Is eLearning For you?

eLearning courses are designed for students who cannot or do not want to come to campus because of their work schedules, family needs or because they prefer the online or hybrid structure of learning. eLearning students can control their own schedules by working with the course materials at their convenience within the framework of the course syllabus. However, the courses are not self-paced; classes begin and end on the same schedule as regular campus classes. Depending on the instructor, there are also regular assignments, and exams are due on specific days. Online learning requires you to have good time management and communication skills, as well as being comfortable around technology.

We have compiled a list of some skills to have or skills you are willing to learn as well as a quick survey to determine if being an online student is for you. If you have any questions about the results of the survey or about being an online student, please visit eLearning. We will be happy to talk with you!

Is Online Learning for me?

Tips for Successful Learning

  • Work Independently
  • Take notes from textbooks, media and online lectures.
  • Set goals and work through the process to achieve them, even when confronted with obstacles.
  • Willing to seek support
  • Are confident in their computer skills and in their ability to download required course software.
  • Are comfortable taking both essay and objective exams.
  • Create a back-up plan if technology issues cannot be resolved quickly.
  • Take responsibility for their own learning and ask questions when they don’t understand
  • Are willing to invest time and dedication necessary to complete their program of study.
  • Possess the appropriate reading and writing skills for college level courses.
  • Strong time management skills and a willingness to learn more management skills
  • Do your homework in a consistent place at a consistent time prior to each class session.
  • Believe that high quality education can take place outside the traditional classroom, and do not require daily one-on-one with their instructors
  • Pay close attention to both course and college deadlines.
  • Block out time in your weekly schedule that is dedicated to your online classes. (Recommended, two hours per day for each 5 credits you are taking)
  • Create your MySeattleCollege account to access computers on campus and office 365
  • Your email will be your primary email in Canvas. Any notifications about your course will go to that email. Be sure to set up your college mail as soon as possible.

Many students take online classes because they have busy work and life schedules and they need to have flexible learning opportunities. While online learning does allow flexibility and mobility, they are just as rigorous as campus face-to-face classes. We compiled a list of myths and facts, associated with online learning:

Myth: Online classes are easier.
Fact: Online classes are not easier. In many cases, online classes are just as demanding as a campus face-to-face course. Many online classes have rigorous reading, writing, and research assignments that require substantial time commitment and dedication. Time management is an important skill when taking an online course.

Myth: Instructors cannot tell how much time I spend online and whether I am actively engaged with the course material.
Fact: At North Seattle College, we use Canvas, our Learning Management System, to facilitate online classes. Canvas has sophisticated analytics that allow instructors to see how much time a student spent in a course, when a student logged in the course the last time, and when a student submitted an assignment. Additionally, there are many other ways for your instructor to see whether you were actively engaged with the course material and other students. For example, many instructors require students to participate in discussion activities and collaborate with other students virtually.

Myth: Online classes do not follow the regular quarter schedule.
Fact: Online classes have the same quarter schedule as on-campus classes.  It is important to login your online or hybrid class on the first day of the quarter to read your course syllabus and check the assignments and reading that need to be completed.

Myth: There are no due dates in online classes.
Fact: While each class has different types of assignments, each online class has activities that have the due dates. It is important to review your course materials and assignments on daily basis to make sure you do not miss important due dates. When taking a hybrid class, it is especially important to check the online instructions as you may need to complete assignments or activities before you meet in class.

Myth: Online classes are not as engaging as on-campus classes.
Fact: Online classes are different from traditional on-campus classes, because of the technology and can be just as engaging in a different way. For example, in online classes, instructors may ask students to participate in discussions on weekly basis, work in groups to collaborate on a project, or participate in peer-review assignments.

Myth: Personal attention doesn’t exist in an online class
Fact: Many students who take an online classes say there is more attention since instructors log on daily and respond quickly. In most cases, you will have a great deal of interaction with your instructor and your classmates, sometimes more than you would in a traditional classroom setting. Online courses may have mandatory participation in chat rooms, webinars, and on discussion boards. Additionally, students can always email instructor individuality if they have any questions.

Myth: Instructors are always available in an online class.
Fact: Your instructors are not going to be available online all the time. Most of your instructors provide a maximum email turnaround time, typically between 24-48 hours. As a student, you need to plan ahead as much as possible, and be sure to have an alternate solution if you don’t hear back from your instructor before an assignment is due (remember, your assignments are your responsibility, not theirs). Some instructors include a “Questions About the Course” discussion board where they encourage students to answer one another’s questions. Another approach would be to reach out to another member of the class and exchange private emails to support each other throughout the semester. Because you are not meeting with each other, or in the case of a hybrid course, not as often, it is easy to feel isolated in an online course. Try some of these tactics so you can connect with others – you will get a lot more out of your classes if you do.

