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Online Learning
Travis Dubry, Distance education Coordinator
Student Services Education Center, Room 216O
323-241-5507
dubryta@lasc.edu

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Online Learning

Smiling Student Working On Computer

Welcome To Online Learning!

If you have a busy schedule, taking online and hybrid courses can give you a flexible way to get ahead!  These types of courses are known as Distance Education courses where you don’t need to be physically on-campus for all or a part of them in order to complete them. The online and hybrid courses have the same standards and study the same information as our face-to-face courses, and you can fit them into your schedule to balance life, work, and school that much easier!

Canvas is the learning management system LASC uses so you can log into and access your online courses. Make sure to log into Canvas for your online classes. If you need some support with canvas, we have plenty of options available for you.

For a list of online instructors and their contact information, visit here.

Students

For a list of online instructors and their contact information, visit here

The 2009 Higher Education Opportunities Act (HEOA) recently separated Distance Education from Correspondence Education by defining it as:

Definition of Distance Education 

“Distance Education is defined, for the purpose of accreditation review as a formal interaction which uses one or more technologies to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and which supports regular and substantive interaction between the students and instructor, either synchronously or asynchronously. Distance Education often incorporates technologies such as the internet; one-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communications devices; audio conferencing; or video cassettes, DVDs, and CD-ROMs, in conjunction with any of the other technologies."

Distance Education Mission

“To support online success and retention by ensuring uniformity in terms of Learning Management System (LMS) and online instructor responsibility and accountability, according to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Contract (Article 40). Also, the purpose of this document is to provide clear expectations, guidelines, and policies for instructors teaching online in order to adhere to the requirements of ACCJC.”

Distance Education History 

Los Angeles Southwest College (LASC) began offering online classes in 2007, at the same time many other colleges in the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) started their programs.

LASC faculty, staff, and administrations firmly believe that it's the college's responsibility to serve, reach out to, and educate the community-at-large in traditional and non-traditional forums. Because of this, LASC's Distance Education (DE) program was launched. The college shared in the purchase of a Learning Management System (LMS) called MOODLE with other district colleges to begin the process of training instructors on the system, and providing pedagogy consultation through the 2007-2011 CAOT 134 class (Computer Assisted Office Technology), “How to Teach an Online Course.”  This course was also available to students who wanted to take courses online to better understand the LMS and become familiar with the DE methodology. 

This process prepared students and faculty to successfully transition into an unfamiliar learning environment to achieve a common goal; a goal that proved to meet the demands of our local community who were unable to take part in a traditional learning environment due to work, transportation, or accessibility issues. LASC created a very structured, stable, and accomplished online learning environment that has now been sustained into its second decade.

To help maintain our online program, the Curriculum Committee has been charged with reviewing and approving all online courses prior to being released. Meanwhile, the Distance Education Committee (DEC) was formed to ensure all DE courses met the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) section 508 Standards which “...address access for people with physical, sensory, or cognitive disabilities.” The committee was tasked to address faculty and student concerns, implement policies and regulations per ACCJC guidelines, and regulate the effectiveness of the LMS.

More than a decade later, LASC's DE program has become a successful tool to uniquely educate our community of learners where students have capitalized on the variety of online courses we offer.

In 2011, the Distance Education Committee created the Distance Education Guidelines, Policies, and Procedures Manual (see Appendix A), which provides checklists, guidance, and standards that meet ACCJC’s DE compliances.

DEC members regularly meet the third Monday of the month.The goal now is to properly maintain our mandatory on-campus orientation and to continue conducting certification training for new online faculty that focuses on pedagogy and DE methodologies to ensure DE students receive the same educational experience as students in a traditional setting.  

From the United States Access Board, www.access-board.gov  

Online and Hybrid courses require the same amount of course work, time, and participation from both you and your instructor as you would a Face-to-Face class. What’s different is that you don’t have to be on campus to take them. 

