Distance Learning Frequently Asked Questions
1. What technical skills do I need for online learning?
For online classes, only minimal to moderate level skills are needed. To assess your readiness you can take an online readiness assessment. Before enrolling in an online class, you should:
- Communicate via Mitchell Community College Office 365 email and follow appropriate netiquette
- Upload, download, and properly name related course files
- Use an Internet Browser effectively
- Use Microsoft Office to create documents, PowerPoints, etc.
- Have reliable access to the Internet
- Have the ability to download and install software and plug-ins
2. What type of computer will I need for online learning?
The computer requirements are driven by the requirements imposed by the Learning Management System (LMS) that is used to deliver the course materials. The minimum requirements for these systems are as follows:
Minimum for Open LMS
Windows 10 or later; Mac OS 10.13 or later
Random Access Memory (RAM)
8 GB or higher
Intel i3, i5, i7, or i9 or AMD-equivalent RYZEN processor 64-bit processor
Built in or plug in
Other technical requirements
Individual major/disciplines departments may have requirements that are above the suggested minimum requirements. Please see Individual major/disciplines departments’ requirements for more details.
3. What web browsers are supported by the Mitchell Community College’s LMS?
The following web browsers are supported by Mitchell Community College’s LMS (for the best learning experience in the LMS and with web conferencing tools, use the latest version available):
- Google Chrome
Individual plug-ins may require certain web browsers to work properly. If a class requires certain programs please see requirements documentation.
4. Can I use dial-up to take online classes?
It is recommended that a student use high-speed Internet, but dial-up will usually work. Note that some multimedia functions will take longer to load on dial-up such as videos, audio lectures, or all multimedia functions might not work at all. Many online learning courses involve videos and large file transfers, an online student may need to budget the cost of high-speed Internet access into his or her education budget.
5. What software do online learning classes require? How do I obtain the required software?
Students may need specific browser plug-ins (ex. Adobe Shockwave Player). Plug-ins are available as free downloads. Students will also need to download the programs Adobe Acrobat Reader DC and Microsoft Office. Both programs are free to download. Some academic programs of study may require additional plug-ins and software which may be purchased through the Mitchell Community College Bookstore or online depending on the program of study.
Microsoft Office – free for Mitchell Community College Curriculum Students
6. What email should I use? Can I use my own email account?
Students must use their Mitchell Community College Office 365 email account. Professors will communicate with their students through the official Mitchell Community College Office 365 email account, and instructors will not respond to students’ personal email accounts.
7. What are WebAdvisor, Office 365 (Email), and Open LMS? How do I access them?
WebAdvisor is a Web interface that provides Mitchell Community College students real-time, up-to-date information online contained in Colleague, the database used by Mitchell. With an I.D. and password, students can use WebAdvisor to register for classes, view class schedules, check grades, view unofficial transcripts, make payments, check financial aid information and much more. Mitchell is committed to maintaining the security and confidentiality of student records.
Office 365 is the software suite chosen by Mitchell Community College for use by faculty, staff, and students. Office 365 contains Outlook, which is the e-mail program used for all official college communications.
LMS is an acronym for “Learning Management System”, which Mitchell Community College instructors can use to create and deliver content, monitor student participation and assess student performance. You will be able to log in and access your courses in the LMS on the first day of your classes.
Students can access each of their Mitchell Community College accounts at My Mitchell (opens in a new window). Students should ensure they can log into their Mitchell Community College Outlook Email before attempting to log in to the LMS.
8. What do I need to know before taking online exams?
General instructions for online exams are as follows:
- Upgrade Internet browser if needed
- Disengage call waiting (only for dial-up)
- Make sure your ISP time-out settings are set to the maximum allowed time.
- Never open an exam within the LMS until you are ready to take the exam. If you look at an exam and close the browser without actually taking the exam, the LMS will view this as an attempt and will assign a grade of zero.
- Do not wait until the last minute before taking an exam. Internet service provider issues can cause you to lose access to an exam resulting in a grade of zero.
