e-Learning FAQ

E-Learning Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What follows is a list of questions students who take e-Learning Classes often have.

If you don't find your question answered here please email us.

If you have a question about class content (deadlines, assignment requirements, etc.), please contact your instructor (check your course syllabus or Class Finder if you don’t know your instructor’s name).

Table of Contents

General Questions

Canvas Questions

Assessment, Testing, and Repondus Lockdown Browser

Resolving Complaints & Issues

General Questions

  • I registered for an eLearning (hybrid or online) course, what should I do next?
    Plan out your regular access to a computer (either on campus or using your own) and if you’re using your own computer, check that it meets the technical requirements for eLearning classes.

    Make sure you know how to access your GRC email – or if you can’t access your Inbox talk with someone at the Holman Library Reference Desk as soon as possible. Your student email is the way you will receive announcements from your Canvas class, and other important college offices – like Financial Aid and Enrollment – also use your email to contact you.

    Find out if your class is hybrid or fully online and where to go for the first day. Learn how on the Getting Started with e-Learning page.

  • I was “dropped for nonpayment”- What does that mean?
    You are required to have paid tuition and fees by payment deadlines or you may be dropped from the class (unable to access the class or receive credit). At the start of the quarter, there is a grace period where you will not be removed immediately from your Canvas class if payment is overdue, but you will not be able to complete your class without payment.

    If you receive a message about tuition nonpayment, it is very important that you contact the Office of the Registrar as soon as possible – even if you expect the tuition or fees to be paid by financial aid – so you can continue your progress in your classes.

  • I have a “hybrid” course – what does that mean? In a hybrid course, you will attend regular classes in-person on campus, and some class work will be completed online. Hybrid courses have fewer on-campus class meetings than a fully in-person course.

    You will typically attend the first class meeting in-person and the instructor will introduce you to the online learning system(s) you will be using in the class as well as when assignments—in person and online—will generally be due.

    Check the Class Finder for the dates and location of your on-campus class meetings.

  • I have an “online” course – do I come to campus for class?
    You will not need to come to campus for an “online” course. Instead, you will log on to Canvas or another online learning system to complete class work. It is important to log into your course regularly so you can make good progress.

    Most GRC online courses use Canvas, but if you do not know what system your course is using, you can look up your course in the e-Learning Class Schedule.

  • Where can I find my class textbooks?
    To check if your class has required texts, note the Section letter(s) of the course and look up your class using the Paper Tree Bookstore’s online search. Click on Order Now and then look for the Textbooks link in the menu bar at the top of the page.

    You can borrow some textbooks to use at Holman Library for short periods- search your class short name (ex: “ENGL 101”) or textbook title in the library catalog to see if your text is availableThe library guide about textbooks has more information about finding alternative sources for textbooks.

  • How do I download or access Microsoft Office as a GRC student?
    As a Green River student, you can download and install Microsoft Office free-of-charge as long as you are actively enrolled.

    You can also access ‘web’ versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint after logging in to your GRC webmail by selecting the “Apps” menu:

Screenshot showing where to click in Office 365 to open the Apps menu.


  • Are there any special settings for my browser?
    Please visit the Computer and System requirements page for more information on supported browsers and settings.

  • Can I use wireless Internet to take my online class?
    Wireless internet connections can be unstable. Generally, it is probably OK to use a wireless connection to access course content or readings, but we strongly recommend not using wireless to take tests or quizzes - especially timed or restricted tests. Always use a wired connection if possible.

  • How much time can I expect to spend on an eLearning course?
    Instructors and students alike say that online courses take as much or more time than on-campus classes. For example, an on-campus 5 credit course is around 5 hours / week of meeting time with additional time needed to complete assignments. Make sure to give yourself enough time to complete your online coursework each week!

  • Who do I contact for learning accommodations?
    If you require accommodations, please contact Disability Support Services as soon as possible to determine eligibility and/or request accommodations and alternative formats. Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis.

    All discussions will remain confidential. Accommodations are not provided retroactively and generally instructors will only provide accommodations approved by Disability Support Services, so it is essential to contact their office and discuss your needs as soon as possible at the beginning of the quarter.

    Green River College is committed to creating a positive, accessible environment for its students, employees, and visitors and is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Learn more about accessibility.

  • What other guidelines should I keep in mind as an eLearning student?
    Classes with an online component require the use of good online behavior, especially in discussions. Here are four tips:
    • It is typically a good idea to address the person you are responding to by name. This will make your online discussion more personal.
    • Choose words with care since you do not have the ability to gauge a person's reaction or feelings online when you post. Humor and sarcasm should always be used very carefully and, where needed, labeled as such.
    • It is OK to disagree with someone in a discussion if you give good reasons or evidence for doing so and address them respectfully. Your response should never attack someone personally.
    • Identify your sources if you use quotes, references, or resources. Your work must always be distinctively your own, and outside sources should be clearly cited or linked.

Canvas Questions

  • Will Canvas work if I use a Mac?
    Canvas works on Mac computers and with the Safari browser.

  • Can I use a mobile device (like a smartphone) to access my Canvas class?
    Canvas has an app available for iOS and AndroidBe aware – not all class settings may work in the Canvas app! It is recommended that you have access to a computer with a browser in addition to a mobile device.

