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Be Prepared

Readiness Assessment

Take the survey to determine if you are prepared with the skills needed to be a successful online student. The survey results will provide you with a detailed and comprehensive analysis of your skill levels and resources to enhance them.

  • Go to: SmarterMeasure
  • Click on the blue 'Login as First Time User' button
  • Select 'MCC Student Self Survey' from the drop down Username box
  • Type in smarter as the password
  • Complete the full survey and then review the results

More Information Below - Click to expand each section

Online Orientation

Review the online orientation so you will know what to expect. Learn what it takes to be successful in your internet class. How to find your instructor, where to get help, what to expect, and more.

Access orientation here.

MCC Student Expectations for Online & Hybrid Classes

When you take an online or hybrid class at Mesa Community College, please be aware of the following student expectations:

  • Be a self-starter: have the maturity and motivation to work independently.

  • Use time wisely: be organized, be self-directed, and be willing to use new modes of communication and learning.

  • Be willing to put in the needed time: read the text carefully and actively participate in online class activities.

  • Check communication frequently, submit all assignments on time, and discuss any concerns and questions with the instructor.

  • Have regular access to a computer that meets minimum requirements.

  • Have a back-up plan in case you computer and/or Internet fail at any point. (You can use the computers in either one of the MCC Libraries.)

  • Have basic computer skills and be able to navigate the Internet (be able to attach documents, download information, perform basic Internet searches, etc.)

  • Back up your files and keep at least two sets of your work on different drives (e.g. hard drive, portable drive, cloud storage).

How Online & Hybrid Classes Work
  • Confirm you have your MEID (username)/password and know how to access the online class.

  • Be sure to log in to your course on the first day of class.

  • Login to class often: at least 3 times a week for 12-16 week courses and every day for 4-8 week courses.

  • Read assignment expectations early in case you have questions. If you wait until the last day to ask, the instructor might not get back to you in time before it’s due.

  • Submit assignments before the deadlines - do not wait until the minute it is due. Technology problems can and will occur.

  • Read the course syllabus and check for any special instructions from the instructor. Be aware of any instructor expectations.

  • Tour the online class to become familiar with where to find assignments and activities.

  • Follow the assignments and associated deadlines as identified on the syllabus and/or special course instructions.

  • If you have a question or concern, contact the instructor through established course communication -- Instructor response times vary.

Note: Online courses may be more time consuming than traditional courses. Online courses typically require much more reading and writing than traditional classes.

Minimum Required Computer Set-Up

Hardware and operating system requirements
*Please note that taking an online or hybrid class using only a phone or tablet is highly discouraged.
  • Internet Connection
  • Capable of internet browsing
  • Email and word processing capabilities
  • Google Drive*
  • Office 365 *
  • (*both free to MCC students)
Software: Recommended Applications and Viewers
  • Web browser
  • Office 365 *
    • (* free to MCC students)
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Additional media players may be required by instructors
  • Check the syllabus for additional online platform requirements such as MyLabs, SNAP, etc...
Required Browser Settings
  • Allow cookies from all sites
  • Javascript enabled
  • Java Runtime Environment installed
Minimum Computer Skills Required
  • Ability to download and install files from the Internet.
  • Knowledge in navigating the Internet.
  • Proficient in use of search engines for research.
  • Ability to send and receive email with attachments.
  • File management skills: copy files from a flash drive or the Internet to a specific directory on the hard drive.
  • Word processing skills such as: how to create files, open files, save files, print files, rename files, and edit documents.
  • Ability to cut and paste information from one document/program to another.
  • If you need to upgrade your computer skills, please consider taking one of the introductory computer courses offered at MCC.

Minimum Student Behavioral Expectations

Students taking an online or hybrid class will log in as requested by the instructor.
Students should be aware that instructors may administratively withdraw a student for non-attendance or impose other consequences for failure to meet this login requirement. Instructors may also impose additional login requirements.
Students taking an online or hybrid class for the first time should complete the following
readiness assessment “Smartermeasure,” MCC Online Orientation and the Canvas tutorial before the start of the class to confirm the necessary computer skills, familiarity with essential online or hybrid class functions, and awareness of strategies for online or hybrid student success.
Submit assignments weekly (especially important for Financial Aid Recipients)
As of July 2011, to comply with new requirements for students receiving federal financial aid, students must check into the class within the first two days of class. Additionally, they must engage in at least one substantial activity (e.g., sending a course communication to the instructor, participating in a discussion and/or completing a quiz) each week of the class. This minimum level of participation only satisfies the federal regulation and does not supersede the additional requirements that may be set by the instructor of the course.

Common Student Beliefs

Common Belief: There is no structure; I can work on the class requirements whenever I want.
Fact: Most eLearning classes have specific deadlines and expectations that the student will log-in to the class multiple times during the week so they can actively participate.
Common Belief: I hate to participate in class so eLearning is perfect for me; I can stay anonymous.
Fact: Most internet classes are very interactive with students involved in class discussions, group projects, and other learning activities. Student will participate in class but will use a variety of methods to do so.
Common Belief: My schedule and commitments are huge; internet classes are easy with little work so I can just fit them into my busy schedule.
Fact: Internet classes are challenging and can often involve more work than a traditional class. A substantial time commitment will be required to be successful.
Common Belief: I don’t know anything about computers or technology but I have teenage kids to help me with my class.
Fact: Being prepared and having the skills needed to be successful on your own will be important. MCC offers a variety of basic computer classes as well as other skill based classes that will give you the skills, tools and confidence to succeed.

Complete These Tasks to Get Started

Setup Your Maricopa email

Your official Maricopa email is available at

Find My Class

Visit to login to Canvas.Canvas Login Page

Note: Some instructors do not upload the class until the first day. If your class is not shown by this time, please contact the instructor and/or department.

Need Help? Learn to Use Canvas or view the Frequently Asked Questions

Find My Instructor

Online Learning students must stay in close contact with their instructor throughout their class session. To locate your instructor, or other College staff, enter their last name in the search box of the Contacts Tool.

You may also search by department name, i.e., Life Science. If you are unable to locate your instructor, please contact the Department's Chair using the information located on the Department Listing page.

*Employees who do not appear in the MCC Contact Tool may be new (less than 30 days) or have not updated their personal information.

Questions or Concerns?

Please contact the HelpCenter if you continue to experience difficulties. Your input is appreciated!

Learn to Use Canvas

Canvas is MCC's course management system and your online classroom door (gateway). While most instructors use Canvas to present their class content and instruct, others will use it only to post a message about the directions to the class location. All online students should go to Canvas to find their class.

If your class uses Canvas, be sure to visit Canvas. Once you login to Canvas you can navigate to any point in your course quickly and easily.

Complete all of the Canvas tutorials to learn to use Canvas effectively

Get Organized

Navigate and Explore
Take some time to navigate around your internet class and get familiar with the format, structure and where everything is. This will be time well invested. Identify any software needs or downloads that will be required.
Identify Location of Key Information
Read the syllabus carefully, find the due dates and review the assignments. Pay close attention to your instructor’s office hours and contact information. Document it somewhere for easy reference.
Place Due Dates on a Calendar
Post all of the due dates onto a calendar system that works for you. Class sites often provide a calendar for student use; Google offers an easy online calendar or you can use a traditional one. Look at it daily.
Create a Scheduling Plan
Set up a schedule to review the learning materials and read the text that allows you to meet the deadlines. Document it on your calendar. Throwing together assignments at the last minute does not usually reflect your best work.
Create a Checklist for the Work Requirements
Some internet classes provide them but if not, create your own. When you complete a class requirement, check it off your list.
Get your Textbook and Other Required Materials Immediately
A delay in purchasing your book can put you behind. Watch delivery time frames when ordering books online. Most instructors expect you to have your textbook within the first couple days of class. Use the eFollet bookstore online or in-person.
Create a Designated Work Space
Find an area that is quiet, where you can work on the class free of distractions.
Inform Others of Your Need to Commit Time to the Class
Inform family and friends that there will be a need for school time where you should not be disturbed. Ask them to respect your commitment to your education.
Stay Connected to the Class and Log in Frequently
Enter the class site often, checking for announcements from your instructor and reviewing the information. Often, instructors will post due date reminders or a weekly update of what needs to be done. Check your MCC email several times a week for important messages from your instructor. Active participation in eLearning classes is expected and is often monitored and tracked by your instructor.
Contact Your Instructor
Don’t hesitate to contact your instructor and ask questions. They may be able to offer additional organization strategies that can help you.

