About Online Learning

Home / Online Learning / About Online Learning

FAQs

Here is a list of questions people who take eLearning courses often have. If you don't find your question answered here please email the eLearning Office. If your question is about your class please email your instructor.

I cannot log in to my online course.

You will not receive an email when you are enrolled by the registration process into a CANVAS class. Go to https://cptc.instructure.com and use the following information to login.  Username is your student ID #. Your password for your first time logging into CANVAS will be the first 6 letters of your last name all lower case. If you do not have 6 letters use only your last name and then repeat letters until you have 6. An example (lee would be leelee). If you are not prompted to change your password, it is advisable that you change your password anyway. Also, be sure to check your course date. Courses are not available until the first day of class unless the instructor open them early.

After entering your login ID and password and on the screen that appears next, you will access to the courses courses for which you're registered. Click on the title of a course and the link will take you to the classroom.

I've registered for an online learning course. What should I do next?

First, it is recommended you  set up your student email account.

Are there any special settings for my browser?

Configure your browser according to the directions below.

  1. Please make sure you have turned off all pop-up blockers. You can find them in stand-alone programs, in antivirus software, in toolbars such as Google's, and in firewall software. They must be disabled or some features such as online testing will not work.
  2. Make sure your browser is set to accept cookies.
  3. You'll need the latest version of Java.
  4. CANVAS works well with any browser, but a newer version Internet Explorer (IE 9 or later) Firefox (23 or 24) or Chrome is recommended.

What is a WAOL course?

WAOL is a consortium of the community and technical colleges in Washington. WAOL courses are developed and taught by faculty contracted by WAOL. Students from across the state are enrolled in a WAOL course. The advantage of WAOL classes is that a local college may not offer a particular course online. If WAOL does offer this course, the student still has the opportunity to take that course online.

The instructors who teach the WAOL courses are usually not CPTC instructors, so they will not be available to you through our campus except by email.

How much time can I expect to spend on an Online Learning course?

Instructors and students alike say that online courses take as much or more time than regular on-campus classes. For a five credit class, students should expect to spend 10 to 15 hours (and sometimes more) each week on activities related to the course. Lab classes generally require an additional 5-10 hours per week.

What if I have AOL as my Internet Service provider (ISP)?

Do not use their browser to open CANVAS. You will need to use another browser as recommended above. Once you have installed it on your computer and when logging on to AOL, minimize their browser, open the version of IE of Firefox you just installed and open CANVAS from that browser (IE 8) or Mozilla Firefox. Students also have had problems sending and receiving email through AOL.

Myths & Facts

Myth: Online courses are easier than traditional, face-to-face courses.

Fact: Online courses are at the very least as rigorous as face-to-face courses. Students are actually more challenged by online courses because they are in charge of their own learning. Because a large part of an online course is text based, there is a great deal of time spent reading and writing rather than speaking and listening. Students may perceive this as more time consuming than a traditional course. Students are encouraged to have a reading comprehension level of 84 or placement into English 101 before enrolling in an online course to ensure success. Students need to go into an online course knowing that the course will require as much if not more time and effort as any traditional course.

Myth: Since there are no time or place limits, I can do all of my assignments at one time and not really have to attend class.

Fact: It is true that students can access their classes at any time and from any place where an internet connection is available. However, online courses are structured and organized so that content is delivered on a set schedule to ensure active participation and maximum learning. Students need to go into an online class knowing that the class will require as much if not more time and effort as any traditional class. Deadlines for completing class work are posted and expected to be met.

Myth: Since online classes are so flexible, it is okay if I have to miss an entire week or two of class. I can always make it up when I return.

Fact: It is true that many people choose online classes because of the flexibility; however, deadlines are deadlines. If a student misses turning in an assignment on time, he/she will receive a zero.

Myth: Online courses are condensed versions of traditional courses.

Fact: Online courses cover the exact same content that a traditional course covers.

Myth: If my computer breaks down, the instructor will have to excuse me from an assignment or at least give me more time to complete it.

Fact: Students are encouraged to have a back-up plan in case their primary computer malfunctions, they experience other technical difficulties or they travel during the quarter. Students are expected to follow the back-up plan when necessary so that they may continue their coursework. The need for an extension is a moot point. This type of critical thinking on the student’s part is a necessary skill in dealing with technology in all facets of life today.

Myth: Since I am taking an online course, the school or the school system will provide a computer for me.

Fact: It is the student’s responsibility for providing the required technology. Computer labs are available to all students at all campuses if they choose to use them. Computers are also available for use at most public libraries, although they may have restrictions on time.

Myth: My online course will teach me everything I need to know about using the computer for this course.

Fact: Students must have prior skills in word-processing, email, internet use and research. Because of the nature of online courses, the student is expected to also have minimal typing skills. These are not skills that can be learned in conjunction with taking the class. They are skills that should be mastered before the class begins.

Myth: Because it is an online course, I can be invisible and remain anonymous.

Fact: All online courses have two discussion components: threaded discussion and chats. Both of these components are secure areas that only students registered for that particular class may access. Students are required to participate in online discussions. Most students enjoy getting to know their classmates through threaded discussions and chats. These discussions allow for an exchange of ideas in which “shy” students may openly speak up in a protective, non-threatening environment.

Myth: In an online class, there is no teacher or the teacher doesn’t really interact with the students.

Fact: All online courses have instructors. Instructors log on regularly to check on assignments, check for messages from students and sometimes participate in discussions. Instructors contact students in most instances within 24 hours of a question or concern. Distance learning students take an active role in their courses and have even expressed that they feel more connected to their instructors than in traditional classrooms.