General Online Education FAQ

Online Education Information

Here are answers to many general questions regarding Online Education.  If you are looking for the Orientation, please go to Online Course Orientation.  This is where you will find orientation specific information about online classes.

Good luck with your web-enhanced courses where learning begins on your time!

What is Online Education or Distance Education?

Online Education is the process of learning, researching, and interacting outside of a campus environment. In the past, instructional courses taken at a distance were considered correspondence studies, or independent studies. With the advent of computers and online communication, online education has been elevated to new heights, enabling the teacher and student to communicate more effectively and efficiently.

Online Education now includes taking courses that have any portion of their course online.  This can be a face to face course where grades are posted online such as through Canvas, or a fully online course where everything is handled online.

What are the benefits of OnlineEducation?

Taking classes online can expand your opportunities for professional advancement and a higher salary, or enable you to enter a new career field altogether. Many busy adults are discovering that working toward a degree is not as difficult as it once seemed. Online education makes it possible for you to study at an educational institution that may not otherwise be accessible to you due to regional, physical, or time constraints. Online education offers the convenience and flexibility of taking classes remotely, without visiting a campus. Online classes most often use the Internet, email, and online discussion technologies to deliver course content and promote student-teacher interaction.

How do I know if Online Education is right for me?

When considering whether to enter an online education program, keep the following in mind:
◾Do you learn better independently or interactively?
◾How do you feel about learning through different media, such as the Internet?
◾What level of student-teacher interaction do you prefer?
◾Would you rather study/learn at home or in a classroom?
◾How much flexibility do you need in your schedule?

The individual learner who participates in an online learning community . . .

is familiar with the Internet and has a minimum computer literacy about receiving/sending e-mails and surf the net.
◾is self-motivated
◾has higher expectations of themselves
◾is more self-disciplined
◾takes education seriously; and
◾takes responsibility in helping create a learning community. This is done by displaying the following characteristics:
◾upholds honesty when working with others and in what is produced;
◾expresses responsiveness to others needs;
◾demonstrates respect to others - whether teacher or student; and
◾exhibits a work ethic

Note: some classes may also require students to install simple plug-ins.

Are Online Education courses real college courses?

Yes. Online courses carry the same college credits as other college courses. Best of all, web-based courses are fully accredited and look the same on your transcript as other college-credit classes. A college instructor grades your assignments and exams and is available should you need help. The college credits you earn can be applied to earning a degree.

How is Online Education conducted at IVC?

Online Education at IVC is conducted on the Internet. The school uses a course management system called Canvas. Students are added to a Canvas course when they register for a class. They are also assigned to an instructor for the duration of the class term (full or half semester). The class listing indicates how and where an initial orientation takes place. The students are required to attend that orientation session and get all the necessary information for them to start their studies.

Some classes and all Math classes use a different kind of system called MyMathLab or CourseCompass developed by Addison Wesley in a Canvas skeleton. Students need to buy a class code from the bookstore to access these classes. 

Which degrees are offered through Online Education?

None at present.

When does the semester/term begin and end?

For specific dates, please see the Schedule of Classes. Note that Online Education/Online courses follow the same semester start and end dates as courses on campus and have assignments due throughout the semester.

Where can I find key semester dates and the academic calendar?

Important dates for the current semester are indicated on the IVC home page. Click here to view the Academic Calendar.

Which online courses are available this semester?

Please see the Schedule of Classes.

Do I ever have to come to campus?

Individual course requirements differ, so it depends on the course. Some courses require on-campus orientations or testing while others are conducted totally online. This information will be included in the online orientation for each course.

What can I do to prepare for the first online class?

Make sure you read your class description carefully. Online classes at IVC may require you to come in or have an orientation online. Times/dates and locations for orientations are listed under each class.

Can I take Online Education courses and on-campus courses at the same time?

Yes! In fact, many students find that online education courses allow them to accelerate the progress they make toward earning their degree by enrolling in a combination of online education and on-campus courses.

Will I have the same campus privileges as other students?

Yes! All online education students are welcome to use the college library, student support services and other campus resources.

Will there be an advisor available to help me?

Certainly! Just got to the counseling page found in our college web site and follow the directions to access on line educational counseling. You can always drop by the Counseling Office in the Student Services Center, second floor, room 210 or call them at (949) 451-5319 to set up an appointment.

Where do I go for help?

For answers to course-related questions, email your course instructor.

For technical help, please check out these resources:

  • will provide a lot of information that will answer many of the questions you have.
  • The Technology Services Help Desk at (949) 451-5696.  If you have to leave a message, be sure to leave your name, phone number, Student Number, and the reason for your call.
  • If it is active, you can also click on the Chat button on the upper right of this page.

Can I work at my own pace?

It depends on your instructor. Some instructors allow you to work at your own pace, while others have a schedule you must adhere to.

Do I need to apply for admission?