These courses are a good fit if you:

  • Have good computer skills
  • You will be using Canvas, our learning management system, and need to email, chat, and possibly video conference with your instructor and classmates
  • Are very organized with good time-management skills
  • Remember, for each course unit you should set aside two hours of study time per week – for example, a 3-unit course requires 6 hours a week of study time
  • Make a calendar or flow chart of when items are due and set aside time to study
  • Don’t wait until the last minute – it can take time for an instructor to get back to you
  • Are dedicated and self-motivated to take responsibility for your own learning
  • You will need to check-in and participate online multiple times weekly for assignments, discussions, quizzes, and with other classmates to complete group assignments
  • Want a flexible school schedule in order to take the courses you need to get ahead

 

Finding and registering for Online and Hybrid courses are exactly like registering for Face-to-Face courses. Log into LASC’s Student Information System (SIS) and select ‘Online’ or ‘Hybrid’ for a full list of our current Distance Education courses. If this is your first time registering for courses, check our 5 Steps to Register (PDF) that can take you through what to do.

Are you a New Student to LASC? You will first need to apply to LASC before you can register for Distance Education courses.

If you are an Out-of-State Student, not physically living in California, you are not able to register for Distance Education courses through LASC at this time.

View the Canvas Online Orientation Training Video at https://guides.instructure.com/m/4210 

Once you have access to your online class, click through it to get familiar with what you have learned from the Canvas Orientation Video.

Know-how to:   

  • Upload and download documents
  • Retrieve/send emails
  • Find announcements
  • Retrieve/send assignments (ATS tab)
  • Follow CourseMaps and Modules
  • Review the guidebook
  • Use the library resource link
  • Retrieve information from these sources
  • Retrieve syllabus
  • Understand all of the links in the navigation bar.   

Tips for Success in an Online Class:

  • Read all announcements
  • Follow the syllabus
  • Do all assignments
  • Meet weekly deadlines
  • Participate regularly
  • Post/Reply to discussions
  • Spend 4 to 6 hours per week doing course work
  • Read the required textbook
  • Send Private Messages (PM) to the instructor when unsure
  • Meet all requirements
  • Think of quality, not just quantity

To Add an Online Class that isn’t closed after classes begin:

  • Send an email to the instructor using your LACCD SIS email account and format the email in the following way:
    • Subject: Add Online Class Request for (Term), (Course Name), (Section Number)
      • Add Online Class Request for Fall 2020, Biology 5, Section #10233
    • Body of Email: Include your:
      • Full Name 
      • Student ID Number (i.e. 881234567)
      • I, (Your Name), request to be added to (Name of Class, Section Number). Thank you!
  • If the instructor approves your request to add the class, they will email you back with a permission number.
  • Use the permission number to add the class to the SIS system. You will be asked for the permission number (Permission Nbr) when you try to add the class.  
  • If you cannot be added due to fees, holds, unit limits, etc., contact the Admissions Office at (323) 241-5321.

You will not see the class in Canvas until the day after your add is processed.

If you are not on the waitlist and the class is closed, follow these steps:

  • Only after the term has started, you may email the instructor to add a class. We recommend sending an email on the first day of classes.
  • Send an email to the instructor requesting to add the class using your LACCD SIS email account and format the email in the following way:

Subject: Add Online Class Request for (Term), (Course Name), (Section Number)

Example: Add Online Class Request for Fall 2020, Biology 5, Section #10233

Body of Email: Include your:

  • Full Name 
  • Student ID Number (i.e. 881234567)
  • I, (Your Name), request to be added to (Name of Class, Section Number). Thank you!

Keep in mind that if an instructor approves adding students, they will draw from the waitlist first.

  • Due to the volume of requests received, only those students whose adds are approved will be contacted. If you are not contacted, you will not be added. Do not continue to contact the instructor once you submit your request to add a closed class.

