Skip to Main Content

Distance Learning and You

What will help you be a successful student.


In order to be successful in your time participating in Distance Learning, you may need to take on new habits that you wouldn’t otherwise need for an in-person class. You will need to keep up-to-date with your coursework and communicate with your professor as well as the rest of your class, all while possibly never seeing any of them in person.

Below is a list of helpful behaviors that will aid you during an Online Class.

Checking Your Email

Keeping in contact with your professor and your peers is an important part of any class, and especially so in an online class. It will be important that you both check your student email account and the announcements within your Canvas course daily to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information from your professor.

Online Communication & Netiquette

Participants should possess a firm command of written communication skills, including the mechanics of writing and grammar, the ability to organize thoughts, and the ability to demonstrate those skills in all written work.   Observation of "Netiquette" means that ALL your online communications need to be composed with fairness, honesty, and tact. Spelling and grammar are very important in an online course.   What you put into an online course reflects your level of professionalism.  You will want to participate in the Discussion Boards within your Canvas course in order to communicate with your fellow students in the class.

Practice Self-Teaching and Stay on Top of the Material

When taking an online class, you may not have the benefit of lectures helping you understand the material and to announce when assignments are due. You will need to employ self-teaching skills in order to ensure that you understand the course materials as well as organizational skills to ensure that you are completing all of your assignments on time.  To help you know where you should be in your course materials as well as keep track of when all of your assignments are due, it is recommended that you always keep an up-to-date copy of your course syllabus on hand.   Tips on Time Management: 

Know your resources

Even as a Distance Learning student away from our campus, you still have access to a number of resources to help you along the way. All of these resources are provided to you as tools to help you succeed as a student.

  • Library Services: Our Library Services are here to assist you with all of your research needs while attending Danville Community College.
  • Tutoring Center: Our Tutoring Center is here to provide you with a variety of free learning support and academic enrichment opportunities.
  • Testing Center: Our Testing Center is here to assist you with a number of the tests you will be taking while attending Danville Community College

How to be Successful in an Online Course

  1. Log into Canvas the first day of class, to access the course.
  2. Thoroughly read the course syllabus.
  3. Contact your instructor with any questions about the syllabus or course expectations.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the course layout
    1. Click on all links to review the course expectations, policies, modules, discussion boards, etc. 
    2. Review every section.  
    3. Learn how Canvas works.
  5. Obtain a planner, calendar, or organization tool/app. 
    1. Write down dates and times of any required Zoom sessions. If Zoom meetings are optional, write those down as well. You will want to take advantage of them. 
    2. Add all assignment deadlines, dates and times of quizzes and exams, and deadlines for large papers and projects into your planner or calendar. 
    3. Take advantage of Canvas, or other electronic calendars to receive alerts and reminders. 
  6. Manage your time. Each week block out time to watch lectures, read required readings, complete assignments / discussion boards, and to study for quizzes / exams.
    1. Ensure that your scheduled study times are consistent each week so that they become part of your routine. 
    2. Take into account your work schedule, family obligations, study environment, and personal preferences (i.e. are you able to focus better in the morning or at night) when creating your weekly schedule. 
  7. Start your assignments early and don’t procrastinate when studying for quizzes / exams. This allows you time to utilize in-person and online academic support services such as tutoring, library services, technology assistance, and success skills. 
  8. Maintain communication with your instructors.
    1. Utilize online office hours. 
    2. Inform instructors of any challenges, questions, or difficulties you might be having.
    3. Read your instructor's announcements / emails for updates and pertinent information. 
  9. Keep to the schedule you created on a weekly and monthly basis.
    1. Weekly reviews are important to ensure you are staying on track with weekly readings, assignments, discussion boards, and/or quizzes.
    2. Monthly reviews are important to remain aware of deadlines for large papers, assignments, or exams.
  10. Self-care is important.  Reward yourself for the self-discipline and drive you’ve displayed by setting yourself up for success from the first day of class.   If you run into troubles, seek help!  

Technical Requirements

Technical items needed for distance learning.


Recommended hardware:

Monitor (Display)
800x600 minimum display resolution; higher resolution of 1024x768 or higher recommended
Optical Drive
DVD/CD-ROM drive required for some courses
Sound card required for some courses
Headset and Webcam
Optional hardware with microphone for audio / visual capabilities
Note:  Other software or hardware may be required for individual courses of study.  Please refer to your course outlines for these requirements.

 Minimum System Requirements:

Mac OS X
Windows 7 or 8 or 10 10.3, 10.4, 10.5
Processor Intel or AMD
(233 or higher MHz speed)
PowerPC or Intel
(400 or higher MHz speed)
Memory (RAM) 1 GB or higher 1 GB
JavaScript JavaScript and cookies enabled JavaScript and cookies enabled
Java 2 Java Runtime Environment (JRE) Java for Mac OS X

CHECK your computer for readiness:

CANVAS basic requirements: 

Recommended Browsers:

Additional Browser Check:

Acceptable Browsers:

  • Chrome (highly recommended) -    112, 113 and above
  • Firefox -  112, 113 and above (Extended Releases are not supported)
  • Edge -  111 and 112
  • Respondus Lockdown Browser (supporting the latest system requirements)
  • Safari  - 15 and 16 (Macintosh only)
  • Internet Explorer -  NO LONGER SUPPORTED

Other settings:

Browser settings
  • Cookies, JavaScript, and Java must be enabled
  • Add Canvas ( as a trusted site
NOTE: If you experience problems while using Canvas, we recommend you clear your cache and cookies within your Web browser.
Plug-Ins Multimedia files may require plug-ins to run properly. Plug-ins are software programs that extend the capabilities of your browser so it can handle certain types of content that you might encounter.

You must have access to a reliable, preferably high-speed, Internet connection.

You can check the speed of your connection.


Tips for Online Learning

A few ideas that will make you successful online.


Get Online Fast

Steps for how to connect and login to Canvas.


1.  Go to the campus web page:

2.  Click on the MyDCC link at the top of the page:

3.  Enter credentials at the DCC Login Portal.

4.  Once logged in, the portal will display the Canvas button on the page.   Select that icon.

5.  Click on Dashboard inside of Canvas.  You should see a course card list.  (If you do not see the course card view, contact us for how to change it.)

6.  Then click on a course card to open a course.  Like the one below.

How to Use Canvas

Instructional videos for students.


There are other Documentation / Guides available.

There are a whole list of Additional videos about all the features of Canvas.  (click on students)

Overview video below gets you started.

Get Tutoring

Tutoring for All Students

Access it online or in person.


Contact our Tutoring Center!

Use BrainFuse for study helps and online tutoring.

Get Office 365 - Free!

For all registered students.


   Go to:

  • Use your full student email address as your username, and your student password to log into the site and access the download. (e.g.
  • If you cannot log in, please try changing your password and waiting 20 minutes. Do NOT use the Office365 "Forgot your password" tool.


  • You must be a current student.
  • Your desktop/laptop must be running a minimum of either MacOS, Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10 in order for Office 365 to install.
  • You can install the product on up to 5 devices at a time.


  • In order to install Office 365 on your mobile device(s), you will need to go to the appropriate app store and download 'Office Mobile for Office 365'. This should be a free download.

How to Use Zoom in Online Courses

For any Canvas course using Zoom instruction.



You will find the recordings from each of your classes inside of Canvas, inside of each course.  (they are not located under the ZOOM tile in your MyDCC portal)  Your instructor may have also put them inside of a module. 

First click the zoom link in the left side course navigation menu to see if they are there.  


Then click on the Cloud Recordings tab at the top to see if there are any listed.


Finally you can click on the recording title to view it.