Yes. Students must be admitted to Irvine Valley College in order to register for Distance Education classes. You can apply through the college home page at: and then click on How to Enroll. The directions will lead you through the process of applying to the college and registering for classes.

How do I get my grades?

Grades are available approximately ten days after the semester or summer term is completed through your MySite account. In fact, an entire unofficial transcript is available through your MySite account under My History.

How do I get an official transcript?

Official transcripts are ordered through the Office of Admissions and Records. Through the college web site you would select Admissions or go directly to the following URL: Transcripts and Verifications to get directions for having an official transcript made. The necessary request form is available online and can be faxed to the college for processing. Please follow the directions so you can be quickly served.

Can I take the course on a credit/no credit basis instead of receiving a letter grade?

Yes, you need to sign up for the credit/no credit grading basis on line via MYSITE before the Cr/NC date for the semester.

What type of technology will I need to take a Distance Education course?

Most distance education programs use the Internet, email, and online discussion technologies to deliver course content and promote student-teacher interaction. Therefore, the minimum requirement would be access to the Internet and a computer with the necessary software (word-processing, spreadsheet, anti-virus protection) to complete your course work. Check with your instructor for a list of the specific technology requirements.

How do I access the course web site?

You can log onto your IVC web page through Google Chrome by going to and clicking on Canvas. Then log in with your username (you first name initial, last name and a unique number) and your email password (is a combination of at least one number and letter, a minimum of 6 characters that was provided in MySite and you were asked to change in MySite).

What is my PIN No.?

Your PIN (Personal Identification Number) was assigned when you applied to IVC. If you applied on line, you were asked to create your own 4-digit pin number and to keep it in a safe place. If you applied in person on campus, sometimes the last 4 digits of your social security number are assigned as your PIN number. That is the same number you use to register by phone or online. If you do not know it, you must come to the Admissions office to ask for it in person.

How do I access my IVC email account?

In your browser, go to and click on the Email button at the top, then Student Email, and log in. Web mail can be accessed from any computer any time.

What is my IVC Email Username?

Your username is the first initial of your first name followed by your last name (up to 10 digits) following by a number(s). Your username is the left portion of your IVC email address (e.g., Your username is indicated in the header (top section) of MySite. Some of your registration materials list your email address or your instructor can tell you your username as well.

What is my IVC Email Password?

That is hard to say since they are strictly confidential, but usually your email password is created in MySite, and you are asked to change it. You can also contact IVC Technology Services at 949-451-5696 for assistance.

Can I just use my regular email account so I don't have to bother with the IVC email account?

It is best to use your IVC email account, but you can forward your IVC email to your another account if you wish. To forward your IVC college email to another account, login to your IVC email . Then Click 'Options' (top right-ish of screen). Click the 'Organize' tab. Click the Inbox Rules' tab. Click the 'New Rule' menu. Select 'Create a new rule for arriving messages' and a New Rule Window will appear. Select 'Forward or Redirect' and check 'Redirect the message to people or distribution lists'. This rule will be added to the rule description on the left. Click the 'people or distribution lists hyperlink.' In the Recipients box type the email address you want to forward to - (.eg) Click OK. Give the rule a name in the Name box. Click 'Save'.

Can I use on campus computer labs?

Yes, you are welcome to visit the on-campus computer labs any time they are open for as long as you wish.

Can I buy the class access code for math classes anywhere else but the IVC bookstore?

Yes. You can buy it online from: You will need a class ID or course ID from your instructor (different than the ticket number) to complete the purchase.

Do I have to buy a textbook for my math class since I will also be paying for a class access code?

No. Your book will be online "free of charge when you buy the access code and it is only a fraction of the book even if you bought it "used". Also the CourseCompass class access code is free of charge if you buy the book from our bookstore.

Are the course ID, class ID, class or course access code the same thing for math classes?

Yes. They are used interchangeably in different places. That ID or code is provided by your instructor.

Are MyMathLab and CourseCompass the same for math classes?

Practically yes. You will be able to access your class from either site.

Where do I purchase textbooks for my Distance Education classes?

Textbooks can be purchased online at the IVC Bookstore.

How much do Distance Education courses cost?

Enrollment fees for distance education are the same as for regular classes. There are distinct cost savings associated with taking classes online, as there is no need to commute to attend your classes. There are, however, several things to keep in mind when determining how much your online classes will cost. A sample list of costs for taking distance courses student may include:

  • Enrollment fees
  • Books and/or class materials
  • Class access code to access math classes in CourseCompass
  • Computer
  • Internet service provider
  • Software (word-processing, spreadsheet, anti-virus)
  • Hardware and computer peripherals (printer, webcam, CD-ROM drive, DVD drive, scanner)

Can I get financial aid?

Yes, you may be able to qualify for financial aid. For more information, you can look over the Financial Aid Office web page at: or stop by their office in the Student Services Center, room 120. They can also be reached by phone at: (949) 451-5287