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Online Education FAQ

Using Desire2Learn

Hardware and Software Checklist

You will need to have access to and be familiar with the following hardware and software in order to successfully complete an online class.

  • a computer with a Windows XP or newer operating system
  • a 56K modem, preferably broadband
  • a sound card and speakers (a microphone might be useful but not required)
  • a monitor with 800 x 600 resolution or higher, preferably 1024 x 768 resolution
  • access to the Internet
  • an email program or account that can send and receive attachments. Your MyPima student email account will allow you to do that.
  • word processing software that has spell and grammar check, e.g. Microsoft Word or Word Perfect
  • virus control software, e.g. Norton or McAfee

Internet Proficiency

  • You should have some experience with browsing the Internet and sending and receiving email with attachments.
  • If you do not already have some Internet and email experience, you may want to consider completing CSA 151 - Introduction to the Internet for New Computer Users - or an equivalent Internet introductory course prior to enrolling in an online class.

Places to Access the Internet

If you do not have Internet access at home,

  • the open-access computer labs on all of PCC's campuses and centers have computers with Internet access
  • many local libraries also have computers with similar access.
  • ask your friends and neighbors if you may borrow a computer, or do your work from their home.

Registering for an Online Class

You may register for an online class just as you would a traditional class. Go to MyPima, or visit any Pima campus or center.

Accessing Your Class

You will access your online classes by logging into MyPima located on the College homepage. Learn more about accessing your course homepage through MyPima.

Setting Up an Email Program

  • Your MyPima student email account is already set up for you.
  • If you do not already have some Internet and email experience, you may want to consider completing CSA 151 - Introduction to the Internet for New Computer Users - or an equivalent Internet introductory course prior to enrolling in an online class.

Other Course Materials You May Need

  • Most online classes require you to purchase textbooks. Textbooks can be purchased through PCC bookstores. You can learn what textbooks are required for classes through the online class schedules or, after you have registered for the class, you can check your Book List channel in MyPima.
  • Some of your classes may require specific software, lab kits, study aides or audio tapes.
  • The cost of supplemental materials is an additional cost beyond the cost of the class.
  • The online syllabus provided by your instructor will explain any materials you will need for your class and where to find them.

Course Content

  • Course curriculum is identical to face-to-face classes. Only the mode of delivery and activities will vary.

Submitting Class Assignments

  • Submission of assignments varies by class.
  • Most assignments will be submitted by Internet using the Desire2Learn platform, or by email attachments.
  • Some assignments may need to mailed or faxed.
  • The course syllabus will provide specific directions about how to submit assignments.

Deadlines and Timelines

  • Yes, there will be deadlines just as in traditional classes.
  • Timelines will vary according to each class.
  • Review your class assignment schedule for specific due dates.

Exams

Some instructors give quizzes and exams, while others will use other modes of assessment. Review your class syllabus for specific information.

  • For classes that require quizzes and exams, some may be done online while a few may have to be done in person. Review your class syllabus for details.
  • If you find it impossible to come to campus for an exam, inform your instructor. Your instructor will work with you to make other arrangements for similar security.

Costs for Online Classes

  • Tuition for online classes is the same as face-to-face classes.
  • You will need to pay for an Internet Service Provider, if you are accessing the class from a home computer.
  • Additional supplemental materials and fees vary by class. Check the College catalog, semester schedule or class syllabus.

Library Services

  • Pima's Library Services offer online library resources. Log in to MyPima and click on the Library tab to access online reference resources and databases.

Counseling/Advising Services

  • The College provides online advising to assist online learners.
  • You can quickly contact an advisor to find the additional information you may need to be successful.

Getting Assistance

If you are having difficulty connecting to MyPima or accessing Desire2Learn

  • call the MyPima HelpDesk at (520) 206-4800 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week
  • send an email.

Username and Passwords

You will access your online classes by logging into MyPima located on the College homepage. Learn more about setting up your MyPima account and finding your course homepage.

If you cannot access your online course homepage on the first day of class, contact us at pimaonline@pima.edu or call (520) 206-6310.

Pop-up Windows

Many personal firewall programs have features that prevent pop-up windows.

  • Pop-up windows are used in Desire2Learn.
  • When using Desire2Learn you will have to enable the pop-up window feature of your program.
  • For information about enabling the pop-up window feature, consult the user manual or Internet site for the firewall program you are using.

Browser plug-in error messages

Desire2Learn class materials may use various multimedia formats such as sound and videos. These require additional sub-programs called browser plug-ins. Instructions for installing the most common plug-ins are provided in the Browser Tune-up section on the Desire2Learn commercial site.