Guide for Online Students

If the WVC campus is closed for unforeseen reasons, how can students best learn and continue participating in their face-to-face classes? In the event of a campus closure, WVC students may need to continue with their courses using the Canvas system for their learning. The online learning experience has different requirements and this guide will help the student with navigating in the online environment.

Getting Started: What Do I Need?

All WVC courses have a Canvas course “shell” where your professor can store syllabi and other learning materials, assignments and quizzes/exams. To get to the Canvas shell for your courses, you must first gain access to the Canvas system. There are two ways to access Canvas:

  1. Sign into Canvas with single sign-on (Uses your college @mywvm.wvm.edu email login)
  2. Sign into Canvas with WVC ID# (Default password is your 8-digit date of birth MMDDYYYY)

If you are having trouble logging into Canvas please email max.gault@westvalley.edu Please include your college ID # and 8-digit date of birth in your email.

Computer and Technical Requirements

A desktop or laptop computer is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED in order to effectively use Canvas. While Canvas has an app for use on mobile devices (smartphone, tablet), full functionality of Canvas tools is optimized on a desktop/laptop. High-speed (minimum of 512 kbps) reliable connection to the internet is advisable.

See an Overview of Canvas

Communicating with Your Professor

Check your syllabus on the Canvas course shell for important dates and deadlines. These may have been changed due to the closure of the campus.

If you have registered with DESP, please be sure to inform the professor so they have the opportunity to assist you with accommodations.

Rather than emailing your professor via their WVC email address, it is RECOMMENDED that students use the Canvas Inbox (this is Canvas’ version of email). Students’ emails within Canvas go directly to the professor, and since it “closed” system, emails you send are not in danger of being sent to a junk folder.

See Canvas Inbox and Conversations Overview

Accessing Class Content

Most Canvas courses are organized into Canvas Modules, where the modules are like folders that organize the course materials by week, chapters or topics. For ex., a course on crocheting may be set up either by Week 1: Introduction to Crochet, Week 2: Basic Tools, etc.; or by chapters (Chapters 1-2: Introduction to Crochet, Chapter 3: Basic Tools, etc.); or by topic (for ex., Module 1: Introduction to Crochet, Module 2: Basic Tools in Crocheting, etc.)

Each module may include Canvas Pages (documents created in Canvas), Word files, Excel files, and/or PowerPoint slides/presentations posted by your professor. The module may also include videos, audio podcasts and/or links to other materials relevant to your learning the module’s topic and contents.

Submitting Assignments

As part of your learning, the instructor may give you assignments to complete. These assignments may mirror an activity or assignment that would have taken place in the face-to-face classroom.

There are several ways which the professor may accept your assignment submission. For ex., they may ask for an essay (text entry), a file upload, a website URL, or a media recording.

See How to Submit Assignments in Canvas

Taking Quizzes or Exams

During the time that the campus is closed, it may be necessary for you to take a quiz or exam in the Canvas system. Note that Canvas labels both quizzes and exams under the broad category of Canvas Quizzes, but your professor may rename the quiz (for ex., Midterm exam #1, Midterm exam #2, Final exam). The instructor may also set a time limit for the quiz/exam, and a specific due date and time for submitting the quiz/exam. Be sure you know when these days/times are!

See How to Access and Take Quizzes or Exams in Canvas

Checking on Your Grades

Professors have been encouraged to use the Canvas Gradebook to provide you, the student, with information on your standing in the class. There is also the What-If Grades feature in Canvas that allows each student to approximate his/her/their grade.

See How to Check Your Grades in Canvas

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Last Updated 9/10/20