It’s important to be prepared for your online course, especially if it’s your first online course.
NCVPS courses are not easy courses that should be taken lightly. We have real teachers who have high expectations. They also give real grades that go on your report cards and transcripts.
Watch this short video to get started, and then check out the detailed notes below.
You need to be ready to go when your course begins. Here are a few tips to help with a successful start:
Understand Your Workload – Semester courses require about 90 minutes of work each day. Yearlong courses require about 50 minutes of work each day. Summer classes require 3-5 hours of work each day. AP courses may require more than this. Just like your traditional school, you may have work over the weekend!
Confirm Course Access – Your school’s e-learning advisor (ELA) can confirm if you are registered for the course. You will get your username and password from your ELA. Your login will not work until the first day of class. Don’t panic if it doesn’t work before then. We have an orientation in Canvas you can go through to help you prepare for the first day of class.
Confirm Technical Requirements – Be sure you have a good computer and reliable internet access, especially if you are working from home. Test out our orientation to see if everything works. Our full technology requirements are available at this link.
Confirm Materials Requirements – Make sure you have the textbook and materials for your course. Typically this is provided by your face-to-face school so ask your ELA for details. Only our Advanced Placement courses need textbooks, but a few courses need materials, like headphones, microphones, lab materials, etc. Ask your ELA if you need any textbooks or materials for your NCVPS course. You can also find the materials you need in the syllabus of your course or at our textbook and materials link. If you do not have a word processing program, Openoffice.com and google.com/docs may be useful sites for acquiring free text and presentation applications. Some mac programs (like Pages) are not compatible with all word processing programs. In this case, you will want to save your documents to PDFs or use google docs so that your teacher and/or classmates can see your document. Ask your teacher for more resources that you might need for submitting assignments.
Connect with Your Teacher Early – You will find your teacher’s contact information on the homepage of your course. Message your teachers on your first log in. See the Tips for Communication page for more details. Let them know that you were able to access the course, introduce yourself, and ask them any questions that you might have. Your NCVPS teachers are there to help!
Log in Everyday Monday through Friday – Check the NCVPS calendar. If it’s a school day, you have work! Make it a habit every single school day, and you will be successful. A little each day is better than cramming all of your work in at once.
Check Daily Announcements – Each day your NCVPS teacher will post an announcement that is directly related to your learning for that day. Be sure to read it! There’s valuable information there. You should also be receiving these announcements via email. If you’re not, please check your Canvas settings to be sure that your email is registered correctly in your profile.
Do the Work – Don’t just submit assignments. That’s not learning. Do the readings. Watch the videos. Listen to the audios. Your NCVPS teacher can see how much time you spend on each page and on each day in the course. You will be called out (and probably miss important information) if you go straight to the assignments.
Let Someone Know When You Have a Problem – Don’t let a small problem turn into a big problem. Contact your teacher right away if you are having a problem in the course. If you can’t log in, contact your ELA or the NCVPS Virtual Support Center. If you need a tutor, we have those, too! Ask your NCVPS teacher about our Peer Tutoring program or explore the link on your course home page.
Create a Schedule and Follow It – If you are working from home, have a specific time each day to work in your NCVPS course. You will have something to do every single school day. Be aware of your assignment due dates. Be sure to sign in to your course each day and complete that work.
Stay Organized – Keep track of our course work! You should save copies of your work on flash drives or on online. Know where everything is. Also, keep track of your NCVPS calendars and pacing guides. Know what’s up next.
Have a Consistent Workspace – You need an organized, clean workspace to do your NCVPS work, whether it’s in your school’s lab or at home. Your workspace should be free from distractions. In front of your Playstation or television might not be the ideal workspace.