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eLearning — Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is an “online course”?
A. An online course is a course that is taken strictly through the internet. Think of it as a regular, traditional course, except that instead of physically having to be present in a classroom, your classroom is now on the internet. The intellectual material that you learn in an online course is the same as in a traditional course, but instead of coming to a physical classroom, you log into a website. Holmes is part of the Mississippi Virtual Community College (MSVCC), and offers classes via the internet platform that the MSVCC chose: Canvas. You log into the Canvas course site to access course materials, interact with your instructor, interact with other students, etc., in much the same way you do in a traditional course, except everything is electronic.

Q. How do I “attend” class when it is internet-based?
A. The MSVCC has adopted a classroom platform called Canvas. The platform is a website, located at http://holmescc.instructure.com. As a registered student, you will have a username and a password that you create yourself that grants you access to the “classroom”.

You “attend” by logging into Canvas, finding the materials you need to do your work, interacting with your instructor, interacting with your fellow students, using discussion boards, and chat rooms. MSVCC online courses follow a regular semester schedule (see the calendar at their website, http://msvcc.squarespace.com/calendar/ for the MSVCC calendar), but you generally log into Canvas at times convenient to you.

Some instructors may require chats in which you must be logged into Canvas at a specific time, but the bulk of your work, if not all, is done at your convenience, within the framework set by the instructor. These “chat” sessions may be similar to what would be called “office hours” in a traditional setting.

The instructor is there for you in real time during these periods, if needed. Also, you may want to chat with your fellow students as well. Some instructors will require weekly amounts of work to be done for you to be counted as “attending,” but you can do this work within this week at times that are convenient to you.

Q. What is the MSVCC?
A. MSVCC stands for the “Mississippi Virtual Community College.” Initially conceived of as a separate 16th Community.

Q. Are online courses for me?
A. Take a look at our “Am I a Good Candidate” page

Q. Online courses are for me. What do I need?
A. Each course may have different requirements. Make sure you check the course offerings at the public MSVCC website for specific requirements (http://msvcc.squarespace.com/), as well as the Holmes Bulletin for prerequisites. You must have an email account and know how to use it well, a computer connected to the internet, and the textbook for the course. There may be additional, specific things for each course.

Q. I’m registered. Now what?
A. First, you should check to make sure that you are indeed registered. Go to the eLearning tab in Doghouse and click on Confirm Registration (Student Profile) and try to login. If successful, you will see what classes you are registered for, with a lot of info for each course. You can also check your Student Profile by going to http://msvcc.squarespace.com/ and clicking on Students then “Enrolled Students” located on the page.

Secondly, be aware that the start and end dates for the classes will likely not be the same as our traditional courses. Go to the http://msvcc.squarespace.com/, and see MSVCC calendar) and look at the dates there, as well as other info. The course may take place in Canvas. You will NOT have access to your course(s) in Canvas until the day class begins.

Q. How do I withdraw from an online course?
A. It is important for you to formally withdraw from the course and not just stop participating. There is a tendency for online students to think they can just stop going to class, probably because of the nature of online courses. However, if you do not formally withdraw, you will end up receiving an F. If you withdraw formally prior to the 75% mark you will receive a “W”. If you no longer want to be in the class, make sure you formally withdraw by following the instructions in the Doghouse or in Canvas on withdrawing

Q. How much does it cost?
A. Click here to check for current fees.

Q. What is a “proctored exam”? Will l have I to take one?
A. A “proctored exam” is an exam in which you must come to a testing center where a person checks your identity and then allows you to take the exam under supervision.

All Holmes provided classes require at least two proctored exam. The vast majority of courses provided by other institutions also require at least one proctored exam. You must make arrangements to come to an official testing center as listed by the MSVCC. The ONLY exceptions for not using an official testing center as listed by the MSVCC are:

  1. If you live out of state, you must contact the e-learning office for instructions. Students must pay any required fee for out of state testing.
  2. If you are disabled to the point that it is not physically possible for you to make it to a testing center.
Q. Do online courses count toward full-time status?
A. Yes.