  • I cannot log in to Canvas.
    New student accounts are created the Friday before classes start.

    Double-check that you are using the correct log in username and password for the login page.

    Your Canvas username is your full Green River email address (example: jdoe5@mail.greenriver.edu). If you don't know your email you can look up your GRC email address online.

    Your Canvas password is your student ID number without hyphens (example: 123456789). If you need help accessing your student ID number or email, you can contact the Holman Library Reference Desk for assistance.

    You can change your password at any time. If you have confirmed your email address and student ID number, try using the “Forgot Password” link on the login page. If you still cannot log in, please contact the e-Learning office by email or phone: 253-833-9111, ext. 3354.

  • I'm registered for a class and it is not showing on my Canvas Dashboard.
    Sometimes Canvas does not show all your active classes on the Dashboard (the first screen you see when you log in). You can add your course manually:
    • Click on the Courses option in the left main menu and then select the “All Courses” link on the next page.
    • Click on the star in front of your class to add the class to your Dashboard (the star icon will turn yellow).
    • Check to make sure the icon is filled in/yellow before you leave this page. Clicking on the star icon again will remove the class from the Dashboard (the icon will be blank).

  • Why isn’t my class in the Canvas Course menu even though I am registered?
    Green River Canvas courses will generally be available after noon (12 pm) the first day of the quarter. If it is after noon on the first day and you have confirmed you are registered, you can email the class instructor to ask when it will be published. The Canvas class might have a different opening date: for example, some hybrid classes wait to open until after the first in-person class meeting.

  • Why can’t I open my Canvas class online tests?
    If you are running any pop-up blocking software, it must be turned off in order for some Canvas features like online testing to work. If you are not sure where to look, you can contact Canvas Student Help by chat or phone for support.

  • I have a question about another Canvas feature or issue.
    You can search the Canvas help guides for instructions and screenshots of many features. Direct help with Canvas is also available by online chat or phone: (425) 429-2005.

Assessment, Testing, and Repondus Lockdown Browser Questions

  • I need to take a proctored test or skills assessment. How can I do this?
    Green River’s Assessment & Testing Center can help you set up an appointment for assessment or proctored testing.

  • My online test requires a “Lockdown Browser.” How can I access it?
    The instructions for using Repondus Lockdown Browser on your own computer or in an open computer lab on campus can help you get started. Once installed, you will open the lockdown browser from your computer or desktop and log in to Canvas from there to take your test.

    If your test requires “lockdown browser with monitoring, see “How do I take an online test that requires ‘monitoring’?”.

    If you have trouble downloading Respondus Lockdown Browser to your computer or cannot open your test once the Lockdown Browser is installed, please contact the e-Learning Office.

  • How do I take an online test that requires “monitoring”?
    In order to take an online “monitored” test, you will need: 
    • A computer with Repondus Lockdown Browser installed
    • A webcam

      If you have your own computer with the lockdown browser and need a camera, you can borrow a webcam (1-day checkout) from Holman Library.

      Monitored online tests cannot be taken in GRC’s open computer labs. Lab computers do not have webcams. If you do not have access to your own computer and need to take a monitored online test, please contact your instructor—they may be able to set up an alternative arrangement or proctored testing.
  • I have a test in my online class – can I drop-in to the Testing Center to take it?
    The Assessment & Testing Center class testing is by appointment only, and your instructor will need to contact the center to make an appointment for a class testing time. If you are not able to take your class quiz or test, contact your instructor as soon as possible.

    If the test is in Canvas or Respondus Lockdown Browser (without monitoring), you can use a computer in the campus open computer labs in Holman Library, Kent, or the Technology Center to take it. Check availability on GRC’s Hours of Operation page.

Resolving Complaints & Issues

I have an issue with my course, another student, or my instructor. What do I do?

Complaints Related to Instruction, including grade disputes:

eLearning students follow the Instruction Student Complaint Process process to resolve Instruction-related complaints. The first step will ask you to contact your instructor—if you are not sure how to contact them, here are some steps to try:

  • Start with your course syllabus – it should list your instructor’s name and how to best contact them.
  • If you don’t have your syllabus, or you can’t locate a preferred contact method, you can use your course’s Canvas Inbox to send your instructor an email.
  • You can also find your instructor’s GRC email address and phone in the Campus Directory.
  • If you don’t know your instructor’s name and you don’t have your syllabus, you can use the Class Finder to look up your class and the instructors last name will often be listed. From there, you can use the last name to look up their contact information in the Campus Directory.
  • If your instructor is not listed in the Campus Directory, you can contact the Holman Library Refence Desk or the Division Chair for help locating the instructor’s contact information.

Complaints Related to Discrimination, Harassment, or Assault:

Green River College is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and educational opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, creed, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, marital status, religion, disability, genetic information or any other unlawful basis.

Harassment of an individual or group on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, marital status, religion, disability, genetic information or any other unlawful basis has no place in a learning or work environment and is prohibited. Sexual violence has no place in a learning or work environment. Further, Green River College is committed to preventing and stopping discrimination, including harassment of any kind and any associated retaliatory behavior.

If you believe a policy violation has occurred, you can file a report with the college by contacting the Title IX Coordinator for students.