Online Learning FAQ - Crafton Hills College
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General Questions

Should I be taking an online class?
If you are self motivated, resourceful, able to keep yourself on task, and like working in an online environment, then yes an online class might be right for you. If you hate the Internet, need a teacher to interact with face to face, or cannot keep yourself on task, then online learning may not be for you.

How difficult is an online class?
Many students find online classes to be more convenient, but not easier. It is a mistake to assume that because a class is online, it is going to be easier or more difficult.

What kind of time commitment will an online course take?
An online class requires the same time commitment as the face-to-face version of the class.

What kind of student is most likely to succeed in an online course?
Students that are self motivated, resourceful, and able to stay on task tend to succeed in online classes. The online environment, often more so than the traditional classroom, requires students to be self-disciplined. You have to keep up with the work without the routine of physically attending the class at a certain place and time.

What kinds of materials are used in online courses?
Online classes and online teachers vary. Instructors may upload lecture notes (in a document, MS PowerPoint, or/and audio file). Some will upload a complete textbook. Others may use streaming videos. Some use games, puzzles, drills or/and simulations.

Do I have to come to campus?
Hybrid classes require on campus meetings, 100% online do not. See the schedule.

Do I need to check my computer everyday?
It depends on the class and the instructor. Many instructors will ask you to make a habit of checking your email and Canvas every day.

Should I check my student email if I have another email I use more?
Yes, you should. Canvas is automatically set up to send announcements and emails to your student account, so if you do not check it you will be missing things. You can have your student email forwarded to any email of your choice.

I have a learning disability-can I take an online class and get help with it?
CHC DSPS offers many services for disabled students. Contact them for more information.

  • Disabled Student Services - 909-389-3325
  • Learning Disabilities - 909-389-3578
  • TTY Number - 909-794-4105
  • FAX Number - 909-794-3684 

The Disabled Student Services office strives to facilitate equal opportunities for an education commensurate with the individual's abilities, interests, goals and needs. We provide support services, specialized equipment and educational accommodation to students with disabilities so they can participate fully and benefit equitably from the college experience. To qualify for support services, one must be enrolled at Crafton, have a verifiable disability that results in an educational limitation that inhibits the student's ability to participate in the general offerings of the college without additional specialized services and must have the ability to benefit from instruction. Support services may include: Adaptive computers, Advisement, Counseling, Test proctoring, Readers, Pre-registration, Books on tape, Parking and on campus transportation, Specialized equipment

How does an online course work? Do we all get online at the same time and listen to a lecture and chat our discussion?
Some instructors may have a synchronous activities (in real time), but much of your online learning will take place asynchronously.

Are online classes self-paced?
No. As it is in a face to face class, the pace is set by the instructor.

What will be my major activity in a online class?
This will vary by the instructor, but may involve writing assignments, discussion board work, blogging, text reading, assignments, quizzes, papers, tests, projects, etc.

What is the etiquette for an online class? Is it ok to use text-talk? Do I need to check spelling? Can I ask another student a personal question?
The rules of etiquette in an online class (netiquette) are the same as the rules of etiquette in a face-to-face class. The specific rules of what language is appropriate, how formal you must be, etc. is like in any face to face class in that it is determined by the instructor. The rules of conduct for personal behavior, including sexual harassment, harassment, intimidation, and hate speech apply to an online class exactly as they do a face-to-face class.

How do I ask a question of my instructor?
That depends on the individual instructor. Some will prefer that you ask the question within the Canvas system. Others will prefer an email. Others may permit a phone call or text message. Some will maintain traditional on campus office hours for in person assistance.

What should I include in my message to the instructor?
If you are attempting the contact by phone, text message, email, or a handwritten note, remember to include your complete name and the course. Don't just say "your online course" because most instructors have more than one online section. Don't just say "your psychology course" because your instructor might be teaching several different online psychology courses. Your message should also include how the instructor should get back in touch with you. Here is an example of an effective email:

  • (in the subject line) "Question about MUSIC 103-71 from Pauline Oliveros"
  • (in the message) "Professor Jones, this is John Smith. I would like to add your online Psych111 course, section 70, which begins in February. If you have availability, please send the admit code to"

Technical Questions

Do I need my own computer?
It depends on the course. In some cases, you need your own computer. Other classes can be done from any computer that you have access to (a computer at a library, your work, your parents’ house, etc.).

What kind of computer do I need?
Canvas is a large program and many instructors will ask that you use multiple applications and search the web frequently, so a slow computer may get in the way of you succeeding in an online class. Typically, you should have a PC running Windows or Linux, or a Mac. CHC is a Microsoft campus, so it is recommended that you have access to MS Word, MS Student, or version of the MS Office package, or a way to save and open files in MS Word formats.

Do I need special software to take online classes?
Some classes require specific software and some do not. Contact the instructor for details. Many classes only require your ability to use online software, like Canvas.

What if I need technical help?
Contact the instructor-they can often offer help in many situations. Also try the Help Desk-Help Desk is available 24/7 at 909-384-4357. Call the Help Desk for any technical issues with Canvas, email accounts, etc.

Can I take an online class using a dial-up connection?
It is not recommended because most dialup users experience frustration in how long it takes to deal with Canvas and large files.

I know how to do basics on the computer-should I take an online class?
Some classes require extensive knowledge of software and hardware, others are no more complicated than using social networking sites like Facebook. Contact the instructor for details.

What kind of computer operating skills do I need?

  • Word processing (type, cut, paste, copy, name, save, rename, etc.)
  • Navigate to sites on the Internet
  • Check and send email
  • Download information from the Internet
  • Downloading and uploading attachments
  • Working with multiple file formats (.doc, .pdf, .jpg, etc.)

What do I do if my computer ate my homework?
In an online class, you are responsible for your own computer. Crashes, freezes, and missing files are all things that really happen, so prepare yourself against PC problems. It is recommended that you back up all your work to a thumb drive and or an external hard drive. You can also set up a dedicated email account and using it to back up your work by emailing yourself copies all of your work.

Transcripts/Financial Aid/Registration

Is the credit I get for an online class any different than if I took it on campus?
The content of the course is the same online as it is face to face, so the credit and the way it reflects on your transcript is the same, regardless of if you take it online or face to face.

How do I register for an online class?
The registration process is the same for online classes as it is for face to face classes: first, apply for admission to Crafton Hills College. Then you will be given instructions on how to register for courses. All course registration is online, even for on campus courses.

I am registered for an online class. How do I get started. Can I start early?
CHC online classes are conducted through Canvas, so you get started by logging into your Canvas account and reading what is available in the course you are taking. Some instructors will let you start early, some will give you early reading assignments, others will not, so check with the instructor.

Will online classes transfer like face to face classes?
Yes. Whether the class is offered entirely on campus, entirely online, or a hybrid of the two, the ability of the class to count for a degree or help you transfer to a four year university are the same.

I tried adding an online class and it was closed, how do I get an add sticker?
Contact the instructor for an add code (if seats available). Online classes fill quickly, so there may not be room. Also, an admit code will only work on or after the day printed on the admit code.

Does financial aid cover online classes?
Your financial aid (if you receive any) applies to online classes in exactly the same way it applies to face to face classes.

Canvas Specific Questions

What is Canvas?
Canvas is a course management system (CMS). Canvas is an online site that you log into that hosts the class and provides you with information and opportunities to communicate with the instructor and the rest of the class.

Whom do I call if I cannot get into Canvas?
For technical assistance, you may call the 24/7 help line at 909-384-4357.

How do I get into Canvas?
First, make sure that you have registered for the course. If you are adding, realize that it might take 36 hours from the time you use your admit code and the time you have been processed to access the Canvas site.

Second, go to this site (or access Canvas from the login list on the main CHC site)

Your username and password is the same as your Self-Service username and password.

Will other students see what I write? What kind of privacy do I have in an online class? Activities within the course may be set up so that anything you write is readable by the rest of the class. There are also activities that can be set to be private. If you have any concerns about your online privacy, contact the instructor for specific information.

How do I post to the discussion board?

  • Log in and open the class
  • Click the "Discussions" menu item (on the left side of the screen)
  • Click on the topic you want to post in (for example Discussion 1a)
  • Write your message in the reply
  • Click "Submit" (at the bottom right of the screen-you may have to scroll down to find it)

I don't understand how to use Canvas. Where can I get help?
Try the instructor or the Help Desk. The Help Desk is available 24/7 at 909-384-4357. Call the Help Desk for any technical issues with Canvas, email accounts, etc.

Which browsers work with Canvas?
A current list is included on the Technical Requirements page.

The assignment is to "post" on the discussion board. What does this mean, and where do I do it? I went to the discussion board and it doesn't say post anywhere.
There is no post button (but there should be-it would make things easier). When you post to a discussion board, you have to start a new "THREAD". Follow these steps:

  • Log in and open the class
  • Click the "Discussion Board" tab (on the left side of the screen)
  • Click on the topic you want to post in (for example Discussion 1a)
  • Click "+Thread" (near the top left of the screen)
  • Write your message in the box under "Message"
  • Click "Post Reply" (at the bottom right of the screen-you may have to scroll down to find it)

How do I take tests and quizzes? How do I turn in assignments?
This will depend upon the instructor but it could involve essay exams that you email in, proctored on campus exams, or (most commonly) online multiple choice tests administered through Canvas.

Are there time limits for online exams?
Some instructors only give the exam during a narrow window period (e.g., Friday from noon to 6 p.m.). Others will limit the actual time spend taking the exam to an hour or two. Read the course syllabus or course FAQ file for more instructions about the rules for the exams and quizzes for that particular course.