Student Handbook
Student Handbook

eLearning & Instructional Innovation Center: eLearning Today, Leading Tomorrow   

  

The eLearning & Instructional Innovation Center supports the mission of Laredo College by offering online degree programs and courses to meet the needs of the diverse student population of Webb County and the surrounding communities.

 

All eLearning courses require students to have textbooks, Internet access, and to complete course requirements online, including final exams, which can be taken from home using a webcam.

 

Canvas Learning Management System    

The eLearning & Instructional Innovation Center (eLearning Center) is the administrator of the Canvas Learning Management System (Canvas) for Laredo College (LC).  Canvas is used to deliver online content for your hybrid and online courses, and you can access it through the PASPort Student Portal.

 

Authenticating the Identity of Students Enrolled in Distance Education Courses    

On the first day of class, you will access your course in Canvas by logging into your secure web portal (PASPort). PASPort requires that you use the unique account username and password that is given to you by the Enrollment and Registration Services Center during the admissions process. Inside PASPort, you not only have access to Canvas, but you also have access to personal information, like your home address, phone numbers, emergency contacts, tax forms, transcripts, and more. It is important that you create strong passwords, and that you do not share your log-in credentials.  Your account is designated for your use ONLY.  Make sure that you are familiar with the Security section of the college Internet Usage Policy.

 

 

Modes of Instruction

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) rules define distance education as "The formal educational process that occurs when students and instructors are not in the same physical setting for the majority (more than 50 percent) of instruction." Distance education can include courses and programs offered online, off-campus face-to-face, and electronic-to-groups.Coordinating Board rules recognize two categories of distance education courses: fully distance education courses and hybrid courses. A fully distance education course is defined as "A course which may have mandatory face-to-face sessions totaling no more than 15 percent of the instructional time. Examples of face-to-face sessions include orientation, laboratory, exam review, or an in-person test." A hybrid course is defined as "A course in which a majority (more than 50 percent but less than 85 percent), of the planned instruction occurs when the students and instructor(s) are not in the same place."

 

Online Courses

All course activity is completed online; there are no required face-to-face sessions within the course, and the course may require minimal on-campus activity. 

 

Hybrid Courses

Most course activity is completed online, but there are some required face-to-face instructional activities such as lectures, discussions, labs, or other in-person learning activities. Remember that all course requirements for an online course also apply to a hybrid course. 

 

Videoconference Courses

Technologies are used to extend classroom lectures and other activities to students at remote sites in real time. Students attend scheduled lectures at a designated videoconferencing room that originates at an LC campus, local high school, or other location. The primary difference with this mode of instruction is that several sites may be involved in a simultaneous broadcast. 

See “Registration for Online Courses” below for details and examples of online, hybrid, and video conference courses. 

 

 

Testing for Online Courses

If you are taking online courses, you should be able to test without coming to campus. All online courses require the use of Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor, a program that you can download for free from the eLearning Center website at http://www.laredo.edu/cms/Respondus. The LockDown Browser/Monitor program requires that you have a computer with a webcam and microphone, and will record you as you test online. The webcam can be part of your computer, or it can be connectedto the computer using a USB cable. To get a basic understanding of the webcam feature of Respondus LockDown Browser and Monitor, view a short video at  http://www.respondus.com/products/lockdown-browser/student- movie.shtml. If you do not have a webcam, you can borrow one for the entire semester from the eLearning Center. You also have the option to come on-campus to take a test. The available locations for on-campus testing can be viewed on our website at http://www.laredo.edu/cms/LECTestingServices/.  If you need help downloading, installing, or taking a test with LockDown Browser/Monitor, contact the eLearning Help Desk at 956.721.5880 or submit a ticket at  http://ehelpdesk.laredo.edu/.

 

Virtual Backpack

We have all had that experience of loading a backpack for the first day of school with pencils, notepads, campus maps, schedules, and other essential tools. Online classes are different than what you might experience on campus, and to be successful online, you will need your own set of tools. The Virtual Backpack is an orientation course that will help you to understand your online classes and virtual classroom and provide you with everything you need to start your virtual learning experience on the right foot. First time online students will receive an invitation to the Virtual Backpack one week before classes start. 

 

Registration for Online Classes

You can register for online, hybrid,and video conference courses through PASPort (www.pasport.laredo.edu). All courses adhere to LC’s admission policies, testing requirements, and follow the academic calendar.  When you enroll in an online, hybrid, or video conference course, you will be charged a $20 Distance Education Fee per semester credit hour to cover the costs associated with managing and upgrading Canvas and other online services.  

When you are registering for online, hybrid,and video conferencing courses in PASPort, look for the section identifiers as shown below.

 

·  E01 – E99 (Online courses) Ex. ENGL1301E01

·  MY1 – MY9 (Main Campus Hybrid courses) Ex. KINE1306MY1

·  SY1 – SY9 (South Campus Hybrid courses) Ex. PHYS1302SY1

·  LY1 – LY9 (Hybrid Lab) Ex. BIOL1108LY1

·  MV1 – MV9 (Main Campus Videoconference courses) Ex. GOVT2305MV1

·  SV1 – SV9 (South Campus Videoconference courses) Ex. ENGL1301SV1

 

We encourage you to consult the LC Student Handbook  to get additional information about advising, dropping a course, the attendance policy, student support services, and other important guidelines.

 

 

Virtual College of Texas (VCT)

You may also enroll in an online course offered by another two-year college in Texas through a partnership between LC and the Virtual College of Texas (VCT). VCT offers a wide array of college credit courses that are listed at  www.vct.org.  The first step in enrolling in a VCT course is to check the availability of a specific course on the VCT website.  Enrollment in VCT courses requires the approval of the respective LC Department Chair.Due to this lengthy approval process, you must contact the eLearning Center at least one month before the start date of the semester. Call 956.721.5211 or email elearning@laredo.edu.

 

Student eHelp Desk

The eHelp Desk is a self-service portal where you can get help with technical issues related to Canvas and online classes. You can access the eHelp Desk at http://ehelpdesk.laredo.edu/. Technical support is available after regular office hours and on weekends. You may also call 956.721.5880 to request help during our regular business hours.