Taking an online class? Check out online learning tips, tool guides, and support.
Set up for success with our six quick tips:
Instructors typically send emails the week before class begins with instructions for getting started. To check for messages:
Although some course content may be mobile-friendly and the Canvas app is useful, you will want a laptop or desktop for online learning. Your instructor will let you know if there are additional requirements, like a webcam for Zoom meetings.
Learn about our Canvas Expert and Online Success Badges to help you prepare for using Canvas and taking courses online.
Log into Canvas the first day of the term, when your course shells will be available. There will typically be assignments for you to complete in the first couple days, and some instructors may drop students who don't complete work.
If your online course has required online meetings, you will find access information in Canvas. (Typically these are hosted through Zoom.) For help understanding if and when your online course has required meeting days and times, see the Student Scheduling Guide.
You may be learning online, but you still have a dedicated DVC instructor in each of your classes that wants you to succeed. Reach out to your instructor with any questions! You can find instructor contact information in the faculty directory, on your course syllabus, and/or on your class Canvas site. See How to Email Your Instructor for communication tips.
Many instructors also host "office hours" where you can drop in for virtual support! Check your course syllabus and/or Canvas site for dates, times, and links. Learn more about videoconferencing in our Zoom Guide for Students.
Find guides to common technology tools:
All DVC students have access to email and Microsoft tools like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and more!
Our online classes take place through Canvas.
Zoom - called "TechConnect" within Canvas - is a video-conferencing tool used for online class meetings, virtual office hours, and campus tutoring. This tool allows for screen-sharing, live discussion, live chat and more. Get familiar with Zoom:
With Studio, you can record your own videos, comment on instructor/peer videos, or take quizzes on videos you watch in Canvas. Learn more:
Many instructors use Hypothesis for social, digital annotation of course readings within Canvas.
Do you find it easier to retain information when you hear it? Clicking the Immersive Reader button on the top right of any Canvas page allows you to listen to the content and enable translation and/or grammar identification. Learn more in the Canvas Student Guide: How do I use Microsoft Immersive Reader?
Proctorio is an online exam proctoring tool some instructors use to help ensure academic integrity. Instructors can enable Proctorio settings such as locking down a test-taker's internet browser, disabling copying and printing, and/or enabling web camera and audio recording. In turn, students get the flexibility to take their exam in the place (and sometimes time frame) of their choice.
How do I take an exam with Proctorio?
Need some help? Visit Proctorio: Support for Test Takers or click the shield icon in Chrome while you are taking an exam for immediate 24-7 chat support.
What if I have concerns about Proctorio?
While this tool can feel invasive to some students, Proctorio adheres to students' privacy rights in compliance with FERPA. It is also COPPA, GDPR, and California Student Privacy Certified.
If you aren't comfortable installing the Proctorio extension on your personal device, you can come to campus to take your exam in one of our computer labs. Computer labs with Proctorio installed include those in HSF-292, PS-110, and ASC (Academic Support Center): L-148, L-149, and L-150. You may also wish to reach out to your instructor to see if other alternatives exist.
All DVC student's have free access to Folio, a virtual resume building tool that allows you to create an e-portfolio connecting your skills and course work to employer-facing job boards. Learn how to set up your Folio.
Still have questions about online learning or tools? "Just ASC!" Peer mentors and staff in the Academic Support Center can help you with technology, Canvas, and other academic support. Drop in on Zoom or on campus.