To drop a class online, follow these steps:              

  1. Go to the LASC homepage and click on Register for Classes. This will lead you to the Student Information System (SIS). 
  2. Log into the SIS with your Student ID Number or SSN. You must also enter your PIN. Remember, your default PIN is your birthday month and date, for example, January 15 = 0115.
  3. On the SIS menu, click on the yellow tab that says "Registration."
  4. You must select your college – Los Angeles Southwest College – along with the semester and year.
  5. In the “Action” drop-down box, select “Drop.”
  6. Enter the section number of the class you want to drop. If you do not know the section number, you can find it by using the tab named "View Schedule" to review your classes. 
  7. Click “Submit.”
  8. Once the system has dropped the class you wanted to be removed from your class schedule, you will get a confirmation number. 

Make sure to keep this number as proof you dropped the class. 

You can use the "View Schedule" tab on the right menu bar to confirm the class is dropped from your class schedule. If it was successfully dropped, there will be a date in the Drop Date column next to the class you dropped. 

Before the start of the term, if you are at the top of the waitlist for an online course and a spot becomes available, you will receive an email to your @student.laccd.edu account in the Student Information System from the instructor letting you know if they added you to their online course. You do not need to contact the instructor.

Check your @student.laccd.edu email address often! 

  • Instructors will only contact those students who are approved to add. If you are not contacted by the instructor during the first week of class, that means the class is full and no additional students will be added. Instead of contacting the instructor, look for alternative options for classes. 
  • Faculty will only contact you via your district assigned email address (xxxxx@student.laccd.edu). 
  • If you are approved to add the class, the instructor will email you with a permission number that you can use to add yourself to the class online in the SIS system. Enter the number in the box that is labeled “Permission Nbr.”

Be ready for your online courses and learn what you need to succeed!

The Online Education Initiative (OEI) from the California Community College’s Chancellor’s Office has created a series of interactive online videos to help you prepare for your online courses.

Take a look at these fun and helpful tools and tutorials that will give you great insights on how to be successful while taking online courses:  

Interactive Tools

Logging into Canvas:

There are two ways to log in to Canvas:

  • Go directly to Canvas: Go to https://ilearn.laccd.edu and log in using your Student ID Number and Password you just used to log into the SIS page. 

  • From the SIS page 

    • Log in with your user name and password (Go to Admissions & Records FAQs page for help logging in)
    • Click ‘Canvas’ 
    • Log into Canvas using your Student ID Number and Password you just used to log into the SIS page

Set Up Your Canvas Profile

Learn to Use Canvas Video

Canvas Cheat Sheet

Canvas Test / Quiz Tips

Canvas Guides / Tutorials

Important  Notes:

    • Most instructors don’t make Canvas courses accessible until the first day of the term.

    • It can take up to 24 hours after you add a class for your account to become active in Canvas.

    • If you are able to log in to Canvas but cannot access your course, verify that you are on your instructor's Canvas roster by asking the instructor via email. There are occasional delays between updates on the official roster and the student accounts on the Canvas site. The instructor will be able to tell you if you appear on this roster.

Contact Admissions & Records at 323-241-5321 to reset your Canvas password.

 

 Faculty

As an instructor, you'll find many resources you can use to create a positive, effective online learning experience for your students. Please review the information below, and if you have any questions, contact the Distance Education Coordinator.

Most importantly, we ask that you focus on enhancing Regular Effective Contact with your Distance Education students to ensure they are getting the best experience possible.

Here are some tips to help you enrich your Distance Education courses in this area:

Documents

Workshops

Online Instructor's Checklist

Resources from a June 2020 Humanizing Online Learning webinar:

  • Handout with more information on Humanizing Online Courses

 

Here are two websites that will assist with converting videos to closed captions: ***

  • To get your videos captioned, make a 3C Media account (it's a private YouTube for the California Community Colleges), upload your video, click 'Details & Options' and then click the link for 'DECT Captioning Grant.' There can be up to a 2-month lead time for this free service.
  • YouTube captioning help page

More Resources for Creating Accessible Online Courses 

Supporting Diverse Learners and Creating Accessible Online Courses Workshop

Web Accessibility Guidelines

These websites comply with Section 504 for closed captioning for students with disabilities.