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Etudes Basics: Self-Paced Tutorial

By Dr. Gayle L. Fornataro, Virtual Valley Student Success Coordinator

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Getting Help

       Table of Contents:  

1. What is Etudes?
2. Setting Your Computer to Run Etudes
      2A.  Checking Computer and Internet Requirements
      2B.  Using a Supported Web Browser
      2C.  Setting Browser Cache
      2D.  Enabling JavaScript
      2E.  Enabling Browser Cookies
      2F.  Disabling Pop-Up Blockers
  3. Logging on to Your Class Website
  4. Getting Help
  5. Keys to Success

In a perfect world, we would all be able to log onto any Web site in the world and use it without problems. However, more than likely, you will experience some sort of trouble either logging onto or using Etudes, especially if you are not an overly experienced user of the Internet or you have older computer equipment. Since problems are likely, it is important to be prepared and know how to deal with them when they do occur.

When trouble happens, the first rule is “Don’t Panic.”  Technology makes so many wonderful things possible (like going to class in your pajamas!), but as we have all experienced, it causes frustrations as well. 

You should expect things to go wrong from time to time and develop strategies to address these difficulties. If you expect there to be problems from the outset, you won't be as stressed when they do occur and pleasantly surprised when everything goes smoothly. It also helps to remember that you are not alone; you have a variety of resources available to help you. 

Here are five good places to go for help when you have a problem logging onto or using Etudes:

  1. The ETUDES Logon page, especially the System Requirements and the Login Help links:

    The ETUDES Gateway Login page has plently of information to help you trouble shoot your problem. You may need to download a different Web browser, or change your computer cache settings.

  2. Part II of this tutorial lesson, Setting your Computer to Run ETUDES

    The 6 sections of this lesson give easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions with illustrations showing how to complete each step, for making all the proper adjustments to your computer settings to logon to ETUDES and use all it's tools with no trouble.

  3. The Student Resources page of the Virtual Valley Online Education Web site.

    This and other tutorials have helpful information that are available from the Virtual Valley Student Resources Web page, including the following additional self-paced tutorial like this one:

    Online Learning Success (This tutorial has 6 helpful lessons, including the following):

    • What to Expect from Your Online Classes
    • Are You Ready for Online Learning
    • Time Management
    • Participating in Online Discussions
    • Avoiding Plagiarism in Online Classes
    • Ergonomics
    • or

      Frequently Asked Questions

      This tutorial answers some of the most commonly asked questions about online learning at LAVC with Etudes.

    4. How to Send an Attachment

This tutorial illustrates how to send an attachment using Etudes.

5. Post a question to the "Help Desk" on the ETUDES Help Desk

    The friendly, knowledgeable staff at the ETUDES Help Desk in BJ103 are available to help you by phone, email, or in-person. The Help desk also has a computer lab, so you can logon and do your homework while you are there!

6. Email your instructor for help

    While you should try to solve your technical problems on your own (with the help of this tutorial, and the Help Desk staff, if necessary, you should ask your instructor any questions you have about the class itself, such as how or what to submit for a homework assignment, for example. Be sure to ask your questions as soon as possible!

Students who are most successful in online courses are those who are self-motivated, self-disciplined (able to make and stick to a study schedule), and who have good technology skills.

Before taking signing up for a class, check out our Online Readiness Quiz

Once you are in an online class we recommend that you take two online tutorials, available on the Virtual Valley Student Resources webpage, or by clicking on the links below:

Students taking online classes are more likely to be successful if they possess the following technology skills before starting their course:

  • Know how to use a mouse and keyboard to select and start programs, and to enter information.
  • Know how to connect to the Internet and use web browser software to locate information on the Internet.
  • Know how to create and manage folders on a computer, including finding, uploading, downloading, and saving individual files.
  • Know how to send email attachments
  • Know how to download and install "plug-in" software such as media viewers, java, etc.
  • Know how to manage security settings on your computer through the Internet browser software and firewall.
  • Know how to use word processing software such as Microsoft Word to create, edit, and print text documents.
  • Know how to "cut and paste" and "copy and paste" within documents.
  • Know how to send and receive messages using e-mail.

If you need help developing any of these skills prior to taking an online class, study the following two tutorials, available on the Student Resources page of the virtual valley website:

The short answer is no. Online and hybrid courses teach the same material as our on-campus courses.

Online classes may even require more weekly work, but they are more convenient.

Students who have poor technology skills or who need the discipline of regularly scheduled class meetings in order to stay on task are likely to feel that online courses are more difficult than classroom-based courses.

Students who have good technology skills, are self-disciplined, regularly make time to study and complete assignments, and have good reading and writing skills are likely to feel that online courses are similarly challenging to on-campus classes.

Yes. The exact same content is taught in online as in a traditional course that meets on campus.

All online and hybrid courses are developed by LAVC faculty.

These courses are reviewed by the department chair and an instructional designer.

For course components that are online, you do not normally have to be online at a certain time. Instead, you can study when it is convenient for you, as long as you complete and submit required assignments and tests by due dates indicated in the syllabus.

Some instructors may require small group or other discussions to take place at a schedules time, which is often negotiable. Contact your instructor for any specific time requirements.

If you are taking an online class or a hybrid, you don't need to go out and buy a computer. HOWEVER you do need frequent access to a reliable computer.

LAVC does have a computer lab in BJ 103. For lab hours see the following link: Help Desk/Computer Lab Information.

For more information about the lab, contact Ken Freeman at (818) 947-2568.

No. LAVC offers its online classes through the Etudes course management system, which is available over the Internet. All you need is a good computer with a reliable Internet connection.

However, some instructors may require purchase of special programs, such as Microsoft Word, or other discipline-specific software. Check with your instructor prior to the beginning of the class for any additional software requirements.

Yes, you need an active email account. Those are available for free from Gmail, Yahoo, etc.

Regular access to a good computer

Reliable Internet access. While dial-up modems will work, they are very slow, so cable or digital Internet connections are recommended.

Note: If AOL is your Internet service, you will not be able to use your AOL browser, but will need to download another browser.

  • For more information about computer, Internet, and browser requirements, see the System Requirements.

A good word processing program, such as Microsoft Word (some professors require this program).

Check with your instructor to see if there are any additional equipment requirements prior to taking clas

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