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Frequently Asked Questions

Is the online classroom for everyone?
Are there different types of on-line classes?
Is there a tutorial for CANVAS?
How much time does an online class require?
When and how do I buy books for my online class?
I've registered for an online course, what do I do next?
What is "Zero Week"?
Who do I contact for help if I run into trouble with the technology?


Is the online classroom for everyone?
The online classroom is not for all learners. Click on the “Be Successful” link under Quick Links to the left to see what it takes to be successful online student. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages:

  • Some students who do not like to raise their hands in a traditional classroom often find it easier to "talk" to their instructor and fellow students by posting messages in the classroom and small groups and by sending e-mail. It is also more difficult for any one student to dominate a conversation because everyone has time to respond to a classmate's message.
  • It may not be a good match for "social learners"--those who enjoy working in an environment where they can see and hear one another. Although students hold online discussions by using the Discussion Board and often work in small groups (as assigned by individual instructors), some students report that they feel too isolated in the online classroom.

  • An online classroom requires a lot of reading and writing. So it will not be a good fit for a student who struggles with reading assignments or who is not comfortable communicating in writing.

  • An online classroom also will be difficult for students who are not familiar with basic computer and Internet technology. Students who have basic skills often report that they increase their computer familiarity and proficiency because they are online often practicing their skills. However, an online class is not a place for someone with very little computer experience to impreove their skills. Beginning computer users are urged to take a computer skills class before enrolling in an online class.

Are there different types of on-line classes?
Yes. Here is a brief description of the types of on-line courses offered here at Olympic College.

  • Online classes. An online course is a course that you can take using your computer and the Internet. Online courses are generally not self-paced and require students to participate in online discussions on five out of every seven days at a time that is convenient for them. They do not require students to come to campus. Good study and technology skills are recommended for success.

  • Hybrid classes. These classes combine the best of the traditional classroom with a strong online component. Study and technology expectations are similar to those in online classes, but you meet in a traditional classroom about half the time.

  • Web-Enhanced classes. Traditional face-to-face classes are combined with web-based components (using the CANVAS system) for homework resources and outside-of-class communication. You still meet on the normal class schedule.

Is there a tutorial?
Yes. GEN-S097 Orientation to CANVAS is offered on-line and in person at all three campuses. You can register on-line or in person and is an excellent resource for the first time CANVAS user. Click on the eLearning Events link to the left for a current schedule of classes.

How much time does an online class require?
Online students often report that their classes take more time to complete than they had anticipated. Most instructors write online curriculum to meet this formula:

  • One hour of coursework for every credit hour a week, plus one to two hours of "homework" time for every credit hour. For a 5-credit class, it is anticipated each week that a student spends 12-15 hours working on each course. Many online students report working many more hours on their coursework. Much of that time can be attributed to the intensive reading and writing activities that are inherent in an online class.

  • Class "attendance" is generally any five days in the seven-day week. Students are expected to track their attendance by participating in class activities and on the five of the seven days they attend class.

When and how do I buy books for my online class?
Books may be purchased from the Olympic College Bookstore where instructors names and classes are posted on a card with the required texts' names. The books can also be purchased online through the OC Bookstore. 

I've registered for an online course, what do I do next?
Once you have registered in an online class, it may take up to one day to process your information into a course. One week before your class begins, your instructor may "open" your classroom(s). This week is called "Zero Week"--you are not required to sign into your class, but if you have never taken an online class before, you may want to use the time to orient yourself to the CANVAS learning system in which your class activities will take place. Please go to https://olympic.instructure.com/login and follow the directions on that page to log into your class. It is the student's responsibility to login to the online classroom on the first day of instruction. Remember, you will not receive a "reminder" from your instructor before class begins.

What is "Zero Week"?
"Zero Week" is that week preceding the first day of online instruction in which the classrooms are open.
During "Zero Week" you will find a welcome message from your instructor. You are not required to sign into your class, during Zero Week; however, if you have never taken an online class before, you may use "Zero Week" to orient yourself to the CANVAS course management system around which your class activities will take place.

Who do I contact for help if I run into trouble with the technology?
Technical support is provided via telephone, email and on a limited drop-in basis. All eLearning email and voicemail messages will be returned with 24 hours, usually much sooner.  You can reach eLearning by telephone at (360) 475-7770 or (800) 259-6718 x7770.  You can reach us by eMail at distancelearning@olympic.edu.  Our offices ar located in the Clock Tower Plaza, rooms 18 and 20.  Please call before stopping by.

If you have questions about the OC campus computers, your OC email, or OC Wi-Fi contact the IT Help Desk at 360-475-7600. USB Courses, telecourses and other online platforms are not supported by the eLearning Office. Contact the course instructor or check the particular program’s on-line help options.