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BOT Online

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Online Orientations

BOT Online Instructors


Welcome to BOT Online!

Thirteen BOT classes are available online and 75% of the BOT degree can be earned via online classes. More information can be found on the Online BOT Degrees & Certificates page.

Online BOT course offerings:
BOT 101A/B Keyboarding & Document Processing
BOT 102A/B Intermediate Keyboarding & Document Processing
BOT 104 Filing & Records Management
BOT 118 Integrated Office Projects
BOT 120-122  Comprehensive Word Levels I, II, III
BOT 123-125  Comprehensive Excel Levels I, II & III
BOT 201 Advanced Keyboarding & Document Processing
(No online BOT classes in Summer)

Welcome to BOT Online
How does an online course work?
How is a BOT online class different from a Flex Lab class?
You mean I don't have to come to class?
Do I need to attend an orientation?
What do I need to be an online student?
What textbook will I need?
Course management and communication
Advice from BOT online students
What students like & didn't like about online classes

How does an online course work?

The short answer is that it's like a correspondence course, but with Internet communication. The online class follows virtually the same syllabus as the Flex Lab class on campus, but you can do the work any time during the week from home or on any computer where you can access the class website and Office 2013 software. Instead of attending classes, online students use the class notes, textbooks, and assignments to learn. You will access the course website by logging in to Blackboard (an online course management system).  Blackboard is used for the syllabus, course schedule, assignment instructions and resources, announcements, discussion, submitting assignments, exams, e-mail, and checking grades. Students are responsible for reading the textbooks and completing all class learning assignments on their own, but help is available by phone, Blackboard discussion, e-mail, or in person in the BOT Flex Lab, room E-120, during lab hours.

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How is a BOT Online class different from a Flex Lab class?

Students enrolled in an Online section must follow the schedule for the online classes. The schedule for the Online classes will have specific start and end dates (see Cuyamaca class schedule for dates), and assignments and exams will be due at assigned times. You may work ahead and complete assignments early, as long as you turn them in no later than the due date. See the course syllabus and assignments sections in Blackboard for assignment and exam due dates. Students enrolled in a Flex Lab section may begin at any time during the first 10 weeks of the semester and work at your own pace. If you want to take an online class be sure you are enrolled in the correct section number by the add deadline. No late adds!

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You mean I don't have to come to class?

That's right. You can set your own work hours and do everything wherever the course software is installed. Just be sure not to fall behind as that is the number one reason students end up dropping an online class. Of course, you may attend the BOT Flex Lab in room E-120 for in-person help whenever the lab is open, if necessary. If you go to the Flex Lab, see an instructor or aide to receive individual help.

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Do I need to do an Orientation for the online class(es)?

Yes, you MUST complete an orientation for the online classes. You do not need to come to campus for the orientation, as they are all available online. Even if you have taken the orientation for the BOT Flex Lab classes, you must still complete an online orientation because the Online classes are very different from Flex Lab classes. Locate the appropriate online orientation for your class and complete them by the deadline listed in the class schedule.

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So what do I need to be an online student?

Here's what you need to be able to succeed in a BOT online class:

  • Ability and willingness to work independently.
  • Solid experience with Internet and with Windows. (Can you troubleshoot problems? Could you e-mail an attached file?)
  • Working knowledge of zipping files using Winzip or similar program.
  • Excellent reading and writing skills.
  • TIME! Successful students schedule 5-10 hours a week to work on the class.
  • Access to a PC/Windows computer with the following requirements:
    • Computer/Processor:  1 gigahertz (GHz) processor or higher
    • Memory:  1 GB of RAM (32 bit) or 2 GB of RAM (64 bit)
    • Hard disk:  3 GB of available hard-disk space
    • Monitor:  1024 x 576 minimum screen resolution (or 1366 x 768 to use Windows Snap feature)
    • Operating system:  Windows 7 or 8
    • Broadband Internet access with minimum connection speed of 128 kpbs:  Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher, Firefox 3.6 or higher, Chrome 11 or higher
    • Sorry, no Macintosh as the Office 2013 program is very different on a Mac.

Word and Excel classes require Microsoft Office 2013 software. Word, Excel and Access are part of Office 2013 Professional. You will need Access to complete some chapters of the Word and Excel classes..

Keyboarding classes require Word 2013. The keyboarding software is accessed using a key code bundled with your textbook.

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What textbook will I need?

The textbooks are available in Cuyamaca College Bookstore. You can also rent textbooks at

NOTE:  If a book bundle is listed, you will need all components included in the bundle. If you purchase your book online other than the Cuyamaca Bookstore you may not receive all items in the required bundle. Also, you should verify that access codes are valid if you purchase your book online from another seller. Read information carefully below.  As an online student, you must provide your own computer with the required minimum specifications prior to the class start date.

