Resources for Spring 2020 Distance Education – FAQ for Students

Vertical Campus ExtriorPlease Note: We are updating this information throughout the day to keep it current as circumstances change.

Will the Computer Labs be open?

At this time all computer labs are closed until further notice.

Will the Library be 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.

Will the IT Help Desk Be Open?

The help desk staff are working remotely at this time.  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.

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.

Will laptop loan services be 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?

The University is posting a list of service providers that are offering access.  Scroll down to the Resources and Tools section of the page.

How can I borrow a financial calculator, if the Library is closed?

You can use your cell phone as a TI calculator.  As a COVID-19 response, Texas Instruments is offering free six-month calculator emulator software subscriptions to teachers and students for TI-84 Plus, TI-30XS, TI-34 MultiView and TI-Nspire CX calculators. Calculator guide books and tutorials are available online as well.

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

When the labs reopen, students can use the computers to attend an online class.  The collaboration rooms are equipped with conferencing software, cameras, and microphones.  The rooms are also an excellent location for participating in a virtual meeting for class group projects, as students should avoid meeting in face-to-face groups at this time.  Remember: the collaboration rooms do not require a minimum number of users.  Even one person can use the room alone.

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 will I access software that I usually use in the College’s computer labs?

The University is helping the College to provide remote access to software that students have only been able to use on campus. Over the next few days we will begin to post links to the software with instructions on use.  The method of access will be similar to how Baruch students can now access Microsoft 365 and Dropbox.

How can I get help from the library remotely?

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

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.

Where can I use a computer, if I cannot travel to campus?

Unfortunately, at this time the usual sites that we recommend, the New York Public Libraries and the other CUNY libraries, are closed.

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.

Why are half of the keyboards missing from the computer lab?

We have temporarily removed the keyboards from every other computer to help reduce social density in the lab and create additional distance between users.

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