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We offer TWO DIFFERENT orientations: "New Student Orientation," and a Blackboard/online learning orientation called "Learning and Interacting in our Virtual Environment". New students at our Ottawa Online campus are expected to complete both orientations.  Students taking their first online course at Ottawa University, or a course which utilizes Blackboard and the online format (such as the MyChoice option) should attend the Learning and Interacting in our Virtual Environment.

All students taking a fully online class or hybrid class such as MyChoice should attend training prior to the term start. We’ll help you feel comfortable in the e-learning environment (Blackboard) so that when your first course begins, you needn’t worry about the technical aspects of online learning, and can instead focus on your studies.  This is essential to your long-term success as a student.  Training focuses on utilizing Blackboard. Here’s a quick list of the items that are covered:

  • Participating in discussions
  • Obtaining weekly materials
  • Submitting assignments
  • Checking scores
  • Locating tools and resources

We offer several training options:

  1. A self-paced course in Blackboard: This is your opportunity to preview a sample course and practice many of the same items you’ll complete in an actual course. All new online learners will receive access to this, and most students will have access within a few days of registering for their online class, provided they have set up their Ottawa student email.
  2. Live, facilitated training sessions: These 60-90 minute sessions are conducted via webinar and put you in touch with an Ottawa Online staff member. This is the best option if you’ve never taken an online class or used Blackboard before. Once registered, you will automatically receive information by email about how to join the session. Please note that the email lists the start time as CST (Central Time).  PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THIS. View the schedule and register for a session by clicking here:
  3. Video presentation: This 20-minute training video walks you through each component available in Blackboard. The video is accessed by clicking the following link. The self-paced course and/or video are the best options if you have taken online classes before.


This training is your introduction to Ottawa University including policies and procedures, the MyOttawa student portal, where and how to buy books, course withdrawal policies, and more. It is very important that you are aware of policies and supports that affect your success as a student. This new student orientation will help you feel more prepared and ready for life as an online student at Ottawa University.  New Student Orientation is a Blackboard-based course. You will be enrolled in this course as part of your new student process.  Please contact your advisor if New Student Orientation is not available for you in Blackboard (please note you need to first set up your student email account to gain access to Blackboard).
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