9. What types of online assessments are used in online courses? How can I take online assessments?
An instructor can assess a student in a variety of ways. He or she may ask a student to complete a paper, project or other special assignments in lieu of traditional exams. The instructor may also set up exams in the LMS that may be multiple choice, short answer, matching, essay, or a combination of all. Please note that online exams are usually set up to be offered on certain days and to be timed. This means that once a student opens an exam, the student must finish the exam at that time. The student may not open the exam more than once. Read all the instructions carefully before beginning an exam, project, etc..
10. What happens if my quiz or exam does not load, freezes, etc. in the LMS?
The student needs to contact his or her instructor immediately about the situation.
11. Who do I contact if I have a technical problem?
The student should contact the Distance Learning Help Desk at (704) 978-1304 or email:
12. Do I have to be admitted to Mitchell Community College to take an online course?
For curriculum, credit courses students do need to be admitted to the College before registering for an online course.
For information about continuing education courses, please visit the: Continuing Education Website (opens in a new window)
13. How do I apply to Mitchell Community College?
Visit Mitchell Community College’s homepage (opens in a new window), click How to Apply and follow the application steps.
14. Do I need an advisor’s approval to register for an online course?
Yes, a student must have an advisor’s or counselor’s approval before registering.
15. How do I apply for enrollment in an online degree, diploma or certificate program?
An online student will complete the same application process as a traditional student. Visit Mitchell Community College’s homepage (opens in a new window), click How to Apply and follow the application steps.
16. Will I be required to visit campus as an online student?
Yes, some classes or programs may require online orientations or proctored exams. Check WebAdvisor or the course instructor for course details and program coordinator for program details.
17. What kind of contact with professors and other online students will I have?
The LMS allows for interaction between instructors and students through email, discussion boards, instant messaging, virtual sessions, among other activities/tools. An instructor’s office hours are outlined on the course syllabus (posted in the LMS). The instructor’s contact information can be found on the syllabus as well.
18. Can I apply for financial aid?
Contact the financial aid department for more information at (704) 978-5435.
19. How do I know what is expected of me in a particular class?
As in traditional classes, an instructor will provide his or her students with a syllabus which outlines the structure of the course, grading breakdown, learning outcomes, assessments and other activities.
20. Do I need to contact my instructor?
Yes, if you need help on an assignment, contact your instructor. Follow the guidelines posted in the syllabus on contact procedures. Do not wait until the last minute to contact your instructor.
21. As a student, am I bound by copyright law?
Yes, as a student, you are bound by copyright law of the United States.
22. How long does it take to study for an online course?
Prior to taking an online course, many students assume this format is easier. However, the initial time demand can be greater than traditional classroom delivery methods. A student will need to organize his or her materials, utilize time management, and find a comfortable and quiet place to study. Assessments such as projects or essays will be submitted through course links. The course time largely depends on a student’s current course document status, a student’s motivation level and a student’s familiarity with computers.
23. How much do the online classes cost?
Mitchell Community College does not apply a different tuition rate to courses based on delivery method.
24. What material or resources are available for online students?
All students are enrolled in a Student Resources course in the LMS. The Student Resources course contains useful information about the college and navigating and using many college applications, including the LMS.
25. What is the procedure for drop/add/withdrawal?
The procedure for dropping, adding and withdrawing an online class follows the same guidelines as a traditional class. For more information on the procedure, contact Admissions and Records at (704) 878-5493 or email email@example.com
Dual-enrolled high school students will need to contact their college liasion, principal, or other designee to request changes to their schedule.
26. When do my classes begin and end?
A student needs to view their class schedule to obtain the start and end dates of course(s). Courses can range from four, eight, ten, twelve, to sixteen weeks. Class schedules can be obtained in a student’s WebAdvisor account. A student will not be able to access their course(s) in the LMS until the first day of class. After the last day of the course, the course will remain active in the LMS for five additional business days.
27. Do online students have access to the library?
Yes, online students have full access to the J.P. & Mildred Huskins Library services and resources. For more information, contact the library at (704) 878-3271.
28. Where do I go for more information?
Review the Mitchell Community College website for more information on online learning.
29. Are online classes accredited?
Yes. Mitchell Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
30. What if I am having trouble with my login or password?
For help contact:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org OR Phone: (704) 978-1304