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How to Start ETUDES Classes

Taft College utilizes ETUDES, a course management system for its distance learning online courses. The term ETUDES stands for Easy To Use Distance Education Software. It is easy to use and provides a trouble-free teaching and learning environment. ETUDES can be accessed from any platform using any standard browser. No plug-in or FTP is needed. You do not have to come to campus. Instead, you will follow the directions given in the ETUDES program, complete and submit your assignments and take your exams by the deadlines given, and contact your instructor if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. The online format has an internal message center where you and your instructor can stay in contact, and it has a discussion area where you will discuss topics with the other students enrolled in the class.

The college is upgrading its ETUDES program to a newer version called ETUDES. Although the log in process is slightly different, the process is basically the same for both ETUDES Classic and ETUDES.

Here is a brief description of online course processes:

  • Assignments: For each week of the term, you may be asked to complete readings assignments, writing assignments, projects, and other activities. You can work on your own time, but you must submit the assignments when they are due. To see what is due and when, please refer to the ETUDES classroom (course calendar/schedule.)
  • Submitting homework: You may be asked to submit your homework in the assignment desk or via email, copy and paste to the submission box or as a file attachment. You may also be asked to post your assignment publicly or privately in the forum. Instructions on how to submit your homework are specified under each assignment.
  • Lectures: Online lectures are often provided to supplement the textbook chapters assigned. Links to online lectures, whether PowerPoint presentations, RealAudio, text, or other are sometimes provided in the ETUDES classroom.
  • Discussions: You may be asked to participate in forum discussions every week or at specific times throughout the term. Many instructors give points for active participation. Maintain frequent "contact" with your instructor and peers in the forum by asking questions, reflecting on your learning, and sharing ideas. The more involved you are, the more you will learn. 
  • Questions: In an online course, you can't raise your hand to ask a question. However, you can post a question in the student lounge (discussion board) or by sending a message to your instructor in the private message center. Your instructor will respond to your question in a timely manner. You may also use email, telephone, or fax. Posting questions on assignments, the readings, or class processes in the discussion board is preferred, as everyone can benefit from the response. 
  • Testing: At different times during the term, your instructor may test your understanding of the material. The quizzes may be timed or activated during a specific period only. The instructor reserves the right to schedule a proctored exam.  The course orientation page will list whether the course requires proctored exams. Directions on how to get your proctor approved are available in the campus resource center.
  • Grading: You will be assessed and graded on a combination of factors. For grading policies and grading criteria, please refer to the classroom (syllabus) section of your online course.

ETUDES Information

Step 1: Find out how the class will be delivered (ETUDES, ETUDES, or Offline) by going to the Taft College web page at: www.taftcollege.edu.

  • Click on the Schedule of Classes link at the bottom of the main web page
  • Click on the current semester link below the title Distance Learning Course Schedule
  • Scroll to the course you are taking and click on the course title (it is ready or linked when it is underlined)
  • Read and follow the instructions given
  • Course site access and login information is provided at the bottom of this orientation page 

Sarah Phinney of Porterville College has developed a couple of demonstration videos to help you will the ETUDES program. Click on the following links to view how the program works:

Browser Test Page:
http://www.portervillecollege.edu/
online_courses/browser_test.htm
Login Video Demo (Flash):
http://www.portervillecollege.edu/
online_courses/Movies/login.htm
Navigating ETUDES Video Demo (Flash):
http://www.portervillecollege.edu/
online_courses/Movies/navigating.htm

Step 2: If your instructor uses ETUDES and your are officially registered, follow the instructions below to log in, starting on the first day of class. Sites are typically not open earlier.

Login ID

Password

  • First 2 letters of first name +
  • First 2 letters of last name +
  • Last 5 digits of SSN

(Type using all lower case letters)

Example:

Jose A. Garcia
SSN: 111-22-3333

Username = joga23333

MonthDay of birth in school records

(Type using all lower case letters)

Example:

Birthday is April 11th, 1982 (04/11/82)

Password = 0411

Step 3: If your instructor uses ETUDES, go to the system Gateway: http://ETUDES.fhda.edu/portal

Step 4: Log in Instructions for ETUDES: In order to login to your course, you need to know your Login ID and Password. Please be aware that you may not login to online courses until the official start date of the term. Your Login ID and Password will not work before the first day of class.

Protect your ETUDES account: If this is your first time using our ETUDES system, take a moment to change the default password upon login. Once you log on, click on Account (under My Workspace on the left menu), scroll down a bit, and click on "Modify Settings." Set the password to something you can remember. PLEASE WRITE IT DOWN! This same account will give you access to all your ETUDES courses in future terms. You will not need to establish an account again.

Technical Requirements for ETUDES

ETUDES works on any computer (PC or Mac); however, a few minor adjustments may be necessary to ensure that your online course functions properly.

To view the ETUDES technical requirements, click here: ETUDES Technical Requirements and scroll down to the section entitled, "All Faculty & Student Users."

Trouble Logging In

  • Are you sure your course uses ETUDES and not ETUDES Classic?
  • Are you logging into the correct course?
  • Has the semester started? You usually cannot access your course before the first day of the semester.
  • Are you actually enrolled in the class? Verify your enrollment with Admissions and make sure payment was received by the Business Office.
  • Are you in the system yet? If you just registered today, you wont be entered into the system for several hours. At time it can take 24 hours for the system to roll in the names of students.

