Frequently Asked Questions

Wondering about your readiness for online learning?

Q. How can I know if online learning will be right for me?

A. People learn in different ways and at different rates. Some students enjoy listening to lectures, others draw concepts in their notebooks, yet others enjoy working in small groups. Visual learners tend to do best in online courses. Others learn to adapt. Find out about your learning preference by taking the following questionnaire. Learning Styles Inventory. (Developed by Barbara A. Soloman, North Carolina State University)

Q. What skills do I need to be a successful online student?

A. Review the tips developed by Jim Shimabukuro, an instructor from Kapiolani Community College: How to Survive in an Online Class: Guidelines for Students.

Wondering about your computer abilities and needs?

Q. What kind of internet connection is needed?

A. You must have regular, reliable internet access if you are to succeed in your course. A 56K modem is the minimum acceptable speed, and cable or DSL are strongly recommended for all courses and required for some, particularly those making extensive use of multimedia like video and PowerPoint files. Satellite Internet connections often experience problems with ETUDES courses and are not recommended. Current, detailed system requirements for ETUDES courses can be obtained through the System Requirements link on the ETUDES gateway/portal page. Make sure you have a back-up plan (use of a campus, library, work, or a friend's system) in case you experience problems with your own computer or your Internet Service Provider.

Q. What programs might I need to have on my computer to support my online classes?

Wondering about the structure of online classes at Mendocino College?

Q. Are there required meetings for your online classes?

A. Although there are no scheduled class meetings for most online classes (see individual course orientations; links are available on the Distance Learning Course Schedule), you must log on to the course a few times a week. Your instructors expect you to log on to the course site weekly, participate in discussions, turn in assignments, and take exams.

Q. Are the online courses self-paced?

A. No. Our online courses have set schedules, weekly deadlines, and beginning and ending dates. They are instructor-led. You will not be left alone. If you have special needs and must follow a slower (or faster) pace, please discuss your situation with the course instructor. He/She may be able to alter course deadlines to accommodate your needs. Our online instructors are dedicated professionals who are very interested in your success. They are the heart of our online courses.

Wondering about communicating with your instructors?

Q. How can I contact my instructor?

A. Instructor emails are available on the course orientation pages available on the Distance Learning Course Schedule. You can also use the faculty directory to find email and phone numbers.

Q. What kinds of support can my instructor provide for me?

A. Please notify your instructor immediately if you are having problems accessing course materials over the Internet or via email, depending on the course delivery method. These problems include, but are not limited to, accessing the course (inactive or wrong URL), inactive or incorrect password, returned email messages, etc.

Also, do not put off contacting your instructor if you are having problems understanding the material. Do not just quit logging on. If you don't "show up" for any length of time, you may be dropped from the course. Please refer to your instructor's syllabus for his/her "attendance & withdrawal" policy.

Please remember that your instructor is NOT responsible for teaching you:

  • how to send attachments.
  • how to conduct web searches.
  • word processing commands.
  • how to download.
  • how to set up your hardware and software.
  • how to configure your email.

Be sure you have the necessary technical knowledge, equipment, and software to succeed in an online course. Call 707-467-1024 to request an orientation to online learning session during the first week of each semester. An online orientation is also available. In addition, we recommend that you take GDN 124 Becoming a Successful Online Student to gain some of the skills listed above.