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Etudes Basics: Self-Paced Tutorial

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

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Using a Supported Web Browser

       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

Next, you will need to make sure you are using an Etudes-supported browser. Your "browser" is the computer program you use to access the Internet. Examples of popular browsers include Internet Explorer, Netscape, Safari, and Firefox. However, not all browsers are compatible with Etudes, so you may need to dowload a new browser to use all the tools in your class Web site effectively.

CAUTION!
If you ignore the requirement to use a supported browser, you will experience serious problems trying to submit your work to your Etudes class Web site. If you do not currently use an Etudes-supported Internet browser, download one for free and always use it to log on to your Etudes class sites.

What will happen if I don't use a supported browser?
While you may be able to log on to your class Web site, the editor used by Etudes to allow users to post assignments, tests, and forum discussion messages will not work properly. You may not be able to correctly format your text; you may not be able to submit attachments properly; and some of the Etudes editing tools or buttons may not appear on your screen. Don't be fooled into thinking you can use another browser just because you are able to log on and access some of the class materials!

What browsers are supported by Etudes?
Browser requirements differ depending on whether you have a PC or a Mac. There are also special considerations if you use AOL or Compuserve as your Internet Service Provider (or ISP).

Note: If you do not know which kind of computer you are using, you probably have a PC. If you do have a Mac, it will have an Apple icon somewhere on the machine.

The approved browsers:

For the PC:

  • Internet Explorer 8
  • Firefox version 3.5

For the Macintosh (Apple):

  • Firefox 3.5.X

Note to Safari, AOL, or Compuserve users:

  • AOL and CompuServe (AOL/CS) software includes an integrated browser-like feature that does not provide full access to the Internet. Students MUST minimize the AOL/CS browser once their Internet connection is established and open one of the supported browsers. DO NOT attempt to use the AOL/CS versions of Netscape or Internet Explorer.
  • You must download a separate, complete, independent version of Internet Explorer or Netscape. This will alleviate frustration associated with known problems caused by the AOL/CS quasi-browser and its inherent inability to access to a significant percent of the World Wide Web.

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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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