Introduction to eLearning

COVID-19 UPDATE: Do you need a computer in order to take classes in spring term? Fill out our Technology Loan Request Form to be placed on a wait list for available devices. College staff will reach out to you as devices become available.  

eLearning Overview

Maybe your classes have been converted to an online format due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Maybe you were signed up for online classes all along. Either way, you may have some questions about what these classes will look and feel like, and what it takes for you to be successful. We’re here to help!

What is eLearning?

During 2020 Spring Term

While the college has switched to remote operations due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you’ll hear about two kinds of online classes: synchronous and asynchronous.

Synchronous ("same time") classes operate much like a traditional face-to-face class. Students meet at an assigned time and day through an online meeting tool like Zoom, while their professor conducts classroom activities. These classes are called "synchronous" because everyone needs to gather together at the same time to attend class--they just do it remotely instead of in a physical classroom. Schoolwork--assignments, quizzes, etc.--are submitted through Canvas or another web-based tool. You can still "meet" with your professor, but those meetings will be conducted through email, Zoom, phone, or other remote communication system. If your class is listed in MyClark as having specific class times and days, it is probably synchronous.

Asynchronous ("not the same time") classes are built inside an online learning tool like Canvas. They're called "asynchronous" because students can check into the online class at different times to complete the work--they don't all have to be present together to learn. Your professor may still offer lectures, but they'll be recorded and accessible as online videos. Or there could be no lectures, and instead a library of material to review and/or a series of activities to complete. Class discussion takes place online and students can comment on each other’s posts, similar to the way people comment on posts in many social media platforms--except, of course, that these are academic discussions so they're a bit more formal. (No memes or "textspeak," please!) Professors might hold "office hours" online, or they might set up other online ways for you to connect with them. Asynchronous classes offer more flexibility for those with challenging schedules, but you will still need to complete work by set due dates. Your class syllabus will give you more details about how the class is structured. If your class is listed in MyClark as just "ARR," with no class times or days listed, it is probably asynchronous.

During normal operations

During normal operations, Clark College offers a variety of learning modality options giving students the opportunity to attend classes beyond the traditional on-campus experience. Your options include Online, Hybrid, and Web-enhanced.

How Can I Be Successful in an Online Format?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a computer genius to succeed as an online student! Many of the skills you’ll need are similar to the ones needed to succeed in any class: time management, critical thinking, paying attention. But it’s true that online learning goes better when you have a few basic technical skills, as well as access to tools and the Internet. Visit our How to Be a Successful eStudent page to learn more.

The Canvas Learning Management System

The learning management system (LMS) used at Clark College is Canvas by Instructure. Visit our Technical Resources page to learn more about Canvas through our online orientation and video tutorials.

Technical Support

Technical Requirements

For general computer requirements, mobile device information, and links for software and apps, visit our Technical Requirements page.

Getting Help for Canvas and Technology

For information about assistance with technical questions, when to file a Canvas support ticket, and when to contact your instructor, visit our Getting Help page.

Technical Resources

For Canvas video tutorials, Canvas online orientation, Twitter alert feed, and Smart Penguin blog, visit our Technical Resources page.

Accessibility Statements & Privacy Policies

For details including accessibility statements related to technology and tools used in online and hybrid courses, as well as privacy policies when student identity is required, please visit our Accessibility Statements and Privacy Policies page.

Academic Support

Academic Support & Resources

Clark College offers a wealth of support and resources so our students can be successful in the completion of their academic goals. Visit our Academic Support & Resources page for more information compiled especially for eLearning students.

Student Checklist

You're admitted and registered in your first term courses. What do you do now? Visit our Student Checklist page to review best practices for before the term begins, the first day of the term, and how you continue through the term.