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SMCC Moving Instruction Online: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Where can I find Brightspace?

You can find Brightspace in MYSMCC. (Top menu). You can also access Brightspace directly here:

2. What is the best browser for Brightspace?

Firefox is the best browser to use with Brightspace. DO NOT use Internet Explorer, Edge or Safari. If you use these browsers you will encounter issues while taking a test. You can download Firefox here:

3. Where do I find the Online, Library and Study Skills online workshops?

All students are enrolled in the Online Orientations. New students are enrolled each night @ 1am. You will find the orientations in Brightspace under the My Courses Widget. If you do not see the orientations, wait until the next morning and you will see them.

4. Do I need to take the Online Student Brightspace Orientation each semester?

No! You only need to take the Online Student Brightspace Orientation once a school year. After you take the orientation, you will be presented with a certificate of completion. Save that certificate onto your computer for future semesters. This allows you to reuse the certificate for the following semester. If you do NOT save the certificate, you may have to retake the Online Student Orientation again.

5. Why can't I see my online course?

Online credit courses will not be available until the first day of the term. Once the first day of the term starts @ 12:01 am, you will then see your courses in Brightspace. If you lose access to an online course, you may have been dropped for non-attendance or non-payment. Follow up with your instructor and the registrars office for more information.

6. What is MyLabs and/or Mindtap?

Pearson MyLabs is an online learning system that is used by our Math courses. Cengege Mindtap is an online learning system that is used by our Medical Assisting and some Information Technology Courses. MyLabs and Mindtap require an access code that you can purchase from the SMCC bookstore. Both MyLabs and Mindtap can be accessed from Brightspace.

7. How do I request help with online learning?

If you need academic help with your online course, the first person to contact is your instructor. If you need technical Brightspace assistance, you can request live chat support help here.

8.  How long should I have to wait until my instructor replies to my email?

Instructors will have 24-48 hours to reply to student emails from the time of receipt. Students should not go more than 48 hours with out hearing a response from their instructor during the normal work week. If you email a faculty member on Friday @ 5pm, you may not receive a response until late Monday or early Tuesday. Do not procrastinate! Review your course work on Monday and email all questions to your instructor prior to Friday.

8. Is there an online SMCC bookstore?

Yes, you can purchase textbooks from the SMCC bookstore online. Click here to access the online SMCC bookstore.

10. What online majors does SMCC have?

Click here for a list of online majors at SMCC.

11. Can I use a Chromebook with Brightspace?

It is recommended that students NOT use Chromebooks with online learning. In many cases, Chromebooks will work fine. But Chromebooks are not a full operating system and in some cases are not fully supported. Students should use either a Mac or Windows computer.

12. Where can I download Word, Powerpoint or Excel for home use?

Students can download and install Word, Powerpoint or Excel for home use. Click here to access MS Office. Use your school email and password when prompted.

13. My Mindtap or MyLabs course access code does not work! What do I do?

Do not purchase your access codes via Amazon or other 3rd party. Only purchase access codes via the SMCC bookstore or through Brightspace. Amazon course access codes will not work at SMCC. Also, access codes have a defined shelf life. Access codes purchased 2 years ago, most likely will no longer work. If your access code was purchased via SMCC, you can contact the publisher technical support for assistance with obtaining a working access code. Click here for the publisher support contact information.

14. How do I use Word, Powerpoint or Excel?

Click here to access online video tutorials on using Word, Powerpoint or Excel.

15. How do I use Google Drive?

Click here to access online video tutorials on using Google Drive.

16. Is there online tutoring @ SMCC?

Yes! Click here to access online tutoring @ SMCC.

17. I was dropped from my online course! What happened?

Students can be dropped for numerous reasons. The two main reasons for being dropped from a course is due to lack of attendance or lack of payment. Attendance in an online course is defined by completing weekly work. Logging in does not qualify as attendance. You must complete weekly work to earn attendance credit. If you go more than two weeks without completing work in your course, then you may be dropped for non-attendance. Contact your instructor for more information.

18. Brightspace is doing weird things! What do I do?

Most issues with Brightspace are due to using an unsupported web browser. The best web browser to use with Brightspace is Firefox. If something does not work in Brightspace, try the following prior to contacting support. (1) Use Firefox. (2)Make sure Firefox is up to date. (3)Clear your history/cache, (4) Logout and close Firefox (5)Reopen Firefox and try Brightspace again.

19. Is Brightspace is down?

Brightspace has a 99% up time. It is rarely down. In some cases your home internet connection or your computer is the reason you may not be able to access Brightspace. Click here to tell if Brightspace is up and running.

20. Where can I find my grades in my online course?

All online courses should have a Grade section in Brightspace. Look in the top blue bar for the course gradebook.

22. Do I need to use my SMCC email account?

Yes! You need to use your SMCC school email while you take courses @ SMCC. Faculty may not respond to you if you are using a private email address. The main reason we require students to use the SMCC email system is that we can verify your identify via school email. You can access school email here.

23. How do I take a screen shot (Windows)?

Click here to learn how to take a screen shot.

24. How do I create a PDF using school google drive?

Click here to learn how to create a PDF using school google drive.

25. How do I save an open office document as a word document?

Click here to learn how to save an open office document as a word document.

26. How do I save my Brightspace Student Orientation Certificate as a Image or PDF?

Click here to learn how to save my Brightspace Student Orientation Certificate as a image or PDF.

27. Can I use a mobile device with online learning (iPhone, Tablet, etc)

Yes and No! Online learning provides basic support for mobile devices to access content, but not all features or content areas are accessible with mobile devices. Students taking online courses @ SMCC should use a computer of laptop with Firefox to access their courses.

28. Should I save my work offline?

Yes! Save offline copies of ALL of your work when possible. This provides you with a backup copy in case there are technical problems. Save all written work (discussions, assignments, etc) as a word document for offline storage.

29. Help I lost my discussion board post! What do I do?

Students are advised to type up long discussion board posts offline in Word. Then copy and paste this word document into the discussion board. DO NOT attach the word document. Just copy and paste the text into the discussion board post. Do NOT attach a Word document to a discussion post unless instructed to do so.

30. How to find my courses in Brightspace: