Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General Distance Learning Questions

In a distance learning course, academic expectations are similar to a classroom course: Reading the assigned text, taking quizzes and exams, doing extra credit if needed, participating in class discussions, watching videos, doing some outside research, writing papers, and consulting with your instructor if you need help.

The difference is that many of these activities can be performed at a distance, in the comfort of your own home and on your own computer. For example, you may participate in electronic discussion forums (like class discussions, but not in real time), do research (on the Internet), talk to your instructor (e-mail or phone), discuss topics with other students (electronic forums), take quizzes (on-line), and submit assignments (electronically).

Detailed guidance is provided by the Instructor in Canvas.  Information may also be sent to you in your student email prior to the course starting. Included in the DL course will be course goals and objectives, assignments, due dates, grading criteria, extra credit options, contact numbers, etc.

By taking classes online, students can get the education they need with the flexibility of working around their busy schedules. While all course assignments have due dates, you can complete them any time of the day up to those due dates.  Access to Canvas and tutoring is 24/7, 365 days a year.

The course requirement and learning objectives are comparable to that of a classroom course.  Students who enroll in a Distance Learning course may find their learning enriched because of the resources available online, the ability to re-watch or reread course materials and accessibility to the instructor as well as student-to-student communication. The instructor may take their students on a "virtual" field trip or require a writing assignment that will take students to the state capital, to an elected representative or to a major corporation online.

No.  The registration fees for Distance Learning course are the same as a class offered on campus at Fresno City.

In most cases, you will not be required to come to campus, depending on the requirements set by your Instructor.  Most coursework can be conducted online, depending on the type of course. 

Confirm if the course is fully online, partially online (hybrid), or if it requires proctored assessments. For some courses, students will be required to complete exam(s) in person with the instructor, through the Assessment Center or with a proctor.

Distance Learning courses cannot be completed successfully using your phone. Students who do not have a computer with Internet access (or have a slow computer or who experience computer problems during the semester) can use the computers in the Computer Lab on campus (LI 117) or the Library lab.  Tablets may not provide access to all of your Distance Learning materials.  Check browser requirements at CANVAS support.

Upon applying at Fresno City College (a college in the State Center Community College District), you will be assigned a State Center student email account ( This will become the email address students must use when communicating with their instructor and receiving important information from the college and district.

Each distance learning course has an assigned instructor of record. You will find contact information, such as an email address and phone number, in your course in Canvas. Although you are not in a classroom, you can still seek guidance from your instructor when needed. Instructors usually have information for communication and expectations for returning messages on their syllabus.  You can still assess your Instructor during their regular office hours both on campus and online.

Fresno City College belongs to a consortium of other colleges that offer Distance Learning courses to students. This consortium is called the California Virtual Campus and Online Education Initiative (CVC/OEI).  If you need a course that is not available at FCC, check out “Finish Faster Online” and search by course and transfer requirements. Enrollment and paying for the course are easy and available on the website.  More classes are added all the time so check back often for late starting courses. If you enroll in a course at another college, be sure to check their policies and procedures, as they may differ from those in the State Community College District. 

General Questions About Courses

Students who are officially enrolled will be able to view select elements of their course in Canvas on the the official start date of the course.  A few days before, students will have access to “Quest for Success”.  These are modules on how to be a successful student online.  They will only need to be complete one time.  Students earn a badge, not a grade.  The modules are self-paced and your Instructor may or may not require them to be completed.  

While you do not need to be a computer expert, you do need to know how to:

  • navigate the Internet
  • use e-mail
  • download a program from the Internet and install it
  • conduct a search on the web

If a student is self-motivated, can follow instructions and likes to figure things out on his/her own, a fully online course will be an enriching experience.  All FCC students can access Hoonuit for professional video instruction on all kinds of things.  For Canvas, the introductory module where you’ll learn the basics of Canvas, how to navigate the course, communicate and use the calendar.  You can discover many resources with Hoonuit.  This is a free service for FCC students.

Remember, your course may not be available until after 7:00 am Pacific time on the first day of class.  For Student Technical Support contact 1-844-887-2223  If problems persist, be sure to contact your Instructor via email to keep your spot in class.

Your class syllabus is available within your online course in Canvas.  Check the home page of your class in Canvas for details.  Some Instructors will contact students prior to the semester beginning but may also wait until the first day of class.  If in doubt, don’t hesitate to email the Instructor listed in the class schedule.

The Fresno City College Bookstore is located on campus, near the cafeteria.  There students will find course text(s) and materials arranged by subject and can be identified by the course reference number (CRN), and instructor name. Students have the option to order books and materials using the website form.  Some classes at FCC have ebooks that you can obtain in advance and be ready to go when the first day of class comes.  Be sure to look for zero cost textbook courses.  A separate search in WebAdvisor can provide that information.  While it requires coming to campus, the Library has a copy of every textbook on reserve for use.  The reserve book cannot leave campus.

