Online Learning FAQs

Is Online Learning Right for Me?

Take the quiz to see if online learning is right for you.  

Will online learning fit your circumstances, lifestyle and educational needs? Here are some basic questions to ask yourself in deciding if an online program is right for you.

  1. Do you have a computer and internet access at home, or are you willing to drive to the nearest center?  
  2. Do you feel that learning can take place without having face-to-face interaction with an instructor?
  3. Can you set aside six to 10 hours of free time a week to participate in the learning process?
  4. Do you consider yourself a highly motivated and self-disciplined person
  5. Are you proactive when facing schoolwork and deadlines?
  6. Do you feel you could communicate effectively in writing?
  7. Do you prefer to schedule and locate your own learning experiences?
  8. Do you believe that you are the one most responsible for your education?  Yes
  9. Do you trust your own ability to manage and carry out the learning process?
  10. Would you have the ability to speak up and contact an instructor if a problem arises?
  11. Are you comfortable with basic computer operations, email and new technologies?
  12. Does your lifestyle (family or work schedule) make it difficult for you to attend daytime courses?

Total the Yes votes above, then view the ranges below to help you determine if online learning is right for you.

9 - 12+ 

You are a great candidate for online learning.

5 - 8

Online learning may work for you, but you will have to reflect on what you need to do to become a successful online learner.

0 - 4

Online learning may not be for you. Some of the difficulties you may encounter are remaining self-disciplined, keeping up with technology, and communicating with your instructors and peers through writing rather than face-to-face. 

Where Do I Get Help?

Central Online provides exceptional help for students. You may contact the helpdesk electronically or by phone.

When contacting the Central Online helpdesk, here are a few things to keep in mind. The technicians will need several items of information when answering questions. When asked, please be ready to provide the following information:

  • Your first and last name
  • Your CCC username
  • Your seven-digit student ID number
  • The last four digits of your Social Security Number
  • The class you're taking utilizing Central Online
  • A detailed description of the problem you're having
  • A phone number and an alternate email where you can be reached

Electronic helpdesk

This helpdesk has several items that are specific to students’ different needs.  It consists of:

  • Password Change Tool: Allows students to change their password
  • Password Reset Tool: Allows students who have forgotten their password to receive another
  • Student Helpdesk: Allows students to describe the problem they are experiencing  
  • Copy of Class Request Form: Allows distance learning students to access a missed class
  • Residence Hall Helpdesk: Allows students living in the dorms to submit a problem 

The electronic helpdesk also provides FAQ documents that include Account Help and Office 365 Student Install Directions.

Telephone helpdesk

The telephone helpdesk number is:

Direct: 308-398-7999
Toll Free: 1-800-CCC-0780 option #7

Fall/spring semesters:

  • Mondays – Thursdays: 7:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  • Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Central Online helpdesk technicians are available to provide technical support for your online courses. For questions about course content, your first point of contact should be your instructor.

When do Online Courses Begin/End?

CCC’s online courses follow the same schedule as on-campus classes for beginning and end dates. Some instructors may require all work to be handed in prior to the end date of the course. This gives them time to grade work and give any feedback to their students before the course is shut off.

How do Online Courses Work at CCC?

Online courses at CCC work as they do at most colleges and universities and are accessed through the internet. Once students enroll in a course, they are given a username and password that allows them to access the WebCentral Portal where their courses are listed. At CCC, we use Canvas as the course management system to facilitate our online courses. Students do not install Canvas on their computer.

What if I Didn’t Sign Up for an Online Course?

All courses offered have an online presence. Some may be gradebook only courses that contain the gradebook, syllabus, course announcements and the attendance tool. Others may contain quizzes, assignments and informational sheets. It depends on the type of class in which the student enrolls. If you’re unsure in which mode of course to enroll, please contact your advisor or the Registrar’s Office.

Modes offered:

  • Online Instructor-paced: You must meet deadlines set in the class.
  • Online self-paced: You can work at your own pace to have the course completed by the end of the term.
  • Blended: You complete the majority of work online but you may have to come to a campus or center for one or more meetings or to take a proctored test. You are responsible for securing the service of a proctor.
  • On-campus lecture courses: These are traditional face-to-face courses, but you may use Canvas for course work.
Do I Need to Come to the CCC Campus to Complete Work for an Online Course?

Most online courses don’t require you to come to campus. Some courses are considered “blended," which means sometime during the semester you will be required to physically be at a pre-determined location. That location could be a main campus to do hands-on work or a learning center to take proctored exams.

What does a Typical Online Course Look Like?

Online courses are normally broken down into topics to lead you through your assigned work. These assignments may include reading chapter information, answering forum questions, downloading/uploading assignments, taking quizzes and watching videos.

How do Online Courses Compare to Face-to-Face Courses?

Online courses have the same academic rigor as a face-to-face courses and are held to the same academic standards.

The content will be similar if not identical and include assignments, presentations, discussion, projects and tests. The course materials will often be reworked for online delivery, but the content remains the same. College transcripts make no distinction whether a particular course was completed online or face-to-face. 

The difficulty level of the course work is intended to be the same. Do realize, though, that you do not have the "imposed discipline" that accompanies a face-to-face course that meets at a specific time in a specific place. Although most online courses follow a schedule and have a due date, an extra measure of self-discipline is required to be successful.

Are Assignment Deadlines set in Stone?

Assignment deadlines exist for a good reason; however, just like face-to-face courses, things come up that may prevent you from completing an assignment on time. If you find yourself in this situation, please contact your instructor Generally, instructors are very understanding if you explain the situation, but It is up to them whether to grant additional time to get work in and if it will affect your grade.

What Type of Computer Hardware/Software do I Need?

It is the student’s responsibility to ensure they have a computer system that meets or exceeds the minimum hardware and software specifications to participate in an online course. Note that the minimum specifications may result in slow access speeds and lead to some frustration.

Computer hardware and software requirements for CCC Online

A laptop or desktop computer running Windows version 7 or higher or Apple Mac OS 10.6 or higher is recommended for taking online courses at Central Community College.

Tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices may be used, but not all features of the CCC site are guaranteed to work with these devices. Please make sure you have a computer with a Windows or Mac operating system to complete your coursework.

Recommended browsers for CCC Online

Browser Minimum version Recommended version
Google Chrome 30.0 Latest
Mozilla Firefox 25.0 Latest
Apple Safari 6 Latest
Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 Latest


Additional software

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe Flash plug-in

Some classes may require additional software to be installed.

What Type of Computer Skills do I Need?

Participants are expected to have at least …

  • A basic knowledge of how to work with their computer and its operating system.
  • A basic knowledge of software applications such as word processors, email applications, Internet browsers and online search engines.

NOTE: It is the student’s responsibility to seek out technical assistance as needed from a local resource person. CCC cannot provide assistance on how to work with your computer and/or its programs.

Is There an Orientation Session Available?

Yes. All students may take a free Canvas training workshop to help them become familiar with the online tools and activities that are commonly used in many of our online courses. Canvas contains the tools you will use to access course materials, submit assignments, take quizzes and tests, communicate with other course participants and get your grades.

Students may choose to attend the orientation workshop at a CCC campus or center or sign up for an online webinars. For a detailed list of all CCC’s orientations: 

View Orientation Schedule

Do I have to be Online at a Certain Time Every Day?

CCC online courses are offered in an asynchronous format, which means students and instructors do not have to access their course at a specific time each day but rather work at the times most convenient to them. Students have 24-hour access to their online course and are encouraged to log in daily to see if any new announcements have been posted by the instructor or fellow classmates. In most online courses, it is extremely important that students participate in the course several times per week. Specific requirements for participation will be laid out by your instructor.

Time Management Helpful Hints

  • Create and maintain a consistent study schedule.
  • Make sure to note all due dates for each class for which you are registered.
  • Plan on submitting assignments and quizzes earlier than the date and time indicated. This gives you time to troubleshoot any issues you may have with the technology before the deadline.
Do I Need to Purchase Textbooks for an Online Course?

Many online courses use the same textbook as in the face-to-face version of the course. To find the needed textbooks, go to WebCentral and choose the My Services Tab. In the Search for Classes/Register menu, click on the My class schedule, put in the Term needed, then Submit. Choose a class in your schedule list and submit again. At the bottom of the page you’ll find the Textbook Information.

Will I be able to Access CCC Library Resources?

Online students have access to CCC’s library resources. They can find the link to these resources at the top of their course page in the green bar.