Frequently Asked Questions (Students)

  1. How is online learning different?
  2. Can anyone sign up for an online course at Online Learning?
  3. Are there required meetings for your online classes?
  4. What kind of internet connection is needed?
  5. Are the online courses self-paced?
  6. Are online courses transferable?
  7. Can I complete a course earlier or later than the specified time?
  8. What if I need to have adaptive software or equipment to access the Internet?
  9. What if I start a class and decide it is just not appropriate for me?
  10. Do I need to apply to the college before I can register for an online class?
  11. Do I need to buy a textbook for my online class?
  12. How do I know if I am the "right" type for this mode of learning?
  13. How about fees and residency requirements? Are fees the same as in-class courses? Are CA residency requirements (for fee purposes) same as with regular classes?
  14. Can I get my Campus Center Use Fee reduced?
  15. What is academic dishonesty?
  16. What is my Collegewide ID?
  17. How can I clear a prerequisite hold?
  18. What should I do if I have a concern about my instructor?
  19. What if my instructor wants me to take a proctored test but I don't live near Foothill College?
  20. How can I login to an online course if I am on the Wait List?
  21. How can I enroll or add a course AFTER the quarter has started?
  22. How do I get wireless access to the Internet while I'm on campus?
  23. How can I get technical help with my online course?
  24. Can I share copyright material my instructor gives to me?
  25. Why haven't I received a response to my request to have my Etudes account updated?
  1. How is online learning different?

    For a thorough overview of what online learning is all about, please visit our Online Learning Tour section and go through the online orientation. Most of your questions will be answered there.

  2. Can anyone sign up for an online course at Online Learning?

    The online courses offered through Online Learning are open to anyone. Individual courses may have unique requirements, prerequisites, or required meetings. Review the Course Information closely before you enroll. Be sure to complete the Online Learning Tour to ensure that online learning is appropriate for you.

  3. Are there required meetings for your online classes?

    Although there are no scheduled class meetings for most online classes (read individual course descriptions at Course Information), 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.

  4. What kind of internet connection is needed?

    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.

  5. Are the online courses self-paced?

    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.

  6. Are online courses transferable?

    Yes. Many of our online classes are transferable. Check with your academic advisor for details.

  7. Can I complete a course earlier or later than the specified time?

    No. Our online courses are not self-paced. Due dates for coursework and assignments are set by each instructor. Some instructors may allow students to complete and submit work earlier. Please contact your instructor for more information on schedule variations.

  8. What if I need to have adaptive software or equipment to access the Internet?

    Students with disabilities often require adaptive software and hardware to access the Internet or to use with word processing programs. If you have special needs, you are welcome to use the computers in the Computer Access Center, as needed to complete assignments for your online courses. Getting access to adaptive tools OUTSIDE the Foothill Campus is the responsibility of each student. Your local agency may be able to assist you in identifying and/or acquiring such tools.

    Note: For accommodations due to a disability, please inform your online instructor within the first week of the quarter so that he/she can work out any special arrangements needed.

  9. What if I start a class and decide it is just not appropriate for me?

    Please feel free to drop an online class if you feel it is not appropriate for you. As a courtesy to the instructor, notify him/her via email that you will drop his/her course. For more information, please refer to How to Drop a Course.

  10. Do I need to apply to the college before I can register for an online class?

    Yes. To Apply & Register, follow the steps outlined by Foothill College Admissions & Records. If you plan on taking an English or Math class, you will need to make arrangements to take the assessment test (at Foothill College or another institution) prior to registering. All this information is explained at Apply & Register.

  11. Do I need to buy a textbook for my online class?

    Most of our classes (online or traditional) require textbooks. Please refer to the course descriptions for information on materials and textbooks for your course. You may purchase the textbooks on campus or online from the Foothill College Bookstore.

  12. How do I know if I am the "right" type for this mode of learning?

    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)

    To find out if you are ready to be an online learner by completing our Readiness Assessment.

    Be sure to also review the information provided at Getting Started.

  13. How about fees and residency requirements? Are fees the same as in-class courses? Are CA residency requirements (for fee purposes) the same as with regular classes?

    There is no difference between the tuition and fees for online and traditional classes. These are mandated by the State. Information about other student fees is posted on the Explanation of Student Fees & Fee Schedule webpage.

    Many fees are mandated by the State and most cannot be waived at this time. If all of your classes are online, call (650) 949-7189 to make a request for your Campus Center Use Fee reduction.