BOT 101A & 101B (same bundle for both classes):

  • Paradigm Keyboarding & Applications 1, Using Microsoft Word 2013, Sessions 1-60, 6th Edition
  • ISBN:  978-0763855994
    by William Mitchell, Audrey Roggenkamp, Patricia King, and Ronald Kapper, with SNAP Online Lab access code.  (Bundle includes textbook and SNAP Online Lab access code)
  • Also requires Microsoft Word 2013 (available separately). NOTE: Older versions of Word will not work with the SNAP Online Lab keyboarding software. (software purchasing information)

BOT 102A & 102B (same bundle for both classes):

  • Paradigm Keyboarding & Applications 2, Using Microsoft Word 2013, Sessions 61-120, 6th Edition
  • ISBN:  978-0763856007
    by William Mitchell, Audrey Roggenkamp, Patricia King, and Ronald Kapper, with SNAP Online Lab access code.  (Bundle includes textbook and SNAP Online Lab access code)
  • Also requires Microsoft Word 2013 (available separately). NOTE: Older versions of Word will not work with the SNAP Online Lab keyboarding software. (software purchasing information)

BOT 104 (offered Spring semesters):

  • Records Management, 9th edition
    by Judy Read & Mary Lea Ginn (Printed Book with CourseMaster Instant Access Code). ISBN: 
  • Purchasing Options: 
  • The textbook kit is available in the Cuyamaca College Bookstore
  • As another option, you can purchase an electronic book access code, which also includes the CourseMaster Instant Access Code, for $73.00 from the publisher at:
  • NOTE: While the kit in the bookstore is a little more expensive, it does include a hard copy of the textbook which is convenient to use while completing the online filing components in CourseMaster. Previous students preferred having the actual book vs. the electronic e-book. Email your instructor if you have questions before purchasing your book kit.

BOT 118 (offered Spring semesters):

  • 1) Textbook: Skills for Success with Integrated Projects: Getting Started
    by Catherine Hain, with myitlab software. ISBN:  0132804271
  • 2) MyITLab access code (bundled with textbook)
  • 3) Software:  Office 2010 Professional version which includes Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint

BOT 120, 121, 122 (same book  for all 3 Word classes):

  • Required:
    1) Textbook:
    Signature Word 2013 by Nita Rutkosky; ISBN 978-0763851996 for book only*
    2) SNAP 2013 Access Code; ISBN  978-0763855192 for SNAP
    3) Software: Word 2013 part of Office Professional 2013 version which includes Access (
    software purchasing information)
  • Purchasing Options: 
    The textbook and SNAP access code are available separately in the
    Cuyamaca College Bookstore.
    You only need to purchase SNAP one time. It does not expire and can be use for all of the BOT courses requiring it.
    If you purchase your book elsewhere, you can buy the SNAP access code either in the Cuyamaca Bookstore or directly from the publisher

BOT 123, 124, 125 (same book  for all 3 Excel classes):

BOT 201 (offered Fall semesters):

  • College Keyboarding & Document Processing, Lessons 121-180, 10th edition
    by Scott Ober, Jack E. Johnson, & Arlene Zimmerly. ISBN-13:   13: 978-0-0-7296343-3 (textbook)
  • Also requires MS Word 2010 or 2013 (available separately)  (software purchasing information)


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Course Management and Communication

  • Blackboard is a course management tool used to communicate (discussion forum and e-mail), submit assignments, take exams, and check grades. Plan to check Blackboard twice a week or more. Course announcements will be posted to the Blackboard announcements section.
  • Occasionally your instructor will contact you by e-mail. You need to e-mail your instructor before each class begins. Let the instructor know if your e-mail address changes during the class.
  • Assignments are posted in Blackboard with due dates and instructions for turning in the work.
  • Post your questions at the Blackboard discussion forum. You should get an answer by the next business day. Other students may post an answer to your question. E-mail the instructor if your question is urgent or personal.
  • You may also go to the BOT Lab (E-120) to use a computer with Office 2013.

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Online learning isn't for everyone

  • Check out the Cuyamaca Online Learning website, especially if this is your first online class.
  • Can you work independently? If you can pretty much figure things out on your own and don't need the teacher to explain everything, and if you can get by without face-to-face interaction with the other students, you can succeed. We can always get help and other viewpoints through the discussion board, though it won't be immediate.
  • Can you manage your time effectively? This is by far the most important consideration for an online student. This class takes more time than I had anticipated, and I bet others feel the same way. Unexpected things seem to always happen, so you need to be prepared. Make a game of it - pretend that assignments are due earlier than they really are, and challenge yourself to complete them early. That way you won't have a problem trying to get things done at the last minute, and you'll have more time for other classes or activities.
  • Keep up with assignments
  • Maintain an active role in the course.  (Check the discussion boards, ask questions, etc..)
  • Give yourself plenty of time for coursework
  • If something is unclear be sure to clarify
  • Keep up with the class. The biggest problem online students have is gradually falling behind. You lose points when assignments are late, and you may be dropped from the class if you get behind. These classes are only 5-8 weeks in length and all work must be completed by the class end date.
  • Schedule enough time (from 6-10 hours per week) to focus on the class. Some students may need more or less time, so you can make adjustments based on your computer skill level.
  • Don't wait until the last minute to start an assignment. If you run into a problem, it may take time to get help, especially with technical issues.
  • Contact your instructor as soon as you begin to have problems or if you decide to drop. Links to the online instructors' emails are found at the top left of this web page.
  • Check e-mail and online discussion several times a week.
  • Have a back-up plan in case your computer crashes.

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What students like about online learning:

  • Having the time to work at home at my own convenience.
  • Online interaction with other classmates.
  • Freedom of not having to come to class.
  • Not being held down to a class time allowed me to attend class online during my most creative/productive times.

What students didn't like:

  • It is harder to stay motivated and put the time in.
  • Some things are hard to explain by e-mail or phone.
  • It's harder for your teacher to get to know you.

Good luck and let's have fun!!!

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