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Course Delivery Methods

DESN 101 AutoCAD Computer-Aided Drafting at MiraCosta College is offered online.  Optional on-campus lab sessions will be available during the week for students who prefer in-person assistance or need access to computers with AutoCAD software.  All course activities (lectures, demonstrations, projects, assignments, tests, etc.) are delivered online.  The instructor and students don't need to meet face to face, they communicate through the Discussion Board and other tools in the Blackboard course management web site.


The course is also offered in traditional and hybrid delivery methods. The traditional, or on ground, course format meets at a specific time, in a specific place, with an instructor and students; the majority of course activities (lectures, demonstrations, assignments, tests, etc.) are delivered in the classroom.  The hybrid course format is a combination of the traditional and online methods. Students spend part of their time in a classroom with instructor-led activities and part of their time on or off campus completing tutorials, projects, and other online content.  The student learning outcomes for all three course delivery methods are the same.


Blackboard Course Management System

Students enrolled in the course will have access to the course web site in Blackboard.  Because the entire course is managed using Blackboard, it is important that students log on to Blackboard and familiarize themselves with the site before the course officially begins.  Students must successfully log on to the course site in Blackboard on or before the first day of the semester.  Information about Blackboard, including how to log on, is given at the following link:




Students who have trouble logging on to Blackboard should contact the Student Help Desk at the following link:



The Student Help Desk offers assistance through phone, email, and online. Note: the instructor cannot assist you in logging on to Blackboard.  You must contact the Student Help Desk directly.


Lab Hours at MiraCosta

The availability of AutoCAD software at MiraCosta is sufficient for a student to complete the entire course using college workstations.  After enrolling in the class, students can access a complete schedule of campus lab hours through Blackboard.

AutoCAD Software Information


Students who have enrolled in the class will be able to download free Autodesk design products, including AutoCAD. Information in the Blackboard course site will show students how they can download this free software for free. Yes, students enrolled in the class can download the AutoCAD software for free!



Course Registration Information

Registration for the course is handled through the Admissions and Records office.  The following link has information about applying and registering for college credit courses:




Frequently Asked Questions

If I sign-up for the on-line course can I still come to on-ground lab sessions?


You may come to on-ground sessions if the instructor approves.


Do I have to be signed on at the same time the actual class is taking place on campus or can I do it on my own time?


The online classes is asynchronous, meaning  it is NOT a broadcast occurring at the same time as another course.  You do NOT have to be "signed on" at a specific time.  The online class has materials that can be accessed 24/7 through the internet.  However, the course does have a specific schedule with deadlines for drawing assignments, quizzes, projects, etc.  As long as you meet the deadlines you can remain flexible and do the work whatever time you like.



What is the online class curriculum?


There is no difference in the content between the online class and the on-ground class; the difference is in the delivery method.  The curriculum includes demonstration videos, discussion board forums, slide presentations, drawing problems, quizzes, and a final project.  Everything is available on-line through Blackboard.



Is the online class easier than a traditional on-ground class?


No, online classes require the same amount of time, effort, and rigor as traditional classes. Students in online classes must be disciplined, self motivated, organized, and able to work on the computer and read for long periods of time.  The time commitment for online courses is equivalent to that of traditional courses.


How hard is this class for a beginner?


This is a beginning class that can be successfully completed by students with no previous experience.  Students who have taken related courses, worked in the field, or have strong computer skills will find this course to be easier than students without these experiences and skills.


How much is the class?


The cost is $46 dollars per unit for all classes, including online courses.  This is a 4 unit class so it would would cost $184.


Do I have to purchase the AutoCAD software?


No.  You can use AutoCAD at MiraCosta College or any other place you know of that has access to the software.  If you want to complete the course from your home you will need the AutoCAD software on your home computer.



Can I use AutoCAD at MiraCosta?  Who will be there to help me?


Yes.  You may come to any and all of lab sessions and open lab hours.  During the open lab hours an instructor or lab assistant will be available to help you.  A listing of when the CAD lab is will be made available in in Blackboard.



What software is necessary to work at home?  Where can I buy it?


You need to have access to the internet, a web browser (i.e.. Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.), and AutoCAD.  For information about downloading the AutoCAD software see the 'AutoCAD Software Information' section above.



Can I use a different version of AutoCAD and/or the text?  What version should I purchase?


The course and course text are based on newer on newer versions AutoCAD. You may use an older version version of the software and text if you like.  The differences in the versions may be a little frustrating, but will not stop you from learning the material and successfully completing the course.  Ultimately the decision of which version to use is up to the individual student, as each student has different resources and future needs.  Past students have competed the course successfully with various versions of AutoCAD software and text.


Any newer version of the text (within the last 3 years)  will work for the class. The text for the class costs around $90 new and less used.  It is available through the college bookstore or other e/retailers such as Amazon. Hardcopy and digital versions of the text are available.



What is the difference between AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT?  Can I use AutoCAD LT for the course?


AutoCAD "LT" is a light version of the full AutoCAD software. AutoCAD LT is considerably cheaper, but it does not have all the tools contained in the full AutoCAD version, particularly the 3D tools.  You can use either version for this class, though the full AutoCAD version works more seamlessly with the text and course materials.



Instructor Contact Information

Paul Clarke
                                   (760) 757-2121 x6405