I have Questions - Need Help

Being a Successful eLearning Student

Be Able to Communicate Through Writing

In the virtual classroom, communication is often written, so it is critical that students feel comfortable in expressing themselves in writing. Many students have limited writing abilities, which should be addressed before they begin their eLearning experience. This may require efforts on the part of the student to connect with services that will enhance their writing skills. Not only is online tutoring available, but students can get assistance through the Writing Center.

Be Self-motivated & Self-disciplined

With the freedom and flexibility of the internet environment comes responsibility. The eLearning process takes real commitment and discipline to keep up with the flow of the learning process and the demands of the class schedule.

Often the eLearning process is accelerated and requires a substantial time commitment. Staying up with the class and completing all work on time is vital. Once a student gets behind, it is almost impossible to catch up.

Ask Questions & Get Help When You Need It

If you were thinking you can't ask questions because your instructor can't see you raise your hand, think again. Asking questions and making sure you understand what is expected when you are in an internet class is even more important than when you are taking traditional classes. Don't be afraid to email or instant message your instructor when you are confused or uncertain. He or she is there to help you be successful. If you are having technology issues or can't reach your instructor, contact the HelpCenter immediately.

Get Organized

Time management and getting organized will be important to your success. You will need a calendar system that works for you. Due dates should be expected. Often instructors will impose penalties for late work or no credit is given for late assignments. Many students find it helpful to create their own schedule each work where they can commit time to working on the class. A quiet, designated work space is also recommended.

