Online Student FAQs

Help your students by creating and regularly updating a Frequently Asked Questions area for your course.  Below is a list of common FAQs along with instructions for posting them in your course. 

Instructions for Posting Student FAQ Information in Blackboard 

  1. Go to your Bb course, click “create an announcement” and place in the subject field: "FAQs and Great Answers to Help Students". 
  2. Copy the information below and paste into the Announcement text box.   
  3. Use the special “paste” function by holding down CONTROL and the letter V at the same time.  (Control-V).   
  4. Review the message and settings.  Be sure the announcement is NOT date-restricted.  
  5. Click Submit.  

FAQs and Great Answers to Help Students 

  1. I have a lot of questions about taking online classes. CMU has great tips and information for students in the Online Learning Resource Center. Topics in the Resource Center include: “Group Project Success Tips,” “APA Formatting Overview Video,” “Note-Taking Strategies,” and much more.
  2. I am a busy student and I’m overwhelmed looking at my syllabus and trying to juggle everything I need to do with work, classes and my other obligations. CMU is pleased to assist you by offering the Online Student Ally.  Allies can help with creating a great calendar with your due dates, commitments, etc. They are available at
  3. Which email account will my instructor use to contact me? Now that you’re enrolled in a course, your instructor, fellow students, and the University will only send communication to your CMU email address. You can check your CMU email from inside Blackboard, by clicking the email button at the top right of the screen near your name. Next to the email button is also a button to access CentralLink. Once you log into CentralLink, a link to Blackboard and a link to your email can be found on the top line of that screen, as well – mail is a little envelope icon, Blackboard is shortened to just "Bb". 
  4. If I’m having technical issues with my computer, Blackboard, etc., who do I contact? Numerous Blackboard tutorials provide students with a self-service option. The Help Desk also offers free technical support to students by phone (989-774-3662), online chat, or email.  
  5. I am confused about due dates or my homework, assignments, or exams. Who do I contact? Your first contact for this type of issue is always your instructor. Be sure to indicate your course number (such as GEO 373-22222222) when contacting your instructor. CMU instructors teach multiple courses so it is helpful to know the course being referenced. 
  6. What does academic integrity mean? The CMU Academic Integrity Policy can be found in any CMU Bulletin.  You can also read it online.  CMU can help you learn how to avoid violating the academic integrity policy when completing course assignments – see item 7 below.
  7. I need help with my writing assignments and papers and understanding APA formatting. Good news – plenty of help is available: 
    • CMU Writing Center – a free service to students, the Writing Center can help with discussion board posts, identifying a paper topic, and assisting from draft to completed paper.
    • CMU Library – the CMU Library has tutorials, vast resources, and even the ability to chat with a librarian.
    • APA Formatting – review these resources to help with understanding APA style: APA OverviewPark Library APA LibGuide
  8. Can I still add an online course this semester? Students with registration questions regarding an online course can contact CMU Online by email or by phone: 800-688-4268, or review the information about registration and online course offerings.  Registration for online courses ends the Sunday before a course begins. It is not possible to be enrolled in an online class after it has started. 
  9. Can I drop or withdraw from classes this semester? Students with drop or withdrawal questions can learn more on the Online Course Drops/Withdrawal Information page.  Dropping or withdrawing can affect your academic standing (called Satisfactory Academic Progress), as well as impact current and future financial aid. It is important to consult with the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.
  10. My course requires me to take proctored exams.  I’ve never done this. Where do I learn more? For more information about proctored exams, visit the Proctoring page.   
  11. My course requires exams be completed with Lockdown Browser, a webcam, and a microphone. Where can I learn more about this? Online courses may require the use of Respondus Lockdown Browser and/or Respondus Monitor (the use of a webcam and microphone to record the online testing experience). You can learn more on the Respondus page.