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eCourses

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is an online course?
  2. What is a hybrid course?
  3. What is CANVAS?
  4. Will I work at my own pace?
  5. How much time will I have to spend on the course?
  6. Is an online course easier than a regular course?
  7. Do I need special equipment or skills to take an online course?
  8. Can online courses be transferred to Universities?
  9. Do I buy a textbook?
  10. When can I get started with the course? How do I know when to begin?
  11. How do I contact my instructor?
  12. How do I take tests?
  13. Is technical help available?
  14. Does it cost more to take an online class?

What is an online course?

GCC online classes are regular, college-level courses delivered to you over the Internet. Students interact with the instructor and other students using a variety of communications tool, including email, chat, discussion boards, and other World Wide Web technologies.

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What is a hybrid course?

GCC hybrid classes combine on-campus instructor led classroom activities with content delivered over the Internet. Students interact with the instructor and other students face-to-face in a classroom as well as communicating through World Wide Web technologies. On-campus class time is reduced as compared to a regular on-campus course.

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What is Canvas?

Canvas is a course management system used by most GCC instructors to deliver content for online courses. Find more information and tutorials on the Canvas Help page.

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Will I work at my own pace?

That depends on the instructor. As you read through course descriptions or outlines, look for the words synchronous or asynchronous. Most courses follow a schedule, with assignments due at specific deadlines throughout the semester. Much of the work can be completed at times convenient to you (asynchronous). Occasionally you may meet with the class online as a group at a specific time (synchronous).

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How much time will I have to spend on the course?

Most classes are structured around the traditional schedule. Fall courses run from August to December. Spring courses start in January and end in May. Summer courses begin in June or July and end by July or August. A traditional three-semester-hour course meets three hours each week, and students can expect to spend 3-6 hours per week on homework. In an online class, you should combine those hours, and anticipate spending 6-10 hours on your coursework.

Difference Between Traditional and Online Courses
Traditional Course
Classroom meeting 3 hours
Homework 3-6 hours
  ------------
Total 6-9 hours

Online Course

at least
6-10 hours per week

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Is an online course easier than a regular course?

That's a matter of opinion. Most students agree that online courses are challenging. The content of the class is the same as a regular class. You are not always tied to a traditional schedule, which can be a good or bad thing. For busy people, it is often easier to complete course work at your convenience. But it also requires self-discipline to ensure you stay on schedule with the class.

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Do I need special equipment or skills to take an online course?

You will need access to a computer and the Internet. If you do not have access to the Internet, you may use computers in the GCC High Tech Centers to complete coursework. You might also contact your public library about the availability of computers for this purpose.

Most courses require that you have word processing software, preferably Word. You may also be required to have course specific software. For instance, if you are taking an accounting class, you will need spreadsheet software.

You will be most successful in an online course if you are

  • Self-motivated
  • Able to dedicate time to your coursework
  • Comfortable communicating in writing
  • Enjoy reading
  • Not intimidated by computers, email, or other communications technologies
  • Adaptable

To learn more about succeeding in online courses, try the GCC online student readiness tool .

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Can online courses be transferred to Universities?

GCC online credit courses are comparable to the traditional classroom courses, and are required to meet MCCD level course competencies. If a traditional course transfers to a University, the online course will transfer as well. You should contact an advisor to verify that the course you are interested in applies to your degree and transfers to the institution of your choice.

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Do I buy a textbook?

Generally courses have a textbook or use an eBook. You can purchase textbooks for GCC courses at the GCC bookstore or online at http://www.glendale.bkstr.com/.

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When can I get started with the course? How do I know when to begin?

Links to course information are provided on the Schedule of Classes webpage. You may be able to visit a course prior to the start of the semester and begin doing some background reading. Most courses follow the typical school calendar, so you shouldn't expect your instructor to be ready to begin the class before the first day of the semester, as printed in the Schedule of Classes . You can always email your instructor prior to the start of class.

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How do I contact my instructor?

Email is the communication mode of choice. Voice mail messages can always be left or your instructor can be phoned during their office hours. If you haven't heard from your instructor by the first day of classes, you should contact the instructor. Contact information is available by searching for your instructor in the Faculty & Staff Directory. If you have difficulty contacting an instructor, call the department office.

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How do I take tests?

Testing procedures depend on the instructor. Some instructors use online tests. Some instructors require proctored tests. Others assign different types of assessments, such as group projects or portfolios.

If your instructor chooses to require a pen-and-paper exam or a proctored online test, you will need to come to campus or make arrangements to take a proctored exam at a certified testing center. A proctor monitors your exam in a controlled environment. You may take the test at the Computerized Testing Center or another location designated by your instructor.

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Is technical help available?

  • If you need assistance with computing on campus or Canvas, contact the staff at the HelpDesk.
  • If you are having trouble with your computer, you will need to contact the manufacturer or the store where you bought it.
  • If you are having trouble with your Internet connection, you should contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

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Does it cost more to take an online course?

No. Registration fees are the same whether the course is on-campus or online.

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