Southern Union State Community College

Distance Education FAQs

Distance Education FAQ's


I registered and paid for an online course, now what?

Have classes started yet for this semester? Online courses are not typically available until the published "First Day of Class" for the semester.  If classes have already begun, you need to get started immediately to avoid being administratively withdrawn and/or miss assignments.   

Have you or your financial assistance/aid program actually paid for the classes?  Canvas courses are not available for a student until the tuition is paid.  Occassionally, a student's account may be held by financial aid for a certain reason but payment is still pending.  In this situation, the student is not able to access their Canvas courses until payment is processed.

If you answered yes to the above questions, the next step is to ensure that you know how to log in to your SUSCC email (Google mail) account since a working email account is required when logging into Canvas. If you have never checked your SUSCC email, click here for directions for accessing your student email.  After you verify your SUSCC email address,  move to the next question on how to log in to Canvas and access your online classes.

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What is Canvas and how do I log in to my course(s)?

Instructure Canvas is a Learning Management System (LMS) by Instructure.  It is used by many educational institutions to streamline course offerings through the web.  Canvas is the LMS that online courses are accessed through at SUSCC. Additionally, many traditional on-campus courses at SUSCC use Canvas to supplement the classroom learning.  

In order to find your online coursework, you will be required to log in to Canvas. Click here for directions. Once you successfully log in, you may wish to save a shortcut to Canvas on your computer, download the app for your mobile device or simply click on the Canvas link on the SUSCC homepage. Canvas provides an application for use on mobile devices but you should not try to complete an online course using a mobile device. Some functionality is lost when using mobile devices to access some areas of the Canvas LMS.

It's important to remember to update your information and add any additional email addresses for notification purposes under the settings link inside your Canvas account. Also, Canvas recommends certain browsers be used to access the LMS for best results. Click here to for details about supported browsers for use with Canvas.

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How do I contact my online instructor?

Your instructor probably has a preferred method of communicating with online students. This is to help keep all of the communications threads organized. Once you are in your online course, find out how your instructor would like for you to get in touch.  Directions are likely to be found in the course syllabus located within your Canvas course. Meanwhile, you may use the directory search link below to search for their email and telephone extension.
Directory Search

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Do I have to come on campus for anything?

That depends on whether you are in a hybrid course or online course. Hybrid courses will require a minimum of one on-campus meeting but may require more.  Your hybrid course may simply require that your final exam be proctored on-campus or there may be weekly or other scheduled meetings.  You should find the on-campus requirement in the notes with each course on the class schedule.  Once your class has  begun, log in to your course to see what your instructor has planned for on-campus visits. If you need to request any exceptions to the required meeting(s), you need to do so early in the semester. Exceptions are uncommon and are allowed at the discretion of the individual instructors.

Online courses should not require an on-campus meeting.  The final exam will be proctored through an online proctoring service. A nonrefundable fee of $25 is charged with the tuition for each online course to cover the cost of the proctored final exam. It will be your responsibility to be sure you have a reliable internet connection at the location you plan to complete your course. You will be required to have a webcam and microphone for testing purposes in an online course. To find out more about the online proctoring service currently used by SUSCC, click here to go to the Technical Support Page where you will find information and directions for using ProctorU.

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My instructor told me I need to have a mirror handy when I login to take an online test. Why?

For security purposes, the proctor for your online test must see that there are no books, notes, etc. around your computer.  You will be instructed to move your webcam around the room at the beginning of the test. Someimes, it is impossible to see with certain webcams, especially those built in, and you may be requested to use a mirror to show the desktop or back of you computer to the proctor. You just need to have a handheld mirror available for this process.

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What is Respondus Lockdown Browser?

The Respondus LockDown Browser (RLDB) is designed to prevent your computer from doing other things while you are testing online. The RLDB should not allow you to print, copy, paste or navigate to another window while testing. The specialized browser will be used instead of your standard browser when testing. It will need to be installed once on your computer before your first test. Be sure to get this software installed and running before the deadline for your tests gets too close. Not all online instructors require this software. Check your online course for more information on testing requirements. Directions and the link required to download the SUSCC licensed version of Respondus Lockdown Browser can be found here.

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What is TurnItIn?

TurnItIn is the industry standard in online plaigarism prevention. Any work that you submit in your online course is likely to be filtered and compared to a global database of other documents and student work. Your instructor will receive a report detailing the liklihood that portions of your submission have been copied. In Addition, some in-person (traditional) courses will use this tool to check student submissions.

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What is Camtasia?

Camtasia is a program that instructors may use to video-record lectures or lessons for use in an online course. There is nothing the student will need to know or download to view a video recorded with Camtasia. 

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What is ORI 111 (formerly CIS290C), Online Learning Basics?

Students enrolling in an online class at SUSCC for the first time must concurrently enroll in ORI 111 Online Learning Basics.  ORI 111 is an online tutorial and does not require on-campus attendance. The objective of ORI 111 is to familiarize students with the Canvas Learning System so that they may be successful in online classes.  Students must complete ORI 111 with a grade of C or higher or they will be required to repeat ORI 111 with the next online course they register for at SUSCC.

Students enrolled in ORI 111 must log into the course during the first week of classes and complete the required attendance verification portion of the course or risk being reported for non-attendance to the financial aid office.  A student receiving financial aid who is reported for non-attendance will be withdrawn from ORI 111 and all online classes for which that class is the co-requisite.

The current deadline date for completing ORI 111 is printed on the course schedule and will be shown in the Canvas course. Typically, this date is 1-2 weeks after classes begin.
No test submissions will be accepted after this date.

Things to remember:

  • ORI 111 will begin on the first day of classes for each term, but will be cut off on a specified date. After this point, students will no longer be permitted complete the course.
  • ORI 111 is a co-requisite to your first online class. Since ORI 111 is a co-requisite, dropping it will result in an automatic withdrawal from any other online classes.
  • Students must log into ORI 111 during the first week of classes or risk being reported for non-attendance to the financial aid office. A student receiving financial aid who is reported for non-attendance will be administratively withdrawn from ORI 111 and all online class(es) for which that course is a co-requisite.

To access ORI 11 you'll need to follow the directions for a standard online class by logging in to the Canvas LMS and reading the course syllabus and other documents. 

- Take me straight to the Canvas login page.


Ask your own Question...

If you don't see your question answered here...send an email to support@suscc.edu.  

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