Generally, no.  There is no need to access the course at an exact time since course materials are available throughout the week.  Your Instructor will inform you if there are exceptions.  Be aware…there are due dates and times within the course, usually week-by-week or unit-by-unit; you’ll need regular access to your course often so you don’t miss a deadline. 

Yes.  Most courses have a Discussion Forum where students and the Instructor can communicate as if in a classroom (though not in real-time).  Your Instructor may have enabled a “Chat” feature, but not all of them do.  Your Instructor might also hold scheduled virtual office hours that you can chose to attend via “ConferZoom.”  This tool has the capacity to host several students on at the same time.  If you are interested in creating a study group or communicating with students in your class, ask your Instructor what the best way is.

NameCoach is a new feature starting in Spring 2019.  Once in your Canvas course, you can record the pronunciation of your name for the community in Canvas.  In order to record your name, NameCoach asks for your phone number.  An automated system calls and asks you to pronounce your name.  You can also indicate gender and type out your name phonetically.

Each course is different. You will want to make sure to read and understand the course requirements as set up by the Instructor. Most courses will allow you to work ahead or catch up as you go along. Primarily, there will be a week by week schedule of readings, assignments, quizzes, and exams. Be sure to review your online course thoroughly to ensure that you are keeping pace.

It is important to recognize that the online classroom is in fact a classroom, and certain behaviors are expected when you communicate with both your peers and your instructors. These guidelines for online behavior and interaction are known as netiquette.


Remember that your password is the only thing protecting you from pranks or more serious harm.

  • Don't share your password with anyone
  • Change your password if you think someone else might know it
  • Always logout when you are finished using the system

General Guidelines

When communicating online, you should always:

  • Treat instructor with respect, even in email or in any other online communication.
  • Always use your professors’ proper title: Dr. or Prof., or if you in doubt use Mr. or
  • Unless specifically invited, don’t refer to them by first name.
  • Use clear and concise language
  • Remember that all college level communication should have correct spelling and
  • Avoid slang terms such as “wassup?” and texting abbreviations such as “u” instead
      of “you”.
  • Use standard fonts such as Times New Roman and use a size 12 or 14 pt. font.
  • Avoid using the caps lock feature as it can be interpretted as YELLING.
  • Limit and possibly avoid the use of emoticons like :)
  • Be cautious when using humor or sarcasm as tone is sometimes lost in an email or
    discussion post and your message might be taken seriously or offensive.
  • Be careful with personal information (both yours and other’s).
  • Do not send confidential patient information via e-mail.


When you send an email to your instructor, teaching assistant, or classmates, you should:

  • Use a descriptive subject line.
  • Be brief.
  • Avoid attachments unless you are sure your recipients can open them.
  • Avoid HTML in favor of plain text.
  • Sign your message with your name and return e-mail address.
  • Think before you send the e-mail to more than one person. Does everyone really
    need to see your message?
  • Be sure you really want everyone to receive your response when you click,
    “reply all”
  • Be sure that the message author intended for the information to be passed along
    before you click the “forward” button

Discussion Board

When posting on the Discussion Board in your online class, you should:

  • Make posts that are on topic and within the scope of the course material.
  • Take your posts seriously and review and edit your posts before sending.
  • Be as brief as possible while still making a thorough comment.
  • Always give proper credit when referencing or quoting another source.
  • Be sure to read all messages in a thread before replying.
  • Don’t repeat someone else’s post without adding something of your own to it.
  • Avoid short, generic replies such as, “I agree.” You should include why you agree or
    add to the previous point.
  • Always be respectful of others’ opinions even when they differ from your own.
  • When you disagree with someone, you should express your differing opinion in a
    respectful, non-critical way.
  • Do not make personal or insulting remarks.
  • Be open-minded.


Fresno City College offers the same support services to all eligible students, whether you are taking classes on campus, online, or both.

Administrative Details

Technology Overview

Being a student includes free email, Microsoft Office, and on-campus WiFi.  Learn more about accessing campus Technology.


WebAdvisor is a system for managing your information, both in and out of the classroom. It is very important that you get logged in and check the information frequently. If you need help logging in, please call our Student Systems Support Call Center.


Find your Canvas course. Most student questions can be answered in the Canvas Student Community and there is plenty of information to get you started.

Find Out What's Happening


Student Systems Support Call Center (Help Desk)

Student Login Instructions for Email, WebAdvisor, Canvas, and Wireless Network

If you need help with logging on to Canvas, WebAdvisor, or Email, call the Student Systems Support Call Center. We are here to help and are available 24/7.  (Please note that password reset services are available during normal business hours - 8 am to 5pm, Monday through Friday.)

Phone: 1.844.887.2223

Website: District Online Support Center

FCC Technology Support Services Help Desk

Need help connecting your computer to the WiFi, visit the Technology Support Services Help Desk.

Phone: (front counter) 559.442.8206 ext. 8206 or (automated) 559.443.8670.


FCC Staff and Faculty HelpDesk: Technology Support Services Helpdesk

Help with Distance Learning

Resources to help you with learning online. Distance Learning.