Resources for Fall 2020 Distance Education – FAQ for Students

Vertical Campus ExtriorAre the computer labs open?

The campus computer labs are closed.  Students may access the software on the lab computers remotely at onlinelabs.baruch.cuny.edu.  However, students should use the CUNY Virtual Desktop to access ArcGIS, SPSS, SAS, Mathematica, Maplesoft and Matlab.

Is the Library open?

The Newman Library is providing all services virtually at this time.  These are available from the Library’s home page. The service advisory on the home page is the most up-to-date source of the status of services. Baruch students are able to schedule time in one of the designated quiet study areas on campus. The details are on a separate news page.  Please note that the quiet study spaces are no tin the Library or managed by the Library.

Is the IT Help Desk open?

The help desk staff are working remotely.  If you are having trouble logging into a service, configuring your own laptop, or need help with using a resource that is new to you, please contact the desk via email at helpdesk@baruch.cuny.edu.  At this time the help desk is not receiving phone calls.

How can I get technology assistance from off-campus?

Students should send an email message to helpdesk@baruch.cuny.edu explaining what type of assistance is needed.

Are laptop loan services available?

The College has a special program to offer semester loans of new devices obtained from the University. For details see the Technology Distribution page.

How can I get free access to the Internet, if I do not have it at home?

Students will soon be able to reserve a seat in one of the designated quiet study spaces (see question above).  Please bring your own device to the study space.  The College is distributing a limited number of MiFi hot spots to students who have no Internet access at home.  Students who want to apply for the loan of hotspot should submit a request by following the instructions on the MiFi loan page.

How can I borrow a financial calculator?

Baruch students may request a calculator for loan using this form until all available calculators are distributed.  Please note that Texas Instruments has discontinued its free emulator trial, but still offers a free Chromebook extension through July 2021,  Students may want to consider downloading an app through iTunes or the Play Store.

Can I attend my online class while I am on campus?

You may want to reserve a seat in one of the quiet study areas.  If you need headphones, please request them via the form on the Technology Distribution page.

What online learning tools will I be expected to use?

It will vary based on what the instructor believes is best to use to teach the course, but the College is focusing on tools that are very easy for students to access and use.  The most common tools will be:

  • Blackboard – Baruch students already know Blackboard. In addition to the tools that you have previously used in Blackboard, such as the discussion groups, some instructors may decide to use the videoconferencing service that is built into Blackboard, which is called Collaborate.
  • Zoom – Many instructors will use this webconferencing tool. When your instructor wants the class to meet using Zoom, you will just have to click on a web link to join the session.
  • Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive – These are file storage services that are already available to every Baruch student.  Your instructor may want to use them to share documents.
  • Blogs@Baruch – Some instructors use the College’s blog site as a course site.  If your instructor decides to do this, you will be sent a link and only need to enter your Baruch username and password to join the course. Your instructor may ask you to write to the site as part of a course assignment. It is as easy as writing a blog post.

How can I access Blackboard, CUNYfirst, Dropbox and other services from off campus?

Use the “Quick Links” drop-down menu on the Baruch College home page.  That way you can be sure that you have the most up-to-date links.

How can I get help from the library remotely?

Please use the chat reference service on the Newman Library home page.

Where can I print assignments for my courses?

With classes online students are submitting their course assignments in a digital format through Blackboard or another method specified by the instructor that does not require a hard copy.  There are no printers available on campus.

Where and how can I store my files in the cloud?
You can save your files in one of CUNY’s cloud file storage options to access the latest version of your files, no matter where you’re located, as long as you’re connected to the Internet. CUNY offers two files storage/collaboration tools: OneDrive in Microsoft Office 365 and Dropbox. You can find information and training resources on using OneDrive at CUNY’s Microsoft Office 365 for Education site website or from Microsoft’s Office 365 Education Help Center and Office 365 Training Center. Microsoft’s Teams provides an addition tool to share/collaborate on projects and shared files. You can find information and training resources on using Dropbox at CUNY’s Dropbox site.

What services are available for Students with Disabilities?

The Disability Services Office will be open to assist students. The College is committed to ensuring accessibility as courses are moved to an online format. Instructors have been provided with information resources and guidance to help them achieve this goal. If a student finds that any course material is not accessible, please inform the instructor so that it can be corrected.

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NOTE: This FAQ list will be updated as we receive additional questions from students.  Please check back.