Just like a traditional face-to-face class, an online class is taught by an accredited instructor. In online classes you will have regular lessons each week — the only difference is that they are delivered electronically using the Internet and other software tools.

When you take an online class, you log in to an online learning management system called CANVAS access and complete all — or part of – your class lectures, assignments, interactive activities and tests to fulfill the course learning objectives. The same learning objectives, content and textbooks are used for all PCC classes whether it’s fully online, hybrid or on-campus.

These days, online learning can be just as or even more engaging than a traditional course, since your instructors will use the latest technological tools and teaching methods. More instructors are using multimedia and tools that increase social interactions in class. This makes learning more fun, as people get to know one another and support each other in their online course. Think of it as your new class community!

What’s a Learning Management System (LMS)?

Online and hybrid classes at PCC use what is called a Learning Management System (LMS). An LMS is an online platform that you access online. It’s a self-contained system where your instructors can post their course materials, assignments, and announcements. Currently the LMS at PCC is CANVAS.

In an LMS you will probably use a lot of different features in your classes. These are just a few of the most common ones:

Course Content

Where your instructor will post course materials and lessons. In CANVAS you would find these in the MODULES, PAGES and FILES navigation links.


Where you can discuss questions about the course materials with your instructor and classmates.

and Chat

Where you can connect with your instructor and classmates.

Social Media

Where you can connect to others, create, and share materials.

Calendar and

 Where you can check out important upcoming assignment dates and information.


Where you can take part in synchronous (live) sessions or discussions with your instructor or classmates.

Where you can check your grades.

When you log into CANVAS, you’ll get a screen that lists all the classes you are enrolled in that use it. This screen is called the CANVAS Dashboard and includes the: 

  1. Global Navigation Menu where you can access your courses and calendar.
  2. Sidebar where you can see your course feeds.
  3. Global Activity Stream where you can see the recent activity from all your CANVAS courses.

Click on the course you want to enter, and you’ll get a Home Page that might be set up either with a Course Activity Stream (recent activity in your course) or a set landing page with the Course Menu on the left. This menu will have links to everything you need to get started in your course: 

  • Syllabus
  • Modules
  • Announcements
  • Additional Tools (Conversations, Chat, Grades, etc.)

Using an LMS is easy. Since everything is contained within the system, all you need is to log in to your account using your LancerID on a computer or mobile device with a supported Operating System and Browser. You can also access your class on your iPhone or iPad.

To learn more about our current LMS, CANVAS you can check out the CANVAS Student Guide or the CANVAS Video Guide.

Ready to try it out?

Check out our Student Demo Course to get a feel for what an online or hybrid course in Canvas looks like.