Myth: Online classes is a great fit for all students.
Fact: Online courses are not a good fit for everyone. The first question you should ask yourself before considering an online class is this: “Is eLearning for me?” Online learning requires good time management skills as well as basic technology skills and the willingness to ask for help in achieving the basic skills.

Myth: Online courses are all the same
Fact: Just like a traditional face-to-face class, online classes vary by instructor, subject, and program. Different instructors organize their courses differently in Canvas. Types of activities and assignments also vary significantly depending on a class you take.

Myth: I will be taught how to use a computer and Canvas in my online class.
Fact: Do not expect your instructor to spend time teaching you how to use your computer or how to use Canvas. When you register for an online class, make sure you have sufficient technology skills and have access to a reliable computer. Before you take your fist online or hybrid class, we highly recommend you to complete our online Canvas orientation for students or attend one of several face-to-face /virtual workshops given at the beginning of every quarter. 

In the online environment, professional communication is important.

In order to prevent misunderstandings and promote engaging, meaningful collaboration and learning care must be taken into how you communicate online. Classes will be composed of native and non-native English speakers and different cultures which bring a different point of cultural reference, understanding of humor and expectations of learning. This diversity enriches our courses and asks that we recognize our part in communicating responsibly.

General Tips for Online Communication

  • Always maintain a cordial and respectful tone in written messages.
  • When in doubt, ask yourself, ‘Would I feel comfortable saying this to the person standing in front of me?
  • Never use BLOCK capitals, which is shouting online.
  • Treat any online discussions, chats or email contributions confidentially. Remember, however, that email messages in general are not secure.
  • Reread your written text before posting or emailing.
  • Wait 24 hours before responding to a seemingly inflammatory message or post. Online conflicts unnecessarily tend to get blown out of proportion. A good rule of thumb is to give the author the benefit of the doubt and to end your response with a positive statement.
  • Check with your instructor on how long you should expect a reply from them. This may be found in the syllabus.
  • Assume good intentions and ask questions for clarity. Sometimes a tone can be misunderstood.  

Communication management:  Good online communication practice is also about being mindful of online communicators’ ownership, time and bandwidth. The following tips will help keep online communication manageable and enjoyable for all involved.

  • Acknowledge the owner of any material or sources that are not your own.
  • Never forward a written text without the author’s consent. Never forward an email that you can't verify the sender.
  • Avoid replying directly to emails containing file attachments – this unnecessarily fills up the original sender’s mailbox.
  • Be careful when using the reply features in email. Ask yourself if your message is really relevant to all recipients.
  • Check for the validity of email. Realize that hoaxes, spam mail, forgery and viruses are easily sent via email. When in doubt the mail is best left unopened and then deleted.

Because North Seattle College values respect and diversity, we have provided tips and guidelines for communicating and engaging in the online environment. 

Canvas Image Not Showing for iOS Users

Safari users may find that images in Canvas are not displaying for them. Please follow the instructions below for a work around for this issue.

On Mac

  1. Open Safari
  2. Go to the Safari menu and select "Preferences…"
  3. Click into the Privacy tab
  4. Uncheck "Prevent cross-site tracking"
  5. Close the Preferences window and continue normally

On iOS:

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Scroll down the list of headings on the left and choose Safari
  3. Uncheck "Prevent Cross-Site Tracking" (under Privacy & Security)
  4. You can now use Safari normally

Viewing Panopto videos in Firefox - prompted to login

When using Firefox with Canvas, if you are prompted to login after clicking on a Panopto Video, please turn off Enhanced Tracking Protection for Canvas as illustrated in the video.

After turning the protection off, the browser should refresh automatically.  Click on the Panopto video to play.

Note: For Chromebook/Mac/PC users, you will always need to click on Panopto Video within the course menu in Canvas to authorize Panopto to show and play the recordings each time you login to your course.

Tips for a Speedy Internet Connection

If you're experiencing a slow internet connection, you may wish to try the following:

  • Move closer to your WiFi router
  • Use an ethernet connection instead of a WiFi connection
  • Restart your router
  • Contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP)

Additionally, be aware that your internet speed may not be the same every time you perform a check at the same location. Just like sometimes Netflix will get stuck buffering and sometimes show up in HD, your internet connection can vary significantly by the time of day. If you're having trouble connecting, sometimes waiting a couple of hours and trying again is your best bet!

Recording Tips

Video Recording Tips

  • Record in a quiet location free of any distractions
  • Be mindful of your lighting--make sure we can see you!
  • If recording on a mobile device, record in landscape mode (horizontally)
  • If recording on a mobile device, use a tripod or place it somewhere it can be stationary
  • Watch your video with the sound on before submitting it

Audio Recording Tips

  • You don’t need to yell, but be sure to project while speaking
  • If using a headset, make sure you are completely plugged into your computer or mobile device