    The Student ID Card Fee, Student Representation Fee and Registration Support Fee are not required and are voluntary. To opt out of the Student Body Fee, you may do so by requesting the form and faxing it to Student Services prior to the second week of the quarter. To opt out of the Registration Support Fee or Student Representation Fee, you must do so in person at the Admissions Offices at either Foothill campus prior to the second week of the quarter.

  14. Can I get my Campus Center Use Fee reduced?

    If all your classes are online, call (650) 949-7189 to make a request for your Campus Center Use Fee reduction. Information about other student fees is posted on the Explanation of Student Fees & Fee Schedule page.

  15. What is academic dishonesty?

    Foothill College has an Academic Honor Code that addresses academic dishonesty, especially cheating and plagiarism. It is every student's responsibility to know what constitutes academic dishonesty. If you have any questions, ask your instructor, division dean or the Dean of Student Affairs & Activities, Pat Hyland, Room 2002 in the Campus Center; or call (650) 949-7241.

  16. What is my Collegewide ID?

    Collegewide ID (CWID) is your student identification number. It is a college-wide identification number (8 digits) that can be used in place of your Social Security number. We encourage you to use your Collegewide ID to conduct college transactions, including registration, fee payment, transfer requests, and many other services that require identification. More information about your Collegewide ID (CWID) is available on the Application Overview & Information page of the Foothill College website.

    • If you do not know your campuswide ID (CWID), open an Internet browser and go to: MyPortal then, click on the "What is my campuswide ID?" link in the Secure Login area.
    • To get your CWID and reset your Password, click the "I Don't Know My Password" link. This process will send your CWID and temporary password to you by e-mail.

    All students use MyPortal (https://myportal.fhda.edu) to register for classes. All you need to know is your Collegewide ID. You'll use a temporary password to login the first time. To be prepared, see the First-time Login Guide for more information.

  17. How can I clear a prerequisite hold?

    You can take the placement test for chemistry, English, ESL, or math. If you have coursework from another college, bring your transcript (unofficial is acceptable) to Counseling Drop-in in Room 8305A. You will need to complete the Academic Release of Hold(s) Agreement (http://www.foothill.edu/reg/forms/hold_release_agreement.pdf). See Ways to Clear a Prerequisite (http://www.foothill.edu/counseling/prereqs.php) for more information.

  18. What should I do if I have a concern about my instructor?

    At Foothill, we honor a mutual respect of students and staff, and that means that the students may have one side of the story and the staff member may have her side of the story. Both are heard and respected. If you experience problems during the course of your learning process, you should talk to people in THIS order:

    1. The instructor
    2. The instructor's division dean (Call or e-mail the appropriate division for the dean's contact information.)
    3. The Vice President for the division
    4. The Dean of Student Affairs

    Note: You might want to review your student rights and responsibilities and related college policies.

  19. What if my instructor wants me to take a proctored test but I don't live near Foothill College?

    If you do not live in the Bay Area and need proctored testing, check the following site for the location of an assessment center nearby: National College Testing Association (NCTA).

    For more details, see Testing Services.

  20. How can I login to an online course if I am on the Wait List?

    Students on waiting lists will NOT be able to login to online courses until about one day AFTER they are officially enrolled. If the class you want is full before the session starts, see page 6 of the Registration Guide for Waitlist Procedures.

  21. How can I enroll or add a fully online course AFTER the quarter has started?

    You can add courses via MyPortal during the first two weeks of the quarter.

    See Instructions to Request Add Code for Fully Online Courses and page 7 of the Student Registration Guide. For more details, see Adding a Class After the Quarter Begins.

  22. How do I get wireless access to the Internet while I'm on campus?

    Foothill College offers wireless access in nearly all classrooms and indoor public spaces. For access information, see Wireless Access @ Foothill College.

  23. How can I get technical help with my online course?

    For technical help with your online course, contact us via the Online Learning Student Help Center. For technical problems with MyPortal, please submit the form at MyPortal Help Report Form.

  24. Can I share copyrighted material my instructor gives to me?

    In some courses, copyrighted materials (e.g., readings, videos, pictures, or other assets) are provided to students or used as a part of the educational delivery. Students are advised to not share or otherwise distribute these copyright materials outside of the online course.

  25. Why haven't I received a response to my request to have my Etudes account updated?

    You should receive a response to your request by email within 12 hours. If you do not receive a response:

    • Check for the message in your Junk or Spam folder
    • Try using another computer with a different internet connection and resubmit your request
    • Contact Online Learning staff

Some information on this webpage was adapted from Maricopa Center for Learning & Instruction, Illinois Online Network, Rio Hondo CC, and the California Community College Distance Learning Consortium.

Last Updated September 26, 2014
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