West Valley College
14000 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070 • Phone (408) 867-2200

Fox Center at West Valley College

Frequently Asked Questions

Our eLearning classes are not designed to be self-paced. There are definite beginning and ending times, as well as specific dates that assignments and tests are due. However, our classes are designed to be taken asynchronously – at your convenience within the time provided to complete assignments and activities. You may access your class at any time.

Following are the most frequently asked questions. Reviewing them will help you to succeed. If you need further assistance, contact your instructor for specific information about your course.

For general questions and issues pertaining to technology, contact Lisa Kaaz or Max Gault.

Click links below to show answers, or click here to Show All answers.

How do eLearning courses differ from face-to-face courses?

  • eLearning courses may be more demanding, because eLearning courses require that you pay close attention to details, and that you follow instructions carefully.

  • You have to read, write, take quizzes and exams, participate in class discussions, watch videos, research, work in groups, and all of the other things you do in F2F classes, but you do it at your convenience within the time frame established by the instructor. 

  • The major difference lies in the fact that communication is mediated by technology, and that therefore most of the cues generated in F2F interaction are missing.

Are eLearning courses right for me?

  • Take our survey and find out if you are suited for succeeding in eLearning.

  • Click on "Student Readiness and Success" in this website and find out more.

How do online classes work?

  • You make sure that your email address is up to date in the college's records.

  • You prepare yourself to succeed by reviewing all of the content in this website, and by familiarizing yourself with ANGEL, the college's course management system.

  • You log in using the right browser, Firefox and Internet Explorer.

  • You log in to ANGEL and click on your course on the very first official day of the semester.

  • Your instructor may email general course information prior to the official first day of class, but you will find all instructions for starting the class once you enter your virtual classroom. 

  • You plan and organize your schedule so that you complete the work before it is due.

  • You make sure that you complete the assignment/activity during the first week of the semester, since that is the way that attendance is kept. 

  • You introduce yourself to your instructor and to other students in the class. 

  • You proceed with completing all work and with asking questions when you're uncertain about anything.

  • You contact your instructor via email, discussion forums, telephone, video conference, and via any other mode available to you and your instructor.

What are my basic responsibilities while taking an online course?

  • Become very familiar with using ANGEL, the college's course management system.

  • Participate actively in your virtual classroom. 

  • Review instructions for each assignment several times, so that you are clear about what is expected of you.

  • Access your course a minimum of two times, preferably three times, a week in order to stay informed and complete the work on time.

  • Check the instructor's calendar regularly, so that you can always plan ahead.

  • Place assignment due dates in your own personal calendar, so there's a second reminder about the work you must complete. 

  • Ask questions; stay in contact with your instructor and with other students in the class.

  • Plan and organize your time and life demands, so that you can always complete the work before it is due.

  • Do more than the bare minimum required, that way you take charge of your learning and can be a greater asset in your virtual classroom.

  • Uphold the highest level of academic integrity and honor.

  • Follow netiquette; review the instructor's guidelines for conducting yourself in your virtual classroom. 

  • Remember that in the virtual classroom you don't convey messages in the same way as you do in face-to-face situations where others can see your body language and hear your tone of voice.

  • Remember that it is your responsibility to keep up with your course work, even if your computer crashes. 

  • Remember that it is your responsibility to make sure that your work is in the format required and that it is fully accessible to your instructor.

  • Develop an alternate plan in case your primary point of access to the online course fails. 

  • If life intervenes, make sure you contact your instructor to make alternative arrangements.

I don't have a computer or access to the Internet; can I still take an online class?

  • You can use computers in public libraries.

  • WVC Library has computers free for students to use.

Do I have to be a computer expert to take courses online?

  • Not necessarily. If you have used the internet before, you should have no trouble with most classes. 

  • But, if you are inexperienced using computers, it is very important that you familiarize yourself with the technical requirements BEFORE you start the course.

  • Some classes require that you have a higher proficiency with computers and related software. Consult the course description and, if you have any further questions, the class instructor.

  • While you do not need to be a computer expert, you do need to know how to:

  • navigate the Internet

  • use e-mail

  • download a program from the Internet and install it

  • conduct a search on the web

  • be familiar with the college's course management system, ANGEL.

What eLearning classes are offered?

How can I buy books online?

  • You may order books for your courses electronically.

  • Click on the college's bookstore for more information.

  • Textbook Information - Video: Textbook Access Options

How do I register or drop an online course?

  • All registration and drops are done through the WVC Portal.

How do I get to the course website if the college website is down?

last published: 9/5/14 • validate xhtml css 508