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Frequently Asked Questions

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The Basics

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.

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

An online course is conducted entirely over the internet. Course materials are posted on a course website.  Most online courses never require meeting on campus. However, there are some professors who do require students to attend an orientation session or take exams on campus. Make sure that you understand the instructor's attendance policy before enrolling in a class that will have meetings that you know you won't be able to attend.

A hybrid course combines online learning with face-to-face class sessions on campus with your professor and your class mates. The campus sessions meet on a regular basis. However, you do spend less time in the actual classroom than you would in a regular class.

Go to the Virtual Valley Homepage

Click on the link that says “Online Schedule of Classes.” You will find the classes listed by semester.

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.

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.


Getting Started

You will officially have access to your class by 11:59 p.m., PST, on the first day the class starts. Some instructors do open the class earlier, so check periodically.

To login to all your online classes, visit the Canvas login page (https://ilearn.instructure.com/login/canvas), login with your Canvas username and password. For assistance in creating your username and password, visit our Help Desk page.

Visit our Help Desk for further instruction.

To find your instructor for your online class follow these steps:

  • Go to the Virtual Valley Home Page
  • Click on the link to the "Online Class Schedule"
  • Click on the semester of your class, for example, Fall 2009
  • Find you class on the list
  • Click on the link to your instructor's name or call the phone number listed for him or her

It is a good idea to contact your instructor before the start of class to find out if there are any specific requirements you need to know about before you begin.

For a lesson on how to send email attachments, see the following tutorial:

To find an instructor's website (if they have one) follow these steps:

  • Go to the Los Angeles Valley College Home Page
  • Click on the link "Students Resources"
  • Click on the link "Instructor Web Pages"
  • Find your instructor on the list
  • Click on the link to your instructor's name

Hardware and Software

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.

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

Canvas lists minimum computer requirements. Visit their website for detailed information.

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