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Las Positas College

Online Learning FAQs

General questions about online courses

Login problems

Technical issues

How do online courses work?

An online course brings LPC to you through your computer or mobile device. Class sessions, course materials, exercises, and even field trips are accessible any time and any day convenient to you. All of your coursework, including discussions, groupwork, and writing assignments, is done electronically. You simply log into your course through a web browser, and you're in class.

So are online courses self-paced?

No, they are not. Depending on the instructor, you will have assignments that require you to communicate with other students just as you would in a face-to-face course. Most online courses require you to adhere to due dates for assignments, quizzes, tests, etc. If you register for an online course, expect to finish the course on the instructor's timeline, not yours.

Do all online courses look and work the same?

No. Instructors have complete control over the design and organization of their courses. Just as instructors individualize face-to-face courses, they tend to do the same for online courses. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the course early in the semester in order to become comfortable with navigating to important materials. Also keep in mind that most instructors are not online all day and might not reply to your questions right away. Check the syllabus to see if your instructor details his or her response policy.

Will I ever have to physically come to LPC?

If you enroll in a hybrid course, you will have class meetings. Most HyFlex instructors give you the option to come to campus, though some require it. For online classes, there should be no reason for you to come to campus. Always check the schedule of classes before you enroll because any on-campus requirements are supposed to be noted there. 

How do I register for an online course?

Just click Register to register online.

I registered. When should I get started?

Start on the first day of classes. If you don't, you might get dropped from the course. Below is the official LPC Instructor's Withdrawal Option: Distance Education.

"The instructor may drop students who miss the first meeting of a course. The first meeting of online or hybrid Distance Education courses is the first day of the class as specified in the class schedule listing. For these courses, instructors may drop students who do not log into their course and/or complete indicated activities by the third day of classes. DE instructors may drop students if they have not submitted work and/or accessed the class for two consecutive weeks. For Summer courses, DE instructors may drop students if they have not submitted work and/or accessed the class for one week."

Will my online exams be proctored?

That depends on the instructor. LPC instructors have access to an online exam  proctoring tool called Proctorio, and within that tool, instructors have the option to, among other things, record audio and video via a web cam and record your web browsing during an exam. They can also choose not to use the recording options and just lock down your web browser. Learn more about Proctorio.

What is Turnitin, and what does it do?

Turnitin is an anti-plagiarism service integrated into Canvas that checks student papers against public web sites, academic databases, and previously submitted student papers to Turnitin. It also detects writing that has been generated by artificial intelligence (AI) sites like ChatGPT. Turnitin is used to not only determine if students are copying someone else’s work or using an AI generator, but it is also used as a deterrent to cheating. Instructors can choose to use Turnitin when creating writing assignments in Canvas. If they so choose, each student’s submission will be checked before returning a similarity report and an AI report. These reports show what has and has not been copied or generated by AI. It is then up to the instructor to determine if there is a problem. Instructors also have the ability to copy and paste any student text in Canvas, such as discussion board postings, and manually submit it to Turnitin. View Turnitin's user guide for students.

Where can I get more information about academic integrity?

Go to LPC's Academic Integrity site.

How can I access past courses?

Once the semester ends, your courses will enter read-only state, meaning you can read content, but you can't edit or submit anything. To access the courses in Canvas, go to Courses - All Courses - Past Enrollments. Keep in mind that your instructor has the option to restrict students from viewing courses after the last day of the semester. In this case, you won't be able to see anything in the courses.

How can I change my name in Canvas?

Students are entitled to use their chosen name on every college document, the only exception being their official transcript, which must bear their legal name. You do not need a court order, a doctor's note, or any documentation at all, in order to have your chosen name become the only name that any fellow student, or instructor, will ever see.

Simply fill out the Personal Data Change Form, indicating your chosen name. Ignore the red-ink statement that says "Copy of government-issued ID or legal documentation must be attached;" this is only necessary if you want your official transcripts to bear your chosen name. You must provide a brief statement to Admissions and Records when you submit the Personal Data Change form, but you do NOT need to provide a reason for the requested change. For example: "Please update the computer system to replace my current name with my chosen name on all instructor rosters and in Canvas. I understand that official transcripts will continue to bear my legal name."

Without legal documentation, you cannot change your last name. Only your first name can be changed, and your middle name can only be represented by a single initial. Without legal documentation, you cannot change your sex in the computer system. If and when you do acquire legal documentation, you can file the form again and have your full name and/or sex changed on all college documents.

How do I make my pronouns visible in Canvas?

Learn how to set pronouns in Canvas.

Can I be notified when an assignment is graded or instructor feedback is given?

Yes, learn how to set your notifications in Canvas for grades, feedback, and other actions in your class.

How do I access feedback from my instructor on an assignment?

For written feedback, click Grades while in Canvas, then click the comment icon. For feedback in the form of video, audio, or a file, do the same, then click the blue comment icon next to Attempt Feedback, then click the View Feedback button.

How do I log into Canvas?

Read the login procedure.

What if I forgot my password?

If you have forgotten your password, click the Forgot Password link on the login page.

I logged in, but I can't enter my class. What's up with that?

Your instructor has not made the class available yet. Once the instructor does this -- typically by the first day of classes -- you will be able to access it.

I added a class after the class officially started. When can I log in?

You should be able to log in the morning after you registered for the class.

What if I forget my W number and can't log in?

If you happen to forget or misplace your W number, you can always obtain it by logging into CLASS-Web with your old Student ID number and clicking the “What is my W ID?” link. 

Is there a preferred browser to use for my course?

Chrome is the preferred browser. However, make sure you have multiple browsers installed because if something doesn't work in one browser, it should work in the other. 

Does it matter if I use a Windows-based computer or a Mac?

No. However, it might if you are taking a specific type of computer course. Check with the instructor of the course if you are unsure. Also, students are discouraged from using Chromebooks with Canvas. There have been several reports of students not being able to access Canvas using Chrome in Chromebooks.

Does it matter which word processing program I use for writing assignments?

This depends on your instructor. If your instructor insists that students submit assignments in Microsoft Word, for example, you will have to do so. If you do not have Word, you can use Google Docs, which comes with your Zonemail account, to create your file. When finished, download it as a Word document before uploading it into your course. Of course, your instructor might insist that you upload other types of files.