C.T. Evans
Online discussion/gradebook username and password
When you click on an "Online discussion" or "Online gradebook" link in a course, a new browser window will appear with a Blackboard dialog box prompting you for your Username and Password.  Enter your username (Your Blackboard user name consists of everything to the left of the @ symbol in your VCCS email address.  For example, if your VCCS email address is, your Blackboard user name would be krandal0001.  Check for your official e-mail address, or  For your password, enter your e-mail password.  (Your password consists of the birth date you supplied when you applied for admission to the college.  It consists of 6 digits:  two for the month, two for the day and two for the year.  For example, if Kelly Random lists her birth date as 5 April 1972, then her password would be 040572.)
If you have problems, please contact the college help desk at
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Technical support
Please be aware that technical support for any college computer problem is only available in the appropriate computer lab.   Technical support information is at  You can also contact the college Help Desk for assistance in resolving problems.  Help Desk personnel are available from 8 AM to 9 PM (Monday-Friday) and from 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturday at 703.426.4141 (Hours subject to change.).  You should resolve any technical problems with your computer at home or office with your service provider.  If you have problems receiving the necessary support at any college computer, please notify me at once.
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E-mail link
If you wish to send some of your assignments using the e-mail link on the web pages(This is not required.), your browser (Netscape or Explorer) must be configured properly.  For example, if you get the message "Your e-mail message has not been specified" in Netscape, open the "OPTIONS" icon, highlight and click on "Mail and Network Preferences," click on the tab "Identity" and enter your e-mail address.  If you are using a college computer, please ask for assistance.  Note that in most of the college labs the email feature of the browsers is disabled for security reasons.
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E-mail accounts
To send your assignments in this course, you will need access to an e-mail provider/program.  The VCCS does provide an e-mail account for all students; see for information.
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Sending attachments (generally speaking)
Sending an attachment to an e-mail message is a process very much dependent on the particular software (or provider/program) that you are using for your e-mail.  These are just some general hints to help you with attachments:
  • Know exactly in which directory/folder the file that you are going to attach resides.  This might be in "My Documents" or "My Files," or wherever you routinely save your work.  You might consider creating a specific folder as a location to keep all your course assignments.
  • Always first write a short e-mail message including your name, the name of the assignment and the particular file format of the assignment.
  • After finishing the e-mail message, click on the add attachment button (The location of this button--even its name--will vary from e-mail program to e-mail program.)  You will then have to use a "browse" button to locate the file you wish to attach.
  • Before you click (Or double-click) on the file to attach it, you are sometimes prompted to indicate file format (Word, Wordperfect, Rich Text, etc.) and encoding options (Always choose no encoding.).  Then you can click to attach the document.
  • Return to your e-mail message and check to see if an attachment is indicated (Usually a paper clip with the image of a document will appear.).  You can then send the e-mail.
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Sending attachments (using the VCCS email system)
  • Once you have logged into your VCCS email account, from the Inbox select Compose.  At the bottom of the Compose screen, click on the Attachments button icon, and a Pop-up window will appear.
  • Step 1:  Click on browse to locate the file that you wish to attach.  Click on the file, then on the Open button.  The file should appear in the Step 1 box.
  • Step 2:  Click on Attach File.  When the file has appeared under "Filename" list at the bottom of the Pop-up window, the file has been successfully attached to your email.
  • Step 3:  Click Done, and the Pop-up window will disappear.  You can then finish and send your e-mail.
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Installing a Plug-In
In these history courses, there are a number of opportunities for you to listen to remarks made by your instructor.  One mechanism for accomplishing this involves the use of a Real Audio streaming audio file.  You can do this only if you have installed the FREE Real Audio "plug-in" program on your computer.  A "plug-in" is a supplementary, or auxiliary, program that helps your web browser (Usually Netscape or Internet Explorer) deal with a particular type of file (In this case a streaming audio file.).  To install a real-audio plug-in:
  • From any course page with an audio link, click on the "Free RealPlayer" image
    to go to the RealPlayer download site.  RealPlayer download link
  • It gets complicated at this point.  Near the top of the site, click on the link to "RealPlayer" immediately to the right of the "Download" heading.  That will take you to another page asking you to download the $29.99 version.  Instead, near the bottom of the screen, click on the link contained in phrase "RealPlayer 7 Basic is our free player." (UGH)
  • Complete the short form required by, and then click on the "Start download" button.
  • Select which features of the BASIC RealPlayer you want, and again click on the "Start download" button.
  • At the next screen with installation instructions, click on any link to a download location.
  • When you click on the link, the file download will finally begin.  Once the download has finished (It might take awhile.), you should locate the downloaded file in the directory in which you saved it.  Double-click on the file and begin the installation process on your computer.
  • Good Luck.
I welcome any constructive commentary.  Please feel free to make any suggestions, either design or content-oriented, to improve the course.

This page is copyright © 2005, C.T. Evans
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