Online Learning at Edmonds CC
All Spring 2020 classes at Edmonds Community College will be delivered online as much as possible. Please consult Student Resources for Spring Quarter 2020 for additional information about specific classes. You might not have experience taking online classes, and that’s okay. We’re all learning together how to cope with the effects of COVID-19. If you need some help learning how to be an online student, we can help you!
Our guide below will help you figure out:
- how to access your classes, how to use Canvas (the platform that houses your online classes),
- how to succeed in an online class,
- how to use exam proctoring and plagiarism detection software, and
- how to get help.
Edmonds Community College uses Canvas for online learning. You can access Canvas from the Edmonds homepage, by selecting MY EDCC (top right) and then Canvas, or by selecting Students, then Academics, and then Canvas login. To use Canvas, you’ll need:
- A phone, tablet, or computer
- A reliable internet connection
- A web browser: Firefox and Chrome work best
Canvas has an app that can be downloaded for free onto mobile devices (use Google Play for Android devices and the App Store for Apple devices). The app is convenient, but it doesn’t work the same as a web browser. If you aren’t able to access parts of your course using the app, try using a web browser. That may fix the issue.
To login to Canvas, use your SID and password that was assigned to you (directions can be found here). When you login, be sure to create your profile and enable notifications so you receive messages from your instructors. After you have set up your profile and enabled notifications, you should look at your dashboard for your courses. Once your instructors have published your courses, you will see them in your dashboard.
Canvas has a lot of features and tools that will make your online class interactive and engaging, but it can seem overwhelming at first. Here’s a quick explanation of some of the most commonly used parts of Canvas:
- Announcements are a tool that your instructor can use to send out messages to the entire class.
- Inbox is a tool that lets you and your instructors message each other. Copies of inbox messages are sent to the email address set in your Canvas profile.
- Modules are a way that your instructor may organize your online class. Think of modules as folders that contain readings, media, and assignments you may have to do each week, chapter, or unit.
- Assignments are just like assignments in a face-to-face class, except submitted online. You upload your work, your instructor gives you feedback, and you receive a grade.
- Discussion boards are a way for you to interact and share ideas with your classmates and instructor online. Your instructor will post a topic and give you instructions, then you’ll share your ideas in a discussion board post. It’s just like a written conversation.
- Grades is where you’ll find scores on assignments you’ve submitted in Canvas. It’s important to keep track of your progress so you can succeed in your online class.
Each online class is unique. Some will have virtual meetings at specific times while others will not have meetings at all; some will use written material, videos, and interactive parts, and some will only have a textbook. It’s hard to know what to expect in each online class, but you can prepare yourself by exploring your courses, asking your instructor when you have questions, and reading the suggestions below.
How and When to Communicate
Many of us communicate online with a lot of different groups for different reasons. For example, you may post on social media about a current event, email a link to a co-worker, or text your manager to let them know you’ll be late for work. Communicating in an online class is more formal than most of the online communication we experience. The guidelines for communicating in an online class are called “netiquette,” and following these suggestions (like the ones from Arizona State University) will help you have a more positive experience overall.
Your class will probably give you lots of opportunities to interact with your classmates and your instructor. Remember, you’re a community all learning about the same thing but from different perspectives and backgrounds. You’ll learn a lot by communicating with your class. Read what your classmates have to say and share your own thoughts frequently to make the conversation feel more interesting and real. If you have questions, ask them! Your classmates probably have the same concerns. Remember to ask your instructor directly--not through public discussion boards--when you have questions about grades or other sensitive information; edmail or a Canvas inbox message would be better for private conversations. Make sure to ask questions as soon as they arise. If you delay getting an answer you need, you’ll be late in finishing other parts of the course and make it more difficult to complete later on.
Think about your online class like a face-to-face class
Online classes tend to offer flexibility so that students can do coursework around the demands of a busy life. This flexibility can also be challenging because you aren’t required to show up to a classroom at a certain time; this means that you have to create structure and discipline for yourself to complete your course. Here are some techniques for managing your time and structuring your online experience:
- Explore the course to make sure you understand how it is set up and where to find the information you need.
- Read the syllabus and calendar carefully to note important policies and due dates.
- Make reminders for yourself when assignments are due.
- Designate time in your schedule to work on your online class. Write your schedule on your calendar every week as class time and stick with it.
