom instruction?

Zoom meetings will show up as links in online courses so that students may simply click the link to join. Students may have to download the Zoom app if they have not done so previously.

Please note whether the professor has created a password to join the meeting.

Additionally, some meetings are scheduled for certain times. Students may not be able to join them early; they may be placed in a virtual waiting room if the professor has set one up. 

For more information about using Zoom in the classroom, please visit Zoom for Blinn Students.


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Can an instructor require students to leave their cameras on?

Yes, if the student wants to be counted present in the class the camera must be on during the entirety of the class. Under exceptional circumstances, students may ask the instructor to turn off the camera. 


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What kind of technology do I need to have to be successful?

Although Blinn computer labs will be open during the vast majority of the semester, students should have access to the following technology in the event that campuses are required to close:

  • a full computer (not a Chromebook, tablet, or smartphone),
  • a webcam (for simultaneous remote participation and test proctoring),
  • a microphone,
  • and a reliable internet connection.

System Requirements

Note: The below are minimum requirements for participation in online courses at Blinn College. Specific programs and courses may have further hardware, software, and/or system specifications. Please check with your instructor (or refer to your course syllabus) for any additional system requirements.

Minimum Processor and RAM:

  • Dual Core 2GHz or higher with 4GB of RAM

Operating Systems:

  • Windows 10 or higher
  • MacOSX 10.13 or higher

Browser:

  • Google Chrome (version 79 or Higher)

Internet:

  • Broadband with a minimum of 1.5 Mbps download and 750 Kbps upload speeds

Peripherals:

  • Webcam (Built in or USB plugin)
  • Microphone (Built in or USB plugin) 

To succeed in their courses, students also will need Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint for some assignments. These Microsoft Office programs are available for all students to download for free using their Blinn Buc email accounts. To install Microsoft Office 365, please visit https://my.blinn.edu/TechnologyServices/Pages/Microsoft-Office-365.aspx or contact Academic Technology at 979-830-4357.

Students who use the Blinn computer labs for remote class participation will need to bring their own headset with a microphone. Please note that not all computer lab stations have webcams. Social distancing will be in effect in these labs, so availability may be limited during peak times.


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How does Blinn enforce social distancing in the classroom?

To accommodate social distancing requirements, course caps are lowered to ensure that six-foot social distancing guidelines are met.


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Why is Blinn offering more 4-week and 8-week courses?

Studies have shown that shorter semesters lead to an increase in course success rates, greater persistence from semester to semester, and higher graduation rates. Four- and 8-week courses also allow students to overcome any unforeseen interruptions more quickly. If students choose to drop a class, they can get back on track more quickly with 8-week classes. Additionally, in light of the current pandemic, shorter semesters provide the additional flexibility needed to adapt to an ever-changing situation.


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Should I enroll in both 8-week sessions at once?

Yes. Blinn advises students to enroll in both 8-week sessions at once, especially if they are using financial aid. Students should contact their academic advisor or financial aid advisor if they plan to make changes to their schedule.
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Will my financial aid be impacted by taking 8-week courses?

No. Current financial aid practices will remain the same and financial aid is still awarded based upon the number of credits a student takes per semester. As a result, Blinn recommends that students register for all their courses (both first and second 8-week terms) prior to the start of the semester.
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How many shorter-term courses can I take each semester?

While 4- and 8-week courses allow students greater flexibility in scheduling the semester, Blinn recommends that students enroll in no more than 15 credit hours per semester. To help students maintain a manageable workload, Blinn recommends that students take no more than 2-3 classes during each 8-week timeframe. A good schedule arrangement would include two or three classes during the first 8-week term and two classes during the second 8-week term. Please note that shorter-term courses cover the same material as a 16-week course, and so these courses require considerable time and focus.

Here is an example showing how students could earn their 60-credit-hour associate degree taking four 8-week courses during the Fall and Spring semesters to earn 30 credit hours per academic year. Please note that some degree plans require students to take 4-credit-hour courses.

Fall Spring Summer
First 8-Weeks Second 8-Weeks First 8-Weeks  Second 8-Weeks 1st Session 2nd Session

Class #1

(3 credits)

Class #3

(3 credits)

Class #1

(3 credits)

Class #3

(3 credits)

Class #1

(3 credits)

Class #2

(3 credits)

Class #2

(3 credits)

Class #4

(3 credits)

Class #2

(3 credits)

Class #4

(3 credits)

Total Credits: 12 Total Credits: 12 Total Credits: 6

One of the great benefits of the 8-week schedule is the degree of flexibility it affords students. With Blinn's Winter and May minimesters, students can take 12 hours in the Fall and Spring and three hours during each minimester to earn 30 credit hours during an academic year:

Fall Winter Spring May

First 8-Weeks

Second 8-Weeks First 8-Weeks Second 8-weeks

Class #1

(3 credits)

Class #3

(3 credits)

Class #1

(3 credits)

Class #1

(3 credits)

Class #3

(3 credits)

Class #1

(3 credits)

Class #2

(3 credits)

Class #4

(3 credits)

Class #2

(3 credits)

Class #4

(3 credits)

Total Credits: 12 Total Credits: 3 Total Credits: 12 Total Credits: 3

Of course, students could choose to take one minimester course and one summer course.

Students also have the option to take 15 Fall hours and 15 Spring hours:

Fall Spring
First 8-Weeks Second 8-Weeks First 8-Weeks Second 8-Weeks

Class #1

(3 credits)

Class #4

(3 credits)

Class #1

(3 credits)

Class #4

(3 credits)

Class #2

(3 credits)

Class #5

(3 credits)

Class #2

(3 credits)

Class #5

(3 credits)

Class #3

(3 credits)

Class #3

(3 credits)

Total Credits: 15 Total Credits: 15

As you can see, 8-week courses offer students great flexibility in developing their schedules while pursuing an associate degree.


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Will 8-week courses change the length of the semester?

Each 16-week semester is split into two 8-week sessions, allowing students the flexibility to split their course load in the manner that best allows them to succeed.
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Will the amount of class time I get with my instructors change in the 8-week format?

No. Between face-to-face and online activities, students will participate in the same amount of total class time guided by their instructors as they would in a 16-week course. As a result, these classes are more focused and Blinn recommends that students take no more than two or three 8-week courses at one time.
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Why is Blinn offering more Saturday courses?

By offering an expanded selection of Saturday courses on the Brenham and Bryan campuses, Blinn can provide a wide selection of high-demand courses while still limiting course capacities and the number of students on campus at a time.


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Is Blinn offering pass/no-pass grading?

Blinn is not offering pass/no-pass grading.


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If conditions require the College to convert all instruction to an online format, will students receive refunds?

Tuition and mandatory fees have been set regardless of the method of instruction and will not be prorated or refunded in the event instruction occurs remotely for any part of the academic year.


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Can students use laptops in the classrooms?

Yes, they may.
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Will classrooms have more than one camera in classes that use the live online format?

In most classrooms, faculty will have one camera that tracks the faculty as the faculty approaches the white board. However, it is imperative all sections have class notes or PowerPoints online available to students.  That provision is in place to address the situation in which we might move completely online for a technical reason or by county determination.

 


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Where can faculty receive Zoom training?

Please visit the Center for Teaching and Learning or Faculty Senate website for more information on training.
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What are the disciplinary rules for the remote portion of the course?

A remote session is an extension of our classroom. During class time, that space occupied by the student becomes a public Blinn College space. It is the student's responsibility to maintain a civil behavior as stated in the Civility Protocol. Likewise, instructors can mute all microphones from their desktop, and only open the microphones during a Q&A period, if there is disruption via microphones from live remote students who are participating.
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