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Etudes Basics: Self-Paced Tutorial

By Dr. Gayle L. Fornataro, Virtual Valley Student Success Coordinator

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Checking Computer and Internet Requirements

       Table of Contents:  

1. What is Etudes?
2. Setting Your Computer to Run Etudes
      2A.  Checking Computer and Internet Requirements
      2B.  Using a Supported Web Browser
      2C.  Setting Browser Cache
      2D.  Enabling JavaScript
      2E.  Enabling Browser Cookies
      2F.  Disabling Pop-Up Blockers
  3. Logging on to Your Class Website
  4. Getting Help
  5. Keys to Success

First, you will need to make sure you have a computer that is capable of running the Etudes Course Management Software program. This involves checking to make sure you have enough memory, and that you are running a compatible Operating System (click link to go to "Dictionary.com" definition of this word).

The "Computer and Internet Connectivity Requirements" link of the Etudes System Requirements Web page gives the following information about the equipment you will need to take an online class using Etudes course management software:

Computer and Internet Connectivity Requirements

General System Requirements

      list button  Screen resolution set to 1024 X 768
      list button  PC's should be running Win 2000 or XP
            We have not yet conducted QA testing on Windows Vista....We cannot guarantee optimal
            performance without testing.
      list button  Macs should have OS X 10.3.X or above
      list button  System should have at least 512 Ram
      list button  56K minimum is required for your modem. DSL or cable strongly advised

If you do not have access to a computer with these specifications, you will need to either pruchase one, or use a computer at a lab or library either on campus or in your community. It is easier to take an online class, however, if you have a good computer with Internet access at home.

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Students who are most successful in online courses are those who are self-motivated, self-disciplined (able to make and stick to a study schedule), and who have good technology skills.

Before taking signing up for a class, check out our Online Readiness Quiz

Once you are in an online class we recommend that you take two online tutorials, available on the Virtual Valley Student Resources webpage, or by clicking on the links below:

Students taking online classes are more likely to be successful if they possess the following technology skills before starting their course:

  • Know how to use a mouse and keyboard to select and start programs, and to enter information.
  • Know how to connect to the Internet and use web browser software to locate information on the Internet.
  • Know how to create and manage folders on a computer, including finding, uploading, downloading, and saving individual files.
  • Know how to send email attachments
  • Know how to download and install "plug-in" software such as media viewers, java, etc.
  • Know how to manage security settings on your computer through the Internet browser software and firewall.
  • Know how to use word processing software such as Microsoft Word to create, edit, and print text documents.
  • Know how to "cut and paste" and "copy and paste" within documents.
  • Know how to send and receive messages using e-mail.

If you need help developing any of these skills prior to taking an online class, study the following two tutorials, available on the Student Resources page of the virtual valley website:

The short answer is no. Online and hybrid courses teach the same material as our on-campus courses.

Online classes may even require more weekly work, but they are more convenient.

Students who have poor technology skills or who need the discipline of regularly scheduled class meetings in order to stay on task are likely to feel that online courses are more difficult than classroom-based courses.

Students who have good technology skills, are self-disciplined, regularly make time to study and complete assignments, and have good reading and writing skills are likely to feel that online courses are similarly challenging to on-campus classes.

Yes. The exact same content is taught in online as in a traditional course that meets on campus.

All online and hybrid courses are developed by LAVC faculty.

These courses are reviewed by the department chair and an instructional designer.

For course components that are online, you do not normally have to be online at a certain time. Instead, you can study when it is convenient for you, as long as you complete and submit required assignments and tests by due dates indicated in the syllabus.

Some instructors may require small group or other discussions to take place at a schedules time, which is often negotiable. Contact your instructor for any specific time requirements.

If you are taking an online class or a hybrid, you don't need to go out and buy a computer. HOWEVER you do need frequent access to a reliable computer.

LAVC does have a computer lab in BJ 103. For lab hours see the following link: Help Desk/Computer Lab Information.

For more information about the lab, contact Ken Freeman at (818) 947-2568.

No. LAVC offers its online classes through the Etudes course management system, which is available over the Internet. All you need is a good computer with a reliable Internet connection.

However, some instructors may require purchase of special programs, such as Microsoft Word, or other discipline-specific software. Check with your instructor prior to the beginning of the class for any additional software requirements.

Yes, you need an active email account. Those are available for free from Gmail, Yahoo, etc.

Regular access to a good computer

Reliable Internet access. While dial-up modems will work, they are very slow, so cable or digital Internet connections are recommended.

Note: If AOL is your Internet service, you will not be able to use your AOL browser, but will need to download another browser.

  • For more information about computer, Internet, and browser requirements, see the System Requirements.

A good word processing program, such as Microsoft Word (some professors require this program).

Check with your instructor to see if there are any additional equipment requirements prior to taking clas

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