- Eliminate distractions during class time. Don’t try to do your work while doing housework or watching Netflix; you probably won’t understand the material as well, and then you’ll need to spend more time studying it after.
- Make sure to give yourself enough time to complete your work. In other words, if you have a large project coming up, carve out more time in your schedule to work on it.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to your classmates for help. They would probably enjoy studying and working on projects with you.
- Check your online class regularly to look for announcements, updates, and new materials.
- If you have to use new technology in your online class, test it out beforehand so you don’t have to worry about technical problems messing up an online meeting with your instructor or making you late to submit an assignment.
Set goals and expectations
Online classes are just as challenging and rigorous as face-to-face courses. Don’t underestimate the amount of work you’ll need to put into an online course and don’t forget to check in on it. Be prepared to spend more time on an online class than you would a face-to-face class and be responsible for yourself. If you know all this information when you start your online class, you’re more likely to approach it seriously and succeed.
Your online class might use exam proctoring and plagiarism detection software. These are tools that make sure an online exam or assignment was completed by the student enrolled in the class. In other words, these tools make sure that students are submitting their own work and that online classes are providing the same educational quality as face-to-face classes.
Your class may use Honorlock to proctor exams and ensure that students don’t cheat. The service monitors your environment and web use to make sure that no outside sources are used during your exam. If your class uses Honorlock, you’ll need the following equipment to take the proctored exam.
- A computer (Windows, Apple/Mac, Chromebook, laptop--Honorlock cannot be used on a tablet or phone)
- Chrome web browser
- Honorlock Chrome extension (free; download Honorlock extension)
- Webcam (external or built-in on laptop/Chromebook)
- Microphone (external or built-in on laptop/Chromebook)
- Identification (student ID, driver’s license, passport, etc.)
- Quiet, private space to take your exam.
If you have other questions about Honorlock, check out the student guide, video demonstrating how to use Honorlock, and video demonstrating how to scan your environment. If you experience technical difficulties taking your exam, contact Honorlock Support.
Your class may use Vericite to make sure that assignments are original. Vericite compares submitted assignments to text in databases and on the internet to make sure that your submission isn’t copied. Being able to write original text about your coursework is an important part of demonstrating your learning. This quick video shows you how to upload an assignment to Vericite.
START (Student Technology Advice and Resource Team) is a student-led group that helps students understand available technology and learn how to put that technology to its best use. START can help you with Canvas, EdMail, web browsers, operating systems, and more.
Contact START by phone (425.640.1101) or email (email@example.com). You can also check out the START webpage for tutorials and useful information..
The Helpdesk is able to help you when you experience technical difficulties. Contact them by phone (425.640.1234) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Services for Students with Disabilities
Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) ensures that programs at Edmonds Community College are accessible and usable by students with disabilities. SSD offers the following services to students of Edmonds Community College:
- Academic advising
- Campus orientation
- One-on-one tutoring
- Interpreters for the Deaf
- Test scribes
- Early registration
- Large print materials
- Accommodated testing
- Note takers
To submit a request for an accommodation, please see the list of SSD Request Forms. You can contact SSD by voice (425.640.1320), video phone (425.354.3113), or email (email@example.com).
Learning Support Center
The Learning Support Center (LSC) provides academic support to students in math, the sciences, the humanities, and social sciences. There are two ways to get virtual help from the Learning Support Center:
- Ask a Tutor allows you to virtually submit as many questions as you’d like to LSC tutors in a variety of subjects. You can submit your questions using a phone or computer; you’ll get a response via Google Doc within 24 hours, but it may take less time.
- eTutoring provides help with math and writing assignments. This free service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Following the directions on the eTutoring webpage to submit your assignment and get help.
The library offers online services to help you get the information you need to succeed in your online courses. You can chat with a librarian 24/7, send an email for help, look through resource guides, or access all of the library databases. You can also call the library reference desk at 425.640.1472.
You may feel overwhelmed by all the changes happening around you, but remember that you’re not alone. If you want to talk to someone, the Counseling Center can help. The Counseling Center offers:
- Personal counseling
- Career counseling
- Student success counseling
- Resources and referrals
To make an appointment, call 425.640.1358 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Counseling Center, check out their list of Frequently Asked Questions.