Student Advice for Success in eLearning Courses
  • "For anyone who is new to online classes, know your due dates and always try to get ahead on your assignments. I almost ended up with a C in a class instead of an A because I failed to do things on time, and I spent three days catching up on all the homework and tests that I had missed."
  • "My words of wisdom are to dedicate at least 3-4 hours (per internet class) everyday to studying and working on your assignments. Tell everyone in your life of the time you are dedicating to your classes so they know not to distract you and why you are not communicating as often with them….. I can assure you, you will be proud that you gave the time to accomplish your goals. Besides, it will be one more experience to share with everyone once you are done! "
  • "Being an experienced online student, my words of wisdom are to get organized, set out an agenda with days you will work on which subjects, and keep your due dates visible so you are always aware of what is due when."
  • I am an experienced online student, as school is not near my house, and my schedule for work sometimes results in times I can't be in a classroom. Definitely pay attention to due dates, and keep track of the discussions. If you have a cell phone or a regular paper calendar, I suggest putting in the due dates so you can keep track. It's an easy way to help you with your online class."
  • "I have taken many online classes. Some are set up to be really easy to navigate, others are more difficult. I have found that it is best to start the work on day one (or sooner if possible). Look at all of the documents and understand exactly how everything is organized. Don’t assume you’ll figure it out later and wait until due dates are approaching. Write down everything in a calendar. I write down the due dates as well as the date I plan to do it. This immensely helps time management. Also, setting baby step deadlines for myself makes it more likely that I will finish everything ahead of time. If something takes less time than you expected and you finish everything you planned for that day, start on your to-do list for the next day. You never know what might come up that limits your time in the future. If you have time now, do it!"
  • "I am definitely an experienced online student. I have previously taken eight other online courses and am in the process of taking two more. For me, online classes are a lot easier because there is more work and interaction verses the large classes I have taken in the past (with 300-400 students in the class) where you only take exams. Students taking online classes need to have a lot of discipline, organization, and determination. As an experienced online student, I would recommend checking into the class website various times a day to keep updated with all of the work and communication with other students and the teacher….."
  • "I have only taken one other online class. My strategy was to set aside the same times each week to work on the course, just like I was in class. This really helped me to stay on course and not get behind."
  • "One piece of advice I would like to give the students that are new to online classes is that there is a lot of work. You need to use calendars to plot out assignment due dates and write on the calendar when you will actually do the work. Just simply telling yourself that an assignment is do in a week will not help. With classes that you physically have to show up, teachers typically remind you that things are due the next class period. With online class you don’t have that luxury. "
  • "Remember to never write an assignment in the pop-up link, or create a message link. It WILL time out and you WILL get pissed when all of your work gets erased without retrieval. I suggest you write your assignments in a word doc and transfer the information over to the posting link. In addition, never wait until the last minute. Online courses carry a different challenge from being in class. It requires a pro-active attitude and focused mindset. Do not let yourself get behind and do not be afraid to ask for help."
  • "As an experienced online student, stay focused and stay positive. If you say you can, you can. To be successful in an online class, you need to make sure you have good time management. It's better to get assignments done ahead of time, rather than days before the due date. I've learned this from experience. Make sure you stay in communication with your instructor if you have questions or concerns. Last but not least, do your work completely."
  • "My words of wisdom for my classmates would have to be do as much as you possibly can in the class and get on WebCT as frequently as possible. You have to be self disciplined. I have not been the best online student, but I am hoping I will do better this time around."
  • "My words of advice are to always check when you have something due and to write it down in a well organized agenda of some kind…..1: Don’t put things off just because you can. 2: Turn off the video games. 3: Allot a set time each day, or every other day, to attend class."
  • "KEEP AT IT! Just because its online and more accessible then class on campus it is easy to fall behind or forget. People think it's easier because you do it from home but there's always a TV on or laundry to do at home too! Treat it like a campus class and it will be fine."
  • "ORGANIZATION!! You need to know when assignments are due and you need to put yourself on a schedule and stick to it! It can be challenging, but not impossible to get the required work done in time. This means cutting into your personal time- and if you're like me and are working full time then it gets to be even more of a challenge. Read your materials on breaks and lunches and you might even post on your FB wall that you are not ignoring everyone--you are just looking out for your own future. Your true friends will understand."
  • "What I can say is don't wait until the last minute. Due dates for online classes tend to creep up on you faster than an inclass session."
  • "This is only the second online class I've taken and the first time I've taken two online classes at one time. My advice to others would be to keep on track. Do not allow yourselves to get behind or feel that you can do it later because you're not in class."
  • "Far too often we seem not to have the time to do it right the first time, yet find the time to do it again when we are not happy with the result, or more importantly, when the instructor is not happy with your result. So don't wait till the last day to rush your work!"
  • "I am fairly new to the online classes. I did one last semester and enjoyed it. What I recommend is to take your time. Print out the syllabus and never be afraid to ask questions. Stay in touch with your peers and instructor. One last thing, it is not for everyone, so be true to yourself. If you find it hard to focus then maybe a classroom is better."
  • "I feel like the greatest piece of advice I can give is to set enough time aside for online learning. Try to pace yourself and not to become overwhelmed. You will have more work than your typical class and online classes are not for everyone."
  • "I think the biggest thing to avoid is waiting until the last minute to do your assignments. Follow the course outlines and due dates and allow plenty of time to complete the class lectures. Once you fall behind it is very difficult to come back."
  • "Do assignments early! The sooner you get it done the better; procrastination is your worst enemy for online classes. You never know when your internet is going to get screwed up or your computer will crap out on you. Or you'll have to make an emergency trip to the hospital."
  • "Always make sure you keep in contact with your teacher if there is anything that happens to come up along the way."
  • "The best thing I can suggest to do is to print out the syllabus or write down all of the dates. I personally like printing off the syllabus, that way I can cross off the things that I have already done."
  • "I prefer to do things more last minute, but I check the class almost daily to ensure I know when the due dates are. Then I set a block of time to finish each assignment."

Online Help Resources