Online Education

FAQ's - Look Here For Answers

Here are some of the questions about online education and using Blackboard that we hear most frequently.

1.  How do I get into Blackboard?

Go to and click on the link to Blackboard at the top of the page. CLICK HERE to watch a video tutorial.

2.  How do I find out what my username and password is?

Your username was created using the first two letters of your first name, followed by the first two letters of your last name, followed by the last four digits of your Napa Valley College student ID number (WebAdvisor number).  For example, if your name is John Smith and your ID number is 2341343, your username would be JOSM1343 (letters in caps).  If you do not know your student ID number, check your registration receipt or log-in to WebAdvisor. Your initial password is STUDENT (letters in caps). CLICK HERE to watch a video tutorial.

3.  When will I get access to my online class?

You must register for an online class just like any other class at Napa Valley College.  You will receive access to Blackboard and to your online class seven days before your class begins.

4.  How do I know when my class starts?

Check WebAdvisor or the Napa Valley College Schedule for the specific start date of your class.  You will have access to your online or hybrid course seven days before the class begins.  You should log-on as soon as you can to be sure your class is available to you.

5.  Is there a particular time when I have to log-in to my online class?

Your instructor will tell you about any specific dates and times that you must log-in to your class.  In most cases, exams and assignments will require you to be online at a particular time.

6.  How can I contact my instructor?

A directory of contact information is available on the Napa Valley College website at Click on Employee Director at the top of the page and enter the last name of your instructor.  You can also contact your instructor within the Blackboard course software by clicking on "Send Message" or "Mail" using the menu on the left side of the page. CLICK HERE to watch a video tutorial.

7.  Are online classes easier that face-to-face classes?

No!  One of the greatest myths about online classes is that they require less work or that they are easier.  Online classes demand that you have excellent time management skills and that you take responsibility for logging in and completing the required work. 

8.  How much time does an online class take per week to be successful?

You can expect to spend 9 hours a week doing work for your typical 3-unit online class.  Some classes may require more time. 

9.  How do I register for an online class?

You can register for an online class just like any other class via WebAdvisor.  To find out which classes are available, please review the Napa Valley College Schedule.  (Note:  Students living within the United States outside of California are not eligible to enroll in an online course.  Students living in a country other than the United States are eligible to enroll as an international student).

10. Do I have to come to the campus as part of my online class?

If you are enrolled in a "hybrid" class, you do have to attend at least once class meeting on campus.  Review the Napa Valley College Schedule to see if your class is a "hybrid."  "Online" classes do not require any class meetings on campus and all of the work can be done online.  Some hybrid and online classes offer an optional face-to-face orientation meeting with the instructor.