ETUDES Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What do I do if I forget my password?
A. Contact etudes-help@foothill.edu and we can reset it for you.
Q. Is there a spell check feature for students?
A. Unfortunately, there is no spell check function for students at this time in ETUDES. We recommend that you get into the habit of typing your work into a word processing program, like MS Word, saving it, and then cutting and pasting your text into ETUDES. This way, whether you are submitting an assignment, a discussion post, or an answer to an exam question, you will be able to spell check your work first AND you will have a backup copy on your hard drive should you lose connectivity.

ieSpell is a free Internet Explorer browser extension that spell checks text input boxes on a webpage. You can download this free program at http://www.iespell.com/
Q. What types of files can I upload as attachments in the discussion forums?
A. This is a list of allowable file types in the Discussions & Private Messages forum. Your files must include the proper suffix in order to upload as an attachment.
Image/Photo: .bmp, .jpg/.jpeg, .gif, .png, .psd, .tiff, .swf
Media: .midi, .mov,.wav, .mp3
Document: .doc, .pdf, .xls, .ppt, .pps, .htm/.html
Utilities: .gz, .tar, .zip, .sit/.sitx
The following file types are NOT allowed: .exe, .bat, .pif, .bin.
Q. What is the maximum file size for uploads?
A. 2MB.
Q. Is there a limit to the number of files I can attach to an assignment?
A. No, there is no limit to the number of files students can attach to an assignment. You can attach as many as required/asked for by the instructor. The same 2MB file size limit applies per file.
Q. Is there a limit to the number of attachments allowed in the discussion forums?
A. In the discussion tool, we have set the limit to 3 attachments max per post.
Q. There's something wrong with my essay. Some of the punctuation marks are altered by the website.
A. If you want to retain the formatting of your essays, you should submit them as attachments. Pasting them into the editor may alter some characters, depending on the versions of software students are using. This is rare, but it happens with Mac users/versions of software.
Q. When I login to my ETUDES account, there is no way to get to my class(es). All I see is 'MyWorkspace.' Why can't I see my class listed there?
A. You have been dropped by Admissions (perhaps due to non-payment) and you are no longer officially enrolled. You must clear your Admissions issues and get re-registered before you'll be able to access the course again. It usually takes 12-24 hours before you will be entered back into the system after you have cleared things up.
Q. How do I get to the home page of a tool? I seem to get stuck in an open assignment or lesson and can't get out.
A. That little icon to the left of each tool's title (looks like the Jiffy Lube logo Jiffy Lube icon ) is a link back to that tool's beginning (table of contents) page. For example, if you are reading a lesson in the Modules area, you will return to the list of modules when you click on the icon. If you are reading a discussion posting, you will return to the Discussions Main Page when you click on the icon. All the rest of the tools have one of those Jiffy Lube icons and they all work the same way. (By the way, we are calling it a Jiffy Lube icon because it is a curly arrow that looks like Jiffy Lube's logo. It's not really related to Jiffy Lube at all.)
Q. My instructor said that I can resubmit an assignment, but when I try to, it won't accept it.
A. Most likely, your computer's cache is not set correctly. It needs to be set to "every visit to the page" and thus you are seeing old sessions. Go to the Gateway for information on how to set your browsers' cache. Also be sure to CLEAR any existing cache.
Q. I clicked on a graded assignment to see my grade, but now I can't get back to the screen that lists all currently available assignments.
A. Click on the Jiffy Lube icon Jiffy Lube icon of a tool (top left corner of tools) to get back to the home page, or close what you opened (buttons at the bottom of open page).
Q. How can I see my scores for assignments, tests & quizzes?
A. In the Gradebook tool, you can see your scores for tests and quizzes (unless the instructor has turned off this feature). However, assignments don't automatically show up in the gradebook. So if your instructor hasn't manually entered assignment grades, you won't be able to see them.
Q. My teacher says that she has sent some announcements to us using email, but I didn't get them. Why not?
A. There are two issues here:
  1. The email account you use might not be the same one that ETUDES is sending to. You can check this following these steps:
    1. Click on the Update Details button at the bottom of the page. Now email will be sent to the updated email address.
    2. After you log into your ETUDES account, you'll be in MyWorkspace. Click on the Account link in the left nav menu.
    3. Click on the Modify Details button at the bottom of the window.
    4. On the Account Details page that appears, put your correct email address into the correct box. (Notice that you can also change your name and password here, too. But remember that this only affects your ETUDES account. You'll need to contact Admissions & Records to make changes school-wide.
  2. It could be that you're receiving the emails, but your email program is automatically sorting the messages into your bulk/junk folder. This is particularly true if you're using hotmail or yahoo as your email account. You can try adding your ETUDES class email address to your address book so that it will be recognized as not junk, or just get into the habit of looking in your bulk/junk folder for class emails.

    Sometimes a module page does not open completely, but just show the titles. Why does this happen?
    You may need to disable your pop-up blocker. This is explained on our Gateway page, but it's easy to miss. Click on the link: Computer (PC and Mac) and Connectivity Requirements for details. Setting up cache, turning off pop-up blocker, and enabling cookies are three standards things that users should do. Allowing pop-ups impacts opening documents in separate browser windows, opening the widgets and other parts of the software where help is provided to users in the form of pop-up windows. Depending on how paranoid users are with regard to security, other things may have to be changed (i.e. allow downloads). It is too hard to know everyone's local configurations. The more restrictions people put on their browsers, the more problems they will have.

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