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Technology Tips 

Listed below are some technical tips coming from inquiries by other students. These quick references may be used to help you with best practices for online learning or technical tips for other tools.

Tips for Successfully Completing Online Assessments
Very often assessments (quizzes & tests) are configured to allow you only one attempt, and to complete the entire assessment on that first access. When you click the link to take an assessment the next screen will prompt you to begin or cancel and return to the previous page.  If you are not ready to take the assessment at that time, please do yourself and your instructor a favor and click “cancel.”  Once you click Begin, you are committed – there is no going back.  For more information, click on the links below.

Do your work “offline” on your word processor?
Internet users know that service can and will often be disrupted with little or no warning from a variety of causes.  These are usually beyond the ability of you, your instructors,  or the VCCS to control — it is a fact of modern life.  If you work offline and save your files to your computer or a flash drive, you don’t have to worry about being disconnected before you finish and submit your work.

Always save your files before you send them to your instructor.
Always save a copy of your files on your computer or a flash drive in case something gets lost in cyberspace. Please do not try to attach an OPEN file in an assignment. Some browsers will not send a file if it is still displayed in your application, they send blank placeholders instead. It is your responsibility to complete and turn in assignments; instructors cannot assign a grade based on work they’ve never seen.

I don’t have the latest version of Microsoft office and can’t open up the documents my instructor provides in Canvas
If you do not have a compatible version of Microsoft Office software (Office 2007 minimum), the VCCS has contracted with Microsoft to provide a free version of Office 365 for active students.  

Computer Skill Requirements
A student should be able to:

  • use e-mail, including attaching documents to messages. All official course communication must be conducted through college student email accounts.
  • use of Internet search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo
  • use Microsoft Office applications (ex. Word, Excel, PowerPoint) or equivalent
  • use internet browsers such as Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari
  • open and close files, creating folders, saving files or folders, deleting files, and installing programs.
  • downloading and opening programs from the Internet.
  • print pages from the Internet
  • demonstrate a working knowledge of computing concepts in order to accomplish required course tasks

If you do not have these experiences or skills, you should take a beginning computer course before attempting distance learning classes.


All-Academic Computing Centers are governed by the following policies: