This summer 2020, Camosun College courses offerings are available using online technologies.
Minimum requirements when purchasing a new computer
Many courses will be running virtual classrooms and you will need appropriate technology to engage and succeed. You may be able to complete some learning tasks with your smartphone or iPad. However, we are recommending that students use a laptop or desktop PC to help ensure you complete your course requirements, and are able to fully participate in your classes.
Most standard PCs or laptops purchased within the last three years should be sufficient for your course work. Some courses require the use of specialized software that may only run in a Microsoft Windows environment. If you own or are considering purchasing a Mac or other non-Windows device, please check with your program for compatibility before starting your course.
If you need to purchase a new computer these are the minimum requirements you will need to consider as you make your purchase decision:
|Mac Laptop Minimum Requirements||Windows Laptop Minimum Requirements||Desktop or PC Minimum Requirements|
|Intel Mac Laptop, Core i3/m3 processor or better||Intel Core i5 processor or better||PC Windows 10 or Apple Mac laptop capable of running Mac OS X 10.11 or newer (no Chromebook)|
|OS X 10.10 or higher||Windows 10||Multicore processor with 64-bit support|
|Minimum 4GB of memory, 8GB recommended||Minimum 4GB Memory, 8GB recommended||8 GB of RAM minimum, 16 GB of RAM recommended or better|
|Minimum 120GB storage, 256GB and SSD recommended||120 GB storage or above, SSD recommended||256 GB of storage or better (SSD or hard drive – 7200 rpm recommended)|
|Most laptops have a built in camera and microphone||Most laptops have a built in camera and microphone||1440 x 900 resolution display or better|
|Optional: head set for audio and video||Optional: head set for audio and video||Webcam|
|Optional: head set for audio and video|
Tips for buying a new computer
- Purchase your laptop form a reputable Canadian retail store or website or through the manufacturer such as Dell, Acer, HP or Apple using the above specifications to narrow your choice.
- Be an informed consumer, read reviews before you buy. CNET is a great source of reviews and information on what’s available.
- Consider what else you will need a computer for beyond school and consider who else in our family may need to use the computer.
Plug in, log on
Once you have a computer, you will need to make sure that you have reliable internet connectivity. Most home internet and WIFI services will be sufficient. Take some time to become familiar with a new computer before the start of class.
For most courses you will need the Office 365 Suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, Teams etc.). You can download this software for free from college’s website.
For some courses you may need some specialized software. Your instructor will inform you on how to get the software the first day of class.
And, make sure you have at least two browsers installed on your computer. You will need the browser to visit course websites. Most computers come with Edge or Safari, however we recommended that you use Google Chrome for your coursework.
We recognize that some students simply cannot afford a computer. At this time, when access to computers in the library or labs is not possible, the college has made a limited supply of laptops available for students to borrow. If you face financial pressures and are unable to purchase a computer, complete this survey to be considered eligible for a loaner laptop.
Are you ready for online learning? What you can expect
All courses will use D2L (Desire to Learn) as the main platform to deliver the course. On the first day of classes (May 4) you will have access to all of the courses you are registered in from the D2L link on the top right hand corner of the college’s website. Enter your Camosun ID # (C#) and password.
Your instructor may use other tools along with D2L. Some instructors make use of Collaborate, a video-conferencing tool that will allow you to connect in real time with your instructor, and other students in your class. You will need audio and video enabled on your computer to use Collaborate.
Email is an important way for your instructors and the college to communicate with you. It’s recommended you check your email once a day for important messages regarding you learning experience.
If you are a student with a disability, connect with the Centre of Accessible Learning before your classes start. It can take time to put your accommodations in place.
Your course may require a textbook. Most textbooks will be available in a digital form and you can find your textbooks, order, and pay for them through the Bookstore’s website. You will need to know your course codes and section numbers (e.g. BUS 150-001) in order to find your textbooks.
It’s time to start learning!
If you have not taken a fully online course, this experience will be different from face-to-face. Remember online learning is not self-paced. There may be specific times in the week you need to be online with your class. You may be required to do some group work with other students, participate in online discussions, and take scheduled tests.
Keys to success:
Be prepared +
Login into D2L first day of classes (May 4). Start by reading over the syllabus or course outline. Note any questions you may have about the information provided and, reach out to your instructor for clarification.
Explore the course site, click through the content of the course, getting a sense of what might be expected of you. If you are new to D2L, explore the student guide located in the top left corner of your D2L screen.
Review the course schedule, and record key dates such as online sessions, tests, and deadlines. Develop a personal calendar based off the syllabus deadlines so you can organize yourself effectively. Plan for the time you will need to complete assignments, do your readings and research.
If you have not yet done so, purchase the required digital textbook from the Bookstore. Explore the book to get a sense of how it’s organized.
Finally, create some space at home to do your work. At this time of social distancing that can be challenging. But routine and structure will help you get through the term.
Be engaged +
It’s likely your courses will use a D2L discussion board, take the time to develop thoughtful responses to discussion topics. Do not just say yes, no, or I agree. One benefit of taking an online course is that you are given time to consider what you will say and how you will say it. Make your contributions meaningful.
If you instructor hosts online sessions make sure you are distraction free at these times. Be involved, ask questions to seek clarity and understanding.
Make an effort to connect with your fellow classmates. They can be as important of a resource to you as the instructor of your course.
Plan to check your online course and email account every day. Email is important way to stay actively engaged, well informed, and on track for success in your online course. Additionally, you will frequently receive important announcements via your email.
Be careful and watch your time +
Make sure you keep up with class activities, tests and assignments, manage your workload and avoid procrastination will help you be successful in the online environment.
Save your work early, often, and before you submit it. Save a copy for yourself of any assignments, so you have a record of your work, and you will be able to resubmit your work in the event of any technical mishap. Always put your first initial and last name on any document or file you submit in your online course. Make sure to learn and follow any additional document management rules provided by your instructor.
Your course may involve tests or quizzes within D2L. Give yourself time before the test to make sure you are connected to the internet and that you have reviewed your instructor’s directions regarding the test.
Check out the Student Success Guide for more tips and strategies to become a successful student.
Be honest +
Students have an obligation to be honest, this is especially important in an online course. If you cheat or plagiarise you will face consequences, your instructor can reduce your grades or require you to redo some work.
Be resourceful +
If you start to fall behind in your online course, reach out to your instructor. Continue doing your work, it’s important not to stop. If you are having an issue, be it technical, or otherwise, contact your instructor immediately.
There are supports at the college to help you with your coursework. Successful students use these services and supports:
- Library Your best source for digital books, journals, streaming video. Librarians are available by chat or email to help you find the materials you need to complete our coursework.
- Writing Centre—Get one-to-one help with your essays and written assignments.
- Technology Help— Having trouble with your password, accessing D2L and other technical issues? Call the IT Service Desk at 250-370-3604 or email email@example.com
- Counselling At this time it is normal to feel overwhelmed or unsure of how to deal with the challenges that come your way. Our team of professional counsellors is here to support you.
Online summer resources:
COVID-19 Government Resources:
- BC Centre for Disease Control
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- World Health Organization
- Travel & Tourism Canada
- COVID-19 Stigma Guide
- Ministry of Health BC COVID-19 symptom self-assessment tool
- For non-health related COVID-19 questions (e.g. supports, programs, etc), a new dedicated phone line has been set up at 1-888-COVID-19.